Terrence "Terry" Richardson is an American fashion, portrait, and documentary photographer.
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 five years. Richardson began photography in high school.
Richardson has shot campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Supreme, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent among others. He has also done magazine editorials for publications such as Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, i-D, and Vice.
Richardson has produced several campaigns for Diesel, including the 'Global Warming Ready' which won a Silver Lion for Print at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2007. Throughout the years he has also produced several private portraits for the company's founder, Renzo Rosso. In September 2011, they hosted a mutual book launch together with fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, at Colette in Paris.
In 2012 Richardson embarked on his first solo exhibition at Los Angeles's OHWOW Gallery. The exhibition was titled "TERRYWOOD" and ran from February 24 to March 31, 2012. In December of that year, Lady Gaga announced that Richardson was filming a documentary about her life.
There are several repeating themes in Richardson's work, notably that of putting high-profile celebrities in mundane situations and photographing them using traditionally pedestrian methods, such as the use of an instant camera. His work also explores ideas of sexuality, with many of the pieces featured in his books Kibosh and Terryworld depicting full-frontal nudity and both simulated and actual sexual acts. Initially, many of Richardson's subjects would be shot before a white background but he eventually expanded to other backdrops. He is also well known for posing with his subjects, often trading his trademark glasses with them so they may "pretend to be him" and vice versa.
The sexual nature of Richardson's photography has always been controversial, as has the sexualized atmosphere and activity at his photoshoots, in particular on the part of Richardson himself.
Richardson has been accused multiple times of sexual exploitation of young models. In March 2010 Richardson was accused by Danish model and filmmaker Rie Rasmussen, who was upset at Richardson's use of her picture in his Terryworld book alongside shots of half-naked young girls depicted as performing sex acts. Rasmussen commented, "He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of. They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves." Model Jamie Peck related, "Of all the fine folks I've frolicked au natural for, he's the only one who's left me feeling like I needed to take two showers."
Following the publication of these allegations, the website Jezebel.com called on other models to come forward with their experiences with Richardson. Jenna Sauers, a model-turned-blogger for the site, stated she received numerous anonymous accounts of the photographer's behavior: "I have heard from a lot of models that he has worked with that all say his M.O. is the same. You suddenly get naked and then he touches you and he goes further and further. But you're surrounded by his assistants and they are validating his actions."
In response to these allegations, Richardson said, "I just want to take a moment to say I’m really hurt by the recent and false allegations of insensitivity and misconduct. I feel fortunate to work with so many extraordinary people each and every day. I’ve always been considerate and respectful of the people I photograph and I view what I do as a real collaboration between myself and the people in front of the camera."
Model Noot Seear has defended him, claiming that he does not pressure those he works with into doing anything they are uncomfortable with, while designer Marc Jacobs, although admitting problems within the industry, has said that as a person Richardson is "not ill-spirited."
Richardson was married to model Nikki Uberti. He was subsequently in a relationship with model and actress Shalom Harlow.