08/14/2012 12:00 pm ET

Happy Birthday, Terry Richardson! (PHOTOS)

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?

Happy Birthday Terry Richardson!