Toby Birney is a cinematographer with a lifelong passion for capturing images that tell compelling stories. He manages to keep one foot firmly grounded in the world of scripted narrative projects and the other in the world of unscripted documentaries, and he feels equally at home in either one. Toby maintains a firm belief that these different skillsets and operating styles complement one another and make him a well-rounded storyteller.
His work on A&E’s long-running series, Intervention, earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program for the episode, “Sierra.” Push Girls for Sundance Channel won a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Reality Series. He has also worked as a camera operator on CNN's United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell which won 2 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program during his years working on the series.
Toby’s credits as a director of photography for television projects include projects for Netflix, NatGeo, Bravo, History, A&E, CNN, Animal Planet, TLC, E! Entertainment, and Sundance Channel. He earned credits as the 2nd unit DP and “A” Camera Operator on the Swedish historical drama miniseries Snapphanar, directed by Mårlind & Stein and photographed by Linus Sandgren, FSF (American Hustle); as a camera operator on Ed Zwick’s Defiance, starring Daniel Craig & Liev Schrieber and photographed by Eduardo Serra, ASC/AFC (Girl With a Pearl Earring); and as a camera operator on the four-part mini series, War and Peace, starring Clémence Poésey and photographed by Fabrizio Lucci (Coco Chanel). Before that, he learned the craft of lighting while working as a gaffer alongside many influential cinematographers including Theo Van De Sande, ASC (Volcano), Chris Manley, ASC (Mad Men) and Paul Ryan, ASC (A River Runs Through It).