Dallas Icons
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Thursday, June 02, 2016
By Kent Barker Studio

The majority of my career as a commercial photographer has taken place in Dallas...and because of that, I have had the opportunity to photograph many significant people within the community.  Most of the work has been for magazines and that is true of all the images presented here... except one.  The image below was shot for Austin based ad agency GSD&M. It was displayed as a poster in Southwest terminals and also ran as an ad in numerous magazines.. The purpose of the ad was to promote the cargo shipping capabilities of the airline and the concept envisioned Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher with his sleeve rolled up revealing a tattoo that reads "Born to Ship". 

We shot the ad in a make-shift studio at Love Field. Herb cracked jokes and chain smoked from the moment he entered the room. The "tattoo" was a peel off transfer that was easily applied.  The real difficulty with the shot however, was getting Herb to stop entertaining the crowd. We had about 15 minutes total to get the job done but no one seemed to be able to get him to focus. The art director was freaking out and finally managed to convince Herb to turn and face the camera.  We had about three minutes left!! I focused at that point and got "the shot. It came out great and is still considered one of Southwest's best ads. Whew!





Next up are a couple of images I shot for Australian Vogue in the 80's.  The magazine decided to do a large feature on Dallas. They flew an entire crew across the ocean to produce the fashion spreads and hired me to create the 'real people' portraits. I think I shot about 10 people in all.  The two shots below are a couple of favorites.

Roger Horchow was near and dear to my heart because I had made a good deal of money photographing for his many catalogs.    Always a man of impeccable taste, he is pictured here just off the living room of his north Dallas home. Great art and lot's of cool "stuff". 

Shannon Wynne had just begun a restaurant empire and all of his establishments at the time ended with the letter 'O'. He is pictured here sitting on top of the booth seats at Rocco, his seafood restaurant that was located just off of Knox Street (before Knox was cool!). I always thought the giant lobster painting was a nice touch!




The next two photographs were made for business magazines in the 80's. I knew of Norman Brinker because he had created the Steak & Ale restaurant chain where I'd worked as a waiter in college,  He was a dapper fellow and came to my studio to be photographed.  After the magazine came out his secretary called and wanted me to send him the original film.  He actually thought he owned it and it came as as a bit of a shock when my rep relayed the fact that to use the photo he had to pay me.  He was not happy about it...but pay me he did!

Ray L. Hunt is the son of H.L. Hunt, the founder of Hunt Oil. After his father's death in 1974, he inherited the company along with his three sisters.  In 1982, the family's net worth was estimated to be 200 million.  In 1984 he made a huge oil find in Yemen and by 2006 the family's net worth had increased to 4.6 billion.  This photograph was made in his Dallas office and he sits in front of a painting of his father. 




I am ending this post with a favorite image of Dallas couture designer Victor Costa.  Victor was a shrewd businessman. He would check out the latest creations by top designers and then formulate his own (very similar) interpretations.  His line would look VERY MUCH like the originals... but cost a quarter of the price.  So Dallas! Ivana Trump was a client.

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Kent Barker - Lynda...thank you for looking! Am having fun resurrecting these images from my past.