Terry Richardson is a fashion photographer who has always been ensconced in the fashion world. Growing up in New York City as a young child, his mother was an actress and his father was a fashion photographer, much like himself. When his mother and father divorced due to his father’s schizophrenia and drug abuse, Terry went with his mother. He moved around a little bit in New York City and eventually moved to a neighborhood just outside of Hollywood. Here s where his life truly began to flourish and he began to see the true potential that he had.
Originally, Richardson did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps of photography. He wanted to be a punk rock musician who was able to travel the world, play shows and improve the way that people saw the punk rock industry. While living outside of Hollywood, he played is several semi-successful punk rock bands. While these bands were great on the scene, they did not really go anywhere and Richardson began to see that this was not the path that was going to work out best for him. During his time in these bands, he constantly took pictures.
In 1982, his mother gave him a snapshot camera that he would use to take pictures of the punk rock scene. He was always looking to capture the next best thing and could look for a great shot in any type of punk rock environment. He worked hard to provide people with a look into the life of a punk rock musician and did just that with the use of his camera. Around this time, he began to recognize that photography may be his true calling. He recognized this fact and soon began to focus more on taking pictures at the shows rather than playing the shows with the bandmates and the bands that were not going anywhere. Not only did he focus on pictures of his bandmates, the bands that played the shows and the backstage area, but he also focused on the fans. He would take pictures standing in the crowd, standing above the crowd and would even use his eagle-eye view from the stage to take pictures of the crowds.
Richardson eventually moved to New York City where he began taking pictures of the New York City nightlife. He would go into clubs, bars and other places and shoot all of the city’s hottest celebs getting down. His first big job came when he was asked to go into a club and take pictures of women in promiscuous clothing- he instantly became recognizable for the shots that he created during this time. He was asked to do more, was able to mingle with celebrities and eventually was asked onto different fashion photography opportunities.
Among some of the most notable designers Richardson has worked with are Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent. He made connections with these designers in New York City and began working on many different projects with them. He was also able to work on several music videos, directing and producing them to the point that they were extremely successful. Richardson has created several photobooks throughout the years that include various pieces of his work with different celebrities, designers and fashion models. He is among the best in fashion photographers and his books prove this.