Tony Carter, was born in Inglewood, Taranaki, New Zealand in 1967. He grew up in small towns right around Mt Taranaki, and was educated at Stratford High and Taranaki Polytechnic, where he studied business. As a teenager Tony developed a keen interest in photographing motocross racing, and while living in England in 1989-1991 he took an extended night course in Photography at South Devon College. On his return to NZ, he trained as a professional portrait photographer with Margaret Bake in New Plymouth from 1991-1995. He now has his own studio on Devon Street.

Tony has won numerous industry awards and has six times been named New Zealand Professional Photographer of the year (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2018). He was also named the Australian International Photographer of the Year in 2018. In 2010, he was the first New Zealander to be awarded Grand Master of Photography by the NZ Institute of Professional Photography. A consummate perfectionist, in 2014 alone Carter won two gold, five silver and two bronze photography awards. 

His first solo exhibition of award winning portraits was shown at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford in 2004. His latest project 'Another World, Portraits from Ōhura', photographed in 2013, was first shown at Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth in 2014, and at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford in 2015.