“When you see the contact sheet, it reveals something different from what you think the picture was about because you see David and Duffy going through the process to find that one moment,” says Chris, Duffy’s son and archivist. “When someone takes your photo you naturally feel self-conscious. But Duffy had a technique of engaging the sitter in conversation to a point where he made them forget they were being photographed. He would push people, be argumentative, say outrageous things. If he knew you supported Chelsea he’d say Arsenal were better.”
Looking across all the sheets, it is perhaps surprising that the shot that ends up being selected, often marked in highlighter pen or with a red sticker, rarely comes at the end of a shoot. “Duffy always described it a bit like a boxing match. It might not be the last punch that knocked the guy out; it might be the one in the third round that weakened him,” says Chris.