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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Photographer Profile ~ Terry Richardson

Richardson was born in New York City, the son of Bob Richardson, a fashion photographer who struggled with schizophrenia and drug abuse. Richardson was raised in Hollywood, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, where he attended Hollywood High School; and Ojai, California, where he attended Nordhoff High School. He was shy as a teenager and at some times deemed "completely lacking in social skills". He played bass guitar in the punk rock band The Invisible Government for 5 years. Richardson began photography when the band broke up and his mother introduced him to Tony Kent, a photographer who hired him as an assistant.

Terry had a tough start as a photographer but fortunately he had a friend who told him, "Real photographers don't wait for the phone to ring; they go out and take pictures."  Richardson says of his early career "I started hanging out in the East Village and Tompkin's Square Park every day, taking pictures of kids, the homeless, junkies. Going out at night and photographing all the antics of the East Village. I developed this documentary passion. Photographing everything."

When the phone finally did ring it was British designer Phil Bicker, who'd nominated Terry's Vibe piece for the Festival de la Mode and launched a number of photographic careers as art director of the edgy English-style magazine The Face. Bicker offered him the Katherine Hamnett fashion campaign. Terry went to London, did the campaign and worked for ID, The Face and "all those magazines".

Suddenly the New Yorkers who'd rejected Terry's portfolio, the ones who'd told him his pictures were too amateurish, that fashion photos couldn't look like snapshots, that his work resembled some seventies' porn film, all wanted to book him. Since, his photos have appeared in the US, French, British and Japanese editions of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W, Arena Homme Plus, Dazed & Confused, Purple, Vice and most of the world's major fashion titles. He's shot campaigns for Gucci, Levi Strauss, Miu Miu, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Club Monaco, Anna Molinari, Supreme, Stüssy, Baby Phat, Costume National, Hysteric Glamour, Matsuda, Eres, Jigsaw and Sisley, with the Sisley photos particularly instrumental in creating the Richardson legend.  
Richardson's photographs are noted for their controversial, graphic sexual subject matter. Richardson has shot advertisements for fashion designers and editorial photographs

His attitude towards models has been criticised by Danish model and filmmaker Rie Rasmussen and others, who have accused Richardson of exploiting and sexually abusing the models he photographs. see links [1][2][3] 

[via wiki and Taschen books ]

Terry meets Britney... awkwardly

"Sisley was a great job for a long time because they were really just letting me be me, doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. It was all about sex pictures. I've always been able to walk that fine line, to balance myself, to do fashion and also do my naughty pictures. Why do I get away with it? I'm a genius. With a capital J." Richardson

"I started smoking weed around ten, eleven. By thirteen I was drinking every day. In Hollywood it was easy. Punk rock set in; you could always get somebody to buy you beer. Plus my parents always had weed in the house and coke and stuff. I was so insecure and painfully shy that unless a girl really went after me, said, 'Fuck me!' I couldn't make a move. That's probably why I turned to drugs and alcohol and pornography at an early age." ~ Richardson

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