Born in Townsville, Australia in 1972, Christopher’s fascination for photography and art started at a very young age through the influence of his Italian father, Peter Tovo. Peter was a photographer who trained in Italy under Fornasa Tarcisiso before migrating to Australia.
As Christopher grew, so did his curiosity for his father’s camera collection. One day, to his father’s dismay, Christopher decided to dismantle one of the cameras, to ‘find out what happens inside’. Peter sent Christopher to the library with a list of three names. Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa were the subjects of his homework and they proved to have an everlasting effect, along with many years of mentoring from his father.
Christopher attended photography school, albeit briefly. Traditional scholastic methods weren’t to his liking. Instead he took to apprenticing, which gave him a well-rounded education in photography and showed him how to apply his knowledge in the real world. He hasn’t looked back since.
Christopher’s scope as a photographer is both broad and deep. His uncomplicated, ‘gut instinct’ approach to his work exposes a subtle appreciation for life in all its diversity. A classicist at heart, Tovo subconsciously seeks out the timelessness in any given situation presented to him.
Tovo’s strengths lie in Portraiture and Reportage. He was a finalist in the 2006 Archibald Prize and has been commissioned by the Vatican, in conjunction with the Mary MacKillop Foundation, to photograph Pope John Paul II. Merely casting a quick glance over the many people and locations he has documented display his talent for engaging with his subjects and their environments, no matter how foreign.
Christopher has had a highly successful career as a commercial photographer, proving his ability to meld the worlds of art and commerce. His extensive client list includes: Rolling Stone, Nike, The Australian Ballet; Coca-Cola; Fosters; Crown Lager; Foxtel; The Sydney Morning Herald; Universal Records; Myer; Levi’s; Vodafone; Jack Daniels; The Australian Defence Force; Canon; The National Australia Bank; The Commonwealth Bank; Tennis Australia; Ford Motors; The Australian Football League; Schweppes; Qantas; Holden; and Adidas, to name a few.
A retrospect of Christopher’s career has appeared in Australian Photography Magazine. He has also been invited to speak at schools, universities and photography colleges in both Sydney and Melbourne. In 2010 Christopher’s famous “Leopard on Toilet” shot earned him two honourable mentions in the 2010 International Photography Awards. In 2011 Capture Magazine named him fashion photographer of the year.
Christopher’s debut as director and cinematographer for “The Tradesman Series” saw him as a finalist in the prestigious One Show Awards in NYC, a screening at the New York Surf Film Festival, Byron Bay surf film festival and finalist in both Best Director and Best Cinematographer at The Melbourne Advertising and Design Club Awards. In 2013 Christopher received an honourable mention at the International Photography Awards for his ‘Corona’ series as well as Capture Magazine placing him in the top 5 travel photographers in Australia and New Zealand. In 2014 “Mark of a Champion” featuring Rod Laver earn’t a Grand Clio (the award show’s highest honour). Plus three New York Festival finalists and a highly commended in ADMA Print category in Australia. That same year Christopher also won a Gold Lion at Cannes for his print contribution to the RSL “Minute of Silence” campaign.