Photographer: Terry Richardson
Specialty: Fashion, Celebrity Portraiture, Pseudo-Porn, General Trashiness
Favored Brand: Nikon, Contax
Terry Richardson is one of the most popular and most-controversial photographers working today. He has a very easy-to-identify style that’s made him one of the few people whose photos you can instantly identify at the magazine stand. If you see a celebrity standing directly in front of a white seamless background with a sharp shadow falling on it, you’re looking at a Terry Richardson photograph.
Terry is well-known for shooting fashion campaigns and other jobs with 35mm point & shoot film cameras like the Yashica T4 and Contax T3.
However, an examination of the EXIF Data on his blog shows that he uses or has used a variety of cameras including the following:
On the equipment side, as long as you have a camera (click here if you don’t have a camera) with a flash, just get a $26 roll of white seamless paper. That’s your starting point. Terry’s look is about the lighting, the simple background, and expression, not some specific combination of camera and lens.
Now, stick a friend in front of the paper, have them make some type of lewd gesture, turn on your flash(whatever you have), and take a picture. You should be at least part of the way there.
However, if you want to shoot rapid-fire style like Terry, you’ll need a beefier flash like the Canon 580 EXII or Nikon SB900, and their respective battery packs. Click here for Canon and here for Nikon.
If you shoot too much with an inexpensive flash, you have a pretty good chance of frying it.
But again, if you’re just starting out, just pick up the seamless paper and go from there. Make sure you get actual seamless paper, not plain old paper rolls from Staples. Those types of papers are too glossy and will reflect light back into your camera lens, which will ruin your pictures by killing contrast and color saturation.
And oh yeah, if you’re just taping the seamless paper to your wall, use gaffer’s tape. Gaffer’s tape isn’t cheap, but unlike other types of tape, it will not damage the paint or finish on your wall.