Photographer Giles Duley worked as a portrait photographer for 10 years before cynicism with celebrity culture took him in the direction of humanitarian issues. He had always hoped to return to portraiture, but while working in Afghanistan in 2011 he stepped on a landmine. It’s a miracle he survived as most soldiers who have an arm and two legs blown off do not make it. During the ensuing 46 days fighting for his life trapped inside his body, Giles imagined all the portraits he wanted to take, aware that now he’d probably never get the chance. He resolved that if by some chance he made it through he’d contact the names on his list and ask them to sit for a portrait.
Two years, 30 operations and a long rehabilitation later he has begun his journey on this website:
The writing is fantastic:
I’ve had to hire all the equipment and I desperately trying to get it all set up in time with my assistant Noemie. It seems during my ten-year hiatus even the lighting stands have changed. I’m fumbling around trying just to set that up, it’s the most basic piece of kit here, but every time I let go of the stand, it just collapses and keels over. I’m the photographic equivalent of the embarrassing dancing dad at a wedding disco; a head full of fabled disco day memories, a present day of uncoordinated reality.
I decided to make a coffee but even there I’m faced with a ...