Christ Steele-Perkins was born in Burma in 1947, and moved to England with his father at the age of two. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper, graduating with honours in 1970 when he started working as a freelance photographer, finally 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 sub-cultures. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This work 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, and purchased the images for The Arts Council of GB’s book,About 70 Photographs.
Steele-Perkins joined Magnum in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular Africa, Central America and Lebanon, as well as continuing to document Britain. He published The Pleasure Principle, a work exploring Britain in the 1980s. In 1992 he publishedAfghanistan, 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 his first book of that work, Fuji, in 2000. A highly personal diary of 2001, Echoes, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, Tokyo Love Hello, was published in February 2007.