Terrence Moore, Photographer

“I was raised in my early years in Duluth, Minnesota, and at the time loved the cold weather and especially the snow. My father was a ski jumper among other things, which encouraged outdoor activities year round without video games or television. My father was also a musician, and my mother was an actress, and to make ends meet in those early days, they ran a neighborhood market where my job as a young lad was organizing and putting all the bottles (everything was refilled) in their proper containers—life was really good. Unfortunately, my father died suddenly and a few years later my mother remarried and we were off to California where my stepfather lived.

“I suppose that is where my fascination for road travel and the open road began.”

Schaffner Press will release Moore’s next book, Route 66: A Celebration of Photos and Stories from the Mother Road, in 2025.

It was the summer of my ninth year when we headed west down Highway 54 across Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle down to Tucumcari, New Mexico, where we met Route 66 and headed West to California. That trip is indelibly etched into my psyche. The hillbilly music playing on the radio, the big sky and wide-open spaces, the deserts, the intense heat and then we are at the base of Cajon Pass, where it all changed abruptly: we were soon passing through Cucamonga with its eucalyptus trees, citrus groves—we had arrived—the Promised Land!

We settled in Claremont, California, off Foothill Boulevard, on the edge of a navel orange grove. I soon got my first camera, a Kodak Retina. I was influenced by two neighbors, one who was a shutterbug and the other who was a documentary filmmaker; I knew then that I wanted be a photographer and document life.

We now had a TV, and in those days, all I wanted to watch was Westerns and all the heroes from that era were my heroes, including Spade Cooley and the Collins Kids.

My high school was built in 1911 and was on Route 66, and I bought my first car, a ’32 Ford Victoria on 66 in Fontana.

The road is a part of my soul all these years and has remained there until this day.

My stepfather liked to drive, and we went all over the West on U.S. highways and back roads, never on an interstate.

My first real solo adventure was when I graduated from high school at 18 and spent the summer in Guadalajara. I was always intrigued by Mexico and that led me to experience every state in Mexico over the years, doing a wonderful book on Baja California and living in the town of Alamos in the state of Sonora for a number of years. I also took a trip with my best friend around most of the USA when I was 19, which led to me experiencing all 50 states over the years.

Now I am dreaming about driving a new Electric VW bus called the Buzz from Chicago to Los Angeles! The centennial of all U.S. highways is coming up in 2026. I can’t wait to make the trip West (in practical silence) without burning gas! I have done it in vintage VWs, Porsches and many old Fords, including my ’41 Ford Woody and with a ’59 Cadillac.

I have had amazing experiences over the years working with incredible people and writers. Most of the projects were collaborations between many of my wild ideas and talented writers who bought into them.

Edward Abbey was a friend who was supposed to write the book on Baja California but passed away before we could do it, but fortunately our close friend writer Doug Peacock and our mutual acquaintance Peter Matthiessen managed to pull our concept together perfectly in Ed’s honor.

Being a late-bloomer means my wife, Linette, and I have two relatively young sons who seem to share a similar passion for the environment, interesting people and places and celebrating and respecting our Earth and all that lives from it. What could be better than that!

As a photographer, my life could not have been more diverse or interesting. It just fell together, and most of the experience has been a dream come true.    

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