In 2005 my mother slipped into a coma..

I thought that was it. I was devastated. After pleading to the transplant coordinator at UCLA, my mother was given a second chance. She had been on the liver transplant list for 5+ years and her number was called.


She awoke the next day after the 10+ hour surgery..

My mom’s body was taking the new liver well and she seemed to be on a speedy road to recovery but something just wasn’t right. The doctors were combating a pesky lung infection that was seriously hampering her ability to breath on her own.

For 31 days I communicated on a white board with my mother who was unable to speak due to being ventilated. She would point out letters and I would arrange them on the white board to form sentences..

I visited her almost every day. The ICU doctor in charge of my mother’s care even highlighted the fact that I was there more than she was. Even still, I felt helpless and I guess being there gave me a sense of control.

Sadly, my mother lost her battle and passed away in ICU, 31 days post transplant.

After I sent her off in style (click here to view) I had the unfortunate task of going through her belongings. To make things worse, I had to do this in two different states.

Needless to say, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I donated virtually everything to charity and kept some personal items that belonged to my mom, along with some of my own childhood mementos.

You know what else I kept?

Our family photos.

My mother was my only active parent and my only immediate family. I have no brothers and sisters and my grandparents passed away when I was in high school. I realized that the only tangible memories I had of my family were in those albums and images my mom had kept through the years. It was then that I realized the IMPORTANCE and the POWER of the photograph.

That is why I have committed my life to being a photographer. This is not my hobby. I don’t shoot for extra cash. Photography is my life. It is my passion.

Aside from wedding, event and family photography, I also enjoy photographing travel,and commercial assignments. I've traveled all over the world and am internationally published.  My work has taken me around the U.S and to exotic locations including French Polynesia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Switzerland, St. Lucia, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Commercial clients whom I have had the absolute pleasure of working with include: Ford Motor Co., Flashpoint Communications, Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles, (310) Young Professionals, Grades of Green, Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach, Redondo Pier Association, King Harbor Association, Cal State Los Angeles, Skechers, Amen Clinic, Rok Sushi, The Bald Bride, Passback Sports, FIBI, Freedom Growth, LLC., CBRE, Bloume Baby, Quality Seafood, Inc., Baute, Tidus, & Maloney, The Maloney Firm, Manhattan Dental, RSC Business Group, Impact Power, Chef Meg Hall, Snooty Roots, Nicole Myden PR, Portola Paints & Glazes, Choura Events, Vox Djs, Mary Dann, Focus Entertainment, PrintingForLess.com, NanoH2O and many, many more.

Celebrities who I've had the pleasure of photographing include, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Johnnie Morton, Ron Artest, Jennie Garth, Kaley Cuoco and many more!

I've recently launched my photography workshops and retreats under the name Perspective and I encourage you to visit the site and check it out. It's a high-end, exclusive adventure that will change the way participants see the world. So far I have trips lined up for Joshua Tree National Park and a wild 10 day African Safari in Tanzania, Africa!

I also am active in other organizations and currently (and proudly) serve as the Technology Coordinator and a Mentor for South Bay BNI and led the Marketing Committee as the Marketing Chair for (310) Young Professionals in its first year of operations.  That's right! I helped launch a non-profit! (Pretty proud about that!)

Please contact me for all of your photographic needs. I have excellent references and a proven track record.  More importantly I'm fun and light and truly enjoy and am deeply connected to what I do.

I shoot for ME because it's what I was born to do and it's my gift.

I shoot for YOU because you value the high quality images I produce.

I shoot for US because together WE can create anything.

I look forward to meeting you!

John D. Russell