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Profile

Here is a brief summary about me. If you would like to know more about me please read 'My Story'.

  • Non-award winning landscape, travel and architectural photographer.
  • Photographic Writer and Lecturer.
  • Represented by Getty Images.
  • Photographic tutor for Charlie Waite’s workshop company Light and Land
  • Known for writing extensively in UK photography press. Regular contributor to Digital Photographer, Digital Camera, Photography Monthly, Practical Photoshop, PhotoPlus, contributing location based and technique driven articles.
  • Travels extensively, has visited and photographed in over 34 countries with a growing hit list of many more.
  • Tries not to look at other successful peoples work in fear of losing personal identity.
  • Based in South Devon, England
David Clapp

My Story

David Clapp - Landscape Photographer

Well here I am again, website build No3. What do I do, sit here and write in the third person about how wonderful I am, or tell it like it is? Do I stretch the fabric, fill it full of gushing self flattery and try to convince you otherwise? Or do I once again stand in fear of professionally devaluing myself by explaining it like it is? You’ve read these pages before, but you’re far from shallow…. Here it is, a timeline and a tale of ridiculous slog, dubious self belief and air punching elation.

I grew up on a council estate in Exmouth, Devon. I went to school, had a few friends, pirated cassettes for my ZX Spectrum, built jumps out of old palettes, cried when I failed all my O’Levels and went to college somewhat bruised.  I bought an electric guitar to increase my chances as a predatory male from ‘non existent’ to ‘hopeful’ and discovered creative obsession. By 21 I was playing seven hours a day and scraping yet another academic qualification at polytechnic.

Then ten years went by. I just crashed into jobs and then bounced off them whilst trying to find someone to love. I composed ballads, dreamed and swam about in a pool of my own disillusion. Then, just before leaving it all to walk the earth, I met Rachel. Love blossomed, friendships strangely dissolved and memories blew around like park leaves. There I was, 31 years old, with nothing to actually do. It was then that I felt the fires of determination burning like never before. Fuck contracting, fuck everything, it was time to run my own working life, so I started to teach guitar, the only thing I was any good at.

David Clapp - Landscape Photographer

Three years after climbing a sharp learning curve, I was smiling. I had a very successful business, some disposable income and a new hobby called landscape photography, which I used to aid my flagging coastal walks. A stack of photo magazines grew by the bed, I bought a Canon T90 and every night Rach fell fast asleep, usually with me spouting on about f-stops and shutter speeds, in an attempt to decode technique. I asked a few local pros for some answers and just like you I fancied a charmed life, full of adventure and prestige. But how? Simple. Intuition tells you what you should do, but the heart is very good at avoiding it, filling you with fear and doubt. I locked the demons in a box, stopped clinging to things, took risks and worked harder than ever before. ‘Stop imagining what it would be like to do it and JUST DO IT.’

I bought a Canon 5D and it nearly financially crippled me. I regularly wandered Dartmoor in the rain. I walked the coast and every time I looked at a successful image I made myself DO SOMETHING WITH IT. ‘Go out, take photos, post process and get it out there’... I built selection CDs, they got rejected and my heart got stamped on again and again, but I kept going, disillusioned and clinging to faith. You have to try very hard with any artistic endeavour, but then again you could just sit there, grow older, feel hollow and guilt will eat you alive. Strike with a sharpened business acumen or join the cue of bleeding heart artists. Then seven months later, a break – I was published in two magazines in consecutive months and then after taking steps of initiative I wrote my first article. ‘What if it never happens again?’, I thought…’No surely not…’ (remember what I said about the heart?)

So here I am five years later sat in my home office; two computers, ten guitars, seven amps. It’s not altogether tidy, it has boxes, excessive wiring, but more in-trays than before. As usual I have run out of envelopes and the staplers need refilling but I am reaching the next phase. I have been semi / full time professional for nearly five years simply by successfully separating business from art. There are no sleek surfaces, no white blinds, but I do now write articles in airports and cramped airplane seats. I’m still a ‘non-award winning photographer’ despite my efforts; perhaps it’s meant to stay that way, who knows. I still pace around the room like an expectant father, taking a deep breath before making another call to push the business further. No staff, just a lazy house rabbit and a rescued racing pigeon to offer me advice.

If I can do it, you can do it…and if you listen to yourself, you’ll know exactly what to do.

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