The photographic company James Russell and sons was founded by James Russell (1809-1899) who is recorded operating a photographic business in Chichester from 1858. The firm of James Russell and sons was formed in the mid 1860s with his sons, who had also become photographers. James Russell (1835-) formed a business in Lewis in 1858. Josiah Russell ( 1839-) established a business in Littlehampton in 1860. James' daughter Ruth married John Fielder (1836-), who later became a photographer working for the company. George Fielder (1847-) took over the Worthing studio, and later worked for the Russell company.
In the 1870's Russell and company operated in Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor and Petworth. Starting about 1881 John Lemmon Russell (1846-) started opening branches in London, in Tuffnell Park, Brompton Road, Brecknock Road and Baker street. Hezekiah Russell (1844-) operated as a photographer with his father James Russell in Chichester. By 1891 John Fielder was running the Chichester branch after james senior had retired. In 1897 the company received a royal warrant, issued to J. L. Russell, A. H. Russell, & E. G. Russell, trading as Russell & Sons. AH was Arthur Henry Russell (1875-) and EG Edward G. Russell (1882-), sons of JL Russell.