I acquired my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic 104 (I still have it!), at the age of eight and vividly remember seeing my first photographs when they came back in the mail. I’ve been in love with the creation of images ever since.
My formal training in photography is from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where I earned a degree in underwater and commercial photography in 1976. My first jobs involved photography for a weekly newspaper and freelance work shooting portraits, and events around Rochester, NY.
I then returned to college at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where I focused on natural landscapes. I designed a photographic method to evaluate wildlife habitats and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies in 1981. After graduating, I was awarded a position funded by the National Science Foundation to document research in the Okefenokee Swamp for the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology.
In 1982, I was hired as a staff photographer for the College of Agriculture at the University of Georgia, Athens. This position entailed covering events, sports, faculty and administrators’ portraits, illustrating research and supplying images for marketing and student recruitment brochures and catalogs. I held this position until 1985, when I chose to move to Burlington for the quality of life Vermont offers.
I established my commercial photography studio, Jeff Clarke Photography, Inc., in Burlington and have been photographing people, places, and products ever since. My photographs are used for advertising, annual reports, product catalogs, public relations, and journalism.
In addition to commercial photography, I am an avid outdoor adventurer. I have a special love for backcountry, telemark skiing, skinning up mountain trails and skiing down through the trees in hidden glades. I also have seven years of experience on Sugarbush’s ski patrol. In the summer months, I enjoy hiking Vermont’s highest peaks and have climbed all 46 of the high peaks of New York’s Adirondacks. I have extensively toured northern Vermont and New York by bicycle, and, in 1985, I cycled across the United States, covering 5,000 miles in 10 weeks. Finally, I enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain and whitewater canoeing, as well as canoe camping. My cameras are hardy companions, accompanying me on all kinds of excursions.
I currently live in Burlington, Vermont with my wife Deborah and son Grayson, born in 2006.