A camera has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother, (God bless her), was not gifted at capturing those cherished moments through film, as every photo typically included a thumb or a missing head. After much persuasion from others, she entrusted me to take over this role for her.
The moment she placed the camera in my hands, I experienced this unexplainable and profound joy. My life was different, yet I had no idea how this piece of equipment would become my canvas, lifeblood, and compass.
When I first began shooting, I remember fervently seeking advice and insight about making a successful career in this industry. In this pursuit, I once called William Albert Allard, a prominent National Geographic photographer, and asked a question that seemed to elude me in my work. How was he able to get such amazing photographs and break the barrier between photographer and subject..? He told me to just live the experience instead of just being an observer. This advice changed my outlook and basically helped to shape who I am as a photographer. That’s something you can’t teach in a classroom, it lies within the creator of images to live it out. I feel incredibly fortunate that this one piece of advice remained consistent in my mind to eventually endure in my heart. Since then I have done the following: Photographed two presidents, a knight , actors you’ve heard of.. musicians you haven’t..worn Miss America’s crown on my head....followed a circus...covered heartbreaking stories, photographed events , speeches, and traveled the world..but life was never meant to be lived behind the computer screen or solely behind the lens....
Photography is a journey which transcends the labels of hobby or a career . It is an experience inside this vignette and I’m so glad mom gave me her camera.
Allen Clark is a Nashville based professional photographer specializing in commercial, advertising and music photography. His portfolio is available on his website.