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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
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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 £250.00
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Bob Dylan (BD002DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan shot while recording his 5th studio album, Bringing It All Back Home, in 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.

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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 £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.

Prices from £208.33
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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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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 (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
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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 £208.33
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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

Glastonbury Liam Gallagher (LIAM001JF)

Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher owning the stage whilst headlining with Oasis at the Glastonbury Festival in 1995

Prices from £291.67
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Glastonbury Flags Field (GLAS001ANDI)

Glastonbury

The flags and sign for the Glastonbury Festival sit against the tranquil calm of the Somerset countryside

Prices from £125.00
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Glastonbury Joe Strummer (JOES001JF)

Joe Strummer

At the 1995 Glastonbury Festival Joe Strummer relaxes behind the scenes

Prices from £291.67
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Glastonbury White Stripes (WS002JF)

White Stripes

The White Stripes give an electric performance on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2002

Prices from £125.00
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Glastonbury Jarvis Cocker (PULP001JF)

Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker performing one of his signature moves with Pulp on The Park Stage during the 2011 Glastonbury Festival

Prices from £125.00
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Featured Artists

Blondie, Debbie Harry in London, 1977 Photo | Fine Art Print by Sheila Rock

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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Adam and the Ants

Adam and the Ants

Adam and the Ants were an English new wave band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The group existed from 1977 to 1982.

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U2

U2

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group are one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time.

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Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana.

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Faces, The

The Faces

The Faces were an English rock band formed in the wake of the Small Faces’ split in 1969, releasing four studio LPs and one live album.

artist
Queen

Queen

Queen are a British rock band credited with making significant contributions to such genres as hard rock & heavy metal, among others.

artist

Featured Collections

Contact Sheets Collection

Contact Sheets Collection

Our contact sheet collection is a rare opportunity to look back at the hidden moments surrounding some of rocks most iconic images.

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Oasis Print Collection

Oasis Print Collection

This print collection by Jill Furmanovsky contains images of Oasis on-the-road, onstage and recording in the studio during their zenith.

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Mick Rock Limited Edition Print Collection

Mick Rock Limited Edition Print Collection

Curated collection of authentic, signed limited edition fine art prints by legendary rock music photographer, Mck Rock

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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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Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky is one of the greatest ever rock & roll photographers with a huge archive of iconic shots of the world's best music artists

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