Chris Steele-Perkins • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"Everything shifts as you move, and different things come into focus at different points of your life, and you try to articulate that"

- Chris Steele-Perkins

b. 1947


Based in London, England


Available for commissions
& assignments

At the age of two, Chris Steele-Perkins moved to England from Burma with his father. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper; he graduated with honors in 1970 and started to work as a freelance photographer, moving to London in 1971.

Apart from a trip to Bangladesh in 1973, he worked mainly in Britain in areas concerned with urban poverty and subcultures. In 1975, he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This involvement culminated in the book Survival Programmes in 1982. He joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976. In 1979 he published his first solo book, The Teds; he also edited the Arts Council of Great Britain’s book, About 70 Photographs.

Steele-Perkins joined Magnum Photos in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular in Africa, Central America, and Lebanon, as well as continuing to take photographs in Britain.

His book, The Pleasure Principle explores Britain in the 1980s and in 1992 he published Afghanistan,  which was the result of four trips over four years.

After marrying his second wife, Miyako Yamada, he embarked on a long-term photographic exploration of Japan, publishing Fuji in 2000. A highly personal diary of 2001, Echoes, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, Tokyo Love Hello, in March 2007.

He continues to work in Britain, documenting rural life in County Durham, which was published as Northern Exposures in 2007. In 2009, he published a collection of work from 40 years of photographing England – England, My England. A new book, on British centenarians, Fading Light was published in 2012.

Steele-Perkins has two sons, Cedric, born 16th November 1990, and Cameron, born 18th June 1992. With his marriage to Miyako Yamada, he has a stepson, Daisuke and a grand-daughter, Momoe.

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Selected works

Arts & Culture

Tokyo Love Hello

Chris Steele-Perkins

Chris Steele-Perkins' book offers a complex and layered vision: an ambiguous love song to an extraordinary city

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Upcoming Course
London, United Kingdom

Magnum and LCC Intensive Documentary Photography Course – Summer 2019

Magnum Photographers
Aug 1 - 21

Theme | 19 Stories

2018 at Magnum Photos

Magnum Square Print

Chris Steele-Perkins

Current Exhibition
Munich, Germany

“Magnum Manifesto” in Munich

Magnum Photographers
Until Jan 27


Myanmar’s Rocky Path to Democracy

Chris Steele-Perkins

Past Exhibition

Hidden Tribes

Chris Steele-Perkins
Until Sep 30, 2018

Arts & Culture

A Sense of Community: Wolverhampton in the 1970s

Chris Steele-Perkins

Past Course
London, United Kingdom

Intensive Documentary Photography Course 2018: London College of Communication x Magnum Photos

Magnum Photographers
Aug 1 - 21 · Fully booked


The Magnum Digest: March 4, 2018

Magnum Photographers

Theory & Practice

Another Kind of Life: Exploring Photography from the Margins of Society

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 20 Stories

Photobooks of 2017

Theme | 19 Stories

Expert Photographic Advice from Magnum


The Long and Bloody History of Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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