Duffy in His Own Words
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Duffy's first commission came from Ernestine Carter, the then fashion editor of The Sunday Times. From there he was hired by British Vogue in 1957 where he remained working until 1963 photographing famous models such as Pauline Stone and Jean Shrimpton. In the 1960s Duffy worked for many of the major fashion magazine and papers, not only British but also serving long periods with French Elle magazine. His list of subjects was a roll call of the celebrities of that time: Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Tom Courtney, Sammy Davis JNR, Nina Simone, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Charlton Heston and William Burroughs. Duffy's most famous photograph dates from the 1970s and is the iconic cover of David Bowie's album Aladdin Sane. He was also critically acclaimed for advertising campaigns for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff. Notoriously, in 1979 Duffy decided to give up photography, burning many of his negatives in a symbolic fire in his back yard. Many negatives were lost but in 2009, at the behest of his son, Chris, Duffy resumed work as a photographer and shot images of people he had photographed in the 1960s and '70s. Recently many negatives have been discovered and salvaged.
The story of his early career and comeback was showcased in a BBC documentary shown 8 times in 2010 and titled The Man Who Shot the 60s. Duffy died on 31 May 2010.