Maxwell Spencer Dupain was born in Sydney in 1911. He discovered a passion for photography as a teenager after being given his first camera and exhibited his first landscape photographs while still at school.
In the 1930s he studied at East Sydney Technical College and the Julian Ashton Art School while completing an apprenticeship with commercial photographer Cecil Bostock.
During the 1940s, Dupain served with the Royal Australian Air Force and worked with the Army Camouflage Unit. During this period he became more interested in documentary style photography.
After returning to studio work, he became more interested in photographing architectural and industrial subjects. One of Dupain’s earliest commercial clients was the Colonial Sugar Refining Company Ltd (CSR Ltd) and The Noel Butlin Archives Centre holds a large number of his photographs taken for CSR.
In 1982, Dupain was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and is widely considered to be one of Australia’s most revered photographers who helped make photography a more recognised art form in Australia.
Dupain continued working until his death in 1992 at the age of 80.