Brian Griffin was born in Birmingham in 1948. He began his career in 1969, enrolling to study photography at Manchester Polytechnic from 1969 -72. From 1972 Brian worked as a freelance photographer with major magazines such as Rolling Stone, Esquire, Tatler and The Sunday Times, while also working extensively on album covers for such artists as Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode and Kate Bush. In 1987 he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Arles in France and in 1989 declared by the Guardian as the "Photographer of the Decade". In 1991 at the Barcelona Primavera the self published book "Work" was declared the best photographic book in the world. In 2003 he worked on the project to enable Birmingham to become The Capital City of Culture. In 2007, Brian produced a book and exhibition for the Royal Opening of St. Pancras station and High Speed 1 travel service and in 2009 launched Road To 2012 the largest photography project to be undertaken by the National Portrait Gallery, for the London Olympics.
In 2010 a major retrospective of his portraiture took place in Birmingham, followed by an exhibition centered around his early life in the Black Country, shown at the College de Bernardins in Paris. This resulted in publishing his autobiography The Black Kingdom in 2013, about growing up in the Black Country during the 50's and 60's. He recently produced a series of portraits for Reference Works; an exhibition to open the New Library of Birmingham. In 2013 Brian was awarded the honorary position of professor at the University of Derby and the "Centenary Medal" for a lifetime of achievement in photography by the Royal Photographic Society.
In 2014 he received a Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University.