During family “slide nights” in the 1960s, I was transfixed by the colour and texture of Dad’s Kodachrome holiday images projected onto the loungeroom wall - a red-beaked bird perched on my sister’s head, cousins leaning on a farm fence in the orange glow of a sunset.
As a schoolboy, photography was a way of exploring a larger world. Portraits of friends were printed in the garage loft which was set up like a mini-studio and darkroom. Here I discovered the magic of prints appearing from the developer tray, illuminated by a dim amber safelight. I shot super-8 movies for school projects, with a soundtrack of The Beatles, The Stones and Pink Floyd.
At 18 I backpacked solo in the mountains of Java and Sabah (Malaysia), photographing people in wild places which I never knew existed. This is a passion that has never left me, and I still enjoy trekking in the remote mountains of Nepal and India as well as New Zealand and Tasmania. The fragile nature of these unique landscapes is what I love to capture.
After working and travelling for two years I enrolled in RMIT’s Illustrative Photography Course – the leading photography course in Australia in the 1970s.
I assisted busy advertising photographers, was employed by George Patterson Advertising then went freelance shooting with talented art directors for Melbourne’s leading advertising agencies.
I soon opened 7Phoenix Studios in South Yarra, supporting a community of talented photographers in the genres of fashion, food and automotive photography. The benefits of a co-working studio have always been obvious to me
I am equally at ease working with a strict brief for my client or thinking on my feet. I always feel a curiosity for messages clients want to convey in their marketing, creating between us an honest dialogue.
All images ©Rob Anderson