Five years after his first appearance at The Ranch Laguna Beach, Rock and roll photographer Henry Diltz returned last Sunday, July 23, to present “Behind the Camera with Henry Diltz.”
During the sold-out event, Diltz shared his favorite images from more than 50 years of shooting iconic musicians and told the stories behind them with his signature humor and charm.
A few of Diltz’ most recognized images are James Taylor for the album cover “Sweet Baby James,” The Doors at The Morrison Hotel, Crosby Stills Nash on the red couch for the cover of their first album, Joni Mitchell leaning in the window, and Eagles “Desperado.”
In February, Diltz was honored with the Grammy Trustees Award for his significant contribution to the music industry. He has also been featured in several documentaries centered on the music of Laurel Canyon. His catalog includes over 250 album covers, photos, many publicity shots, and tens of thousands of candids.
Diltz first sale was a single shot of Buffalo Springfield in 1966 for $100. He went on to photograph The Doors, Crosby Stills Nash, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Steppenwolf, James Taylor, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Paul and Linda McCartney, and nearly every other prominent musician and group from the 60s to 80s and beyond. He was also the official photographer at the Woodstock and Monterey Festivals. His work has graced hundreds of album covers and featured in countless books and magazines, and his career continues today.
Despite Diltz’s lack of formal photography training, he easily assimilated into the world of music: the road, the gigs, the humor, the social consciousness and the psychedelia. He became friends with his subjects, which enabled him to capture candid shots that convey a rare feeling of trust and intimacy.