My short bio: Hi my name is Henri Dauman and after escaping the perils of the Holocaust and immigrating to New York City at the age of 17, I embarked on a career in photojournalism, having photographed several cultural icons of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I've also witnessed and shot numerous landmark cultural events of America's 20th century. Including: The March for the Equal Rights Amendment in Washington D.C. (1977), the White House Civil Rights Protest (1965), Protests against the Vietnam War in New York City (1963).

Click the link below to check out the video & donate to the Kickstarter that is funding the documentary telling MY LIFE STORY!

My Proof: &

Comments: 91 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

swb119217 karma

What are you most proud of in your life?

lookingupdoc41 karma

The recreation of my family is the most important thing. Last November, at my Paris exhibition, I had 35 family members sitting around our dinner table. After losing most of my family to the Holocaust, this was a proud moment.

jksteele44117 karma

Mr Dauman, may I add. I am fortunate enough to know one of those 35 family members. And yes you should be proud. Your granddaughter is talented and special (like her grandfather I am sure)......I have had the good fortune to know Nicole. Thank you so much for creating this family that has touched me! Happy and peaceful holiday wishes to you and your incredible family. It is important for people to hear and learn from your experiences, talent and contributions.

lookingupdoc14 karma

Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to hear that.

togca12 karma

Brigitte Bardot or Jane Fonda?

lookingupdoc51 karma

Well I had more of a working relationship with Jane Fonda than Brigitte Bardot, but...Brigitte Bardot had the better rear-end.

smooth_hickory9 karma

Do you have any advice for somebody who is considering a career in photojournalism?

lookingupdoc20 karma

Don't you ever go into it. Unfortunately there is room for very few people. We don't have a stage to perform anymore. It's a different world with smartphones and quick news. Go into filmmaking!

HelloWorldImMeg7 karma

You've seen and endured a lot of strife and struggle. Is the world getting better? Or is it just new versions of strife and struggle?

lookingupdoc11 karma

Well yes it's gotten better in terms of the tools we have to survive. People live better...and longer. The world has gotten more modern, you know...we have fast transportation and better research. But in terms of strife, it's as bad as ever. We don't have someone like Hitler but we have so many wars since WWII, and so many children are still killed.

jksteele4417 karma

When and how did you acquire your first camera. What was it?

lookingupdoc8 karma

I was in Paris. I can't recall how I received it, this is 66 or 67 years ago, but I do remember that it was a twin lens reflex. I can't remember the name.

maschine017 karma

After being around each of these iconic, history making people. What was something that you noticed or felt about then that made them what they were. The common trait or thread you noticed about them?

lookingupdoc9 karma

The common thread is that all these people are intelligent and have presence. They were the top in each of their fields-- whether it's art, computers, science, research, movie stars, writers, or musicians. What they all have in common is exceptional talent.

maschine01-4 karma

Well that's obvious. If that wasn't true then they wouldn't be iconic. Did you notice anything else about these people that was "the special thing" about them. The ol "I don't know what..." but they had it?

I guess I'm asking you, as a photogropher... you saw these people differently, because you have what they have through your photography. So through you lens. Through your eyes. What did you see of them?

lookingupdoc6 karma

Through talking to them, I was able to discover (often enough...but not always) the real psyche of the person, and I felt like I could capture that through my lens. I guess there is no single connecting thread, it varies from person to person!

gunsforthehomeless7 karma

how has the world changed since the 40s? since the 60s?

lookingupdoc12 karma

I was a kid in the 40's. It was a simpler world. Just radio, no TV, no computers, no portable phones. A simple life. The 60's were a transitional period, closer to what we know today. There was a sexual revolution! It changed from a puritanical society to more a relaxed and accepting society.

_sxb6 karma

whose photograph you wish you could have taken? and have you taken any photos that have significantly impacted your life?

lookingupdoc10 karma

Good question. Let me see...I was saying the other day it would be Mahatma Gandhi. But once I photographed Catherine Deneuve's sister, Françoise Dorléac, who unfortunately died from a car accident a month later, but never Catherine Deneuve...which I think is strange!

lookingupdoc8 karma

Sure, Marshall McLuhan impacted me in the 1970's. The digital age had not yet flourished and I didn't understand what he was saying. Then he predicted all of this...I never would have thought I would be doing this! And the Kennedy funeral, because it was extremely said that a young president had been taken down. I spent 24hrs a day photographing him when he was alive in Washington D.C., so it was sad to see him go.

823646 karma

How'd you wind up photographing Miles Davis? What were your favorite lenses and films? (/r/analog would love to hear from you!)

lookingupdoc15 karma

I was photographing the Randall Island Jazz festival in 1960. I photographed for two days! The jazz inspired me to take good pictures. As far as the favorite lenses, I used them all! It depended on what I need to shoot, but I would use the 28mm very often. Black and white Tri-X was my preferred film.

823645 karma

Thanks. What camera systems were you using?

lookingupdoc9 karma

Nikons and Leica's mostly. Nikon S and Leica M2 or M3.

823644 karma


lookingupdoc8 karma

My pleasure!

laceyleopard6 karma

As someone who has photographed the fight for equal rights between African Americans and white Americans during the 60's and 70's, what do you think about the Black Lives Matter Movement and race relations today?

lookingupdoc11 karma

I think that it has improved, a lot of work was made during the civil rights movement and two new generations have been born since! It's all a matter of education for everybody to accept each other, no matter what race. Most young people don't see the difference between races and religion, but racism still exists today unfortunately.

kill-all-humans-6 karma

what were the nazi's like? were they all as evil as people say?

lookingupdoc24 karma

Of course they're evil, but when you're one on one with a German soldier...they don't appear to evil. It's what the results of what they did that are evil.

bookey235 karma

Who were some of your favorite subjects to photograph? Any interesting stories from those sessions?

lookingupdoc5 karma

I never had any formal schooling, so I loved learning from experiences. When I shot luminaries like Marshall McLuhan and Piet Hein, it was enriching. I developed personal relationships with these people and liked discussing the future. As far as interesting stories...we'll have to wait until the documentary comes out!

Kalistery5 karma

Are you a Star Wars fan? Do you plan on seeing the Force Awakens in theaters? IF you are a fan, who's your favorite character from any of the movies/books?

lookingupdoc11 karma

I'm definitely seeing the film, I want to see how far they've come from the original. I heard it was shot on 65mm, and I can't wait to see it. When I shot with twin lens reflex, I used the same film, but it didn't have the sprocket (It's called 120 in the photo world). If I had to choose a character, I guess it would be R2-D2!

greatscottyjr5 karma

What do you see for the future of journalism in the digital age?

lookingupdoc4 karma

I think we will see a more customized and personal journalism across all medias. In photojournalism, as I mentioned above, we no longer have a stage to tell a story in depth. Nor is there a public that wants to see it.

marineturndlegofiend4 karma

How are you still alive?!

lookingupdoc14 karma

Why are you asking if I'm still alive. I'm a youth!

marineturndlegofiend4 karma

Nah man...Just wondering how you're doing such an incredible feat at your age. Shouldn't you just be kicking back and doing old guy stuff? I hope you get the funding for your doc/movie. I'm sure it will be very interesting.

lookingupdoc12 karma

Haha! You have to keep hustling, it keeps things interesting.

Tucana664 karma

We have a dear family friend who is also a Holocaust survivor, meaning he was able to escape Europe as Nazi Germany began to invade over countries. His story was (is) remarkable.

You've witnessed various historic events. Was there one that you wish you had seen, even photographed, in your lifetime?

Thank you for the AMA - and the beautiful photography you've snapped. :)

lookingupdoc6 karma

My pleasure! I would have wanted to do the liberation of Hitler. There are very few pictures of the landing in Normandy, I think Robert Capa ended up with 35 frames, that's all we have. It's one of the most important events of the 20th century.

American_Locomotive4 karma

How do you feel the change from film to digital photography has impacted photojournalism?

lookingupdoc8 karma

Photographers shoot more indiscriminately with digital, instead of focusing on the right moment. Sometimes the right moment is in between frames in film. Because they shoot so much on digital, a lot of photographs that may be useful in the future might get destroyed. It's too much to archive. In an example, if the photographer didn't keep the Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton photo, we wouldn't have had that picture when the scandal broke years later!

lookingupdoc4 karma

Thank you all for such wonderful questions, I am turning in tonight and hope to do this again sometime soon. In the meantime, check out the documentary my granddaughter Nicole is producing about my stories, and consider pledging!

AJ_Rimmer_SSC4 karma

What are your thoughts about people who deny the Holocaust or say it wasn't as bad as the history books say?

lookingupdoc16 karma

They're trying to re-write history. Millions of lives were affected by this, and it's so disrespectful to say it never existed. Ignorance is bliss...the world would have been very different if the 6 million Jews that perished lived! That's why several people, including myself, gave their testimony to the Shoah this never happens again.

lithographia2 karma

Did you photograph any of the more recent protest movements - May Day protests, Occupy, G7 Summits - and if so, how did the atmosphere compare to the major civil rights events you list from the 60s / 70s?

lookingupdoc4 karma

No I have not photographed those, because news events are a young man's business!

lithographia1 karma

If you could only choose one of your photos to represent your career, which one, and why?

lookingupdoc4 karma

An old colleague of mine at LIFE, Gjon Mili, told me if you shoot 10 great images during your career, you're doing something right! There is not one photo I can choose to represent my career as a whole. Taking photographs is like having one big notebook, you're always extracting from different stories. The last one is always the best one.

lithographia1 karma

I like the analogy... as a screenwriter, I couldn't choose between my personal projects... and yes, whichever one I'm working on at the time is my favourite (though not always the best). Good luck to yourself, Peter and Nicole for the documentary - you've found at least one more backer. Thanks again for your time tonight

lookingupdoc3 karma

My pleasure, thank you for such engaging questions, I had a great time.

lithographia1 karma

Did you ever photograph subjects who you did not like, or disagreed with on a personal, political, professional level? If so, how did that impact your approach? Where is the line between portraitist and newsman, interviewer, interrogator?

lookingupdoc2 karma

I always try to stay rather independent and non-judgmental on any subject that I photograph. I try and be objective, it all depends on how you approach the assignment. I see something my way, somebody else will see it differently. It is the individual perception that prevails.

lithographia1 karma

You take the objective truth to the audience and let them make up their own mind? I guess if you show off someone's true self, then either the beauty will shine or the ugliness will be evident.

lookingupdoc3 karma

That is true! If you capture the real personality of this person, the reality will come through.

lithographia1 karma

Everyone has their workplace screw up story... so, did you ever run out of film at an inopportune time? Or accidentally destroy negatives?

lookingupdoc2 karma

Let me tell you, if it did (and I can't remember now) it's was a rare occurrence. But I carried several cameras and filled my vest with film so it didn't happen!

lithographia1 karma

Ah, a true professional. The digital kids have it so easy in comparison!

lookingupdoc6 karma

Ain't that the truth!

CauliflowerDick-11 karma

How does the iamaholocaust compare to other holocausts?

lookingupdoc6 karma


I'm not sure what you mean by that, can you rephrase?

lithographia6 karma

They're making a joke about the double use of IamA in the title - please do ignore them, and thanks for taking your time to answer our questions today

lookingupdoc9 karma

Ah I see, yes I mistyped and tried to change it but outsmarts me! It is no problem. I'm told to ignore the "trolls" ;)

jimothy2015-20 karma

Do you have any photographs of the holocaust, something rock solid, something that is not open to interpretation?

Do you always promote the holocaust before your career when you introduce yourself?

Who benefits from mentioning the holocaust all the time?

lookingupdoc20 karma

I was just a child during the Holocaust and escaped to the countryside with my mother. It wasn't until after the war that I started taking photos. It's not that I'm promoting the Holocaust, I just feel that it is important to educate the younger generations about the atrocities that occurred so that it doesn't happen again. There are very few survivors left, and soon there will be none, it's an important part of history to remember.