news | 08.26.22
Meet Anthony Pham, Harry Styles' Favorite Photographer
A Soundcheck Chat With
Trying to find anything in the sea of pride flags, cowboy hats and feather boas at a stop on Harry Styles' Love On Tour is nearly impossible (think Where's Waldo?: Pride Edition.) But if you take a deep breath, choke back any “Matilda”-induced tears and look very carefully, you may just catch a glimpse of Anthony Pham, an unmistakable blur of camera equipment and bubblegum-pink hair, expertly weaving through concertgoers to capture the spectacle.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Pham has spent nearly his entire life at the intersection of music and photography, shooting enough artists to fill his own red carpet. For the past two years, he has worked closely with Harry Styles, capturing the singer in his signature film-like style, a gig that landed him Favorite Tour Photographer at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
With a job that requires his (and his camera’s) focus to be on other people, Pham says that trying to talk about himself is “like pulling teeth,” but he hopped on a call just a few hours before showtime in Cologne, Germany to do just that. With his phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other (manicured pink to match his hair), Pham chatted with PAPER about how he went from sneaking into college lectures to touring with one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
You used to shoot music videos when you were little — is that what led you to where you are today?
I think I would credit my career to skateboarding and the hardcore music scene, in a way. The biggest thing that's helped my photography is just being a part of a community. Having something that you can constantly shoot and capturing people that trust you, I think that's the best way to make photos. All the portraiture stuff that happens in the in-between moments, that's what I get excited about, just those happy accidents.
What do you think your younger self — either that person who was just getting their start in the field or your way younger self — would say if they saw what you're doing today?
My younger self never expected to be touring the world shooting musicians. I grew up in a more strict household where the expectation was more of a traditional job, so the fact that now I'm living this freelance life, it’s the dream in a way. I think that yes — little baby me — but also even me four years ago would be like, “This is kind of crazy.”
You've worked with so many people before Love on Tour — Nipsey Hussle, Migos, Wallows. What was the first moment that gave you that “Oh my God, I made it” moment?
It's hard because I feel like I don't even know if I've made it yet. But I think the turning point, the first celebrity I ever shot was Mac Miller. It was this tiny little thing but looking at it now, especially the influence he had on me and my friends, I feel so fortunate to have had that experience, especially after his passing. That was the first time I shot an artist that I listened to.
Anthony Pham is a film director and photographer with Florence Creative.
Check out the rest of the interview in the article on PaperMag.