John Claridge was born in London's East End in 1944. He began taking photographs at the age of eight with a plastic camera won at a local funfair. He left school at fifteen and took a job in the photography department at McCann-Erickson, becoming David Montgomery's assistant. During his two years there, he was inspired by many, including the legendary designer Robert Brownjohn. When just seventeen, he turned up on the doorstep of Bill Brandt's Hampstead home to present the renowned photographer with a print, and was received with courtesy and kindness. In 1963, he opened a studio near St. Paul's Cathedral, specialising in magazine work and advertising. He pursued a career in advertising until recently, producing work for many large corporations.
John Claridge's work is held in museums and private collections worldwide, notably the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art.
In 1967, he wrote, produced, and shot a controversial short film, Five Soldiers, about the American Civil War, with implicit allusion to the Vietnam War.
He has published six books: "South American Portfolio" (1982), "One Hundred Photographs" (1988), "Seven Days in Havana" (2000), "8 Hours" (2002), "In Shadows I Dream" (2003) and "East London" (2007).