American Teacher-Clint Smith

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Clint Smith

I wanted to capture a dynamic and emotive image.

So far with the photoshoots, I’ve gotten photos of the teachers I’m happy with but tending towards still, statue-like poses. Admittedly, that’s more my style.

But I wanted at least one photo where the energy of the subject was palpable. I wanted the subject to leap off the page. On paper, Clint Smith had the most potential for showing the energy.

Clint is very low key in person. But I knew that he has performed as a spoken artist and I couldn’t imagine that he’d be low key on stage. His demeanor reminded me of many athletes I’ve met; mellow, cool, laconic. Then you get them on the field and BAM! they’re off, overcranked dynamo.

And he delivered. After shooting the group shot, the students left for lunch and it was just Clint and me in the classroom. After some warm up photos to get him comfortable being in front of the camera, I described to him what I was looking for. Energetic, emotive, gestural body language instead of standing still. He understood. I asked him if there were any music I could play to help him get in the mood. He asked me if I had any Stevie Wonder. For the next twenty minutes, we blasted Stevie Wonder both him and I screaming at the top of our lungs, making a general goof of ourselves and having fun. In the end, Clint delivered exactly what I was looking for and I had some fantastic images to choose from.