Swell Summer Catalog, Featured Photographer: Jim Russi
May 12, 2011

About the man behind the lens of the 2011 Swell Summer Catalog (and the 2008 Summer catalog, for those of you who have been following)…Jim Russi


So how does a guy turn a week long vacation on the North Shore of Oahu into a 30-year stay, a house at Pipeline, and a career as one of the best surf photographers in the world? It’s been a long road for Palos Verdes native Jim Russi who started his journey as the photo editor of his high school newspaper, and later earned a degree in fashion and advertising from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.
After graduation, Russi headed straight to the North Shore where he learned his degree hadn’t prepared him for the complicated curriculum of the “school of surf.” Such as, how, when and where to swim out, and with whom. However, Russi quickly received his “masters” in water photography with mentoring from Dan Merkel and Aaron Chang.
30 years later, Russi’s career has seen him as the Senior Staff Photographer for all the major US surf magazines and at the helm of numerous advertising campaigns. His photos have been a major influence in the longboarding arena, and along with Jeff Hornbaker, Russi’s images for Roxy have shown the world the true, stoked vibe and athleticism of the women’s surfing movement.
Russi has traveled to every exotic surf location, but he’s the happiest at home in Hawaii, cruising Kam Highway on his Harley with his trademark smile. Check out Russi’s world at photorussi.com.
See his work in the latest Swell catalog HERE