Photographer and Tech-no-fiend Terry P. Hudson has always been immersed in the world of artistic expression. Hailing from a musical family – his dad used to be a doo-wop singer, his uncle was married to Billie Holiday – he was aware of the beauty that comes from exposing one’s soul from an early age. He was also surrounded by outstanding images from the Harlem Renaissance and of relatives and friends in their Sunday best. Inspired by keen observations of life and light, his work is all about sharing his visual voice, his “definition of beautiful.”
Terry was born in Harlem, where he still lives. At 13 years-old he was gifted a Polaroid camera and quickly started capturing images of his vibrant neighborhood. A few years later he received a 35mm Minolta and began shooting parties, portraits and landscapes. His passion for picture-taking comes from his dad, who visually documented all of his travels starting with a military stint during World War 2.
Much of Terry’s own work is created in foreign places. “When you're outside of your comfort zone, you tend to see things in a different light,” he says. “It's like you're on the outside looking in.” Whether he's in the mountains of Spain overlooking the Mediterranean, in Grenada watching locals dance, or in Switzerland hiking through the fog and drizzle, Terry focuses on depicting “that ‘wish I’d been there’ moment.”
His work has been displayed in New York City and 2007 in Fukushima, Japan and featured in Art News, Dance Q and other publications. For three seasons he was the official photographer for the Museum of Art & Design series MAD About Dance.
Citing David LaChapelle, James Van Der Zee and Nobuyoshi Araki as inspirations, the low-key Terry says, “I like staying in the background and pulling interesting things out from the shadows.” He's shot performers – soul superstars at glitzy galas, alternative bands in underground clubs – and also ordinary people. “The important thing always is to engender trust in my subjects,” he says. “As they drop their guard I’m able to represent a moment that is intimate and rare.”
When not shooting, Terry is a IT consultant to fellow fotogs and artist. His curiosity about stubborn gaps in his understanding – as a kid he would take his toys apart, figure out how they work then put them back together – “Computers and cameras are quite similar,” he says. “Both are black boxes where it's clear what's going in and what's coming out. What happens in between is the mystery I enjoy exploring.”