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Don Hunstein

Don Hunstein has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He shot hundreds of record covers and documented the recording sessions of many of the 20th Century’s most important musicians. He is a great photographer, equally skilled in large or small format, in black & white or colour. Rockarchive is honored to have him as a member of our collective.

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO and attended Washington University, graduating in 1950 with a degree in English. After college he enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed in Fairford, England, and assigned a desk job. His parents had given him a modest camera so he could send pictures of London and the Cotswold village’s home to the family. But when that camera was stolen from the barracks he bought a Leica M3 in the PX, from a shop for GI’s on the base.

Having the M3 in his hands inspired him to get serious about taking pictures and while on a 3-day pass to Paris, he saw in a shop a book of black and white candid “street” photographs by Cartier-Bresson, which added to that inspiration.

In May of 1954 Don returned to the States, first to St. Louis and then to NYC to join a friend who had a job in advertising there. Don’s portfolio of pictures taken in London failed to impress the local photographers. However, he was offered an apprenticeship in a commercial studio, where Don learned to master large format cameras and the use of lighting. A known photographer, who had a studio within the Carnegie Hall building, hired Don as an assistant. Don helped him run his studio and went on location with him. One shoot in particular sticks in Don’s mind: shooting the dress rehearsal for a Broadway musical. It was to be in music photography that Don was to find his niche.

Within a few years Don was ready, at least technically, to have his own career as a photographer. A woman called Deborah Ishlon, who ran the publicity department for Columbia Records, became his mentor. The record business was expanding rapidly at the time and with only two assistants, Ishlon needed someone to help her run the picture library and supply prints to the press. She offered the job to Don. Little by little Don also became the main photographer for the company. As he became comfortable facing the famous names in the music world, putting both them and the new comers at ease in his presence, he developed the ability to see into the character of his subjects and reflect what he saw in the photos he took.  In a distinguished career that spans more than thirty years, Don took pictures of musicians – classical, Jazz, folk and then rock - in concert, at recording sessions, on the road, and in the studio, where he produced portraits for the PR department.

 

Bob Dylan (BD001DONH)

Bob Dylan

Early set of contact sheet photos by Don Hunstein taken of Bob Dylan in his New York apartment on West 4th Street in 1963.

Prices from £2,500.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD004DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan during his recording sessions for 'Highway 61 Revisited' at Columbia Studios in June 1965

Prices from £375.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD006DONH)

Bob Dylan

At Columbia Studios, New York 1963 Bob Dylan tunes his guitar during a recording session for his second studio album 'Free Wheelin'

Prices from £250.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD010DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo on the photo shoot for the album cover of 'Freewheelin' in a wintry New York City in February 1963

Prices from £125.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD002DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan shot while recording his 5th studio album in Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City 1965.

Prices from £375.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD003DONH)

Bob Dylan

An alternative version to the cover of the Bob Dylan Free Wheelin' album, which was similar, but also in colour.

Prices from £1,750.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD005DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan recording the Freewheelin' album in Columbia Recording Studios, New York City in 1963.

Prices from £208.33
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Bob Dylan (BD008DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan rehearsing to an empty house on the Carnegie Hall stage in New York city, 1963.

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Bob Dylan (BD009DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan sitting with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo in their apartment in New York in February 1963

Prices from £925.00
print
Johnny Cash (CASH002DONH)

Johnny Cash

Photographer Don Hunstein shot this rural side of Johnny Cash relaxing on his farm in San Antonio, Texas in 1959.

Prices from £208.33
print
Johnny Cash (CASH003DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash during a recording session at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City in October 1959.

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print
Johnny Cash (CASH004DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash in New York with his wife June Carter while recording together at Columbia Recording Studio in New York City 1975.

Prices from £125.00
print
Johnny Cash (CASH005DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his farm in San Antonio, Texas in 1959. He always had a fondness for San Antonio.

Prices from £208.33
print
Johnny Cash (CASH006DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his ranch in San Antonio, Texas in 1960, he always wore black, because he identified with the poor & the down trodden

Prices from £375.00
print
Miles Davis (MD001DONH)

Miles Davis

Miles Davis with John Coltrane during the recording sessions for 'Kind of Blue' at Columbia Studios in New York in the Spring of 1959

Prices from £375.00
print
Miles Davis (MD002DONH)

Miles Davis

Miles Davis during the recording sessions for 'Kind of Blue' taken in New York in the Spring of 1959

Prices from £375.00
print

Featured Prints

Happy Mondays (HAPPY001KC)

Happy Mondays

Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays captured in Yellow 2 Studios, Stockport in 1986

Prices from £291.67
print
Johnny Cash (CASH006DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his ranch in San Antonio, Texas in 1960, he always wore black, because he identified with the poor & the down trodden

Prices from £375.00
print
U2 (UT001LR)

U2

Bono from U2 performing live on their Joshua Tree Tour in Rotterdam, Holland in July 1987

Prices from £375.00
print
Sex Pistols (SP001BG)

Sex Pistols

Punk icon Sid Vicious reading MAD magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the Sex Pistols one and only US tour in January 1978.

Prices from £291.67
print
Phish (PHIS001ST)

Phish

'I thought of improvisation as a large ball of string (a melody as yet unravelled)'. Cover art for Phish's 1997 album Slip Stitch and Pass

Prices from £800.00
print
Björk (BJ004JF)

Björk

Björk captured in 1995 by Jill Furmaovsky

Prices from £291.67
print

Featured Artists

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter and musician who is usually known by the name "Van the Man" to his fans.

artist
Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa's diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize.

artist
Beatles, The

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960 and widely regarded as the most influential acts of the rock era.

artist
Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is a singer, songwriter & television personality who rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath.

artist
Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black"

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Elton John

Elton John

Sir Elton John is an English pianist, singer-songwriter, composer & pop icon who has sold millions of records and won countless awards.

artist

Featured Collections

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

A photographic celebration of Manchester's rock music history. Free exhibition at the University of Manchester

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Jazz & Blues Collection

Jazz & Blues Collection

Welcome to our Jazz & Blues Print Collection - over 50 years of iconic images of the world's greatest Jazz & Blues musicians

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Born In The USA

Born In The USA

The USA has given us many of the world's greatest music artists - we celebrate the best of the best

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Barry Schultz Collection

Barry Schultz Collection

A fantastic curated collection of museum quality fine art prints by leading music photographer Barry Schultz

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The Duffy Archive Collection

The Duffy Archive Collection

For eight years photographer Brian Duffy worked with David Bowie and shot his most iconic and enduring images. View his fantastic collection

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The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles were one of the most popular & influential bands of all time. Here we showcase our collection of their iconic fine art prints

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