It seems like every publication nowadays seems to have something to say about “fashion photographer” Terry Richardson. The majority of what’s being said recently is about his twisted sexual appetite, with claims coming from models and assistant photographers that make Richardson a straight up sex criminal.
But aside from being way too eager to get his genitalia out and far too comfortable asking for a model’s used tampon, what does Terry Richardson actually do? Well, in a creative sense: fuck all. He is arguably one of the most basic and over-rated photographers working today, shooting the latest “celebrity” against a blank white background with uninspired subject matter and little to no thought being put into the actual composition of the photo.
Terry Richardson has had a negative effect on the physique of many aspiring models, but also on budding fashion photographers. Richardson has inadvertently said to people that all you need to be a photographer is a white wall, an expensive camera with auto-focus and a “model” and that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have any creative ideas or any originality.
Now I’m not criticizing fashion photography and street-wear photography as whole, as there are many creative and talented street-wear/fashion photographers who put time and effort into their work, especially in Brighton. The people that are making photography look boring and easy are the people who feel it’s best to try to emulate Richardson’s style. Rehashing tired clichés like “trainers on the beach with a shallow depth of field” and “questionably attractive girl wearing five-panel against a white wall” both of which look noticeably like Richardson’s work.
Aside from having an A-level in photography, I don’t really claim to be an expert on photography nor do I claim to be an expert on fashion, but in my opinion there is so much that a photographer can do with fashion photography. Until beginners look to other people in search of inspiration we will keep seeing the same thing time and time again.