After being given a Nikon F3 by his uncle and setting off on Highway 1 around Australia in 2001 Andrew Quilty’s career in photography had essentially begun. He enrolled in Photography at The Sydney Institute of TAFE soon after and subsequently undertook work experience at The Australian Financial Review (AFR). There at Fairfax (publisher of The AFR), surrounded by the world class photographers of The Sydney Morning Herald, Quilty’s photographic style and ethos were profoundly shaped.
After leaving TAFE at the top of his class in 2004, Quilty was soon employed by The AFR. But it was the work he did in his own time that began to attract the attention of the photographic community. His first big editorial break came when his vigorous black and white observations from The Cronulla Riots in December 2005 were published in TIME Magazine.
In 2006 he was promoted to the position of staff photographer for The AFR Magazine, where he honed his portraiture skills with subjects of power and influence and in the ensuing years was awarded a string of accolades. Most notably a World Press Photo Award in 2008, The Inaugural Walkley Young Australian Photojournalist of The Year Award and an invitation to join the prestigious Australian Photographic Collective Oculi.
With a growing reputation as one of Australia’s leading documentary practitioners, Quilty’s insight has been called upon numerous times to judge high profile photographic awards while his work has been collected by private and public institutions including The National Library of Australia and The Museum of Sydney.
He has been commissioned by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, Harper’s, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Le Monde, GEO, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Magazine and many more, while his written pieces have been published in The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Australian Financial Review, The Big Issue and more.
Since late 2013 Quilty has based himself in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul and has also covered the story surrounding the emergence of the Islamic State in the Middle East extensively.
At the end of 2014, his year abroad saw him awarded the highest honor in Australian photojournalism–the 2014 Nikon Walkley Photographer of the Year. On top of that, a photograph from Afghanistan was named 2014 Nikon Walkley Photograph of the Year. Most recently Quilty was named Walkley Australian Freelance Journalist of The Year, 2015.
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