Robert Billington’s love affair with photography began in 1972, when he moved from the U.K. to Australia with not much in his suitcase, but a few clothes and a Nikon F2 Camera.
18 years old at the time, he had been swept away by Mirella Ricciardos’ Vanishing Africa, and he set out to become a professional photographer to record and express the preciousness he saw in everyday life.
Robert began working for the Elton Ward Photographic Studio as a studio photographer in 1980, where he further explored portraiture and couples photography.
In parallel to his official work, Robert was shooting a lot of fine art photographs and progressively steered towards Black & White photography, finding inspiration both in quirky street scenes and in the vast Australian landscape.
With his young family in tow, Robert moved to Arcadia, North of Sydney, in 1988 where he shot the images for Rustic Paradise, his first publication. The book captures this unique part of Australia, which was then largely untouched by the hustle and bustle of city life. Full of humour and deeply emotional, Max Dupain hailed the book "a classic".
In 1994, Billington won the Australian Photographer Of The Year by the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP).
His list of publications has now grown to include nine books, including Balmoral, Every Man And His Dog, The Bridge, This is Australia, Australianimal, Billington’s Sydney and his most recent one: Bondi – The Sound Of Tumbling Waves.
The images in these books were quickly exposed in galleries such as The Australian National Gallery, The Art Gallery of New South Wales and The Queensland Art Gallery.
In 2000 and 2001, The Museum of Sydney also honoured his unique work with two exhibitions.
Robert’s photography has also been widely published; exhibited in New York, London, throughout Europe, and included in the worldwide M.I.L.K exhibition.
More recently, Robert exhibited with Tourism Australia in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Sydney Life Exhibition, and Hyde Park (The Last Tanners of Sydney).
Additionally, he was the feature artist and representative for Sydney in a weekly French television show called Thalassa, for the whole of 2005.
Over the course of his career, Billington collected over 100 photography medals in both Australia and England, and won the prestigious Hasselblad Masters Award twice, in 1988 and 1992.
In the last 10 years, Robert has been dedicating the bulk of his time to the more personal experience of photographing individuals, couples and families, enjoying the opportunity to further immerse himself in his long standing passion for portraiture
Billington’s portrait work is praised for its ability to find and encapsulate the special out of the ordinary and to create timeless moments within an ever changing world and society.