Terry O'Neill achieved his greatest success documenting the fashion style and celebrities of the swinging '60s. He attracted attention for capturing his subjects in unconventional or candid settings.
He began his career working for a photographic unit at London's Heathrow Airport. By chance he photographed a sleeping figure in a waiting room; when the person was revealed to be the Home Secretary, O'Neill found further employment on Fleet Street with The Daily Sketch in 1959.
His reputation grew during the '60s, and in addition to capturing the decade's music icons such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, he also photographed members of the British Royal Family several times, and many prominent politicians, showing a more natural and human side to these subjects than had usually been portrayed before. He also took intimate portraits of numerous Hollywood luminaries such as Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, and Brigitte Bardot, among countless others.
Terry O'Neill's many film connections as well as his long relationship with Hollywood star Faye Dunaway, including their three-year marriage, helped contribute to his profile and success internationally, particularly in America, from 1970 onwards.
In 2011 Terry was awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal by the Royal Photographic Society which has only been awarded 16 times in its history.