Anton Corbijn interview

In Music Photography, Recommended

Anton Corbijn, The Edge and Bono photographed in New York in October 2005

Anton Corbijn, The Edge and Bono photographed in New York in October 2005
Anton Corbijn, The Edge and Bono photographed in New York in October 2005


One of the best parts of my job is meeting fascinating people who do amazing things. One such person is Dutch photographer and director Anton Corbijn who i met a couple of weeks ago during a Time Out Sydney interview.

Anton Corbijn is one of the world’s best known music photographers and director of the Joy Division biopic Control. He’s also a personal hero of mine, whose work i wonder at and career i’m inspired by.

Time Out  scored 30 minute interview with him while he was in town promoting Control. I was due to take his portrait at the same time, but a few days prior we learned that all photos were off. That was disappointing, but our film writer Ruth Hessey was kind enough to let me escort her to the interview and ask a few questions of my own.

I’d love to pick his brain for hours, but even the half hour or so we had at his hotel gave a fascinating insight into the way he works.

He’s not interested in photographing gigs. He likes to shoot individual portraits, not bands. He doesn’t use a tripod. He doesn’t like big photoshoots. He still doesn’t feel like he’s good with lighting, although he recognises good light when he sees it. He wasn’t happy with the artwork on the last U2 album and in June this year he started taking pictures of the band in Morocco in preparation for their new album due next year.

Most of the interview was about Control, but i’ve edited it down to provide this recording where he primarily talks about his photography. It touches on his disinterest in live music photography, his process, his experience doing the artwork for The Killers last record and his work with U2.



U2 by Anton Corbijn
Anton’s classic shot of U2 for their Joshua Tree record


  1. I hate you! Okay, not really, but I’m very jealous. Interesting that you couldn’t photograph him.

  2. nice job! I was wondering who are some of your other influences in photography? Anton is one of mine as well.

  3. Wow that’s really interesting. Thanks for grabbing the audio interview! I’d actually seen some of his shots but didn’t know who Anton was.

    I’m not interested in the orgasm on stage—I’m interested in the pain of creation.

    Makes sense when you look at his work. Fantastic.

  4. he is an amazing photographer – so much talent and thanks for getting us an insight into how he operates – shoots
    definitely food for thought

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