Successful Photographer Shares Experiences with Students
Famed photographer Clay Enos, who was brought to Wittenberg with the joint efforts of the Wittenberg department of art and department of communication, shared his career experiences with students from Wittenberg University last Tuesday in Bayley Auditorium. Enos described to his audience his art and how he has used and continues to use it to make a career using his own images and words.
“The world of photography gave me a focus,” Enos told his audience. “You see the world anew when holding a camera.”
With a PowerPoint display of his own images, Enos showed students how his work can be used to tell the stories of celebrities playing in blockbuster movies, and also how his work can be used to tell the stories of unassuming people he encountered in society.
“My work is quick and spontaneous,” said Enos. “I’ll take a photograph for anyone who asks.”
Enos has been to a total of 54 countries in his 44 years but plans on seeing more places in the near future. He has done work for Warner Bros. films such as “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch,” “Man of Steel,” and “300: Rise of an Empire.” Although Enos has photographed many celebrities and will continue to do so, he also enjoys photographing people he encounters on the street.
“The notion of being a celebrity is completely different versus the reality of real people frustrates me,” remarked Enos.
In addition to sharing the stories of how he obtains his subjects and where all he has been, Enos also shared his opinion of his craft and how he sees photography work in the world.
“I am continuously intrigued by the way a photograph can have a life of its own,” commented Enos. “A photograph can affect you. Photography is a constant conversation between a photographer and his subject and eventually between the audience of the photo. Images also talk to each other continuously.”
When describing how important photography is to him, Enos conversed about the pros and cons of being a photographer, and more specifically a portrait photographer.
“Photography gives me an excuse to travel,” said Enos. “I am enamored with the pure aesthetics of photography. It gives me an excuse to give images and subjects an aesthetic overlay. However, sometimes my profession could be called something in between a mosquito and a glorified yearbook photographer. There are also some people who believe that my camera is a weapon in some way, which is a strange and powerful feeling.”
Enos left the audience of Wittenberg students with some encouragement.
“The medium I work with is remarkably accessible and can be carried around in your pocket at all times, in the form of a cell phone. When I started out, I said to myself, ‘I have a camera and now I’m going to explore.’ You don’t have to go to a far away country or some place exotic to create good photographs and startling images. You could start with your next-door neighbor. My medium is very flexible and I like to exploit every part of that.”