Director of Photography


photo: marie alyse rodriguez
My name is Melinda James and I’m a Black/Thai cinematographer based in Los Angeles. My aesthetic embodies a visual style that is minimal and intimate. My personal work is centered around women and QTPOC communities and extends to other marginalized experiences. Over the years I have shaped a body of work that puts these underrepresented communities at the forefront, as keepers of their own images. That same care forms the foundation for each and every project I take on.

I’ve worked on short films, music videos, and branded spots/commercials that have debuted on The Root, Essence, NPR Music, Participant Media. These projects have been screened at Blackstar Film Festival, Frameline Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Outfest & Outfest Fusion, SF Urban Film Festival and Oklahoma Contemporary. Some brands I’ve photographed for are Disney Channel, Pandora, Hulu, NowThis, Netflix and Benefit Cosmetics.

  • UCSC Alumni Magazine - Melinda James: ‘The Language of Film’: Read.
  • VoyageLA - Meet Melinda James: Read.
  • Picture Lock Radio: Ep. 127 - Oklahoma is Black - DC Black Film Festival/BlackStar Film Festival - Listen.
  • KQED Arts - Women To Watch: Melinda James: Read.
  • SF Weekly: Artist of Day – A feature on Finalists of the Masterminds contest: Read.
  • Interview with Read.
  • Interview with Oakland North: Read.

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