Born in Cape Town in 1942, Hallett become fascinated with photography while growing up in the fishing village of Hout Bay, Cape Town. He taught himself the art, beginning his career as a street photographer. After establishing close associations with writers and artists he gave up his clerical job and became a staff photographer with a local newspaper. After taking a British Correspondence course in photography, Hallett photographed District Six before its destruction under apartheid as a freelancer. In 1970 he left South Africa to work for The Times of London. From there onwards he lived and worked in Paris and Amsterdam, where he formed close ties with South African exiles. After his return to SA in 1994, Hallett photographed the first democratic elections at the invitation of the ANC. He was later commissioned to record the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. He is based in Cape Town, where he pursued a wide range of photographic activities including two major photo essays on the Bo-Kaap, as well as Red Cross Children�s Hospital. Hallett�s work has been widely exhibited, both internationally and in South Africa. He has also initiated and compiled numerous photographic books. He is strongly committed to passing on his skills to younger people, and has taught photography at American, British, European, and South African institutions.
2000: Rhizomes of Memory-Tre Sorafikanske Føtografer, with David Goldblatt and Santu Mofokeng, Forlaget Press, Oslo.
1995: Images of Change,Text by Pallo Jordan, Nolwazi Educational Publishers, Johannesburg.
1979: Images, Text by James Matthews, BLAC Publishing House, Cape Town.
1973: Present Lives Future Becoming, Text Cosmo Pieterse, Hickey Press, London.
Principal Solo exhibitions:
2002: Red Cross Children's Hospital, Cavendish Square, Cape Town.
2000: The Face of Bo-Kaap, Bo-Kaap Museum, Cape Town.
1999: Dance for All, Maidenhead Cultural Centre, UK, Metropolitan Life headquarters, Cape Town
2001: Soweto - A South African Legend, Gasteig Kultuzentrum, Reis Museum, Willy Brant Haus, Stadhaus, Germany, Goethe Institute,
Regina Mundi Church, Soweto. Johannesburg
2000: Rhizomes of Memory, with David Goldblatt and Santu Mofokeng, Henie Onstad, Oslo, Norway.
1999: Lines of Sight: Perspectives on South African Photography, The National Gallery, Cape Town.
Black Perspectives, SANLAM Gallery, Cape Town.
Recontres de la Photographie Africaine de Bamako, Bamako.
Eye Africa Expo, The Castle, Cape Town.
Times One City Many Cultures, Cape Town
1998: South African Architecture and Structures, portraits of survivors from District Six, The Netherlands, South African Museum,
SANLAM Gallery, Civic Centre, Blue Route Shopping Centre, Cape Town.
1997: La Cultura Diversita, with Jan Saudek, Museo Ken Damy, Drescia.
La Cultura Diversita, with Oliviero Toscani, Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy.