I have always felt a restless, unremitting drive to explore the world around me and its impact on the world within.
- Richard Speedy
Richard Speedy grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and his passion for photography began when he was given his first camera at age 6. Many of the earliest photos in the family scrapbook show him with a Kodak Brownie hanging around his neck. As the pages turn, he disappears more and more from view as he takes his place behind the lens of the family camera.
When he was eight years old, he was making still life images in his bedroom with his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye flash camera. These were mostly dioramas of imaginary and far-off places, along with studies of specimens he gathered from his explorations of the outside world.
After graduating from Princeton High School, Richard studied at New York Institute of Photography. He later attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara during the wild and wired late 60’s. At Brooks, he majored in film-making before switching to still photography.
In 1972, he relocated to New York City where he worked as an assistant to many of New York’s emerging advertising photographers, shooting everything from fashion, to still-life, to automobiles. Here he learned the many aspects of running a successful commercial photography studio and began to find his own voice in terms of visual expression.
During this time period he also worked on several personal projects and received recognition for this work in the form of two artist fellowships, one of which allowed him to continue working in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. A show of the Pine Barrens work was reviewed by David Shirey of the New York Times. In it, Shirey wrote…."we might not see the same things Richard Speedy sees. Most of us do not have his poetic vision or his instantaneous grasping of the beautiful in nature, or his fantasy. At times, the pictures look like storybook images, as in one photograph of mushrooms with their long stalks and umbrella caps amidst a blur of plants, they are creatures of another world."
Self-Portrait Cahuita, Costa Rica, 1979
In 1980, with photographer Toby Richards, he opened Richards & Speedy Studio and for the next 25 years he and Toby, operated an advertising photography studio with a staff of skilled assistants, stylists and darkroom technicians. The studio produced many award-winning images for clients including Sony, J&J, Benetton, Mobil and Lenox-- just to name a few. In 2005 Richard and Toby opened separate studios in order to spend more time exploring personal projects.
Since then, Richard has pursued a wide variety of subjects and imaging possibilities both in the studio and in the world at large. As he explains, "I have always felt a restless, unremitting drive to explore the world around me and it’s impact on the world within”.
Projects in the 21st century have included The Pine Barrens, Dancing Under the Moon, Relic and Land Meets Sea. Portfolios of these and additional projects can be seen in the GALLERIES section of this website.
Fascinated by Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, Richard has lived for extended periods in Sonora, Mexico and Taos, New Mexico.
He currently resides in Hopewell, NJ.
Working on the Dancing Under The Moon Project in Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico, 1995.
At times, the pictures look like storybook images, as in one photograph of mushrooms with their long stalks and umbrella caps amidst a blur of plants, they are creatures of another world."