Chris Steele-Perkins moved from Rangoon to London with his family in 1949. He graduated with honours in psychology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1967-70) while working as a photographer and picture editor for the student newspaper. In 1971 he moved to London and started working as a freelance photographer and started his first foreign work in 1973 in Bangladesh followed by work for relief organizations and travel assignments. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a group dealing with social problems in British cities. He then joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976.
In 1979, his first book, The Teds, was published. Chris joined Magnum and soon began working extensively in the Third World. His latest large-scale project in the developing world was on the situation in Afghanistan. He is now also working extensively in Japan and England.