Howard Schatz


The photographs of Howard Schatz are exhibited in museums and photography galleries internationally and are included in innumerable private collections. He has received international acclaim for his work which has been published in eighteen monographs.

May 2015 marks the publication of a monumental 2-volume 25-year retrospective of the work of Howard Schatz: Schatz Images: 25 Years.


What is your background?

I was a physician, a Retinal Specialist, scientific researcher, teacher.
I became a full-time professional photographer 20+ years ago.
I have been an autodidact in the visual arts, especially art history, design, and architecture.

What kind of photography do you most identify with?

I explore, experiment and discover, making photographs to surprise and delight myself.
Most of my work is personal. I do editorial and commercial work as well.

What photograph left a lasting impression on you and why?

I have to study and continue to study the work of anyone making photographs. Inspiration comes from everywhere

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I have photographed dance and discovered the best images are taken when the dancer is airborne.
When I photographed Katita Waldo, prima ballerina of the San Francisco ballet underwater, I thought god was visiting me.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Accepting an award. Every time I receive an award, I think there are others who … well, could have received the same award.

What is your dream project?

To make images so shockingly original, something beyond my imagination.

Name 5 photographers who have inspired you

Mondino, Erwin Olaf, Raymond Meier, Gary Winogrand, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Andreas Gursky, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Ellen Von Unwerth.

How do you know when a body of work is finished?

“Finished” is rare. Time and other constraints end visual exploration and improvement.

Is there one photograph of yours that you are very proud of? Why?

Every image and project are like my children.

What is your most important gadget? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Simple Photoshop as a darkroom tool.

How did you start taking pictures? Why do you take pictures?

It’s exciting, fun, surprising and happy

What was your first camera?

Nikon F

What camera do you use now and why?

In Studio Medium format: Hasselblad and Leaf back
Other times, 35mm., Canon

What role does the photographer have in society?

Images are essential building blocks to the understanding of all things in our lives.

You can contact Howard and find his work here.

Howard Schatz has left a legacy of brilliant photographs that look like they came from a multiple of very talented photographers. I thought I had seen it all in photography. Perhaps after this book I have. Brilliant.

Howard Schatz is so versatile that this volume at times seems like the work of a dozen photographers, Weegee, Avedon, Penn, Beaton, Newton, and Goude, among them. He has affection for his subjects -athletes, dancers, models, actors, pregnant moms, and interesting nobodies- and it shows in every remarkable image. Sometimes funny, often dramatic, he is a master both of the quiet revealing portrait and the explosive surprise.

To survey Howard Schatz’s photographic career is to take a tour of a creative mind in perpetual motion. Often breathtaking and always thought-provoking, Howard’s oeuvre is the result of a restless and inspired pursuit of beauty and insight. His images are the product of a once-in-generation intellect enabled by a truth-seeking eye.