The most f--ked up photographer working in fashion (you know his work).

That’s ‘Uncle Terry’ there on the right, in the mirror.


Terry Richardson has just topped People With Money‘s list of highest paid photographers in 2013 with an estimated $58 million in combined earnings.

That’s nearly $30 million more than his closest competitor and this comes from a man who once said of breaking into modelling, “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.”

Stop the world, we want to get off.

If you haven’t heard of Richardson before, he’s a big deal in the fashion world. He has power, influence, money and acclaim. His photographs have always been extremely sexual and there have always been rumours of inappropriate and exploitative behaviour on Terry Richardson shoots.

Rie Rasmussen, a Danish model, confronted him in 2010 and accused him of abusing his position of power within the industry to sexually harass young women.

Richardson with Jamie Peck

“He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of,” Rasmussen said. “They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves.”

“I told him, ‘What you do is completely degrading to women. I hope you know you only fuck girls because you have a camera, lots of fashion contacts and get your pictures in Vogue.'”

On a similar note, model Jamie Peck penned a scathing blog of an experience she had with Richardson when she was a 19-year-old model.

After meeting him at a party, Peck stopped by his studio for a shoot, where he asked to be called “Uncle Terry” while shooting her nude. But it was the “The second time,” she says that, “was the weird one.”

“I told him I had my period so I wanted to keep my underwear on, and he asked me to take my tampon out for him to play with. “I love tampons!” he said, in that psychotically upbeat way that temporarily convinces so many girls that what’s fun for Uncle Terry is fun for them. (I can just imagine him chirping, “Why don’t you wear these fairy wings while I fuck you in the ass? Wouldn’t that be like, so fun?” to some attenuated girl fresh off the boat from Eastern Europe. Either the man’s totally delusional, or he gets off on the fact that many of these things are not, in fact, very much fun for the girls.)”

It gets worse, “I’m not sure how he maneuvered me over to the couch, but at some point he strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis,” writes Peck. The encounter ended with Peck giving Richardson a hand-job and a “need to take two showers” afterwards.

An outtake from a Sisley Campaign, 2002

Of the consistent allegations Richardson has said: “I don’t like to exploit anybody. That’s not my bag. Everyone has fun on my shoots.”

In 2006, Australia’s Lee Jeans paid approximately $200,000 to get Richardson to photograph its spring/summer advertising campaign and the photos of course, weren’t without controversy.


Dr Joe Tucci , the CEO of Australian Childhood Foundation considered the images “a horrific portrayal of young people in sexually explicit poses that were very close to child pornography.”

Despite all this he continues to be one of the most powerful and celebrated photographers of our time.

Most recently, Miley Cyrus gave herself a Bald Frontal Wedgie and fizzy drink can penis in pictures published on his blog, Terry’s Diary and chose him to direct the music video for Wrecking Ball (the clip that is identical to Sinead O’Connor’s 90s hit, Nothing Compares 2 U).

“I came to Terry and I had said I wanted to create something kind of like Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares to You,'” Miley said.

“I said a lot of people tried to recreate it, a lot of people have tried to get that emotion in but there’s something about the way he did it.”

He’s also shot countless celebrities including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Oprah and unbelievably, President Obama. More recently, it’s been Miley Cyrus.

When former model and now writer at Jezebel, Jenna Sauers called for more models to come forward about Richardson she was inundated from “modelling agency bookers and former bookers, photographers, fashion writers, magazine editors, models and stylists,” all who spoke to her anonymously, for fear of losing their own jobs or being “blacklisted” within the industry. That’s the power he wields.

Reportedly, Richardson’s predatory behavior is tolerated because of all the individuals that make up the fashion industry, it’s only “a handful of photographers who have the power, a handful of editors who have the power, and a handful of clients who have the power. Everyone else just follows this small group of people.”

Clearly in fashion, it’s not what you know but who you know and are willing to blow. (Too much?)

Does his work push your buttons? Or do you consider it art?

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