Today is the birthday of American fashion photographer Terrence "Terry" Richardson. Hardly ever seen without his signature glasses, sideburns and multi-colored flannel shirts, Mr. Richardson is turning 47 years old today.

Richardson was born in New York City on August 14th, 1965, but spent most of his early years in California. He played in a punk band called The Invisible Government before beginning his career as a photographer's assistant. From there, he would go on to shoot campaigns for fashion giants like Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent and create magazine editorials for publications such as VICE, Rolling Stone, GQ and Vanity Fair.

Richardson is known for his sexualized photography, which has landed him in hot water many times. One writer on Jezebel went so far as to call his style "a hipster pedophile costume," and numerous models and writers have objected to Richardson's overtly sexual representation of young women. However, he's one of top photographers in the business and has been able to get shots that no one else has. For instance, his book with Lady Gaga showed the singer in an entirely new light, and he recently photographed a stunning Gwen Stefani for the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar.

The controversial fashion figure who once said, "It's not who you know, but who you blow," is known for his use of low-tech equipment like instant cameras that evoke '70s porn Polaroids. Using simple methods of photography and plain colored backdrops, Richardson's work often places high-profile celebrities in commonplace situations, sometimes even placing himself in the shot with his models. He's also taken his talents to the music industry, directing videos for the bands Young Love and Whirlwind Hearts.

For Terry's Richardson's birthday, we've put together a slideshow of images of the photographer on the other side of the lens. (He does enjoy the 'thumbs up' pose, doesn't he?) Check out the photos below and let us know what you think of Richardson's work in the comments section. What's your favorite photo he's taken?

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  • Photographer Terry Richardson and Bill Powers attends the annual RxART PARTY! sponsored by CHANEL Beaute at Highline Stages on September 22, 2011 in New York City.

  • Model Jessica Stam and photographer Terry Richardson pose at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 at Lincoln Center on September 9, 2011 in New York City.

  • Terry Richardson and All American Rejects, Tyson Ritter attend Steven Klein's 'Time Capsule' Video Installation Preview at the Park Avenue Armory on September 12, 2011 in New York City.

  • Terry Richardson and Sky Ferreira attend the amfAR New York Gala To Kick Off Fall 2012 Fashion Week at Cipriani Wall Street on February 8, 2012 in New York City.

  • Terry Richardson, Leigh Lezark and Joe Jonas attend the Jeremy Scott fall 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 15, 2012 in New York City.

  • Terry Richardson (R) and guest attend the Dw by Kanye West Ready to Wear Spring / Summer 2012 show during Paris Fashion Week at Lycee Henri IV on October 1, 2011 in Paris, France.

  • Bianca Brandolini, Lindsay Lohan and Terry Richardson look on as models walk the runway during the Dw by Kanye West Ready to Wear Spring / Summer 2012 show during Paris Fashion Week at Lycee Henri IV on October 1, 2011 in Paris, France.

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