Pulham studied to become an architect, but by the early 1930s he was working as a photographer, producing work for ‘Harper’s Bazaar’. He moved between London and Paris in the 1930s, making a celebrated series of photographs of Picasso in 1938 and becoming involved with the French Surrealists. He took up painting in the late 1930s and returned to live in London just before the outbreak of the Second World War. A German bomb hit his studio in Old Church Street, Chelsea, in 1941, destroying many of his surrealist works. During the war he became a close friend of Francis Bacon and David Sylvester. After the war, when his work became heavily influenced by Bacon, he continued to make contributions to ‘Lilliput’ magazine and published a number of articles on photography.