New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010 - Sound of Silence


Robert Catto is a Canadian-Kiwi photographer in Sydney Australia, specialising in performing arts, live events, editorial and corporate / commercial work.

Robert Catto, Photographer

Robert Catto, Photographer

I’m a Canadian-Kiwi photographer in Sydney Australia, specialising in performing arts, live events, editorial and corporate / commercial work.

Having trained as a lighting designer for theatre, dance and opera, my work is driven by that experience and my knowledge of how to light a subject for an audience. Photography is quite similar to lighting in a lot of ways - except the camera is the audience, rather than the source of light.

As a box office manager in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, I also developed a keen eye for the kind of images that attract people. It's pretty easy to see from most marketing which shows are going to sell, and which aren't - it's almost always a single image that does or doesn't work for the show.

(And as if that wasn’t enough, I played a photographer in Peter Jackson's King Kong, as well!)

I'm a founding member of the Kage Collective, an Accredited Professional Photographer with the AIPP, and I've been a guest speaker at the PSNZ and AIPA Image Nation national conferences, photographic societies around New Zealand, and at the National Museum, Te Papa. I also run workshops on low-light photography. Articles on my work have appeared in D-Photo, The Photographers Mail, and F11 magazines.

(Also, for those who were wondering: it's pronounced CAT-oh, like a cat, rather than KAY-Toe, like a cake.)

Some of my recent work has included:

  • Promotional imagery for Gondwana Choirs & the Sydney Children's Choir, Bondi Feast, Auckland Theatre Company, Global Creatures / Strictly Ballroom The Musical, and the National Theatre of Parramatta;

  • Promotional and production photography for Sleeping Beauty - A Knight Avenger's Tale, Peter Pan & Tinker Bell in Return to Pantoland, and Cinderella for Bonnie Lythgoe Productions;

  • Concert & promotional images for Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Musica Viva, Sydney Youth Orchestras, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZSO National Youth Orchestra, Vector Wellington Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, and the Rob Guest Endowment Gala;

  • Defying Gravity: The Songs of Stephen Schwartz for Enda Markey Presents, with Stephen Schwartz, Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit;

  • Cry-Baby, High Fidelity, Carols by Cabaret, and Only Heaven Knows at the Hayes Theatre;

  • Production photography for Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Performing Lines, Critical Stages, Belvoir, Apocalypse Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Red Line Productions at The Old Fitz, Stories Like These, Matriark Theatre, Wild Violet, Legs On The Wall, and Indian Ink;

  • Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate, Icon and New Generation awards;

  • The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, King Kong and The Lovely Bones film premieres;

  • Corporate hosting events around the All Blacks vs. the British & Irish Lions rugby tour;

  • Wellington International Jazz Festival, and

  • New Zealand International Arts Festival from 2004 to 2012, working with artists and companies from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Latvia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Korea, China, and more.

A few of the places my work has appeared are:

  • News outlets around the globe, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, CBC, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Calgary Herald, BBC, Scotsman, Scottish Daily Record, ABC, Melbourne Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian, Canberra Times, New Zealand Herald, Radio New Zealand, and the Dominion Post;

  • Marie Claire, Sx and Time Out (Australia), Organic Style (US), l'Actualité (Canada), Meridiani (Italy), as well as Metro, North And South, Rip It Up, M2, OnFilm, and the Listener magazines in New Zealand;

  • the official ‘Making Of The Lord Of The Rings’ book and Fan Club magazine;

  • the cover of a book of poetry by Vincent O’Sullivan, and the author portrait for Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries;

  • Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand;

  • and brochures, album covers, posters and websites for clients around the world.



PO Box 806
Darlinghurst NSW
Australia 1300

(+61) 415 747 606

Giselle by Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, at the New Zealand International Arts Festival