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Anthony McKee knew at high school he wanted to be a professional photographer, but it was a bus journey through the lower South Island of New Zealand that awoke his interest in documentary photography.
“The bus stopped at a takeaway bar in a small town, and inside some teenage boys were playing video arcade games. At that point in time I realised I wanted to use a camera to explore different communities and learn about other peoples’ lives.”
Anthony went on to study at Wellington Polytechnic’s School of Professional Photography, where documentary photography was an important part of the curriculum, and after spending a few years working on newspapers he went freelance.
Nowadays Anthony is based in Melbourne, Australia where he works for a range of corporate and editorial clients, but documentary photography remains his biggest passion. Rather than exploring exotic locations though, Anthony prefers to document communities that are often closer to home… the places and people we often take for granted.
“I think a lot of photographers feel the need to go overseas to discover exotic photographs, but I think we often forget that 99 percent of the world’s population consider our own backyard to be an exotic location! The challenge lies in learning to see the stories around us.”
Anthony has, in the past won the title of New Zealand Landscape Photographer of the Year, and has had his work exhibited as far afield as the UK and New York.
McKee’s most recent project has been a series of black and white portraits in earthquake-affected Christchurch, the city where he grew up.