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with Dalton, from clockwise from upper right:
grew up in the small East Texas community of Buna. He entered Sam Houston
State University after graduation from Buna High School and soon began
to document campus life with a small Kodak Instamatic camera. That is
when photography became a part of his life. His undergraduate days,
his tour of duty in the U.S. Army, and his postgraduate studies were
all documented on film.
DeHart's first photography assignments came from schools in Deer Park and Pasadena, where he photographed many sporting events. In 1989, two of his teaching colleagues invited him to join the Executive and Professional Association of Houston (EPAH), where he immediately began taking photographs for the association newsletter. Before long, he was asked to photograph other LGBTQ events and fundraisers, especially for nonprofit groups dealing with the AIDS crisis. He was privileged to capture the faces of people suffering with AIDS as part of his work with local charitable groups. His calendar was soon filled with all kinds of assignments in and around Houston.
By 2004, when DeHart began using digital cameras, he had already shot 12,595 rolls of film, and over 10 thousand of which were from LGBTQ events. Sylvester Turner, the sixth Houston mayor that DeHart photographed, and former mayor Annise Parker were the subjects of hundreds of his photos.
His event photography has filled the pages of local publications including the Houston Voice, This Week in Texas, and OutSmart magazine, and in 2008 he was named Male Grand Marshal for Houston's Pride parade. DeHart's passion for preserving LGBTQ history through photography is what led him to establish the nonprofit Dalton DeHart Photographic Foundation in 2015. In 2021 he received the Montrose Center's Community Vision Award. And in 2022 he received the Pride in Business Community Legacy Award, from the Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. He hopes that people see through his images the passion he has for taking those photos.