Bryan Langley was born in Fulham, London, in 1909, the son of baritone opera singer Herbert Langley. He left school at 17 and went to work for cinema entrepreneur Harry B. Parkinson at the H. B. Parkinson Company.
Initially trained across all the departments, Langley gravitated towards the cameras and by 1930 he was the chief lighting cameraman. He joined British International Pictures in 1930 where he shot many productions including Number Seventeen (d. Alfred Hitchcock 1932), Blossom Time (d. Paul Stein, 1934) and Royal Cavalcade (d. Norman Lee, 1935) until he signed up for army service in 1941 and the Army Film Unit.
After the war he spent ten years at Pinewood before the lure of the television industry brought him to BBC Ealing in 1958. He photographed the television series The History of Mr Polly (1959), Bleak House (1959) and Maigret (1960). In the 1960s he became an international film cameraman for the United Nations Relief Work Agency, touring the world making documentaries. On his return to England he set up as a freelance cameraman working mainly for the BBC and also for industrial documentary company Hugh Baddeley Productions.