Tony's signature photographic style encompasses movement in the pursuit of capturing moments of sensuality in unassuming scenarios. He is adept at creating conditions for professional models or terrified "real people" to feel comfortable revealing their true nature, permitting him to capture compelling, stirring and enduring images that reveal the sensuality in us all.
In addition to his commercial and editorial fashion photography Tony is sought after to direct a wide range of global television commercials, particularly in the hair and beauty world for which he was in demand worldwide for the 10 years prior to the Pandemic and is now shooting by remote from Sydney.
Tony's focus these days is the art world of photography. He is now showing with The Lyons Gallery in Sydney, offering limited editions of his past and present work, with a collection of single edition vintage prints on show also. His best known images hang in prestigious private collections in both in Australia and the US. He is known particularly for his B&W nudes and his fashion editorial, particularly his Australian work in the 90s and early 2000’s.
Also in demand and now on show at the gallery is his personal life long love of Bondi Beach and the lifesavers that patrol and compete in carnivals up and down the coast of Australia. He also has a collection of images of the junior lifesavers that he photographed competing both at a local level and also at the Australian Titles whilst his son was competing. This series is a time stamp on the beach culture that is quintessential Australian life.
Whilst studying at the Australian Centre of Photography, Tony worked at Vogue Australia as Camera Assistant to Patrick Russell, Creative Director and Photographer before spending several serendipitous years living abroad in London, Paris and New York, modelling for world renowned fashion photographers including Helmut Newton, Denis Piel, Patrick Demarchelier, Albert Watson, and others of equal stature. During this extraordinarily formative period, Tony appeared in many magazines of the world including Vogue Australia, England, Italy and France and many others. He modelled with Helmut Newton for French Vogue which he refers to as the highlight of his modelling career.
Returning to Australia in the early 80’s with clarity and determination
to interpret and distil the essence of life into his own photography, Tony soon found himself shooting editorial fashion for all the leading contemporary Australian fashion designers and magazines, including Vogue Australia, Vogue Thailand, Vogue Bride, Harpers Bazaar, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, New Woman, Karen, Inside Sport, Black&White Magazine, Follow Me Magazine, Mode and Harpers Bazaar Australia amongst others, drawing on his experience of being on the other side of the camera and the invaluable education he had of working with and observing such masters overseas.
Tony is the eldest son of Judy Barraclough Australia’s most elegant fashion mannequin and household name of the 1940’s, 50’s.
Within two years of arriving in London in 1950, Judy became the house model for the Queen’s dressmakers Molyneux and Hartnell, giving weekly showings to The Queen, The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent. She also appeared in the Royal Command Parade for British Fashion in Sydney and was the star of the catwalk in Sydney and London, referred to by Australian Haute Couture designer Hall Ludlow as “The most elegant woman I’ve ever known”.
Tony’s uncle, David Potts was one of the last of a remarkable generation of photographers that first sought, and then found, recognition in Britain in the 1950’s and 60’s. He was considered one of the great Australian documentary photographers along with
close friends and contemporaries Max Dupain and David Moore. David Potts’s images are held in permanent collections at The National Gallery, Canberra; The National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of South Australia; the Art Gallery of NSW; The Powerhouse Museum and the State Library of NSW.
Tony’s brother Dr Timothy Potts is an art historian, archaeologist, and museum director. Amongst a plethora of achievements in the academic world across the globe he has also been the director of the National Gallery of Victoria (1994–1998). In conjunction with his directorship at the National Gallery of Victoria, Timothy was Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He then became the Director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas from 1998 to 2007 and then Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Since 2012 Timothy has been the director of The Getty Museum in Los Angeles.