Luke Duggleby’s images have been awarded honors in several international photography competitions.
Luke Duggleby (born 1977) is a documentary photographer currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, but originally from York, UK.
He studied photography at University of Gloucestershire.
Born in the North of England Luke Duggleby has been based in Thailand since 2003 since completing a degree in photography in the UK. He specializes in travel, documentary and commercial photography.
Traveling the globe yet focusing and specializing in Asia, for the past decade he has undertaken assignments and worked on personal projects all over the continent for many of the worlds most respected publications and NGO’s.
Over the years his images have been awarded honors in several international photography competitions such as PDN Annual, International Photography Awards, Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, and Travel Photographer of the Year.
He has been published in and commissioned by publications ranging from National Geographic Magazine, The Smithsonian Magazine, GEO, Monocle, Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Stern, The Sunday Times Magazine (UK) to the Guardian Magazine (UK).
Luke lives with his family in Bangkok, Thailand, all year round.
Interview with Luke Duggleby
Luke, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
My first serious camera I had was when I was around 14 – a Canon 1000 SLR. It was a birthday present from my parents and I used it to take pictures around my school for the schools annual photography competition.
I was the youngest to enter but to my surprise I won. Despite having always really enjoyed taking photographs that was the first time I realized I could be good at it.
Why did you become a photographer?
I became a photographer because it was the only thing I ever wanted to be.
I got my first camera when I was about 4 years old, a blue plastic Fisher-Price thing, and since then I always had one, they just improved. But life was always pretty one directional as I always knew that’s what I wanted to do.
What does photography mean to you?
Everything. Remove photography from my life and there would be a real large void.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
It would have to be Sabastao Salgado. I have been thumbing through his books for many years and they never cease to fascinate me.
The way he deals with his subject is complete perfection. The person is totally at ease with him being there and the way he composes the image is simply magic.
Your favorite quote about photography?
“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
“You are showing people what you see and how you see it.”
It’s important because its your art – not anyone else’s. You are showing people what you see and how you see it.
Personally I am still trying to achieve it. Photography will evolve and change as you as a person evolve. The way you look at the world will change and in turn your photography will change, too. It is always developing.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically (color treatment, framing, lens use, etc.) and conceptually?
My work is always colour, generally always has people in the shot and I always crop the image on camera, never afterwards.
I like graphically strong images with interesting lines and angles.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
In this genre of photography one of the most important things you need is to understand people and to know how to react in different situations.
If one month you are in Pakistan and the next in Bolivia, you must be quick to adapt to the change in cultures and personalities of the people. That way you can get better access to your subjects.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
There are so many answers to this question and it will be different to everyone. To me it is one that keeps you looking at it, for whatever reason it fascinates you and makes you want to explore it.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
For my personal projects I shoot things that I am genuinely interested in. I love anthropology and learning about different cultures and traditions so that is normally where my ideas come from.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I use a Canon 5D MKII with a range of L-series and prime lens.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
There are many but one of my favourites is www.thephotosociety.org. My dream is to be on it! (laughs)
What book on photography would you recommend?
I like looking at photography books by one photographer on one subject. One of my favourites is “Behind The Curtains” by Tomas Van Houtryve.
Fascinating subject and beautifully shot.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
Today, photography is very competitive.
For a new comer to documentary photography I’d say work really hard on one particular topic and create an amazing body of work on it. Then use this work to tell people who you are and what you are about.