Best of the Best: Brian Duffy


"I never wanted to be famous. I wasn't as steady as a tripod." – Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy © self-portrait, 1968 via

Brian Duffy (June 15, 1933 – May 31, 2010) was an English photographer, a film producer, and a furniture restorer who changed the face of British photography. He is recognized as “The Man Who Shot the Sixties” because of his innovations on “documentary” fashion photography and his popularization on the iconic album cover of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane.

Originally, Duffy studied painting at St. Martin’s School of Art but changed his mind and switched to dress design not long after. It was not until the late 1950s when he decided to have a change of heart and pursued photography instead. He first work as a photographer’s assistant. Come the 1960s, Duffy traversed to many cities, such as New York, Paris, and photographed for Glamour and Elle magazines, respectively.

Together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, they were considered to be the “Black Trinity” by the photographer Norman Parkinson and the “Terrible Trio” by the Sunday Times. These three documented the world of fashion through music and sex from the ’60s until the ’70s. Duffy then set up his own studio in London and in the mid-60s, became a regular contributor to French Elle.

Throughout the 1970s, he set up his own film production company, Deighton Duffy, along with the novelist Len Deighton, commissioned to work with various British pop artists, and became a regular contributor to different magazines, such as Harpers & Queen, The Observer, The Sunday Times, and The Telegraph.

Duffy took photographs of celebrities, musicians, and models throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including Black Sabbath, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jane Birkin, Charlton Heston, Christine Keeler, Sidney Poitier, and many more. Take a look at his amazing galleries below:

Bowie by Brian Duffy © via
Faces by Brian Duffy © via
Figurative by Brian Duffy © via
Frocks by Brian Duffy © via
Features by Brian Duffy © via

In 1979, Duffy left his photographic career of fame and fortune for a life of obscurity and restored Gregorian furniture instead. He abruptly burned the greater part of his collection of negatives and slides, quit his profession forever, and didn’t shoot another picture for nearly 3 decades. In 2009, however, his son, Chris, revived his legacy and curated the first exhibition of his father’s work. After less than a year, Duffy passed away due to a lung disease.

Here’s an intimate and touching documentary film as a tribute to Brian Duffy’s legacy to the world of photography, directed by Linda Brusasco and produced by Brian’s son, Chris Duffy.

Information and images in this article were taken from

Which of these elegantly explosive Brian Duffy photographs strike your liking the most? What other fashion photographers from the ’60s and ’70s would you like to be written about?

Do you like this article? Read more about the Best of the Best Series. Previously featured fashion photographers and their best shots include Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

written by basterda on 2012-02-02 in #lifestyle #videos #1970s #brian-duffy #1960s #black-and-white #fashion #best-of-the-best-series


  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Bowie & Lennon-Macca is my most fave. Feel related to him with too fast to get bored with anything ^_^

  2. reminator
    reminator ·


  3. lomoculture
    lomoculture ·


More Interesting Articles

  • Five Films for Low Light Conditions

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-25 in #gear #tipster
    Five Films for Low Light Conditions

    As many of you would already know, shooting under low light conditions requires more than a steady grip (or a tripod) if you're aiming for outstanding results. You must also have the proper gear, and that, of course, includes film. In this post, we list down five fast films that work their best under such conditions.

  • Winter in Vienna: First Impressions of the Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by azinteimoori on 2016-01-25 in #world #reviews
    Winter in Vienna: First Impressions of the Lomo'Instant Wide

    I’ve been shooting analogue as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I was introduced to instant photography. So, you can imagine when I was given the chance to try out the recently introduced Lomo’Instant Wide, I “instantly” said yes and hit the streets of Vienna!

  • My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    written by cecilialeitinger on 2015-08-14 in #world #news
    My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    What do you do when you don't have much time in a city like New York but you want to see everything, feel the vibe and be part of the community, even for a short time? Jump on a bike and enjoy what trains, buses and cabs can never give you: be part of the city. Take a camera with you to capture the moments and sights you don't want to forget. I did this with my LC-A 120 and LomoChrome Purple film.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-06 in #gear #lifestyle
    The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    What exactly do I feel while waiting for my Lomo'Instant photos to be developed? I have to say I get a mix of "Surprise me, dear Lomo!" but also some "Did I capture it as I wanted?" kind of thought. No matter the school of thought, with the Splitzer you can add so many cool effects to your photos you'll definitely embrace it!

  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • Lomo'Instant Boston Competition

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-03 in #gear #news #competitions
    Lomo'Instant Boston Competition

    What comes to mind when you think of Boston? Maybe it's the Red Sox, or maybe it's Baked Beans? With our newest competition to celebrate the release of the Lomo'Instant Boston Edition, we want to know what Boston means to you. Even if you've never been to Boston — no problem! We want to see your best shots that represent Boston to you!

  • Shop News

    Be Sharp and Get Accurate Shots!

    Be Sharp and Get Accurate Shots!

    Never go wrong with amount of light entering your lenses. Perfect for any photo shoots, very handy, lightweight and extremely versatile!

  • The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    written by wil6ka on 2015-04-09 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    It was the Amazon which I had longed for my whole life. And when it was finally a set deal that I will travel to Brazil with two of my best friends for the Copa do Mundo (World Cup), we really had to start our adventure in the Amazon. I had known about this magical place deep in the rainforest. There was a lodge run by local people of indigenous background, with wooden houses that float on the water and a limited number of visitors. It was eco-tourism as how it should be. To preserve and to celebrate one of the most impressive locations I have seen so far.

  • Long Exposures Around Europe with the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-12-10 in #gear #lifestyle #locations #reviews
    Long Exposures Around Europe with the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    One of the things I like the most about the Minitar-1 Art lens is how sharp the focus can be when you shoot with a small aperture. So if you are one of those that like to shoot at night, get a tripod, add this to a late dark winter afternoon, and you will end up with a bunch of beautiful long exposures. This is what I did on my last trip to Europe.

  • My New York City Bike Ride Through Turquoise Eyes

    written by cecilialeitinger on 2015-08-15 in #people

    Want to be one with New York City? Ride a bike around this city that never sleeps. Bring a camera and capture unforgettable scenes. I did this with my LC-A 120 and LomoChrome Turquoise film.

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • My First Film Swap with Fellow Lomographer Mrtall

    written by Wessel de Haas on 2015-05-12 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Film Swap with Fellow Lomographer Mrtall

    Sometime ago, I was invited to do a film swap. This means a roll of film is exposed two times by different people. As I had never done this before, I was enthusiastic to explore this new field of Lomography.

  • Photo of the Day by feurstein

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-18 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by feurstein

    It was definitely a busy day for this humble stand. A steady stream of people passed by looking for fresh fruits to buy.

  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: February - Nighttime Traffic

    written by Maaike van Stratum (@stratski) on 2015-03-11 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: February - Nighttime Traffic

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. In February, I wanted to take one of those long exposure night shots of traffic. You know the type: nighttime cityscape, with bright red and white stripes where traffic passes. I love those shots, but I had never gotten around taking one.