Terry O’Neill (1938 – 2019)
“As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.” Rolling Stones.
Terry O’Neill a British iconic portrait photographer died at the age of 81 at his home in London following a long battle with cancer. We are left with his iconic portraits that include Brigitte Bardot, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela and countless musical artists.
“Michael Caine was the man who made Terry O’Neill a star, though not a lot of people know that. When O’Neill first went to the US in 1966, to photograph Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion in Chicago, the live-in bunnies thought he was nothing but the living embodiment of Caine’s blue-collar rogue. It was the voice that did it, a voice that the girls would knock on his door at night just to hear, then giggle and run away. For a shy 27-year-old former jazz drummer, this was the world as it was meant to be, not the slow, foggy world of his childhood.” GQ Magazine UK.
Interview with Terry O’Neill
Digital Camera World
“My first camera that I ever had in Fleet Street was the Canon [7 rangefinder] with the f/0.95 lens. It was 88 or 96 quid, I think. I loved that camera – it had a trigger handle at the bottom; it was fab.”
Who was the most interesting person you met whilst working?
“Frank Sinatra was a king – he was a fabulous
bloke to work with. But they’re all great people,
I’m just lucky to have met them all. Sinatra was just ‘the guv’nor’ wherever he went and you knew if you worked with him, and you got close to him, that you were amongst the top of your tree. He only used the best musicians and I was the photographer – everyone was the best, so you felt good about it.”
“Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most celebrated and collected photographers. His career began at age 22 and he was soon freelancing for some of the world’s most prestigious publications. He helped create the photographic icons of the ’60s and the buzz that became “Swinging London,” and his work hangs in galleries and private collections worldwide.”… Buy his works at Icon Gallery
Analysis of Terry O’Neill’s Work
Terry photographed headshots for Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway and David Bowie amongst many others. He had a great ability of integrating posed portraits into a journalistic style of imagery. Some of his poses added humour and style. You will be missed, my friend.
I should never have married a movie star. I always said I never would and then I did. Everyone looks at you and judges you.Terry O’neill
“No one had ever photographed a pop group before so I could get away with anything. I just did what I thought a pop group should look like.”
“O’Neill admits he was lucky to “start at the top” in the world of photography, but his ambition back then was to be a jazz drummer. He played at United States Air Force bases and jazz clubs in and around London, before applying for a job as an air steward with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC; later British Airways). He had hoped to use his off-duty periods in New York to play in clubs there, too.” https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1754035/terry-oneill-accidental-photographer-his-superstar-subjects