Terry Clark Photography

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Then look no further. Terry Clark Photography is one of the most sought after photographers in the country. Having photographed three Presidents of the United States, kings, titans of industry, and business of all size and description, there is no assignment too small or too large.

Having traveled far and wide to create storytelling pictures for his clients, Terry Clark Photography has the experience and knowledge to pull together any project, domestic or International. If compelling images are most important to you and your client, working with our team will ensure the success of your project.

Call 412-491-7887 to speak with a team member about your next photo shoot.

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Filtering by Tag: photojournalism

My brush with a Kennedy

Central Michigan University, in Mt. Pleasant, MI, hosted the 1975 Special Olympics International Games. It was a huge deal. Special Olympics founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was attending the event. I had just graduated from high school and was already working at the local daily newspaper.

During the opening ceremonies, I was assigned to cover stage events and speeches while our other photographer, Dale Atkins, roamed for more exciting pictures. I didn't care. Being just weeks out of high school and already living my dream as a newspaper photographer so who was I to complain.

As expected, I got the typical politician at the mic picture. Over and over and over again. Everyone who was anyone came out for the games. Finally, it was Mrs. Shriver's turn at the podium. By this time the light was high in the sky and extremely harsh. She was my money shot, the one the editor wanted for page one. I had to get this right. So I trained my brand new Nikon Ftn and 200mm f/4 Nikkor on her face. The successful picture came when she pushed her hair off her right ear. Her arm formed the perfect side of a triangle and provided for a dynamic composition. The editor loved it and ran it huge on page one the next morning.

When I saw the paper, I was thrilled. Well, for an hour or so. Seemed Mrs. Shriver did not like the picture. In fact, she hated it so much she called a friend, the owner, and publisher of the newspaper chain, and demanded I be fired, effective immediately. How dare I portray her with such course, wrinkled and unflattering skin! Forget the fact she spent most of her time on a sailboat in the ocean!

Thankfully, the editor had my back, so I didn't get fired. But I wasn't allowed to photograph Mrs. Shriver at any time during the games. In fact, I was told to stay clear of her, as far away as possible. So for the rest of the most significant event in local history, I was all but sidelined.

Looking back at those events today I laugh. My career nearly ended all because I made an honest, straightforward picture of a powerful and influential person, and they didn't like how they appeared. It was the first, but wouldn't be the last time I stepped on toes as a photojournalist.


Eunice Kennedy Shriver speaking at the 1975 International Special Olympics opening ceremonies.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver speaking at the 1975 International Special Olympics opening ceremonies.

The Rescue

Throughout my newspaper career, I chased spot news – police action, fires, accidents, people doing a bad thing to other people. No matter when or where I had one ear to the police scanner. Most of the newspapers I worked at encouraged the practice. There's a reason why the old saying "if it bleeds it leads" is out there. At one time I had three scanners mounted in my car along with a car phone (pre-cell phone days), CB, and dock for the company's two-way radio. My cop friends would joke I had more antennas on my car than they had on theirs. It was true. 

One afternoon I was sitting around in the news office when an emergency call came across the scanner for a man who fell off a retaining wall. None of the other photographers wanted to go because it didn't sound that serious. I said I was going. Nothing else was happening so if it panned out as nothing, no significant loss but a few minutes drive. 

From a news perspective, it wasn't much. A man, who most likely had too much to drink, fell off a wall. What made it important was the intensity the rescuers worked to help this gentleman. As I stood on the wall from which he fell, the rescue squad below surrounded him to aid his rescue, in doing so they formed a perfect circle. 

Life is full of serendipitous moments, and this was one. As I looked down thru my Leica M3 and 90mm lens, I waited for the squad to begin lifting the man to the stretcher. In that brief moment, the composition formed. From my high angle, I could see the victim's face and his hand, reaching out, touching one of his rescuers. One frame it all came together, and in a blink of the eye, gone. 

In the darkroom, I did a significant amount of burning around the subjects. I wanted all the emphasis on the rescue, not on the rocks and brush where the man landed. On the original silver print, I used potassium ferricyanide to bleach the man's head bandage and face. As W. Eugene Smith once said in a Camera 35 (magazine) interview, "My prints are not dark, everything you need to see you see." 

The next day the newspaper displayed the picture prominently on the front page. It wasn't because of the news value. It was a minor event. But this picture captured something greater than the sum of its parts. In that brief moment, the photo became a display of love and selfless service to humanity. Even though you can only see the victim's face, the image is more about the rescuers.

The man who fell was banged up but not seriously injured. 
He made a full recovery.