Terry O’Neill was born on July 30th 1938 in the East End of London. At the age of just 14 he left school with a big ambition of becoming a jazz drummer and subsequently went on to find work playing at various London clubs. However O’Neill had set his sights on playing in the United States East coast becoming an air steward to gain a free ticket to New York.
He joined BOAC as a technical trainee photographer attending regular courses at art school and sparked a passionate interest in photojournalism. Armed with his little Agfa Silette O’Neill worked at London’s Heathrow Airport photographing , until one day in 1959 he unexpectedly came across Rab Butler the current Home Secretary at the time. The Sunday Dispatch put the photo on their front page the very next day and O’Neill was offered a part-time job by the editor. In the early 1960’s he worked for the number one picture paper of the time the Daily Sketch. His polite, professional and spontaneous relaxed style very much suited the times photographing the likes of The Beatles and The Stones appearing natural and totally relaxed. He became very much in demand by the stars from then on and became freelance with work appearing in Rolling Stone, Paris Match, Vogue, Life and Look achieving a constant flow of access to all the high profile stars of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Becoming good friends with Michael Caine and Richard Burton propelled O’Neill instantly in to unique access to more stars including the introduction of Elizabeth Taylor to David Bowie creating a series of classic photographs. O’Neill spent his evenings at London’s Ad Lib Club where designers, photographers, actors, musicians spent time together discussing ideas. His long term relationship with academy award winner Faye Dunaway and friendship with the stars set’s Terry O’Neill apart.
O’Neill’s work features at the National Portrait Gallery in London and is considered as one of the great British photographers of our time.
The Terry O’Neill Award is one of the world’s most acclaimed competitions, drawing thousands of entrees from around the world.
Past winners have become internationally recognised. O’Neill himself chairs a panel of judges drawn from the highest echelons of photography. www.oneillaward.com
Black and White Silver Gelatin prints are printed on Ilford Galerie fibre-based fine art archival paper.
Colour prints are printed on Fuji chrystal archive C-Type fine art paper.