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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

A very early set of images taken by Don for promotion of Bob Dylan's first album, titled 'Bob Dylan', released on March 19, 1962.

Prices from £2,083.33
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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
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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 £208.33
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Bob Dylan (BD007DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan recording his 'Highway 61 Revisited' album at Columbia Studios, New York in June 1965

Prices from £525.00
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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
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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
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Bob Dylan (BD005DONH)

Bob Dylan

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

Prices from £375.00
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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.

Prices from £375.00
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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
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John Coltrane (JCOL001DONH)

John Coltrane

John Coltrane with Miles Davis at a recording session for 'Kind of Blue' in the spring of 1959 in New York City

Prices from £375.00
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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
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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.

Prices from £375.00
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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 £375.00
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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
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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
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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
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Featured Prints

Bruce Springsteen (BN003LR)

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen captured during The River Tour in 1981 at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam

Prices from £125.00
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Nirvana (NV001MG)

Nirvana

Nirvana photographed outside the Dalmacia Hotel in Shepherd's Bush, London on a cold October morning in 1990.

Prices from £291.67
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Clash, The (CL001LR)

The Clash

Joe Strummer (lying on floor) & Mick Jones performing live onstage on their 'Sort It Out' Tour at the Paradiso, Amsterdam.

Prices from £375.00
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Elton John (EJON001ABAL)

Elton John

Elton John at his rented house in Los Angeles prior to his career-defining sellout concerts at Dodger Stadium.

Prices from £125.00
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Rory Gallagher (RG001JM)

Rory Gallagher

Rory was soft-spoken, kind of a shy, and he really liked the gesture of bringing him a flower, he held it as he spoke to me.

Prices from £291.67
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.

Prices from £375.00
print

Featured Artists

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen (Nicknamed "The Boss") is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian.

artist
Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968 & considered one of the most innovative & influential rock bands in history.

artist
George Michael

George Michael

George Michael was one of the most influential and successful British pop musicians who sadly died on Christmas Day 2016

artist
Blondie

Blondie

Blondie is a American rock band founded by Debbie Harry & Chris Stein that pioneered the New York new wave & punk scenes of the 1970s.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are currently getting set for the 'Their Mortal Remains' exhibition at the V&A - Check out our range of images for sale.

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell's songs drawing from folk, rock & jazz helped define a generation. She is regarded as one of the greatest ever songwriters

artist

Featured Collections

***New Arrivals***

***New Arrivals***

Here are the very latest prints we have added to our collection. We hope you love them as much as we do.

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Mick Rock Limited Edition

Mick Rock Limited Edition

All prints by Mick Rock are signed and printed in limited editions of 90 on Archival 260gsm Semi-Matt paper.

collection
Folk & Country Collection

Folk & Country Collection

Welcome to our Folk & Country Print Collection - iconic images of the world's greatest artists from the past 50 years

collection
Darkroom Prints

Darkroom Prints

All our traditonal darkroom prints are hand printed from the original negative by a master printer to give them a crafted and unique feel

collection
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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Rockarchive Edition 100

Rockarchive Edition 100

Edition 100 was created to give fans & collectors a chance to own classic, historical pictures of their favorite bands.

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