Stadium Magazine

Tony Ward Interview

Tony Ward Interview

S.M. Where does your work start?

T.W. With a good cup of coffee at 7:00 AM with friends at a cafe near the studio. First, I stay current with the news by reading the paper front to back. We cajole about current events and after a while I head back to the studio to ponder who I will photograph or write about next for the daily blog which was launched in August of this year.

S.M. What most inspires you?

T.W. Well, over a 30 year career I’ve been fortunate enough to have been inspired by many things and or event’s in my life. Early in my career, I was inspired by the great documentary photographers that produced pictures for the big glossies. Life and Look are a couple that come to mind that included the photograph’s of legends, W. Eugene Smith and Gordon Parks. When I studied photography in college, especially during my two year enrollment in the Master of Fine Arts program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, I became more interested in commercial, particularly fashion photography and it’s impact on our visual culture. At that time, the late 70’s, I was inspired by the work of Avedon, Newton, Hiro and Bourdon. In the early 80’s, I found inspiration in corporate culture by being employed by one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Smithkline Corporation. After a four year stint at Smithkline, I opened a full service photography studio that produced imagery for many fortune 500 companies. The 90’s inspired me to explore the world of erotica, to travel and photograph women, preferably in the nude at various locations in Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, Paris, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and of course Philadelphia, my home. This decade is still being defined.



S.M. What do you like most about your work?

T.W. The freedom to express myself and most recently to put my thought’s in to words via the blogosphere.

S.M. What are the worst bits of your career so far?

T.W. The worst has been, at times when I was raising my family, I produced many pictures purely out of the motivation to make money, a means to an end. At that point in my career, although I was making a good living, the freedom that I had always sought in my work, particularly the subject matter was lost. I like many folk’s was ruled by the almighty dollar and was seduced by America’s capitalist culture. The best is when I work with a new subject, like a piece of raw clay….alway’s fascinated to see how I can mold it and to see what evolves from the encounter.

TW Interview

TW Interview

S.M. What are your plans for the future?

T.W. My immediate plans are a full time commitment to the daily blog. There are two new book projects ready to go to press and the development of a new fragrance.

S.M. How do you incorporate the variety of influences in your work?

T.W. The best thing I have found recently is the blog. It allows me to publish a variety of my interests and influences under one communications platform.

S.M. Where are you from, born, living?

T.W. When I am asked this question, which is fairly often, I refer to our current president Barack Obama. I also come from mixed parentage. My father’s root’s were African, although he was born in the south, Savannah, Georgia. He and his mother and younger brother, like many other people of color during that period of American history, migrated north for better opportunity. For a time, they lived in Harlem, then moved to Philadelphia where he met my mother Jean, a white woman of Italian descent. She was born and raised in South Philadelphia. They had three children. I was the last and have been living in Philly ever since. The city of brotherly love.

S.M. What’s your favorite thing right now?

T.W. Publishing the new books, the blog and as always pursuing the next subject!



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