By the early 1960’s, Terry O’Neill’s photography career was in full swing. He photographed The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals and became one of the go-to names for agents or editors to call when they needed a photo of a new, rising star.
Outside the burgeoning music scene, British actors and models and photographers themselves were making headlines. Jean Shrimpton was one of the top models of her day, appearing on countless covers of magazines and helping signal in a fresh, new look for fashion and style in the 1960s. Terence Stamp burst on to the scene with his award-winning role in his debut film, 1962’s Billy Budd, instantly making Stamp a cinematic star.
O’Neill remembers, “I was asked to take a photo that exemplified the new faces of the sixties and the first image that came to mind was them.”
Terry (Stamp) was living at The Albany at the time. The Albany is that very famous and secluded row of flats between Regent Street and Piccadilly Street, you’d never guess it was there unless you knew to look. It’s still there now and as secluded as ever. I asked Jean to meet me there for a photo shoot. I went over and did a zoom portrait of them and out of those rolls of films came several images, but the one that struck me the most was when Terry looked the camera straight in the eye. It’s his intensity combined with her loveliness that makes this a great portrait. I’m proud to say that this photograph is part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery.”
This image helped cement their reputations as icons of the Swinging Sixties. “They were new, young and fresh— that was what the sixties was all about."