Profile on Tony Cooper


I started in the late 60’s photographing the works of art of the rich and famous who needed to record their collections for insurance purposes. The equipment was a Mamyiaflex (long bellows twin-lens reflex) onto 6 x 6 cm Kodachrome and Ektachrome. Exposure was by means of a Weston Meter and focusing was checked with a dress makers tape measure.  Client referral was by word of mouth and payment in cash was quite often accompanied by fine wine or bubbly.


The family album and certainly the clients required colour. But somewhere along the way I fell in love with Black and White graduating to a darkroom in the bathroom and then a proper permanent space. Influences were Brassai, Bill Brandt, Willy Ronis & Robert Doinneau and the great Sunday Times Magazine. These set the standards towards which you aimed and told you that almost anything was allowed and possible.


Those original clients are now long dead and my loft space holds a lifetime of camera equipment all of which (until the advent of digital) paid for itself out of earnings. I now carry in a tiny case into which fits a weightless & mirrorless body and two lenses. I print A3 with a wide margin which replicates the old 12 x 9 inches of the 1990’s. Creating images that tell a story to others remains a passion.

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