Clay Enos refuses to be pigeonholed into any one category of photography. From a portrait session with Sting to a print campaign for Red Stag Bourbon or a spontaneous portrait on the street, Clay consistently captures moments that feel both real and transcendent. Always spontaneous and edgy, Clay's unique style shines through his commercial, editorial and personal photographs.
Clay proved his eye for portraits in his first large scale photography project, Streetstudio. Launched in 2000, Streetstudio involved shooting portraits of random passersby on the streets of New York. By bringing his studio to the street he gains access to the most remarkable faces in the city. This access combined with his sheer enthusiasm and friendly rapport, allowed Clay to create quiet, poignant, portraits of everyday people that reflect the myriad beauty and electric spirit of New York City.
Since the inception of Streetstudio, Clay has expanded the project to other cities that include London, Paris, Amsterdam, Black Rock City, Bangkok, and Berlin. To date, the Streetstudio collection contains well over twenty thousand portraits.
Clay enjoys the fast pace of shooting on the fly. His relaxed style allows him to be creative and resourceful with whatever he is shooting. His recent commercial clients include Red Stag Bourbon, Hudson Bay Company, and Warner Brothers. He has photographed over 50 popular celebrities Kid Rock and Robert Plant to Jon Hamm.
Clay knows his camera is an extension of himself. Rather than snapping shots from the sidelines, he fully engages his subjects. This interactive style is most evident in his gritty Night series. Shooting in bars and clubs, Clay discovers dark, sexy images of naughty nightlife. As is true for much of his work, these photographs would not have been possible if he were not an active participant on the scene. Clay's Night photographs are straight and un-cropped.
When Clay is not riding his bicycle on the streets of New York, he is roaming the globe discovering memorable photographs of far away places (49 countries so far). Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers has tapped him to document their innovative development projects worldwide. And Tom Ang featured his travel photography in Digital Photography Master Class published by DK. He speaks Spanish and French, has no problem traveling coach, and sleeps like a baby on airplanes.
In 2007, Director Zack Snyder hired Clay to document his film adaptation of Watchmen for Warner Brothers. That effort resulted in Watchmen Portraits, exclusively dedicated to 220 on-set Streetstudio-style portraits made during production. Covers of Entertainment Weekly and Empire Magazine have featured that work as well. In 2009, Clay returned to Snyder's team to document the filming of Sucker Punch and again in 2012 for Man of Steel and 300: Rise of an Empire.
Clay's most recent personal work had him going across the country on a Vespa to document the state of food production and the power of local economies. That project then spawned another Vespa trip through Central America to photograph the myriad aspects of coffee for his side project, the Organic Coffee Cartel.
The web is Clay's favorite vehicle to share his work which he displays generously through his online portfolios.
Clay has a BFA in Film, Photography and Visual Arts from Ithaca College. He has studied further with the VII photographers Jim Nachtwey, Gary Knight and Antonin Kratochvil.
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