All About Photo Awards 2019

Marna Clarke

American Photographer
A black and white Kodak advertisement caught my attention. The simple image of a cityscape with a teenage boy leaning against a wall plastered with faded, torn posters portrayed an honest and oddly poignant moment.

It was 1972. I was living in New York City, married with two small sons. Inspired by the ad, I started carrying a point and shoot camera and capturing whatever struck me as memorable or unsettling. I soon bought a 35mm SLR camera and began educating myself with classes and exhibitions. At night I would transform my kitchen into a darkroom and stay up late watching the chemicals turn my observations into silver images. After moving with my family to Hartford, Connecticut, I built a legitimate darkroom in the basement of my house. In 1981, I began working professionally with a focus on portraiture, weddings and events. Color landscapes I had done in Europe and America landed me magazine work and eventually architecture/interior design documentation and advertising. I continued to pursue my own projects, receiving a Connecticut Individual Artist's Grant in 1987 for experimentation in B&W portraiture. I taught at the Hartford Art School for a couple of years as an adjunct instructor.

In 1992 I stopped photographing, sold all my equipment and most of my possessions, and traveled. I had become certified to teach English as a Second Language and wanted employment in Europe. Instead I ended up in an ashram in India teaching English and learning meditation. I moved to California in 1996, and in 2005 began again to capture the world both within and around me. I had met a man who invited me to live with him, had gifted me a digital camera and told me to get back to work. I'm still with this man and still photographing.
Marna Clarke
Marna Clarke
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