Marcy James grew up in Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Early work experiences significantly influenced her view of the world and her approach to photography. When she was 20, during an internship for CBS News in London, Marcy was relocated to the Middle East to cover Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. This experience opened her eyes to the complexity of journalism, the unique cultures that journalists work within and some of the realities of war. When she was 25, Marcy moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the film and television industry for a few years. This experience expanded her love for fiction, storytelling and the elaborate process involved in creating. The most influential experience, however, was a self-imposed, nearly 10 year residency in Butte, Montana where she photographed what she believes is the backyard of American Society. It was in this place where she merged documentary practices and methods with fiction and storytelling.
It is in her nature to work in an immersive manner where understanding the 'story' of a subject from various perspectives and drawing upon history, social science, news, politics and, at times, the spiritual drives her approach to create. Her photographs are layered in metaphor and association.
Marcy’s work has been exhibited nationally, and is in numerous private and museum collections. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications including the catalog for Houston's biannual Photography festival, Fotofest, as well as the Codex Foundation’s exhibition catalog for the international exhibition “Extraction: Art of the Edge of The Abyss.” Marcy owns Paper & Ink Printing Studio in Missoula, Montana and is an instructor for Rocky Mountain School of Photography.