IT was a marriage of hobbies that sparked an epic journey to music stardom for photographer Tony Mott.
From The Rolling Stones to Tommy Emmanual, Michael Hutchence to Nirvana, this former chef has shot them all over the past 40 years (with his camera that is).
With it have come numerous amazing achievements.
His photos have appeared in more than 700 music magazines and street press journals including Rolling Stone, Juice, Drum Media, RAM and Juke, he has provided photography for more than 450 singles, EPs and albums and received a nomination for the best album cover of the year in what was his first cover shot (Tommy Emmanual’s Dare to be Different in 1990).
An extraordinary exhibition featuring 180 images from his archive is coming to Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse on February 10.
Photography and music are two of Mott’s passions. He combined the two while working at restaurants in Sydney in the 1970s.
“I did some travelling in India and Nepal in the 1970s where I travelled with a girl who took black and white photographs,” he explained.
“I was working as a chef in Sydney, and I would finish at 10pm and would go and see bands about six nights a week.
“The Divinyls, before their record deal, performed at the Piccadilly every Tuesday night, and I thought that being a rock and roll photographer would be great.”
He would go on to sell his first picture, featuring Chrissy Amphlett of the Divinyls, which kick-started his career.
“I’ve always felt so humbled, so privileged to be in this position. It never feels like a job,” he said.
“I could just keep going in answering who my favourite act is. It’s almost an impossible question. There have been so many highlights.”
I never did it for the money, it was never the motivation. I was just thrilled to do it.Tony Mott
One includes being chosen as the official photographer for the Big Day Out, and also for the Rolling Stones, as well as meeting many of the world’s biggest names in music.
He said he is excited to be able to bring a glimpse of his 40 year career to Port Macquarie.
“There is a range of work from live actions to everything else. There is a collection of photographs and even a documentary,” he said.
“I would say to budding photographers - make sure that you have a passion before anything else.
“I never did it for the money, it was never the motivation. I was just thrilled to do it. It was 10 years in when I started to really make money.”
The exhibition, What a Life, will show at the Glasshouse from February 10 until April 2. Gallery entry is free.