Born in Utrecht, Netherlands, he migrated to Australia in 1950. He began photographing in 1956, initially on various projects in Indonesia. He became a professional photographer in 1961 after winning two prizes in the Craven-A national photography competition. His work has been prolific and extensively collected in Art and Photography galleries around Australia and overseas. He was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography in 1991, and an Honorary Life Member in 1997. He has provided photographs for and produced over 15 books. Some of his books have had significant West Australian authors provide introductions and text - such as Tom Hungerford, and Tim Winton who wrote an accompanying essay for Down to Earth.
His work was celebrated by the Western Australian Art gallery in 2009 http://www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/exhibitions/Richard_Woldendorp_Abstract_Earth.asp</ref>
His extensive awards are listed at the Fremantle Press website http://www.fremantlepress.com.au/authors/273/Richard+Woldendorp</ref>