Edited by Amanda Gabriele on
Most people have heard and seen the work of the infamous Terry Richardson. But he was not the first in his family to make a significant impact on fashion photography. His father, Bob Richardson, shot some of the most iconic fashion and lifestyle photos of the 60s and 70s.
Richardson always searched for women’s inner emotions when he shot them for Harper’s Bazaar in the 60s. He was the first photographer to look past appearances and open doors often closed off to readers. Ruth Ansel, Harper’s Bazaar co-art director from 1963-1971, told The New York Times, “Women with real lives and real emotions were his heroines. They were independent, depressed, cried, had sex, took drugs, had fights with their lovers and lived their lives like dark dramas in an Antonioni film.”
Bob Richardson had a destructive side that was illustrated through his photos. Many think he had a short-lived career because he destroyed most of his work. “He was actually photographing for a long time,” Anjelica Huston, Richardson’s muse and former girlfriend, told The New York Times. “I think Bob to a certain degree was a shock artist, and this reflected his inner turmoil.”
Terry Richardson speaks about how much he looked up to his father’s photographs. He always considered their emotional content to be very ahead of Bob’s time. Although their work is very different, Terry still remembers his dad within his own work. “I guess there are certain parallels in our work, but my dad’s pictures were soulful and dark and decadent but very human and real,” said Terry. “My pictures are a little lighter. They are about high energy and sex and excess. Spontaneity. Sometimes I will take moody pictures with natural light and think, ‘That feels like my dad.’”
Thanks to The New York Times for the info and great quotes!