For ten years, Giles Duley worked as an editorial fashion and music photographer, working for such publications as GQ, Vogue, Esquire, Arena and Select Magazine. He photographed the likes of Kings of Leon, Oasis, Mariah Carey, The Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and Christian Bale. His portrait of Marilyn Manson was voted by Q Magazine as one of the “Greatest Rock Photographs Of All Time”.
However, in 2000, after having become increasingly disillusioned with celebrity culture and feeling unfulfilled, Duley famously “threw” his cameras from the window of a hotel and walked away from the industry. He left London and moved to Hastings where he searched to redefine himself, setting himself many personal challenges including completing the infamous Marathon des Sables (the world’s “hardest race”).
Eventually, Duley found work as a full-time carer for Nick, a young man with profound autism. Their meeting was the start of a long and continuing friendship and, ironically, marked the beginning of Duley’s return to photography. Duley discovered that through documenting Nick’s life, he was able to obtain the appropriate support and care for him, and to give him a voice that had previously been unheard. Duley therefore decided to restart his photographic career, using his camera to document the lesser-known stories of human suffering and resilience.
In the following decade, Duley continued to work as a carer to fund trips to countries including Angola, Ukraine, South Sudan and Bangladesh. He photographed the work of non-government organisations (NGO) such as the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Emergency, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and documented the lives and stories of people whom he describes as “not victims but victims of circumstance.” In 2010, Duley was nominated for an Amnesty International Media Award and he was a winner at the Prix de Paris in both 2010 and 2012.