Thomas Duffield

The relationship between personal practice and commissioned work.


© The whole house is shaking, by Thomas Duffield


The lecture involved his project ‘The Whole House is Shaking’, in which Thomas redresses in his own family experience and the way photography was used to give form of that experience. This piece was inspired by family archives and his youth in the suburbs of Leeds. Seeing how his parents had depicted their life growing up, which was beautiful in many ways, living in a series of static caravans throughout their time.


There were some images in the family collection that were loose in shoe boxes and other places that helped to recognise some of the underlying rest – and, to some extent, chaos. Generally, the photographs his mother collected and compiled into the album were more traditional family photographs.


Thomas stated, “Just because you’re on a personal project, it doesn’t mean that you can’t bring use of it to show off your ability as a photographer.” To craft images that not necessarily beautiful but engaging and well made. Therefore, Thomas started putting a lot of effort into how he would frame things and using that portfolio of work as a gateway into the wider world, which helped him advance into commercial work.


Commissioned Work


Financial Times - Day in the life

© Financial Times - Day in the life, by Thomas Duffield



Telegraph Magazine ‘Right to Die?’


Going to a family house, story was around the legalities of assisted dying or suicide. The mum was terminally ill and had chronic pain constantly and then in the end took her to Switzerland to end her life on her own terms.


© Right to die? Portrait for The Telegraph, by Thomas Duffield