Andrew Quilty was born in Sydney in 1981, and began his career at Fairfax Media before turning to freelance work in 2010. Since then Quilty has based himself in New York City and most recently in Kabul, Afghanistan from where he also covers issues in northern Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon while continuing to work in Australia from time to time.
Quilty is commissioned by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, Guardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald and SBS. He has been a World Press Photo Award recipient, named Young Australian Photojournalist of the Year and most recently a photograph of his was named Nikon-Walkley photo of the Year for 2014. Quilty has been a member of Australia’s Oculi since 2007.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Who do you work for?
Freelance. The New York Times, TIME, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald…
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I had two uncles who were photographers. When I left school I was given one of their old Nikons before driving around Australia. I enjoyed using it so enrolled at TAFE once I was back, got work experience at Fairfax Media, met a lot of photographers there who became big influences in what back my work and in life in general. I was eventually employed at the Financial Review, then for the Fin Review Magazine before resigning in 2010 to pursue a freelance career. In 2012 I moved myself to New York City and joined the gazillion others in the photographer rat-race before visiting the middle east and Afghanistan in 2013. Since then I’ve been based in Kabul and have worked for the past 12 months between Afghanistan, northern Iraq and most recently southern Turkey.
What are your career highlights?
Every time I receive an email asking whether I can shoot an assignment. Most recent highlight is definitely the Nikon-Walkley photo of the year this year – and perhaps even more-so the nomination for photographer of the year.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Seeing people living their lives in unusual circumstances.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
John Steinbeck, Richard Flanagan, Dexter Filkins, Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Nick Cave. Too many to name.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
A panel discussion on the power of the still image: the advantages over moving images. The lasting nature of the still image. Iconography. Success of Instagram as a symbol of the power of the still image.
Where can we find you?
Photo credit: James Brickwood