Tony came from humble beginnings in East Rochester, New York. Striken by polio at a young age Tony defied all the odds when he was told he would never walk again.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University, and continued his studies at New York University, Germain School of Photography, School of Modern Photography, Layton School of the Arts, and Winona School of Photography.
Tony opened Photography by Cilento in Milwaukee, Wisconsin specializing in school portraiture, weddings, and special events. He was the official photographer for the Miss Universe Pageant, the Greenbay Packers and he filmed and produced the Vince Lombardi show.
He created not only a name for himself, but built a brand of best practices on that name, making him one of the most successful privately-owned studio photographers. It also simultaneously propelled a public speaking career in which Tony traveled the world sharing his entrepreneurial insights and training thousands of aspiring and veteran photographers in more than 500 lectures.
After selling his company to Lifetouch, Inc. Tony assumed his most prominent role as Lifetouch’s Senior Vice President of Photographic Development. Tony and his team oversaw the photography and development of Lifetouch’s Church, Publishing, Portrait Studios and Schools divisions.
Tony emphasized the importance of why we photograph, creating a culture of “the best photography starts with the heart.” His visionary outlook and inspirational messages have influenced the photographic arts for generations.
Tony’s client list includes numerous celebrities, athletes, politicians and religious leaders including Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Sting, President’s Reagan and Ford, Billy Graham, Pope’s John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I.
He has received several awards including the Spiral of Life Award, the ASP Honorary Fellowship Award and was the first-ever volume photography recipient of the United Nations International Photographic Council Award.
Tony is a lifetime member of the elite Camera Craftsmen of America (limited to 40 individuals), the American Society of Photographers, the British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Professional Photographers of America. He received the Master of Photography degree and the Photographic Craftsman title.
Adding to Tony’s list of accomplishments he produced a manual on creativity in digital, The Rite of Canonization photo book (the 2014 canonization of John Paul II & Pope John XXIII) and Africa, an African safari photo book.