“My creativity, where I am today, is thanks to having a year where I couldn’t work,” Giles tells us, as he begins to describe the direct aftermath of his accident. It was a time when he felt a complete loss of control, as he was forced to confront the possibility of not working again. “It was really tough,” Giles reflects, “instinctually as a photographer, I hate not taking photos. When I got injured, I thought I’d never take another photograph.”
Unable to communicate with the world physically or verbally, Giles’ only correspondence with his loved ones was through blinking in his hospital bed – leading him to brand this time of his life as “the ultimate lockdown”. Having understood the severity of his situation, he made a promise to himself, to regain control over “who I would be when it was over”. This thought sparked what would become Giles’ first self-initiated project after the accident. While in intensive care, he began conceiving his 100 Portrait before I Die series, where he listed those he’d like to photograph, once he was free to do so.