A legacy of storytelling: Q&A with Junebug Clark, ASMP lifetime member

June 11, 2015

Baptising in Olde Town Creek, by Joe Clark

Lifetime ASMP member Junebug Clark had big shoes to fill growing up. His father Joe Clark was an acclaimed photographer whose work appeared in Life, National Geographic and in Jack Daniel’s Distillery advertisements. By the age of 3 — yes, three! — Junebug got his first camera and began making photos. At the age of 6, he had his first photo published in Look magazine’s 20th anniversary issue. Since then, Junebug has made photos for the Marine Corps, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Federal Mogul Corporation, Eli Lilly and Company, Budweiser, Time, Life, Newsweek and National Geographic. Joe Clark died in December of 1989, leaving countless images and a legacy of visual storytelling. In 2011, a collection of 2 million Joe and Junebug Clark photos were donated to the University of North Texas libraries, where staff is curating, digitizing and archiving them.

We caught up with Junebug and asked him a few questions about his storied life.

ASMP Dallas: Your father was a great influence on you in terms of learning about photography. What’s the biggest lesson you learned from him that you still use in your work today?

Junebug: My father was 44 when I was born, which meant that when I was 21 and trying to change the world, my father was 65. That meant I got to see, at age 21 and living with a great photographer, what was important at age 65. What battles to fight. What battles to let go. Now that I’m 66 I’m realizing that having a 21-year-old willing to lug gear and pushing for what he thought was new, different and better, benefitted the 65 year old too.

Today, I’m a partner in the VisualMediaGroupllc.com  taking a leave of absence to work with photojournalism students at the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism and with The Clark Family Photography Collection that was donated to UNT. Now I’ve come full circle and am surrounded by 21-year-olds. I justify this as paying it back and paying it forward for having had a great career in photography. Plus, the work of Joe Clark, HBSS, is more important than anything I’ve accomplished, and here at the UNT Special Collections Library it is being housed, digitized and cared for in the manner that this collection deserves.

ASMP Dallas: Given that much of your work is documentary in nature, can you point to one or two assignments or situations that taught you something indelible about yourself or humankind? If not one assignment, then perhaps something that your career has taught you about people in general?

Junebug: I’ve learned that when it comes to making great pictures I am on the wrong side of the camera to do much good. It’s not about f/stops, shutter speed or ISO. It’s more about getting the right things to happen in front of your camera’s lens.The number one ingredient to making a great photograph is the relationship you have with your subject and the people around and behind the scenes. If you shoot strangers, you get strange pictures.

Today, virtually anyone with a smart phone or tablet has at his or her fingertips the potential to document and shine a light on events that might not otherwise be known — events that occur in our back yards as well as in war-torn countries thousands of miles away. Many of these events focus on social injustices. What thoughts or advice do you have for people who have this power?

Junebug: My father always kept his camera with him and I feel vulnerable if I leave home without my camera. I think the quality of these devices and the fact that people have smart phone photography in their pocket is wonderful.

Looking at this from a different angle: While going through my father’s 1940s scrapbook I found articles predicting gloom and doom for the professional photographer. I’ve experienced that message myself with the advent of the Polaroid camera, point and shoot cameras, one-hour photo labs, digital cameras, schools pumping out photo grads. In reality there are very few true photographers who know how to run or work in this profession. Photographers who know how to become a tool in their “clients’ toolbox,” and who can be consistently relied upon to produce images that solve a need or problem. In the long term, it is more about being a little bit better and a little bit different with each assignment. No surprises.

I worry that today’s photographers are not outputting reproduction quality hard copies of their images. A system of filing and retrieval of digital images is key to running a true long term business. You have to figure this out before it gets out of hand. It is about as important as developing your personal style and understanding the capabilities of your equipment.

 

"Mennonite mother and children looking out of their front door," by Junebug Clark

“Mennonite mother and children looking out of their front door,” by Junebug Clark

Exhibit Information

What: The Clark Family Photography Exhibition – Pictures That Tell a Story, an exhibition of photographs from Joe and Junebug Clark

Where: 109 N. Elm Street, Denton

When: Through July 22

Times: 9 a.m. – noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday -Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. Saturdays

Cost: Free

 

Photography Event Roundup February through March!

February 11, 2014

Fellow ASMP Dallas members: Here’s a list of a few upcoming events in the Dallas area through mid-March. Some are free, some have fees attached. Check them out – there’s something for everyone.

 

February 19

ASMP Dallas networking event at St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin in Dallas. 6 p.m. – we’ll buy you an appetizer. https://www.facebook.com/events/681674438551256/

 

February 27-March 1

Texas Photo Roundup! Okay, this one’s in Austin, but it’s hosted by our sister Austin/San Antonio ASMP chapter, ASMP members qualify for discounts on some events, and did we mention it’s in Austin? Some of the hands-on workshops are still open. http://www.texasphotoroundup.com/register

 

February 26-March 2

Sam Abell, Next Step 5-Day Workshop at The Spot Studio. This one is not inexpensive as our networking event, but Sam Abell is well known for his National Geographic work as well as his exhibits, books and workshops. http://spotstudio.com/reservations/sam-abell-next-step-5-day-workshop/

 

March 3

Sam Abell: The Life of a Photograph, at 6:30 p.m. at the Perot Museum, sponsored by Canon and Competitive Cameras. This event is free but you must reserve tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sam-abell-the-life-of-a-photograph-registration-10439463717

 

March 14-17

Southwest Photographers Association (SPA) holds its educational conference and trade show at the Arlington Convention Center. The trade show portion of this event is free. But the SPA is extending a special invitation to members of other organizations to attend the conference for the low price of $20. Visit www.swppa.com and download a free pass for the trade show or register online for the conference. Price goes up after March 1.

 

Texas Photo Roundup is around the corner!

January 13, 2014

Registration is open for the 2014 Texas Photo Roundup in Austin, Texas. Three great days of workshops, lectures, and parties. Check our calendar listing for information on logistics and registration. Because ASMP is one of the sponsors, members get a discount on some of the events, so check the website and register for what promises to be a great conference.

www.texasphotoroundup.com

January 2014 Board Meeting

January 8, 2014

Hello all,

 

We’ll have our monthly board meeting next week on Tuesday, January 14. See the the calendar for details on time and place. Members who aren’t on the board are welcome to come, but you must RSVP with Jason Janik or another board member. We’re working to update our website and soon we’ll have all our board members listed with contact information. In the meantime, if you’d like to get involved or come to the board meeting please send a message to Jason at jason@janikphoto.com.

 

New Year’s Message from Dallas Chapter President Jason Janik

January 7, 2014

Dear ASMP Dallas members:
     2013 was a busy year for our chapter.  We held happy hour networking events, brought in some high-powered guest speakers, held a fun year-end holiday party, and offered an amazing educational seminar sponsored by the ASMP Foundation Grant.  Sadly, we lost some wonderful North Texas photographers this last year, including two whom I personally knew and will surely miss.  The chapter finally overhauled our outdated website and will be spending the beginning of this year getting new information uploaded.  We also spent much of 2013 making the Dallas chapter Facebook page a hub for member interaction. Whether needing to find a last-minute assistant or plugging your gallery show, we had a lot of members posting, reading, and discussing photography!
     We’ve received some wonderful help from Bolt Productions and InMotion Studios, we’ve strengthened ties with other area industry groups, and we’ve tried very hard to maximize your membership value.  I think the Dallas chapter is very strong right now, but we can make it even better for 2014…with your help!  Our board is always looking for help, and we occasionally have a need to fill official board positions with new faces.  If you’d like to attend monthly board meetings, volunteer at events, or just share your ideas, please contact me at jason@janikphoto.com and tell me what you’re thinking!
     Let’s make 2014 a great year for professional photography!  Please make our monthly events a priority, come network, and help make a difference in our industry.  Check out our calendar for upcoming events, including our Town Hall meeting January 28.
Jason Janik
ASMP Dallas Chapter President

Email Scam Threatens Lawsuit

August 9, 2013

Members have begun to notice a new email scam that targets photographers. This one threatens a lawsuit!

Here’s the text:

March 20, 2010
Crosby & Higgins
350 Broadway, Suite 300
New York, NY 10013

To Whom It May Concern:

On the link bellow is a copy of the lawsuit that we filed against you in court on March 11, 2010. Currently the Pretrail Conference is scheduled for April 10th, 2010 at 9:30 A.M. in courtroom #33.

The case number is 3485934. The reason the lawsuit was filed was due to a completely inadequate response from your company for copyright infrigement that our client Daughters Of Columbus org. is a victim of Copyright infrigement http://www.daughtersofcolumbus.com/suit/complaint.doc

Daughters of Columbus has proof of multiple Copyright Law violations that they wish to present in court on April 10th, 2010.

Sincerely,

Mark R. Crosby
Crosby & Higgins LLP

Real lawsuits come to you by registered mail or in person — not in emails with misspelled words.

If you see this email, just treat it like any spam: Delete it and forget it.

-Pete Dyson
ASMP Director of Communications

A Sincere Thank You!

August 9, 2013

I would like to thank all of you for giving me the privilege to serve as President of ASMP, Dallas for the last two years. Over the last three years this chapter has seen an unprecedented increase in membership and I am proud to have served on the board that witnessed it at a time of economic hardship. We brought outstanding events to Dallas including Robb Kendrick at the DMA, Business of Photography at Bolt Studios, North Texas Women in Photography at the Women’s museum and most recently, Still to Video at the Angelika theater. Your support of my board made all the events possible and your participation at the events made it all worthwhile. Seeing all of you at the events told us that you liked what we were doing and to continue brainstorming for new ideas. I personally could not have done it alone and I want to thank all of the board members that have worked with me these last two years: Sam Bortnick, Rex Curry, Melody Hamilton, Dan Hatzenbuhler, Robert Hart, Jason Janik, Charley Mitcherson, Kate Mackley, Ben Moore, Mark Nelson, Andie Smith, Clayton Smith, Naomi Vaughn, and Donald Wristen. Ladies and gentlemen you are the best and it has been great working with you.

It is now time to step aside and hand the baton off to a new president, Jason Janik and I do so with the certainty that he and his new board will take ASMP Dallas to even greater heights. He has been in the area for some time and brings a wide array of experience to the position, He has assisted some of the area’s best photographers and is now an excellent photographer in his own right. To his credit he was the man behind last year’s very successful 30 X 30 Photography exhibit at the Kettle Gallery and arranged the pro photo demonstrations at Bolt Studios. I look forward to the upcoming year with Jason and his crew and what they have in store for us.

Again, thank you all for being there when we needed you and I look forward to seeing you all at future ASMP events.  Dallas ASMP photographers are quite frankly some of the best in the world and I cherish the fact that I am among your ranks.

Hillsman Jackson

Shane Kislack on how ASMP Dallas worked for him

August 9, 2013

Thank you ASMP!
I’ve only been a member of ASMP for a short time but it’s an association that pays dividends immediately.

Not only does ASMP provide photographers with peer-led education, it gives you a spotlight to put your work in front of potential clients.  That span of benefits is rarely seen in other professional organizations.

Recently I entered a contest for members of the Dallas local chapter to showcase new work and was blown away when I was not only accepted, but won.  Winning was the proverbial icing on the cake because the contest was judged by some great Dallas industry figures, the kind of people that can hire you.

And that’s exactly what happened!  Not only did I get three portfolio showings so far, I’ve actually shot two jobs that were direct results of ASMP and the Dallas member show.

Thank you ASMP Dallas.

Shane

Hillsman Jackson: 2010 reflections

August 9, 2013

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to reflect on the past year as president of your chapter. We have increased our membership and I believe that it is a direct reflection on the quality events we have presented. A big thanks to my board who worked ever so hard to produce some great shows. Everything from the 100-ppi pixel portfolio happy hours to the final party of the year was a success! We started the year with North Texas Women in Photography, which featured Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Allison V. Smith, Jean Ann Bybee, and Susan Kae Grant showing work and sharing stories about their lives in the very demanding world of photography.

Our chapter orchestrated a juried photo exhibit, which brought members to Dallas from Oklahoma and Arkansas. With the support of ASMP National we had a great panel discussion with two top photographers, Jonathon Chapman of Minneapolis and our own Stewart Cohen, talking about their transition from still photography to video. A big thanks to them and to the evening’s moderator, Richard Pruitt! We had great feedback on in some popular hands-on events that I hear will continue into the next year.

So, the programming for 2011 promises to be even better! Planned events include: a portfolio workshop, studio tours, and a workflow workshop. Robert Hart, our membership chair is working on an evening featuring Joe McNally. We also are planning to retool our website. If you have any ideas for programming, let us know. I also would like to extend an invitation to all members in outlying regions. Give us a ring whenever you are in town, and make plans to attend an event or a board meeting in the coming year. I know you will benefit from these programs and the networking opportunities.

Our chapter has grown in the last couple of years and we have not been alone. We have had help from some really great people such as Victoria Clary, Gary McCoy, and Julie Janik of Art Institute of Dallas. Frank Campagna’s Kettle Gallery was the perfect space for our 30X30 photography exhibit. Spook Bolt has opened his studio space up to us on more than one occasion, and without Randy Anderson sharing his studio space for our Christmas party, I doubt if it would have had its sparkle. John Dunne said it best: “No man is an island.” I would like to applaud all of the friends of ASMP Dallas for your vital role in our success.

As an endnote, I would also like to remember the passing of two really beautiful gentlemen who did a lot for ASMP Dallas: Charlie Freeman and Dan Hatzenbuehler. Both had very long careers here in Dallas and both touched so many lives, Charlie as an instructor at AI, Dallas, and Dan as an active member of the ASMP board until the end. Gentlemen, you were the best and we miss you.

I wish for all of us a very joyous and safe holiday season. Please remember those who are still serving the United States in our armed forces; they are out there for us. Here’s to the promise of continued success and growth in 2011!