We spoke for about half an hour over Skype, me in Sydney, Tony in his temporary home in Melbourne.
Tony’s someone i’ve always admired in the photography business. He’s gotten where he has through sheer passion for his work and by being a gentleman. It’s a good reminder that sometimes nice guys finish first.
Here’s a few choice quotes from the conversation.
On photo contracts:
“I ignore them. They’re illegal anyway. My only advice is, don’t argue because then you don’t get your access. Just sign it, date it and time it. Almost instantaneously it becomes null and void.”
On Getty Images:
“Getty are obviously quite evil in their strategy and do want to rule the world.”
On competitive photographers:
“Some other photographers always seem to feel like they’re competing with other photographers, i think i’m competing with myself. I always want to be better than i am.”
On switching to digital:
“I hate digital. I still shoot film, but digital’s that much easier and cheaper. People say digital is better, but it’s not better, it’s easier.”
“The good news is that digital is easy to do, the bad news is that it’s harder to sell. Everyone’s doing it.”
On photographing Coldplay at the 2001 Big Day Out:
“We did a session in Auckland and it was really fucking rubbish.”
On why he keeps shooting:
“The beauty of photography is that you’re never the best you’ll ever be. You’ve always got new ideas. I just genuinely enjoy photography.”
You can see Tony talk about his 25 year career if you’re in Melbourne tomorrow night at the Thornbury Theatre.