The life through his works
by Amelia Burns
This week you may, or may have not, heard that the very talented Terry O’Neill had passed at the old age of 81. His work captured some of the most iconic musicians throughout the decades, in this article we will be exploring the ins and outs of his renowned works, a celebration of Terry O’Neill’s life.
Mr O’Neill was a born and raised Romford boy, starting his career with the British Overseas Airways Corporation, he would go over to London’s Heathrow Airport and take pictures of people coming and going, one day he photographed a well-groomed man, asleep along a bench, in his pin striped suit. This man, unknown to Mr O’Neill’s knowledge, was Richard Austen Butler, the Home Secretary at the time. From here he was scouted by a journalist for The Daily Sketch to come work for him, of which he agreed too. His first job assigned to him, by this new stranger that had taken him under his wing, was to go down to Abbey Road and photograph a band for their new single, this band being The Beatles. The paper was printed, published and immediately sold out, Andrew Oldham rings and asks him to come shoot his band. If you know Andrew Oldham, you will know the band he was on about was in fact The Rolling Stones.
In an interview originally published in the Professional Photography magazine only a couple years ago, O’Neill says to Steve Fairclough ‘that was the start of the whole of my career and when I look back and tell people…I mean, I started at the top and I never looked back’, but I don’t think he, or any one knew what was going to follow for the life of Terry O’Neill.
Terry O’Neill was known for his charisma and charm, is gentle face and welcoming persona. He was the best of the best, shooting a crazy range of people, from the Queen herself to Frank Sinatra, strong characters that paved a way through the times, like David Bowie and Elton John, as well as the greatest bands for mentioned, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. To iconic actresses, like Faye Dunaway and creating models like Leslie Hornby, best known as Twiggy, Terry O’Neill’s photographs depicted the 60s and they still resonate in everyone’s minds and now be imprinted on everyone’s hearts.