Meeting Mr Amos

Meeting Mr Amos

Mr Amos is Tony Amos, whose career as a professional photographer spans 25 years and three continents, mastering an impressive range of subjects from interiors, portraiture, lifestyle, still life and travel.

He has worked for Martha Stewart Living, US House & Garden, English House & Garden, Gourmet, Gourmet Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Elle Decoration, Maison et Jardin, Vogue Australia, Vogue Living, Belle, Conde Nast Traveller UK, among many others.

He is also a practising fine art photographer who has exhibited in both the US and Australia. His hobby is making surfboards. Visit

He is one half of Mr and Mrs Amos, and he has long been mad about Italy.

When was your first trip to Italy? And why?

My first trip to Italy was my first time out of Australia. I flew to Rome, it was the only time I've ever seen Uluru (from above), and was greeted by teenage boys with machine guns at Fiummucino.

Once I gotinto the city I felt like I was inside a film set, I'd never seen such beauty. I was 21-years and desperate to get out in the world and find my place in it.

What makes Italy special for you?

Italy has all that history, no matter where you are, even out in empty fields you can imagine armies on the march. And, the present is usually very vibrant, Italians do not go quietly.

What is your favourite location to shoot in Italy?

Sicily, it has so much loaded into a fairly small place. There is a harsh beauty to much of the landscape and a dreamy feel to the sea.

What is your favourite town to visit? And favourite hotel?

So far… Ortigia in Syracusa, it's such a beautiful town. The Phoenicians were there three and a half thousand years ago living well. The food and culture has tinges from them to the Carthaginians, Normans, Arabs as well as the indigenous Sicans, Elymi and Sicels.

As far as a hotel goes, we love Henry's House which is a beautiful little family run hotel that looks over the harbour. Their Nona makes cakes and the most marvellous spread for breakfast each morning, fill up your plate and graze on the terrace, one of the boys will bring your coffee. Each room is a scene filled with pieces that Dad has collected over his many building projects. Archemedes lived next door where he played with his parabolic mirrors.

Your favourite adventure in Italy?

The most memorable was on that first trip when I was 21-years.

From Rome I had gone to Florence with my future wife. We were standing in the gardens of the Pitti Palace, I'd gotten to the end of my first roll of film. I pushed the rewind button, the camera whirred and sounded like it was struggling then silence, I opened the back and was faced with my film still on the uptake spool. This was almost number one of what not to do in the film days, a bitter and lasting lesson in photography.

Which Italian photographers do you admire and why?

Ferdinando Scianna is one of my favourite portraitists in any medium, he is Sicilian. His pictures of Marpessa around Sicily for Dolce & Gabbana in the late eighties were so evocative for me. It feels like De Sica or Rosellini.

The north, the south or the islands?

Can I say all of it, I'm nowhere near finished with it, I haven't seen a part of Italy that didn't hold my attention in some way, and there are of course plenty of Italians about to keep it colourful.

Which image (of yours) is your favourite?

There is a grand dining room in Sicilywith frescoes all around the walls and ceiling. It is full of rubble and weeds, from above there is bright blue sky through a gaping wound in the ceiling, it was bombed in the second world war and it never recovered. There is such sad beauty that screams of a past that might be inThe Leopard.

Mr Amos' photographs are available for you to hang in your home -

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