Guy Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962. He completed a business degree at the University of Cape Town and joined Afrapix in 1986, the collective photo agency that documented resistance against apartheid.
Since 1990, Tillim has been photographing throughout Africa and the world. His work has been exhibited internationally and is held in various permanent collections.
Tillim received the South African Mondi award for photojournalism, the Prix Scam (Société Civile des Auteurs Multimédia) Roger Pic Award, the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award, and the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African photography. In 2005, he won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. And, in 2006 he became the first recipient of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography, awarded by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University.