Category Archives: 03. Terry O’Neill

Terry O’Neill Photography Exhibition

Terry O’Neill Photography Exhibition

The One Fusion Al Quoz Theatre and Deli

Junction 3 Sheikh Zayed Road

Al Quoz 1, Street 4b

P.O.Box 121523, Dubai

I was recently fortunate enough to attend an exhibition of British photographer, Terry O’Neill work at The One Fusion Al Quoz, Theatre and Deli, Dubai. O’Neill has been taking photographs of the rich and famous for over half a century

The photographs on display were a selection of portraits of celebrities such as Sean Connery, The Rolling Stones, Bono, Frank Sinatra and Faye Dunaway. The subjects are well known figures, and O’Neill has captured them at a past point in time, so the exhibition felt like, not only a study of the subjects, but also of time and place.

It was easy to be impressed with O’Neill’s work. Amazingly he is self-taught and shot the images with 35mm film at a time when there were no digital enhancements.

On reading more about O’Neill’s work I found it of interest that in the 1960’s, when his photography career took off, the relationship between the photographer and celebrity seemed quite different to some situation we may see or read about nowadays. O’Neill admits that ‘in those days your subjects let you up close and personal, there was no pushy publicists trying to control what you saw or photographed’. O’Neill also had many ‘celebrity’ friends with which he socialised and this allowed him access to a range of people and places. O’Neill admits that in his archives he has many ‘accidental’ pictures of his subjects at their best and occasionally at their worst but he has no interest in making money from these.

In today’s world the relationship between photographer and celebrity does not seem so amiable, perhaps the nature of ‘celebrity’ has changed. Perhaps also, due to press invasions of privacy or the technology that can produce images that are ‘dishonest representations of the truth’.

I found it quite refreshing to read this O’Neill quote,

‘I want my pictures to tell a story not sell a story’.

Terry O’Neill’s gallery of work can be viewed at

Terry’s story, in his own words can be viewed at

 The exhibition runs until 4th January 2012.