When Wendy McDougall was in high school she thought to herself, ‘If Annie Leibovitz can do it so can I’. And so she did.

McDougall is now an award-winning Australian music photographer and over her 40-year career has snapped rock icons like Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Barnes, Crowded House, INXS, Divinyls, and Richard Clapton

Having just staged her exhibition ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll But I Like It’ in Sydney, McDougall is readying the showing in Melbourne at Sunstudios tomorrow (May 9).

In the Q&A below, McDougall chats about her unforgettable moments, her advice for upstarts, and the surprising reaction she received from the Sydney exhibition.

Did you set out to become a music photographer, how did your career come about?

Yes. I always loved music and I tried all art forms until I found photography – this happened in 5th Form /Year 11 at school. One day I realised I could put the two together.

I wanted to make album covers and the creative image bands needed. Annie Leibovitz was working for Rolling Stone magazine and she inspired me to do it. I figured if she could do it so could I.