Could there be anything greater than combining your passion and your love—and get paid for doing so? American photographer Henry Horenstein would emphatically say “No.” Horenstein (b. 1947) got his start in the 1970s, studying under seminal artists Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White. It was Callahan who gave him the best advice of his life.
As a young student, Horenstein wondered what he should photograph. Callahan asked him what he liked to do and Horenstein replied, “I like to go to the racetrack and bet on horses, and I like to listen to country music.” Callahan offered sensible advice: “Why not photograph the races and the music? Even if you make lousy pictures, you’ll have a good time.”
From this simple directive came a lifetime of work that has resulted in over 30 books, including a basic manual on black and white photography that has been used by aspiring photography students for more than thirty years. He has traveled the world, capturing moments far and wide, from Dolly Parton and Porter Wagner backstage at Boston’s Symphony Hall to an unexpected scene of camel coitus in Dubai.
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Photo: Lovers, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Nashville, 1975. © Henry Horenstein, courtesy of The Monacelli Press