The Terry Richardson You Don't Know

The Terry Richardson You Don't Know

After reading the comments on the Miley and Terry article I wrote the other day, it made me realize how many people are in the dark about Terry Richardson's talent. I am a huge fan of Terry, mostly because he has an 'I don't give a damn' attitude but he turns out some pretty glorious images when you aren't paying attention.  Most people when they hear the name Terry Richardson they think creepy, old, incredibly lucky photographer who gets to see a lot of boobs. But in reality he is highly talented and brought in millions last year for doing much more than mediocre white wall shots.

Little to everyones knowledge, Terry doesn't just shoot white wall shots of provocative young women. So I wanted to bring to light a list of campaigns and editorials that he has worked on that you have most likely saw and didn't even cross your mind that Terry was the photographer. Terry has shot the Yves Saint Laurent campaigns since 2010, Bongo, Aldo, Summer 2013 for H&M, multiple shoots for Harpers Bazaar with Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanepoel as well as numerous campaigns for most international Vogues.







I think the biggest problem with Terry Richardson is that his personal work is so easily available on his Tumblr. Everyone sees the boobs and babes go up so quickly that they tend to forget the behind the scenes photos he posts on the regular. Today he even posted a photo in the Amazon with a tribe. Our random personal work might not be appreciated by the masses just like Terry's usually isn't, but his commissioned work is top notch and you can't deny that.

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Haters gonna hate...

Rich Meade's picture

and boom goes the dynamite....
Excellent article Yo!

"Everyone sees the boobs and babes go up so quickly that they tend to forget the behind the scenes photos he posts on the regular."


I'd read that article when it was first published. But I take any such thing on Jezebel with a healthy grain of salt.

I just read that article and I am appalled that you take a very detailed confession of a women being manipulated into sex with him, "With a healthy grain of salt" Wonder if that was your daughter? I have a healthy amount of vomit sitting in the back of my throat is more like it. People like you are the ones that let pediphiles get off without punishiment.

1. If you think you are being manipulated into sex with your photographer, why not walk out?
2. If you didn't realized you were manipulated into sex until you'd finished the shoot, why not speak up?
The fact that there aren't more stories like this popping up all over the place is curious. If you believe this story reported by Jezebel, you'd also believe that it likely wasn't an isolated incidence. Then what is preventing all the other victims from speaking up for themselves? Richardson's vast connections with the industry certainly makes it difficult for those who want to break into the business to stand up against him. But to those who have been abused, it must somehow be "not worth it" to go up against him to allow them to make the decision to bury it and leave it to future young and upcoming models to deal with.
If you'd rather point fingers, there are bigger players out there (the magazines and the clients that would stand by Richardson even if whatever that he does is exposed), and all those that decided to let it slide after what they'd experienced themselves.
If I were you, I wouldn't hold that healthy amount of vomit though.

EDIT: the "healthy grain of salt" comes from the fact that a self-proclaimed feminist blog is not the most reliable source of this type of reporting.

I'd guess that it's a case of "powerless newbie vs famous person hiring" and a bit of "i can't believe i just did that".

Any doubt what really goes on behind the scenes can be shed by the old terry blog.

David Vaughn's picture

An NSFW warning would be nice next time lol....Seriously, now they're going to think I spend all my time looking at creepy deviant blogs...

Sorry, wasn't thinking. Edited to put one there.

Jon McGuffin's picture

Very well said. We have to remember that just because somebody says it doesn't necessarily make it true no matter how heinous the accusation might be. On the flipside, where there is smoke there is usually fire and there is quite a bit of smoke around when it comes to TR. I wouldn't trust my daughter with him. More importantly, I hope my daughter wouldn't trust herself with him. I think it's prudent to be cautious but I respect the fact that just because Jezebel says it doesn't mean we all must take it as 100% cold hard truth. Thank you for looking at the subject with a reasonable head!

You are cluless to the desperation of some trying-to-be-models. You ar right to blame every other person and divert the shame from this great american icon...

Get your head out of your ass....

I don't think this is healthy or fair viewpoint. We are talking about alleged sexual harassment and possibly assaults. Asking the victim why they didn't leave in an appropriate time frame isn't really fair. And this isn't how it works in real life. I read a statistic that as high as 96% of victims in the US don't come forward. When you are photographed and filmed in compromising situations by a famous person that could ruin your dream career, that 96% seems like it would be 99%.

Whether or not Terry is guilty of this or as bad as Jezebel says has NOTHING to do why a particular young woman didn't leave.

All these accusations, no charges...or even a police report. I'd be appalled by all the accusations. he shoots controversial shoots. Nudes, risque. Often, people regret that after the fact and then the accusations start. I shoot people who WANT nudes all the time...only to have them get nasty with me 6months down the road to make sure I delete all the photos, despite signing a 10 page release.

It's not cool to spread accusations. The excuse was 'I didn't want to ruin my career by reporting it' - right, but it's cool to post accusations on a major website? Get real. report it. REPORT IT.

Yes because we live in a world where all cops file all due paperwork and never loose any, and no one gets threatened when they try to speak up...

Seriously, you don't understand the dynamic of sexual abuse AT ALL....

I think you like to control people, and my guess is you're probably pretty efficient at it.

Whoa whoa whoa, "people like you?"

That's a bold statement.

First off, not every accusation is authentic. Second off, pedophilia and assault are not the same thing. Reductio ad absurdum at it's finest.

I mean, let's call a spade a spade, people like you are why false accusations never get looked into, and innocent people get labeled with sex offender labels, because someone just wanted to ruin someone with no actual crime being committed. People like you are the ones who jump the gun and react emotionally, and then don't even apologize when they end up being wrong, and perpetuating false accusations, and justify it if "What if it had happened? What if it had been your daughter? Would you have taken any chances?"

You justify ruining someone who is innocent, you know, "just in case."

No one is saying he isn't guilty. People are just not grabbing pitch forks and lighting torches right away. That's all.

Jon McGuffin's picture


So because he's successful that doesn't make him weird? Don't get me wrong you did a good job on the article but I still don't think highly of a lot of his work outside of his commercial prints.

You couldn't just finish the article without throwing in the "million dollar" bit..? Argh, let his work speak for itself! Making millions per year does not a good photographer make. I know of a few people that make millions in their respective fields and they do mediocre work at best.. it's their shrewd business practices, connections, influence that mostly determines how much money they make. Terry is a far better businessman than he is a photographer, and you can that to the bank!

Mark Weikert's picture

^^ This.

Jon Trengereid's picture


Sometimes I wonder what makes a good fashion photographer. A fashion shoot is made by a lot of people, great make up artists, Hair dressers, fashion specialists, really good looking an expensive models, photoshop artists and thousands of dollars worth in photography equipment and assistants. When you see a fashion picture you see the work of all of them and the beauty of the hot model but many tend to say "Wow, that's a good photo, the photographer it's pretty good" They value everything except the photographic art. So, what does the photographer do? Framing, ligthing set up, camera config (When it's not in AUTO mode with the build in flash popped up) composition (helped by others vision like fashion designers in set). Could anyone of us take a good shot by having all this awesome help? What makes a good fashion photographer?

First off, I think he should know how to utilize composition, depth of field, and basic lighting. One of his photos of Cyrus is so over lit that the smoke effect he's trying to give off with her cigarette doesn't work. If you look at the histogram, it's nothing but clipped highlights. It's just <i>ugly</i>

He creates trash art, which is suitable for people who sacrifice artistic integrity for fame and money.

All the best technique, lighting, and gear in the world isn't going to make the girl in your photos have a look/expression that I'm interested in.

"All I had to worry about was my camera, my lens, and the posing instructions."

And, that's about all you seemed to worry about. There is no interaction with your subject. You know who's a master at that? Terry Richardson.

Indeed. That's a big part of it when you're shooting subjects. But that's all he appears to have skill in. He can't compose. He can't light. He seems to have zero knowledge of depth of field.

Let's posit this: had his father not been who he was, would Terry be where he's at today? Would he have these connections? Would anyone take this art seriously? I'd say that's unlikely.

What's scary is that there are amateur photographers out there who want to be like him. Money for a lapse in artistic integrity is attractive to many.

Everybody can learn how to do proper lighting setup, but it takes skills and talents to engage with people for the good shots

sorry but your pictures are flat and boring...

They are indeed, but the lighting is fine and the composition too.

although this thread is dead. Models are amazing and interesting to shoot. Where Terry excels, and you give up is what seperates the million dollar Terry from everyone else, when it comes to saying the models are boring. The reason they are boring is the photographer needs to make them interesting. His methods for making them interesting might be controversial, but they work and that's why he gets paid the big bucks. By stripping away the other elements, the average audience focuses of the subject, not the technique.