Henry Diltz: Photography Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Honoree


“Surprised and honored to learn I am receiving the International Photography Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award,” legendary lensman Henry Diltz noted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

On October 30, there was a virtual ceremony with a special introduction by Diltz’s longtime friend, Graham Nash, a member of the IPHF.

Henry Diltz, May 1997.
Henry Diltz, May 1997. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“It’s a great honor,” said Diltz, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, on the phone the day after his post. “It would have been fun to actually be there in St. Louis, but the ceremony’s going to be virtual.”

The flip side of that, he said, is that “everyone who’s interested can watch the stream, so it may actually be seen by more people than could be there in person.”

“The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum honors those who have made great contributions to the field of photography and preserves historic photographs and cameras to share with the world” since 1965, according to the IPHF website.

“(The) 2020 Honorees to be inducted into the Hall of Fame include the following seven photographers or photography industry visionaries who demonstrate the artistry, passion and revolution of the past and present art and science of photography,” reads the IPHF news alert.

The 2020 inductees are Robert Adams, Photographer; Lynsey Addario, Photojournalist; Alfred Eisenstaedt, Photojournalist; Hiro, Fashion/Art/Portrait photographer; Jay Maisel, Fine Art/Portrait/Commercial photographer; Duane Michals, Photographic Innovator; and Carrie Mae Weems, Fine Art/Conceptual Photographer.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Henry Diltz, Rock Music photographer; Leadership Award: Magnum Photos, International Photographic Cooperative.

Here’s Henry’s bio from the IPFH website:

“Henry Diltz is a music photographer who has shot more than 250 album covers and thousands of publicity shots in the ‘60s and ‘70s, including the iconic ‘Morrison Hotel’ cover for The Doors.

An outtake from The Doors’ photo session in Downtown Los Angeles with Henry Diltz for the cover of the band’s “Morrison Hotel” album, released in 1970. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“Other artists, whose fly-on-the-wall style portraits he’s known for, include musical legends such as Eagles, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, America, Steppenwolf, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, The Monkees and David Cassidy.

“Diltz was the official photographer at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, LIFE, People, Rolling Stone, High Times and Billboard.

RELATED: Photographer Henry Diltz: A Lifetime of Painted & ‘Unpainted Faces’

“Diltz is a co-founder/co-owner of the iconic Morrison Hotel Gallery in Los Angeles, New York and Maui [and online at MorrisonHotelGallery.com].

“A popular musician in the 1960s, Diltz never set out to take some of the most iconic photos of our era – it just happened.

“Fresh from a globetrotting childhood, he attended colleges in Munich, West Point and Honolulu, where he became known as a musician and founding member of the Modern Folk Quartet. This led to many friendships with emerging recording artists in the California rock communities of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Henry Diltz checks out the pop-up Morrison Hotel Gallery next to the old Morrison Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles during the 2020 “Day of the Doors” celebration. Photo: Stephen K. Peeples.

“Diltz and his images are such fixtures in rock culture that he is interviewed regularly and often for books, articles and documentaries about the era and speaks regularly on college campuses. He continues to document the music scene from his base in Southern California.”

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis, Missouri, “one of the country’s densest cultural districts,” according to the IPHF website. “Inside, a permanent tribute to the Hall of Fame Inductees stands alongside rotating exhibits from IPHF and partner collections.”

Watch the complete 2020 International Photography Hall of Fame virtual induction ceremony below.

Graham Nash’s introduction starts at 1:14:43, and Henry’s acceptance speech starts at 1:17:28.

Screenshot of Graham Nash introducing Henry Diltz, 2020 International Photography Hal of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, on October 30, 2020.

Graham Nash: “I first met Henry Diltz in 1966. I was in New York with my band The Hollies, and I was at a party at the Lovin’ Spoonful apartment with (John) Sebastian and Zally (Zal Yanovsky), and Henry took some pictures of me, and we became friends then. He actually shot a great shot of me with Mama Cass.

Cass Elliot, of The Mamas & The Papas, and Graham Nash, of The Hollies (and later, Crosby, Still & Nash), 1966. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“The next time I saw Henry for a professional reason was in early ’69 when Crosby, Stills & Nash were making their first album, and we needed a cover, of course. And Henry was at the studio that day watching us record, and we said, ‘You know, let’s just stop for a second and go walking around and see what we can see, just take an album cover,’ because we needed one desperately.

“We started to walk around and we saw on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles this old house, and the three of us decided that it kind of reflected our music, you know, Levis, soft music acoustic, good harmony, and so we took the picture.

Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“We got the proofs back the next day and we realized that the one that we really loved — we were sitting in the wrong order. So, we decided that we would shoot it again the next day in the correct order of Crosby, Stills and Nash, ‘cause we had decided that’s what we would call ourselves.

“So we go back to Santa Monica Boulevard, and the house was gone. It had been bulldozed into the back; it was just a pile of lumber.

“So we had to use the one that we liked with us out of order, which is why a lot of people think that I’m David Crosby, which of course, I’m not.

“Henry is the kind of a cameraman—doesn’t use lights, doesn’t use a setup, he’s an instant, watch-the-birdie kind of cameraman. He’s been doing that all his life; he’s taken some incredible shots of the music scene in Los Angeles in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, particularly Mama Cass and the Eagles and Tom Petty and Joni and Neil and me and David.

The best shot he ever took I think that I saw was one that he shot of Paul McCartney and his wife Linda that ended up on the cover of Life magazine, and I think you know the shot that I’m talking about—it’s very beautiful.

Henry is an incredible photographer, he’s been doing this all his life; he’s basically a musician with a camera, and that’s what he has been and he has made no bones about it: “I’m a musician with a camera.”

My dear friend: Henry Diltz.

Screenshot of Henry Diltz, 2020 International Photography Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, on October 30, 2020.

Henry Diltz: Thank you, Graham! I’m Henry, here in L.A., hello everybody, and I am so pleased to have received this wonderful award from the International Photography Hall of Fame.

“It’s such a wonderful thing, it looks kind of like a camera lens. It’s very heavy, but I’m so happy to have my photography recognized after all these years of taking photos some 50-plus years.

“I often say, ‘Being a photographer was kind of like having a passport into people’s lives,’ because I would be hangin’ out with people that ordinarily, I wouldn’t be hangin’ out with.

“One day, Rolling Stone magazine called me and wanted me to fly right to Palm Springs and photograph Truman Capote, and as I knocked on his door, I thought, ‘This is amazing! I’ve read Truman Capote’s short stories in college, and here I am!’ Spent the whole afternoon with him and got the cover for Rolling Stone!

“I got to the point where people started to know me as a guy who could take pictures, and there was a certain trust there because I was a fellow musician and they didn’t see me as a photographer. So it was easy for me to document these people without really seeming like I was a photographer.

“And I wouldn’t really tell ‘em what to do, I would just wait for that moment like when I used to photograph my friends and try to catch a candid moment where they didn’t even realize I was taking a picture.

“I like looking at life through that little square, and you can cut off and frame just what you want to see, and that’s the fun of it — it’s framing. It’s getting it right in there till it really says it. So, when it’s an object, you can do that; you can frame it really nicely. When it’s people, there’s framing and then there’s the moment, because you frame it and then you wait and you watch. And right when something happens, or it looks perfect, you take the picture.

Mick and Bianca, backstage. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“Some of my favorite moments really have to do with music because I am a musician and I love and appreciate music, and so getting to go on the road with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Stephen Stills, and the Eagles — went on the road with the Monkees all one summer, the Lovin’ Spoonful one summer. Being able to just observe all that and hear all that music was great. And so it’s not a photo session. It’s just life, it’s an adventure. That’s my passport into their lives, and it’s really a lot of fun to hang out.

Neil Young and the White Falcon, Balboa Stadium, Sam Diego, 1970. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“I very seldom do a photo session where you have an hour, go in and take this person’s picture. It’s all just life for me, it’s the adventure of my life as I see it, as I live it. All this body of photography, all these pictures that I’ve taken, it was really for me, it was really my life, it was stuff that I saw. And I mean just lucky enough that all these people I photographed became famous! And so people wanted to see the pictures that I took of them. You can’t really plan that. That just happens.

Buffalo Springfield, Venice, 1966. Photo: © Henry Diltz/Henry Diltz Photography. Used by permission.

“We’re all here to learn. We all know that. So therefore, we’re all students. But you should think of yourself as the only student, and everybody else is your teacher. And if you keep that in mind, the day is very interesting. Everybody you come across you can learn something from, and it’s a way of embracing life and embracing your fellow man.”

Stephen K. Peeples with Henry Diltz (and Amy Holland), 9th Floor, Capitol Records Tower, July 1980. Photo: Peter Blachley.

Music journalist and Grammy nominee Stephen K. Peeples and Henry Diltz have been friends and creative-co-conspirators since 1978. Peeples was raised by career newspaper journalists and music-lovers in Miami and Los Angeles. He earned a Grammy nomination as co-producer of the “Monterey International Pop Festival” box set with Lou Adler and Geoff Gans (Rhino/MIPF, 1992). • Peeples was the original, award-winning producer of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series for Westwood One from 1988-1990, and writer/producer of hundreds of WW1 programs in the preceding five years. • His first music industry gig was as an Associate Editor at Cash Box magazine in Hollywood in 1975. He went on to serve as a Media Relations-PR executive for Capitol Records (1977-1980), Elektra/Asylum Records (1980-1983) and Rhino Entertainment (1992-1998). • Moving online, he was Rhino’s first web editor (1996-1998), then elevated to content editor of Warner Music Group websites (1998-2001). • Based in the Santa Clarita Valley just north of L.A., Peeples was the award-winning Online Editor for The Signal newspaper’s website from 2007-2011, and wrote-hosted-co-produced SCVTV’s WAVE-nominated “House Blend” local music TV show from 2010-2015 (archived online and still airing in reruns). • The Santa Clarita journalist is now a News Editor at SCVTV’s SCVNews.com, SVP/New Media for Rare Cool Stuff Unltd. and developing a biography of notorious Texas Artlaw Boyd Elder. • For more info and original stories, visit https://stephenkpeeples.com/For exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, subscribe to Peeples’ YouTube channel.

Article: Henry Diltz: Photography Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Honoree
Author: Stephen K. Peeples
Category: News and Reviews
Article Source: StephenKPeeples.com