Michigan-based amateur photographer Anthony Clark reflects on a deeply personal self-portrait
I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, but travelled extensively in the US and Canada since I was a kid. My job is mundane, uninteresting, and unimportant. It pays the bills. I’m also a private pilot of both single engine aeroplanes and gliders. I got interested in flying from my dad when I was three years old.
I first became interested in photography during my travels with my grandparents. We photographed everywhere we went with a Kodak Instamatic. I made my own pinhole camera with plans in the Free Stuff for Kids book in the ’70s, then my uncle gave me his old Minolta when he upgraded. He taught me almost everything I know about photography, and we went on a lot of adventures together.
‘This one photo is so much of who I am’
Through the years, photography has been my release. My escape. My way of expressing my joy, sorrow, amazement, and frustration with life. I love capturing the simple beauty that exists all around us all the time that most people overlook. My favourite theme is what I call ‘unexpected beauty’; unbelievable beauty that exists in the most unexpected places and situations.
I’ve always loved the rain. Nature refreshing itself. Rain has always held an emotional connection for me. The idea that it’s going to wash away my burdens or bring hope to a situation I’ve felt trapped in. The whole experience heightens all my senses and emotions.
The visual and the auditory have always been closely linked for me. I quite often start hearing a song as I’m shooting a photo. So it was with Rain on Me. I had just returned from my cousin’s high school graduation with my aunt and uncle, and a gentle rain began to fall as we got out of the car. Cyndi Lauper’s beautiful song Rain on Me began to play in my head as I set up my camera, and my mind raced back to my own high school graduation so many years before. All my hopes and dreams and what had become of them. How my life had gone astray. I let the rain wash over me, its calming effect bringing peace and clarity. This one photo is so much of who I am.
My photography is for me and a few I choose to share it with. I’ve done very few shoots for money and only when I felt a connection to the people I was working with. The only place I have my photos displayed for the public is my Flickr page.
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