Shoot What You Love
Tips and Tales from a Working Photographer
The best professional advice Henry Horenstein ever received was to “shoot what you love.” He’s been doing that for more than four decades, capturing photographs that often richly evoke older cultures and places, especially ones that are disappearing: country musicians in Branson, horse racing at Saratoga Springs, nightlife in Buenos Aires, fais do-dos in Cajun Louisiana, old highways everywhere.
Horenstein brings these images together in this rich visual memoir, along with behind-the-scenes stories, insights, and tips and suggestions for being a better photographer. His photographs and engaging, often humorous stories chronicle a career that begins in the 1960s, when photography was a trade and even the greatest photographers were not considered to be artists. He amusingly recounts his early assignments. Using his family and friends as subjects for a book on drug abuse was not too much of a stretch, he says, and while shooting Dolly Parton for what would become the Boston Phoenix, the star told him, “Honey, people don’t come out to see me looking like them.” He engagingly recalls his shoots with stars like the Lennon Sisters and Emmylou Harris, as well as his encounters with Ansel Adams, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Nan Goldin, and many other photo legends.
Commanding these pages, though, are the subjects with whom Horenstein has chosen to spend most of his professional career, shooting what he loves. His images of honky-tonk stars, stock car drivers, exotic sea creatures, mixed-race residents of rural Maryland, and Venezuelan baseball players tell what he calls “a good story . . . with humor and a punch line, if possible.”
Praise for Shoot What You Love
"As writers are advised to “write what you know,” it follows that photographic artists have more success when they shoot what they know… and what they love. Over the years of photographing those things that he most loves, Henry Horenstein has collected stories; this compilation of those stories illuminates a career that was not only lucrative, but fulfilling…. A slice of one photographer’s adventure, with compelling images by Horenstein and others, this memoir is a template for any burgeoning photographer’s life pursuit."