Richard Young (photographer)

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Richard Young
Known forCelebrity and society photographer since the 1970s

Richard Young (born 1947) is an English society and celebrity photographer. His photography career started in 1974 and since then, he has photographed personalities such as Princess Diana of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, and Mick Jagger.

Early life[edit]

Young grew up in North London. He left school when he was 15 and worked in a boutique in King's Road.[1] In 1968, he went to Paris where he spent nine months working with advertising and fashion photographer, John Bishop. In the early 1970s, he moved to New York City where his girlfriend was photographer Flo Fox.[2] He returned to London in the spring of 1974 and worked at a bookshop on Regent Street.[2]



In 1974, Young’s career in photography began when he was asked to take pictures for a book written by John Cowper Powys.[3] Later that year, he was invited to photograph philanthropist John Paul Getty III as he went around London. These pictures earned him a job as a freelance photographer at the Evening Standard.[3][4] He then worked with gossip magazine, Ritz Magazine, from 1976 to 1983, where he was given free rein to publish whatever pictures he wanted.[3][4][5] Among Young's early photographs is a photograph taken of Keith Moon dining with Paul McCartney, hours before Moon died.[6] Another is a photograph taken of Elizabeth Taylor kissing Richard Burton at his 50th birthday party at the Dorchester.[7]


Currently, Young continues his career as a celebrity photographer and has worked with the photographic agency Rex Features for three decades.[8] He and his wife, Susan Young, own their own gallery called the Richard Young Gallery in Kensington. His work as well as those by other photographers, is displayed at the gallery.[9] His diverse portfolio includes Diana, Princess of Wales, Joan Collins, Elizabeth II, Kate Moss, Andy Warhol, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Jennifer Aniston and Mick Jagger among many others.[7][10] Young has also photographed important political and cultural events including United States troops in Iraq and Fidel Castro in Cuba. He has also visited orphanages in Romania with Michael Jackson and photographed the 46664 benefit for Nelson Mandela.[11] In 2006, The Times named him as "one of the most important photographers of the 20th century".[12] In May and June 2012, Young's career was the subject of the documentary series Celebrity Exposed: The Photography of Richard Young, shown on Sky Arts. The four episodes of Celebrity Exposed featured exclusive interviews with a host of celebrity royalty including Kate Moss, Sir Elton John, Vivienne Westwood, Steven Berkoff, Tracey Emin, and many more.[13]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Over the summer of 2012 Richard was presented the Ischia Art Award at the Ischia Film Festival in Italy while concurrently exhibiting 40 years worth of his photographs of Elizabeth Taylor at the Colombaia Museum during the festival.[14] The next year, In March 2013, Champagne Bureau UK crowned Richard Young with its first ever Le Prix Champagne de la Joie de Vivre prize.[15] in July 2013, Richard received an Honorary Fellowship and the title Honorary Doctor in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Field of Photography from University of the Arts London.[16] In October 2013, Richard Young’s candid photograph of Freddie Mercury at home was inducted into the National Portrait Gallery, London.[17] In the summer of 2014, Richard was inducted into the prestigious Champagne wine fraternity “L’Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne” in the stunning setting of Le Palais du Tau.[18] In February 2015 the UK Picture Editors Guild presented the Chairman’s Award to Richard for his significant contribution and talent in the field of photography.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Young and Susan have three children; Dan, Sam and Hannah.[1]


  • By Invitation Only by Richard Young (photographs) and Christopher Wilson (text), (1981) ISBN 978-0-7043-3387-1
  • Paparazzo! by Richard Young (photographs) and Sally Moulsdale (text), (1989) ISBN 978-0-491-03534-7
  • Shooting Stars by Richard Young (photographs) and Susan Young (text) ISBN 978-1-84358-096-6
  • Nightclubbing by Richard Young (photographs) and Susan Young (text) ISBN 978-0-99294-240-3


  1. ^ a b Greenstreet, Rosanna (29 May 2004). "Q&A: Richard Young, social photographer". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Land, David. "Richard Young". F2 Freelance Photographer. London: EC1 publishing (August/September 2008).
  3. ^ a b c Sharp, Rob (6 November 2010). "The Daddy of Society Photographers". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b Harte, Pendle (9 November 2010). "Richard Young". The Hill. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  5. ^ Spicer, Kate (29 April 2012). "Man On The Inside". The Sunday Times.
  6. ^ Güne, Fisun (22 June 2004). "Shooting the stars". Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  7. ^ a b Craig, Olga (11 October 2008). "Richard Young's lives through the lens". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Celeb Snapper Gets Snippy". The Sunday Times. London. 4 July 2010. p. 12. For the past three decades Young has worked with Rex Features, the picture agency that has exclusive rights to sell his images.
  9. ^ Alexander, Elle (23 June 2010). "LCF Photography Show". London: Vogue. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  10. ^ Cohen, Daniel (June 2012). "All the Young dudes". GQ.
  11. ^ "What's In A Number" (108). Positive Nation. January 2005. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Famous Faces". The Times. London. 2 December 2006. p. 21.
  13. ^ "Celebrity Exposed: The Photography Of Richard Young - Sky Arts HD". Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Al via il Global Fest con sfilata di vip e mostra omaggio per Liz Taylor". Rome. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Champagne Bureau UK Joie de Vivre reception". London: Tatler. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Richard Young scoops Honorary Doctor and Honorary Fellowship". London. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Freddie Mercury (Faroukh Bulsara) with his cat Tiffany". National Portrait Gallery, London. 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  18. ^ "UK Winner of Le Prix Champagne de la Joie de Vivre 2013 visits Champagne". 7 July 2014.
  19. ^ "UK Picture Editor Award Winners". 5 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.

External links[edit]