Cover image for  book  by Anthea Williamson. Remember about the  with this apartment/ image?


More of Anthea’s stunning images from the apartment Husband and I are living in right now – WEEEEEIRD! Super beautiful styling by .


Today I bring you the work of talented Sydney based photographer . And this interview comes with a little story {you guys must be getting sick of all my stories, no?}

You see, while I was away in Milan earlier this year, my friend Nina told me how she met a “really cool chick” at a party and that I absolutely “had to meet cause I’d love her”, and she also happened to be a photographer who shot the cover of  book . Now, some of you will remember about the  of me living in the same apartment that is on the cover of , which was previously owned by . Crazy, right?!

A few weeks later I received a little message from Anthea on  {Btw, all you Australian creatives – have you registered there yet?! Hurry up, The Loop is going off!} At this stage I didn’t actually realise that Anthea was the photographer my friend was telling me about, but I soon worked it out. I am so glad Anthea sent me that message as I am now able to share with you some of her beautiful work. And I have to agree with Nina – although I haven’t {yet!} met Anthea in person, she definitely comes accross as a “super cool chick”. You can just tell these things. Besides, people who aren’t afraid of telling bad jokes are my kind of people… Wait till you get to it towards the end of the interview. Awesome. As in really bad, but awesome.

Thank you so much Anthea for being a part of yellowtrace.

x dana

Anthea Williamson – I’m loving the cool vintage camera around your neck Anthea!


Hello Anthea, welcome to and thank you for taking the time to e-chat. Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourself?

I am a Sydney based photographer.

What made you decide to become a photographer, and what was your first photography assignment?

I suppose I was always destined for a creative future. During my school years I dreamt of working in interiors, as a designer or architect. Going to Art College inspired & further opened my eyes. It was there that I chose the camera as my tool – I was struck by the immediacy of photography & seduced by the magic of the darkroom. My mind was set. As it turns out I mainly shoot buildings, inside & out, so I’ve sort of ended up where I saw myself.


I absolutely love these – “Shy, handsome & mysterious man served food on the train from Goa to Hampi in India.” Just look at those amazing eyes.


What you are seeking to portray in your work? What is fundamental to your practice – your philosophy and your process?

Since my work is often in the interest of other creative types, i.e. architects / interior designers or even if I’m working with a stylist, I prefer to take a collaborative approach. It’s my aim to show a place at it’s best. If possible, I like to walk over the location with my client or stylist prior to shooting to see how we both view the space. This on-site communication is beneficial as often the client has a relationship with the space already, I then bring to it my expertise with a fresh eye.

Can you describe your typical day of work?

Hmmm – predictably coffee kicks off the day, generally in the car en-route to a shoot (in a if I’ve remembered it). I’ve usually checked BOM for the weather report by this time if I know it might be an issue.

Packing up the car with all my gear can be pain but I’ve leaned that it’s always worth throwing in that extra light or stand, as you just never know what the shoot might call for above & beyond initial planning. Normally I will have done a reckie of where I’m shooting, if so I am pretty clear on the order of the day so with the help of my assistant we get all the gear out of the car, set up and I get snapping.


Product shots for .


Photography is a very competitive business and it can be very difficult for photographers to get a ‘break’ and start earning a living from their passion. How did you approach this challenge and what advice can you give to other fledging photographers? What was one of your biggest lessons learned since starting out?

I think all areas of work seem competitive these days? Mind you I’ve never tried any other career.

It does take time to build up a client base (it’s a perpetual job) & of course money can be unpredictable. I certainly needed a second job for a time & found myself working freelance as a location scout. I had all the required skills… apart from not really knowing my way around Sydney at the time (is bluffing a skill?) Anyway, I ended up being sustained & entertained I acquired another career skill. At times I did find it taxing, wearing two hats & I started to lose momentum toward my real objective. I’m on track now but still occasionally help out on the odd tvc location from time to time.  It’s nice to see old faces and operate in a different way sometimes.

When I began my photographic voyage – during & following my degree, I assisted a number of professional photographers in varying areas of the discipline. I found this essential not only for building confidence, getting my name out there, learning technical skills & professionalism but also for exploring what area of photography I wanted to work in. For me it is not all about being published in the glossies.

If you really think photography is where your heart is and that you’ve got what it takes (baring in mind that some of the best photographers out there don’t think they’ve got what it takes). Believe in yourself and give it a go.


Selection of images from a personal project “Sizzle”. Anthea says – Sizzle was a community festival at Bondi beach the other weekend. One of the events was that everyone could have a garage sale… there were 101 in the end. I wasn’t organised enough to do a sale so thought I’d snap around the neighborhood. I decided to get everyone in the same pose to give it a thread. It turned out that I know one of the organizers, he loved them & is using them in a ‘zine’ that they are making & for future promotion of the event. Awesome!


What are some of your main sources of inspiration? Are there any specific references you are drawing to regularly – books, websites/ blogs etc?

Coming from a visual practice I find inspiration mostly everywhere.  Light falling in a particular way, nature, urban decay & clever designs. Late night radio. Music. An expressive font. Cinema. Documentaries. Books. Friends. Conversation. Lawrence, my partner with his silly humor & ongoing encouragement. Flicking through mags, I have soft spots for & British Elle Décor – I think it’s important see what’s going on in other countries, gives a fresh perspective.

Trawling through the net … stumbling upon blogs like yours & & .

If I feel blocked, a day spent drifting though the or can help.  Sometimes I take a remote visit via the web to , London.

Who or what are some of your influences? What other photographers, artists, creatives and peers do you admire?

I admire a great many artists across the board, too many to list …. from Utzon to Michael Jackson to Cy Twombly. I guess they all serve to influence in one way or another but I like the idea of not  getting too trapped by style or trend.

Interestingly, although I rarely shoot people, the photographic books I have collected over the years seem have a leaning toward documentary work. Ultimately, I guess I’m interested in humans and the way we interact with the material constructs of this world.

Years ago, William Eggleston was one of the first photographers to wow me.  He was a pioneer not only with colour film but his style (not so unique now) depicted beauty in banal every day things.

More recent although sort of in the same vein, albeit with a touch of humor is Martin Parr.

Simon Norfolk’s haunting images of Afghanistan also fascinate me… astounding beauty but also slightly bleak I’m afraid.


Commercial interiors by .


Is there something professionally you would like to try that you haven’t done yet?

I feel a book coming on – I’m in conversation with a talented stylist/writer at the moment about such matters. And hopefully, one day I will make fascinating documentaries.

What has been your favourite shoot/ project so far?

Inside Mag sent me off to shoot a story in Western Sydney on a car yard that customized cars. Deep in the red brick of suburbia I found the place. I was intoxicated by the incredible creativity that was happening.  Bumper to bumper men sprayed & pimped vehicles to create traffic stopping works of art – the beauty of it all was that they didn’t have any sort of ‘artist ego’. It was just work for them. I felt really privileged to have my camera, a ticket of sorts that allowed me to enter this foreign world. I got to hang out all afternoon, snapping away, chatting to the guys involved & learning about this marginal but crucial culture. I dusted down my film camera & shot medium format transparency for the job, it really slowed me down & made me consider each shot. I was nervous picking up the results & then thrilled to see the distinctive colour & depth that only film generates.


Inside Mag – a tear sheet from one of Anthea’s favorite shoots for the story in Western Sydney on a car yard that customized cars.


What are you working on at the moment?

I’m shooting a lifestyle interior, a house for an architect & a hospital this week. Then tying up loose ends as I’m off to Europe next week to shoot more lifestyle interiors in Italy & London.

What’s next – can you share with us your vision and some of your goals?

I don’t like to diffuse ideas by sharing them too early .. but something exciting will occur.


Anthea says: IRT – This proves the power of the web. I got a cold call from Addison (a large advertising agency) in NY last year, they found me online and wanted to send me to NZ to shoot a state of the art water purifying system… another of my favorite jobs in fact – again because it entitled me to enter a world that I knew very little of. Main hall in top image and entry threshold in bottom image.


Let’s Get Personal:

What are the qualities you most like about yourself?

Compassionate, patient, honest, friendly, creative, optimistic.

What are the qualities you most like in others?

Humor, compassion, sincerity, integrity, non-judgment. Beauty.

Apart from your work, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Cooking & eating good food, tennis, traveling, yoga & mediation.



What are some of your favorite local galleries and shops {music, fashion, books, accessories, furniture vintage, other bits and pieces}?

is a favorite for photography. in Paddington has a great stable of interesting contemporary artist. I am also watching a couple of artists at the in Surry Hills. I like kooky embroideries.

If I’m in the neighborhood I usually pop into  on Crown & the gorgeous paper shop next door, . I love a nice bit of stationary. is a buzz when it’s on; I’m a bit lazy these days when it comes to rummaging but enjoy people watching. When it comes to books I find it hard not to get my wallet out when I’m at , but then I can’t walk past either.

is my latest & loveliest find, a simple yet thoughtful set-up of café & shop-next- door in North Bondi. Check it out.

Your favourite cafes/ restaurants/ bars?

Apart from the above… on Crown – Ali knows how to whip up super nourishing food with love… if only they did dinner too.

For Italian Vinni & Pizza e Birra in Surry Hills.

Lilliputian Cafe in Bondi for strong coffee & petit croissants.

in Surry Hills for a decent cocktail in a dark room. The Shakespeare Pub in Surry Hills is also a winner.



What is your most treasured belonging?

My eyes – if I’m allowed a body part. I value site.

It’s not very cool, but I really like…

The building.

Your favourite joke?

What’s brown & sticky?

A stick.


How would you like to be remembered?

Just remembered.


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar

    Yay!! you finally met! Knew it was a match made in heaven! Et Voilà!
    Now we need to organise dinner.

  2. Avatar
    Linda from OEKE

    The world is weird sometimes .. too weird. Oh, and heh thanks re: the headsup for the Loop. Haven’t found that in my travels so really excited. Love the layout of your blog btw also (-:

  3. Avatar
    Lawrence Smith

    Hi, Just read this interview, we are looking for a photographer and Anthea looks great, is she more than $5,000 a day? We heard of her in London recently and understand she is based in Sydney.

  4. yellowtrace

    Hi Lawrence,
    Anthea is in Italy at the moment, but I have sent her your details and she will be in touch with you to talk “shop”. Good luck!

    p.s. Jules, Nina & Linda – thank you for your comments. So glad you like the blog layout Linda xx


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