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Terry Border – Bent Photographer

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, October 26th, 2015

Every now and then I like to showcase a particularly brilliant photographer whose work is so exceptional it makes me think admiringly, “God dammit! Why didn’t I think of that?! That work should be mine!” Terry Border of Bent Objects fame is just such a photographer.

Terry Border

Terry Border

Terry is an American photographer who spent his initial years as a commercial photographer shooting (in his own words) “The most mind-numbingly, boring shit you can think of.” But then he did something that far too few photographers do, and that is to say, “screw it – I’ll just shoot what appeals to me!” I have no idea if he said any such thing, but I like to imagine him saying that right to a client’s face as he throws their tube of toothpaste he was shooting to the ground in a fit of self-loathing and disgust.

You can see the guy’s anguish in his current body of work. Well, you can sort of see it if you stand back and squint your eyes just right. Terry discovered that, if you put pieces of wire in the shape of arms and legs on peanuts, you can make them do funny things. Then he proceeded to blow everyone away by doing just that, over and over again with fantastic wit. The thing I love most about his work, other than the fact that it’s hysterical, is that it just does not need any window dressing. The best ideas never do. It’s perfectly shot – there’s no Photoshop, it must cost all of $8 to prop each image, and any kind of slick production would only get in the way of how smart his work is.

Mail order bride

Mail order bride

Here’s my one negative rant (not about Terry) – there’s just too much work out there that either has no value, or is poorly shot, but the “photographer” piles on enough Photoshop filters and wizardry that it dazzles your eyes for a few seconds until your brain registers that it’s just a polished turd. Terry’s work represents the bar that we should all be reaching for – developing an idea that has tremendous appeal to the public. It’s not just about a wicked sense of humour – this goal is applicable to every type of photographer from photojournalists, to fashion, food, or wedding photographers and on and on. It means having a good reason to pick up your camera and get to work.

Now he’s got a book out – I demand that you go buy two of these books at once! One for you, one for me.

Terry Border Book

Terry Border Book

You can (and should) view Terry’s work at www.terryborder.com or http://bentobjects.blogspot.ca/

All photographs on the post © Terry Border


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Terry Border - Bent Photographer
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Terry Border - Bent Photographer
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Every now and then I like to showcase a particularly brilliant photographer whose work is so exceptional it makes me think admiringly, “God dammit! Why didn’t I think of that?! That work should be mine!” Terry Border of Bent Objects fame is just such a photographer.
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