Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most collected photographers with work hanging in national art galleries and private collections worldwide. From presidents to pop stars he has photographed the frontline of fame for over six decades.
O’Neill began his career at the birth of the 1960s. While other photographers concentrated on earthquakes, wars and politics, O’Neill realised that youth culture was a breaking news story on a global scale and began chronicling the emerging faces of film, fashion and music who would go on to define the Swinging Sixties. By 1965 he was being commissioned by the biggest magazines and newspapers in the world.
No other living photographer has embraced the span of fame, capturing the icons of our age from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, from Frank Sinatra and Elvis to Amy Winehouse, from Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot to Nicole Kidman, as well as every James Bond from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.
He photographed The Beatles and The Rolling Stones when they were still struggling young bands in 1963, pioneered backstage reportage photography with David Bowie, Elton John, The Who, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry and his images have adorned historic rock albums, movie posters and international magazine covers.
“The Sixties was an incredible time. Young people took over, creating their own cultural landscape on stage, in music, fashion and on the film set. I was lucky. Seriously lucky. I was in the right place at the right time. But I never realized then that we were remaking the world in our own image – or that mine would become such a testament to the time. And the freedom I was given, on film sets, backstage and just rubbing shoulders with my mates who became these icons, simply isn’t allowed to photographers today. Now image is everything; the stars are brands and their managements control access and publication, so we never get to see them as they really are at work, rest or play.” TERRY O’NEILL
“Terry O’Neill rates rightly as one of the best photographers in the world. He captures something special” – Sir Michael Caine
“When it comes to photographic legends there can be few more prolific or revered than Terry O’Neill, the man who shot the greats.” – VOGUE