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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 £2,500.00
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Bob Dylan (BD002DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan recording the album, 'Bringing It All Back Home' in Columbia Recording Studio A, New York City.

Prices from £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD008DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan performing at a sold out Carnegie Hall in 1963.

Prices from £450.00
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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 £1,110.00
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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 £150.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £150.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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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 £450.00
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Featured Prints

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Madonna

Backstage at the video shoot for the hit single 'You'll See' shot in Spain, October 1995

Prices from £350.00
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Iggy Pop

Cover artwork for Raw Power, Iggy Pop's iconic third studio album that was released in February 1973

Prices from £1,170.00
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The Rolling Stones

I heard The Rolling Stones were doing a gig at the Roundhouse. I didn’t have ticket or pass. Waving my camera I blagged my way in

Prices from £350.00
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The Ramones

Johnny Ramone’s super-fast ‘buzzsaw’ guitar had a huge impact on the punk scene and he could make a two-minute song sound like an epic.

Prices from £900.00
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The Beatles

Iconic photo of John Lennon with a flower in his eye, fondly known as 'Adoration'.

Prices from £750.00
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Oasis

Liam downs a pint while Noel watches and waits. That sums up their working relationship!

Prices from £1,440.00
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Featured Artists

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The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band who were in the vanguard of the British music Invasion that became popular in the US in 1964–65.

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Chuck Berry

So sad to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry, rock 'n' roll legend who influenced generations of great musicians

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Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons is an English audio engineer, songwriter, musician, and record producer as well as his own group, the Alan Parsons Project.

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AC/DC

AC/DC are an Australian rock band, formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. they have dubbed their music simply "rock and roll".

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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.

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Tom Waits

Tom Waits is an American singer-songwriter known for his musical tales of bohemians, drifters, misfits & his blend of blues, folk & jazz.

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Featured Collections

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Don Hunstein: In Focus

Celebrating the work of Columbia Records photographer Don Hunstein who has documented many of the 20th Century’s most important musicians.

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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

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David Bowie Remembered

We remember the late, great David Bowie one year after his untimely passing. This collection captures his innovative, uncompromising genius

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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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Photographers Limited Edtions

These are a selected prints assigned into limited edition runs. Once all the prints have been sold they will no longer be available.

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Album Covers

Album covers can define a band almost as much as the music itself. Now you can put this great art on your wall as well as your turntable

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