We had the good fortune of connecting with Tenley Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tenley, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
People assume that all we have to do for our job is take pictures, but far more of our job is spent on business tasks behind a computer than actually shooting. While creativity and talent is certainly important to a career as a photographer, you can’t really succeed without the business side so it’s important to focus just as much energy on learning that part of things if you want to get into this field.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of the biggest hurdles, other than fear of failure, that I have overcome as a photographer is not listening to my voice as an artist enough. I was criticized a lot by professors while getting my BA in Photography for the very things that now make me successful but I listened to them and changed the way I photographed. I was told I needed to be a wedding photographer to make money by a guest speaker so I listened to them and ended up wasting years doing something that I didn’t love. It wasn’t until about a half a decade into my career that I started to finally listen to my own voice and what I love as an artist. I truly wish I listened to it sooner but I am also grateful for the experiences I had doing other things as it has all shaped me into the artist I am now.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite places in Southern California are Disneyland of course, the Spectrum in Irvine (love the Hello Kitty Cafe!), and Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m so incredibly grateful for Click + Company. They took a chance on me and gave me my first speaking opportunity at their conference Click Away and then gave me the opportunity to do my first online course. They named me one of the top 100 female photographers to watch and awarded my images in their Voice Collection. I was also accepted into their professional association called Click Pro which has given me such a beautiful community of fellow artists to connect with. They believed in me before I did and that has since given me the confidence to go for and achieve more in my career.