Tony Falcone: Music & Light

Staten Island-based ADC Member loves capturing musicians in their element

It’s Photography Month here on the ADC Blog, a time for the people in the ADC community who are normally behind cameras to step in front of them, so to speak, and share their stories. Photographers aren’t the biggest segment of creatives amongst ADC Members, but their passion more than makes up for their numbers. Whether they’re veteran shutterbugs, newcomers just starting to make a living, or just people who love to shoot on the side.

First up for Photography Month this week: an emerging Staten Island-based photographer with a love for faces and music.


Staten Island, NY
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How old were you when you became interested in photography? How did that interest come about, and how was it fostered?

I first became interested in photography in college at about the age of 19 as an art major in Brooklyn College. I have fostered this with personal projects and postgrad study;

Do you remember the earliest photograph you ever took?

The earliest photo I ever took was a portrait of my girlfriend in college. It is a black and white print shot using film.

What type of photography would you say is your specialty, and how did it come to be your specialty? Can one be transient — starting in one area of photography but evolving into another?

I would say that I specialize in portraiture. I feel as though people are interesting to look at, even if you don’t know the person or anything about them. Also, a photograph allows to study a person’s face for as long as you’d like to, not like people you are in contact with every day where it would be rude to stare. I believe that one’s journey in photography can transition from one area and ending up in another; I also believe you can specialize in more than one area of photography.

Define your photographic style in a single sentence.

My photographic style of portraiture can be summed up with capturing a moment of expression of the true person.

What’s your favorite camera to shoot with? What’s so awesome about it?

My camera of choice is a Nikon 300. My kit includes four different lenses which I would be lost without. What’s awesome about it is the way it fits in my hand.

What is the hardest part about making a living as a photographer? Any advice on how to overcome that challenge?

For me the hardest part about earning a living as a freelance photographer is getting steady assignments. I don’t have much advice to offer as an emerging photographer.

Is there a particular project of yours of which you’re especially proud?

I am particularly proud of my portraits of musicians. I love music but I can’t play music, so it is gratifying to me to shoot photos and portraits of musicians. Also, the expressions of musicians are more interesting to me than other kinds of portraits.

What would be your dream client/project/collaboration?

My dream project would be shooting for a magazine like Fader or Paper. I’d also love to shoot portraits for record labels.

Nowadays everyone has ‘cameras’ in their pockets and Instagram on their phones. How has this changed the photography game? How has this changed your photography game?

Cell phone cameras and Instagram have made people look at and appreciate photographs more. It is a challenge to create photographs that are extraordinary, unlike any person with a smartphone can shoot themselves.

What are your other creative outlets and sources of inspiration?

Other outlets for me include martial arts, while other sources of inspiration include glamour shots of models and shots of burlesque performers.

Fill in the blank: “When I’m not shooting, I am…”

…I am editing or looking at the work of other photographers.

Which professional photographers do you look up to, whether from afar or as mentors?

I definitely look up to include Annie Leibovitz, Martin Schoeller, Michael Grecco, Brian Smith, Howard Schatz and Michael Seto.

When all is said and done, what is it about being a photographer that gets you up in the morning and drives your passion?

What drives me about being a photographer is the desire to create a significant body of work.

Photography Month takes place throughout March, and is open exclusively to ADC Members. Not yet a Member? Join today!