Chris Duffy (photographer)

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Chris Duffy
Chris Duffy Photographer
Born Template:Birth date
United Kingdom
Occupation Photographer, Producer, Director

Chris Duffy 9 August 1956 is an English photographer and son of 60s photographer Brian Duffy.

Early life

Christopher Shaun Duffy was born on August 9, 1956, to Brian and June Duffy. His birth was unplanned and halted his father’s designing career when he had to decline an offer to work for Balenciaga in Paris. Duffy went on to be a celebrated photographer as part of the ‘Black Trinity’ with Bailey [1]& Donovan and were credited as redefining photography in the 1960s.

During his formative years Chris lived with his mother and grandparents in East Ham, London and at 5 his parents finally moved into their own home in north London and his sister Charlotte was born. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ is a well-known make-up artist and was followed by Samantha (Sam) who is now a well recognised stylist and his younger brother Carey.

As a child Chris modelled for his father on various advertising campaigns and auditioned as Mark Lester’s stand-in singer for Oliver and recorded a single produced by Simon Napier-Bell. Chris attended Marylebone Grammar school and was in the same year as Steve Barron (Film Director) and Stewart Goddard (Adam Ant).

Chris taught himself to play the guitar at 14 and playing with several pub bands. At 18 Chris met Daniel Kleinman, lead singer of band Bazooka Joe. Danny was looking for a replacement bass player for Stewart Goddard (who Chris had gone to school with and who reemerged on the music scene as Adam Ant) and Chris took his place. Bazooka Joe is best known as being at the forefront of punk music and was placed at the top of The New Musical Express family tree of punk.[2]

Professional career

Upon leaving school he worked for CPL photo laboratory London which gave him the skills to eventually (after numerous requests) to be employed by his father as a third assistant in the studio. Chris worked full-time with Duffy from 1973 to 1978 travelling the world on a variety of photo commissions and then freelanced while he established his own photographic career. Duffy was a hard taskmaster and fired Chris more than once only to be rehired by Studio manager Francis Newman. Chris is possibly the only person to have assisted all three of the 'Black Trinity', David Bailey, Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan and Chris still enjoys a close relationship with David Bailey.

In 1978 Chris married Carol Fletcher a member of the Hot Gossip dance group run by Arlene Phillips, however their respective careers and time apart led to their eventual divorce.

Chris built his portfolio and worked extensivley with John Freida's assistant Nicky Clarke. Establishing his own studio in 1979 and landing his first photo assignment for IPC fashion and beauty magazine '19'. During this period he worked for Vidal Sassoon, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Company, French Elle, The Mail on Sunday, David Bailey's Ritz Newspaper as well as shooting portraits and features for Sunday colour supplements. In 1982 Chris joined The Creative Workforce agency set up by Steve Strange, Rusty Egan and agent Carol Hayes and began documenting a broad cross section of the 80's music scene including David Bowie, Adam Ant, Bow Wow Wow, Sade, Ultravox, Fine Young Cannibals, Spandau Ballet to name but a few.

In 1986 Chris joined forces with his father Brian Duffy and younger brother Carey and formed production company 3DZ (Duffy, Duffy & Duffy). 3DZ was a full facility production company owning their own cameras and pioneered the new Super16 format shooting many TV commercials and music videos. In 1990 Chris moved to Los Angeles as a Director of Photography working on commercials and music videos. Chris returned to London in 1998 and combined his media experience and opened multi media company Swing. In 2000 Swing merged with SIX (a full facility advertising and media company) but in 2003 Chris left and re-established his own independent video production company, Six Productions.

In 2005 Chris's father Brian was diagnosed with terminal pulmonary fibrosis and so together with Duffy started cataloging Duffy's photographic archive and assisted in producing a BBC documentary called 'The Man Who Shot The Sixties' on Duffy's life and work. The Duffy Archive was established in 2009 and promotes and exhibits Brian Duffy's work through a network of worldwide galleries and museums. Chris is currently the Director of the Archive and lectures worldwide on his fathers work and continues to shoot his own personal photographic work.

Chris has authored three books on his father's work, 'Duffy Photographer[3]' Monograph 2010, Duffy / Bowie - Five Sessions,[4] 2014 and Duffy's fashion work for French Elle '60's & 70's Fashion - In The Eyes of Brian Duffy[5]' 2014

References and notes


Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bailey, David. "David Bailey Photographer". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  2. Duffy, Chris. "Another existence". 
  3. Chris Duffy & Emma Baxter Wright (2010). Duffy Photographer. ACC Editions. pp. 208. ISBN 9781851496570. 
  4. Chris Duffy & Kevin Cann (2014). Duffy/Bowie Five Sessions. ACC Editions. pp. 170. ISBN 9781851497652. 
  5. Chris Duffy & Emma Baxter Wright (2014) (in French). 60's & 70's Fashion - In the eyes of Brian Duffy. Glenat. pp. 192. ISBN 9782344004074. 
  6. Duffy, Chris. "Another Existence". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 

External links