Terry O'Neill

The Early Years

Born in 1938, Terry O’Neill grew up within East London, with dreams of becoming a professional jazz musician. By the age of 20, O’Neill planned a career as a flight attendant so he could use his rest days between long haul flights, particularly in London and New York to establish himself as a jazz drummer within legendary jazz clubs.

Unfortunately, O’Neill was stopped at the first pass when the airline informed him they had no openings for stewards. Instead, he was fatefully sent towards their photography department, which O’Neill optimistically viewed as an eventual route into becoming an airline steward, and later, a great jazz drummer.

His very first job in his new role was to photograph a then-little-known beat group called The Beatles. Terry O’Neill was given free reins by his employers to photograph some of his favourite bands, including The Rolling Stones. Now, Terry O’Neill’s distinctive snapshot aesthetic and candid portraits of icons are displayed in national galleries and private collections around the globe.


Photography

Since 1958, O’Neill has produced magazine covers for Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and many other renowned publications, photographing presidents, royalty and some of Hollywood’s most iconic stars, emerging rock stars and actors of the swinging sixties.

Famous for photographing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones when they were still struggling to get a recording contract, Terry O’Neill has become one of the most celebrated photographers in the world. With nothing but a roll of 35mm film, Terry O'Neill brought a new, raw and intimate approach to celebrity photography.

‘I went from England and got slung into the centre of Hollywood,’ says Terry O'Neill when reflecting on his legendary life work. ‘It wasn’t just who we were shooting, but the way we shot them,’ Terry O'Neill captured the ‘honesty, immediacy and intimacy’ of his subjects, which cannot be matched today with the stalker photographs by the paparazzi.

Terry O’Neill’s groundbreaking photography has become some of the first pop music photography to feature in newspapers. He spent years photographing his favourite bands, models, stars and musicians and in 2019, Terry O'Neill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to photography.

Terry O’Neill at the Artmarket Gallery

Terry O’Neill’s distinctive snapshot aesthetic and candid portraits of icons are displayed in national galleries and private collections around the globe. We are thrilled to represent the Terry O’Neill collection at the Artmarket Gallery. Browse the collection below and enquire about your favourite pieces.


Internationally acclaimed for capturing the fashions, styles, and celebrities of the 1960s & 70s, Terry O’Neill’s camera has been on the frontline of fame for over six decades. From Elton John’s glistening performances to iconic photographs of Audrey Hepburn, we are proud to represent the Terry O'Neill photography collection at the Artmarket Gallery.