Many years ago in the mid 90′s I remember watching a Sports Illustrated swimsuit special on TV, one of the photographers featured was this wacky guy who shot the supermodels with a point and shoot camera. I laughed so hard. Here was this nerdy guy who looked like he was auditioning as an extra on Starsky & Hutch thumbing his nose at all the fabulous high priced photographers. A few years later I did freelance PA work on film sets to get by. One day I got called to work on a photo shoot at Asbury Park. Before I arrived on set the production team were making a big deal about the photographer doing the shoot. When I arrived it was the same guy I saw many years earlier on that TV special, his name was Terry Richardson. The thing I remember most about that day was the easygoing vibe on set. Typically I would work a minimum of 12 hours on a shoot, but on Terry’s set we wrapped in 4. There wasn’t that military like atmosphere that pervaded typical film/photo sets. This set was different, Terry seemed to be just hanging out with the crew. Seeing Terry work was an up close lesson in the nurturing of what I considered a fertile creative environment.
Many years later around 2004 due in part to the innovations in digital video I got the bug to shoot documentaries. When I started shooting I was determined to focus on the energy and the story and to embrace mistakes and imperfections, ride them the way a surfer would ride a wave. I wanted to stay light and nimble. My mantra was if it can’t fit in my backpack it isn’t going with me. And it was Terry Richardson the DIY revolutionary with a point and shoot camera who I looked at for inspiration. This DIY attitude seemed to inspire a whole new generation of photo and video artist. From Lastnight’s Party, to Cobrasnake to Thenewpop. We owe allot to the Godfather. Check this video that pretty much sums up Terry’s early struggles with the commercial world when he would show up on set with his point and shoot.