Well done to the photo team at the London based photo agency Camera Press who have secured the archive of photographer Terence Donovan for licensing.
One of the foremost photographers of his generation, Donovan helped transform the face of modern photography. His imagery will sit alongside collections by other photographic icons at Camera Press, including work by Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton and Lord Snowdon.
Terrence Donovan was part of a new wave of artists that captured, and in many ways became part of the swinging London scene of the 1960’s dominated by high fashion and celebrity chic.
Born into a working class family in London’s East End in 1936, Donovan’s passion for photography started when he joined a printers aged just 11. By the age of 22 he was running his own photographic studio and by the mid 1960s he was one of the most sought after photographers of the day. His images graced the pages of top magazines such as Vogue, French Elle and Harpers Bazaar. His sitters were the names synonymous with the decade; Mary Quant, Twiggy, David Bailey and Jimi Hendrix, who he photographed in 1967 when both photographer and sitter were at the height of their respective fame.
Donovan’s portfolio, however, extends beyond the confines of celebrity portraiture. As befits a master of his craft, he pushed the limits of what was possible with a camera. He mixed fashion with reportage, taking models out of the studio and photographing them in bomb-ravaged waste ground and in industrial building sites.
In the 1970s he switched his focus to advertising photography and the moving image and by the 1980s he was making award-winning television commercials, including the much praised video for Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love.
Donovan, however, never lost his passion for stills photography. In the early 1990s he was asked to photograph Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, at a time when she was the world’s most sought after sitter. And in the mid 90s, thirty years after London first swung, Donovan was once again commissioned to capture the spirit of the age, photographing a portfolio of British musicians including Jarvis Cocker and Bryan Ferry for the ‘Cool Britannia’ issue of GQ. This series, proved to be his last significant body of work. He died in 1996.