NEWS: Industry pays tribute to Donovan

Terence Donovan, who committed suicide recently at the age of 60, was, with Brian Duffy and David Bailey, one of three photographers who reinvented fashion photography in the 60s and 70s. He was also noted for his many commercials and rock videos - all of which captured, and some of which created, the fashion mood of the moment. Three admirers pay tribute.

Terence Donovan, who committed suicide recently at the age of 60, was,

with Brian Duffy and David Bailey, one of three photographers who

reinvented fashion photography in the 60s and 70s. He was also noted for

his many commercials and rock videos - all of which captured, and some

of which created, the fashion mood of the moment. Three admirers pay

tribute.



My introduction to Donovan came through his early published work, which

pushed the boundaries of photography to such a degree that his images

leapt off the page - they were so fresh and bold.



Working as his assistant, I was impressed by his passion for, and

dedication to, his craft. Always the consummate professional, he had the

most amazing charisma with a sense of humour that made him one of the

most liked personalities in advertising.



Terence diversified into commercials but, to the end, kept his passion

for photography. As his most recent work testifies, he could still

produce wonderful images.



His air of East End unpretentiousness belied the fact that he was a

sensitive and intelligent man capable of great acts of generosity and

kindness. I, like many, will miss him enormously.



James Cotier Advertising photographer



Tom, our driver at Hedger Mitchell Stark, was a keen amateur

photographer and a member of the AFAEP. He was excited to be driving me

over to Donovan’s studio in Bourdon Street. Terence was his hero.



Standing outside the studio during a break, having a fag, I promised Tom

I’d introduce him to Terence. There was no need. Terence came out for a

break, spotted the AFAEP tie Tom was wearing specially for the day, and

engaged him in conversation. Terence settled down on the bonnet of Tom’s

car and talked F.8 for the best part of half an hour. He had us in

stitches.



‘That’s enough of that; plenty of good men out of work,’ said Terence,

looking at his watch. As he levered his huge bulk off the bonnet of

Tom’s car, there was a wrenching sound of bending metal. The three of us

gazed at a perfect imprint of Terence’s buttocks in the middle of Tom’s

car bonnet.



Terence and I looked, embarrassed, at Tom but he was delighted at ‘an

original Donovan print!’. Terence got in fast and signed it with an

indelible magic marker - I’ll bet Tom hasn’t got rid of the car to this

day.



Terence Donovan had time for everyone. He was the most generous man I’ve

ever met. I’ll never forget him and neither will anyone else who was

lucky enough to meet him.



Matt Ryan Deputy creative director Saatchi and Saatchi



Terence Donovan was unique, a one-off. He was the most ‘unordinary’ man

you could ever meet. The only predictable things about him were his grey

suit, blue shirt and blue tie. He didn’t want the hassle of deciding

what to wear every morning.



His personality was so strong you felt he could make anything happen.



There’s no mistaking a Donovan picture - its power grabs you

immediately. He was a photographic samurai. He believed in what Cartier-

Bresson called ‘the decisive moment’ - that finite moment when the

picture suddenly becomes very special before disappearing forever. But,

‘if that moment doesn’t happen on its own, you just have to make it

happen’, he would say. And he did.



Then there was his humour. Without doubt, he was the funniest man I have

ever met. His stories and observations were unique, but never at the

expense of others.



Self image wasn’t important to him; ‘too time-consuming,’ he would say.

He lived every minute to the full: ‘Life’s not a dress rehearsal, it’s

the real gig.’ His appetite and enthusiasm for life was astonishing. He

was the best friend anyone could wish for.



As he would always say at the end of a late-night conversation: ‘God

bless ya. Tango Delta over and out.’



Brian Fraser Art director BMP DDB



Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).