Published Mar 20. 2012

Fishy photos: Henry Hegeman

Henry Hegeman got the crazy idea that maybe he could make some extra money to help support his hunting and fishing endeavors by writing articles and illustrating them with his photos

Train and angler.  Little Juniata River, PA -
The Bridge Pool.  Ridley Creek, PA -
Jumping trout.  Little Juniata River, PA -
Angler fishing under the Joshia Hess Covered Bridge.  Huntington Creek, PA -
Anglers looking for trout holding spots from bridge.  Mill Race at the Yellow Breeches, PA -
PA streams

Henry Hegeman contacted me because we had a common photography background: shooting film with Minolta gear. He turned out to be an avid fly-fishing photographer, and what was more natural than to include him in our ongoing series of fishy photographers?
I sent him the usual array of questions and he kindly replied.

How did you start photographing - and what made you choose fishing related photos in particular?

I grew up during the 50's and 60's reading the "Big Three" outdoor magazines, before the "specialty" magazines came on the scene. I was aware of the photo illustrations in these magazines, but the thought of becoming a photographer at that time held no interest for me, what with those weird f- numbers and all those fractions I had once seen on a light meter. In 1970, a close friend of mine returned home from Vietnam and brought with him a Minolta SRT-101 camera. At my daughter's christening, he showed me how to take pictures using the "new" match-needle technology, and when I found out how easy it was and how well the pictures turned out, I began to take interest.

I bought a Minolta SRT-100 when they came on the market and began taking pictures of my hunting and fishing activities. Somehow I got the crazy idea that maybe I could make some extra money to help support my hunting and fishing endeavors by writing articles and illustrating them with my photos and maybe even scoring a cover or two. Surprisingly, I sold the first piece I wrote on the very first submission. It was about the Barnegat Bay Sneakbox, a world-famous duck boat developed here in New Jersey. That was in 1976. Over the intervening years, I came to the conclusion there were more opportunities writing about and photographing fishing subjects than there were hunting subjects and that's where I'm at today. While I don't write that much about hunting anymore, I still take photos during my bird hunting and bowhunting trips.

Somehow I got the crazy idea that maybe I could make some extra money

Heron searching for breakfast on foggy morning -
Brown Trout.  Mill Race at the Yellow Breeches, PA -
Canada Goose family -
Fuchsia flower -
Hummingbird -
Angler attempting to thread fly to leader tippet -
Fish Sculpture.  Viking Village, Long Beach Island, NJ -
Various subjects

Do you have a particular subject, region or a style of pictures that you mainly shoot or are you more all-round?

I guess all-around is the best answer. When working on a magazine article, for example, I'm usually taking images to best illustrate that particular article. However, even when I'm not working on an article, I take photos to help document a particular trip, build up my stock images, and am always on the lookout for that spectacular cover or calendar shot. As for region, the Jersey shore is my stomping grounds for saltwater fly fishing photos and the eastern half of Pennsylvania for trout fishing photos. I also like to shoot pickerel and bass fishing in the Jersey Pine Barrens. I don't travel that much, but have made trips to Maine, New York, Cape Cod, North Carolina, and Florida in pursuit of fish and photos.

Article tearsheet -
Calendar tearsheet -
Calendar tearsheet -
Article tearsheet -
Tear sheets

Where are your photos used? Books, magazines, brochures, ads, web sites, prints, gallery exhibits or other places?

The majority of my photos are used to illustrate my magazine articles. Back in my early days, I exhibited photos at a local gallery and at the Easton Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland. I've also had my images published in books, on calendars, and have been fortunate enough to make a few covers.

Is photography you main source of income - if at all a source of income - and do you do other jobs as a supplement?

As I've mentioned, I had planned on using photography and writing as a means to help support my hunting and fishing habits. It's helped over the years, but, after switching to digital, I'm afraid I'm back in the hole again!
Yes, I have a full-time job.

Angler releasing trout.  Little Juniata River, PA -
Anglers checking out the evening rise.  Yellow Breeches, PA -
Angler taking a break from the action -
Thy rod and thy staff -
Angler landing trout.  Ridley Creek, PA -
Angler checking gear.  Yellow Breeches, PA -
On the stream

Can people buy your pictures and if so, then in which form and where?

I'm always open to image sales. Right now, all of my saltwater fly fishing photos are in the form of color transparencies as well as part of my trout fishing images. Most of my digital images are of trout fishing.
As time permits, I plan on getting my transparencies scanned. Right now, I don't have a web site and don't offer prints, but I'm looking into that for the future. If anyone would like to send me a needs list or is interested in my work, I can be reached by e-mail at

Where do you currently live and work?

I live in the southern part of New Jersey about 30 miles west of Atlantic City with my wife, daughter, son, granddaughter and grandson. I work full-time as a design/draftsman for a small consulting firm that specializes in providing design and detailing for the precast concrete industry. I hope to retire in 3 years and devote more time to my hunting, fishing, writing and photography.

What's in your bag? Preferred cameras, lenses, and other gear?

I work with a pair of Nikon D200 bodies. My lenses are all Nikon lenses and are carry-overs from my film days. They are:
24mm f2.8
35-105mm f3.5-4.5 zoom
60mm f2.8 macro
80-200mm f2.8 zoom
300mm f4
1.4 teleconverter

I don't use a flash that much and find my SB-25 speedlight (again, a carry-over from my film days) more than adequate for my needs.
I use a Bogen 3221W tripod with a Bogen 3038 ballhead. A cable release, an extension cord for using the flash off of the camera, and some L37c and polarizer filters round out my kit.
I normally work out a Domke shoulder bag and store my equipment in pelican cases when not in use. I also have an assortment of other bags I've accumulated over the years that I use as the needs arise.

Henry Hegeman with the camera -
In action on the stream -
The photographer fishing... - ...or perhaps the fishing photographer?
The photographer
Rigging up. Yellow Breeches, PA -
Early season fishing.  Ridley Creek, PA -
Rod tube collection -
Rod, reel, & dry fly box still life -
Side room.  Rivers Edge Guest House on the Little Juniata River, PA -
Angler taking a siesta.  Yellow Breeches, PA -
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