||This article is an autobiography or has been extensively edited by the subject or an institution related to the subject. (November 2012)|
Atley began as a professional photographer at the age of 18 (beginning at The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper) and he has worked for international picture agencies (Getty Images, Bloomberg, Reuters and AP).
In 2004, he returned to Australia, after working on the Formula One circuit as a photographer for England-based photo agency, LAT Photo. He now lives and works in Sydney, Australia and is directly commissioned by corporations for projects across: business, portraiture, travel, food, sport and editorial features.
He is a former overall individual winner of The Australian Press Photographer of the Year Award, and in 2008 he was named as the runner up winner in Australia's richest Photographic/ Art Portraiture Award - The Moran Portraiture Prize. In 2010 he was listed as a top ten finalist in the Sony World Photography Competition (professional sports category).
Between 2004 and 2009 he worked as a contracted photographer in Australia for Bloomberg News. This role saw him photograph Australia's corporations and their people on a daily basis. He resigned from this position in 2009.
For 14 years, he shot international sports for Australia's leading daily newspapers (The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) and then world picture agencies (Getty Images, Reuters and Associated Press), covering such events as: The Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup, UK Premiership League soccer, Presidents Cup Golf and Davis Cup Tennis. Between the years of 1998-2001 he toured as Official Photographer for The Australian Cricket Team. In 2003 he moved to the Formula One circuit, working for F1's photo agencies, 'LAT', and 'Sutton Motorsport Images' based from London.
More recently, he received the award as '2010 Volunteer of the Year' by The Steve Waugh Foundation, the charity established by former Australian Test Cricket captain Steve Waugh that aids youths with rare diseases  In 2011, he was awarded the contract as The Official Photographer to document photographically the most significant changes to The Sydney Opera House site since it was first built (expected between 2011 and 2014)  In May, 2011 he won the Open Section First Prize in The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize - for an image taken on World Rare Disease Day.
In 2015 he is competing in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Formula Ford 1600 Championship.  He scored a podium 2nd place in only the second race he entered and a third in the third race, during his debut at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. 
Atley has won first place in several photographic competitions:
- 1st Place overall - The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize- 2011 
- 1st Place overall - Australasia - The Commonwealth Photographic Awards (judged in London - 2002)
- 1st Place overall - Agfa World Photographer of the Month - 2002
- 1st Place overall - AFL Photographer of the Year (twice) - 1995 and 1997
- 1st Place overall - Nikon-Walkley Australian Press Photographer of the Year- 1995
- 1st Place overall - Australian Tennis Photographer of the Year