Born in Utrecht, Netherlands, he migrated to Australia in 1950. He began photographing in 1956, initially on various projects in Indonesia. By 1961 Woldendorp had his first commission for Walkabout and had won two prizes in the Craven-A national photography competition.
Woldendorp is known especially for his aerial photography which is collected in art and photography galleries around Australia and overseas. He was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography in 1991, and an Honorary Life Member in 1997. He has provided photographs for and produced over 15 books. Some of his books have had significant West Australian authors provide introductions and text - such as Tom Hungerford, and Tim Winton who wrote an accompanying essay for Down to Earth. His work was celebrated by the Western Australian Art gallery in 2009 His extensive awards are listed at the Fremantle Press website
Achievements and honours include:
- Australia's Professional Photographer of the Year for 1982
- Western Australia's Professional Photographer of the Year for 1988
- Listed as one of Scoop magazine's Inspirational West Australians for 2005;
- Hungerford, T. A. G. and Richard Woldendorp (1969) A million square : Western Australia . Melbourne: Thomas Nelson (Australia). ISBN 0-17-001823-7
- (1983) Australia's West Perth, W.A Day Dawn Press. ISBN 0-9596934-1-6
- (1985) Australia, the untamed land photographs by Richard Woldendorp. Sydney : Readers Digest. ISBN 0-949819-61-1
- Scott, John (1986). Landscapes of Western Australia. Claremont: Aeolian Press. (text by John Scott, photographs by Richard Woldendorp)
- (1992) Journey through a landscape : Richard Woldendorp's Australia. West Perth, W.A : Sandpiper Press. ISBN 0-646-09386-X
- (1994) Australia's flying doctors: the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia photographs by Richard Woldendorp ; text by Roger McDonald. Chippendale, N.S.W. : Pan Macmillan ISBN 0-7329-0793-4
- (1995) Australia, the untamed land photographs by Richard Woldendorp. Sydney : Reader's Digest. ISBN 0-86438-933-7
- (1999) Down to Earth: Australian Landscapes. North Fremantle, Fremantle Arts Centre Press in association with Sandpiper Press (text by Tim WInton)
- (2001) Design by nature photographs by Richard Woldendorp; text by Victoria Laurie. North Fremantle, W.A. : Fremantle Arts Centre Press in association with Sandpiper Press, ISBN 1-86368-349-6
- Woldendorp, Richard (2003). Wool: the Australian story. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press. ISBN 1-86368-396-8. (with text by Roger McDonald and Amanda Burton)
- Seddon, George (1991). "Journeys through landscape : a discussion of the work of Richard Woldendorp". Westerly (December 1991). Reprinted in Seddon, George (1995) Swan Song.
- Jacobson, Ingrid (8 August 1999). "Photo finish". Sunday Times. pp. Home section, p.28.
- Australian Style, January 1993, p. 82.
- Landscope, Spring 1987, p. 51-54.
- Western outlook, October 1993, p. 28-29
- Sacks, Margaret A. (ed.) (1979). "WOLDENDORP, Richard Leo". The Way 79: Who is Who: Synoptic Biographies of Western Australians. Nedlands, Western Australia: Crawley Publishers. p. 431. ISBN 0-949848-00-X.
- "Dutch-born practitioner Richard Woldendorp creates aerial images of the Australian continent; breathtakingly vast, they emphasize the recurring patterns and abstract shapes created by the combined effects of nature and human activity." Ennis, Helen (2007) Photography and Australia. Reaktion Books p.68
- Cruse, David (1982-06). Richard Woldendorp: converting the horizontal into the vertical to become Australia's professional photographer of the year. In About Town. (4), 78-79.
- Richard Woldendorp - winner of W. As professional Photographer of the Year for 1988, Newsletter (Australian Institute of Professional Photography. W.A. division, November 1988/March 1989, p. 7,
- Richard Waldendorp - feature article on his work - especially aerial photographs from "Journey through a Landscape" Australian Style, January 1993, p. 82
- Seddon, George, Swan song : reflections on Perth and Western Australia, 1956-1995 Nedlands, W.A. : Centre for Studies in Australian Literature, University of Western Australia, 1995.