Terry Richardson - Portrait

Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson is one of the most controversial photographers in the fashion world. His motifs for the campaigns and catalogs of the Benetton subsidiary Sisley made him famous at the end of the nineties, with which he simultaneously triggered one scandal or another. Still, Richardson shocks our sex-saturated world with even more sex.


Biography of Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson was born in 1965 in New York. His father is the famous fashion photographer Bob Richardson, his mother is the well-known stylist and dancer Norma. The young New Yorker grew up in the glamorous world of the jet-set and got to know the world of fashion at an early age through his parents in Paris, Milan, and London, among other places. With the divorce of his parents in 1970, the former ideal world collapses like a house of cards for the young Terry.

At the age of five, he and his mother, who changed her name at the same time, moved to Woodstock, where both led a rather unbourgeois hippie life. Annie worked as a waitress to keep the family afloat. She soon met the British musician Jackie Lomax, whom she married only a short time later. After four years, the family left Woodstock and moved to London for a year, but eventually settled in Hollywood.

Terry Richardson arrested for drug abuse and vandalism

In his new home, Terry Richardson, now ten years old, did not settle in very well and was frequently sent to the therapist. One day, when his mother wants to pick him up from there, a truck crashes into the rear of the vehicle and eventually Annie is in a coma. When she wakes up again, it quickly became clear that her brain has suffered permanent damage. As a result, she can no longer work and so the family must live on welfare.

Terry Richardson is thrown off track again and smokes marijuana for the first time at the age of eleven. At 13, he becomes addicted to alcohol. Then, at 15, he plays in punk bands like Middle Finger and Angered Citizens. The peak of his drug career Richardson has in 1983, whereupon his mother pulls the ripcord and has her own son arrested for drug abuse and vandalism.

Tony Kent teaches Richardson the basics of photography

For Terry Richardson, after a short visit to prison, it was back to Hollywood, where he tried to work on his career as a rock star. In order to be able to finance his life, he hired on with a wide variety of photographers as an assistant for lighting and film technology. One of these photographers was a good friend and former colleague with whom Terry’s father Bob Richardson had already worked: Tony Kent. The latter saw a lot of potential in Richardson and taught him the basics of photography. From there he changed his attitude towards life and wanted to go back to the top, where he came from and where he belonged.

In 1989, he recorded his first successes as a photographer, photographing two actor friends, Balthazar Getty and Donovan. That same year, Terry’s father Bob reappeared and persuaded his son to move in with him to train as a fashion photographer. Richardson agreed and learned the art of photography from his father. Father and son then moved to New York together, where they set up the joint business “The Richardsons” – but the collaboration ended after about six months.

Fashion photographer Terry Richardson is more in demand than ever

Detached from his father, Terry Richardson started out on his own: Inspired by the photobooks “Teenage Lust” (Larry Clark) and “The Other Side” (Nan Goldins), he began photographing children, homeless people, and drug addicts in the East Village. Eventually, the British magazine The Face booked him for a fashion campaign and he photographed campaigns for ID, among others.

Terry is more in demand than ever. His photos regularly appear in the world’s biggest fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle, Purple, Vice Magazine, and many more. He has photographed advertising campaigns for Gucci, Levis Strauss, Miu Miu, Club Monaco, Anna Milinari, Stüssy, Jigsaw, and Sisley, among others, with the Sisley motifs, in particular, making Terry a legend.

Among the celebrities who posed in front of Richardson’s camera were Mark Wahlberg, Macaulay Culkin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Pink, Tom Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, Marc Jacobs, Li’l Kim, Lenny Kravitz, Jonny Knoxville, Chloé Sevigny, Sharon Stone, and the Olsen twins.

Quotes of Terry Richardson

Like Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, and so many others before me, sexual imagery has always been a part of my photography.

- Terry Richardson

I want my photos to be fresh and urgent. A good photograph should be a call to arms.

- Terry Richardson

I always say I make pictures rather than take pictures.

- Terry Richardson

I like using snapshot cameras because they're idiot-proof. I have bad eyesight, and I'm no good at focusing big cameras.

- Terry Richardson

I don't work off lights and angles; I work off emotions. A mood that I create.

- Terry Richardson

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