Clinton MacKinnon – Photographer

Here’s his website. Here’s my previous article on Clinton.

Here’s Clinton’s recent interview with Shutterbug magazine: Interview

His wife Kate: Interview

Part two: Interview

Clinton blogs:

I did a radio interview on the 8th of March, it was a lot of fun. We talked about wedding photography, our company, and the hand crafted approach we take with our wedding photography. When you listen to it the first people you will hear speaking is the host Jack Warren and his guest Stephen Burns. I come on after Stephen. He is worth giving a listen to as well. He does wonderful art work in Photoshop, authors books, and puts on some amazing photographic competitions in southern California. Here is the link. Shutterbug Magazine Radio Interview

Kate did a radio show today, she was marvelous and Fabulous to quote Billy Crystal. She was on the same radio program that I had been on a few weeks prior. We will have a link to the interview up as soon as its available. The host, Jack Warren, talked to her about what charities we work with, how we work with them, and how other photographers can do the same. I can’t say enough about what a good job she did, and how proud of her I am.

I call Kate Thursday morning, June 12, 2008.

Kate: "I do the strategic planning. The business behind the business."

"If you’re going to have a jack-ass boss, I’d rather be my own jack-ass boss. I like having the autonomy to do what I like. I like creating a company that exists for other purposes than generating money."

Luke: "You were on track to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry [from the Unversity of Alabama]. So what happened?"

Kate: "I was waiting for some data from my professor. I’d written 133 pages on my dissertation. I couldn’t write more until I had that data. Clinton got into the Brooks Institute for Photography. We had to move out here. A year after I was here, I finally got my data. I never got around to finishing it. I ended up getting my MBA from California Lutheran University where I’d worked for a couple of years."

Luke: "What are the joys and perils of working with your husband?"

Kate: "I get to work with my best friend. Sometimes we let the business in the way. Sometimes we put it first when we shouldn’t. Sometimes he wants to throttle me and I want to throttle him."

Luke: "Does this lead to physical violence?"

Kate: "No, no, no.

"Sometimes we’ll forget to take a break from the business. We don’t operate on an 8-5 schedule. We need to learn better how to take a break from it."

Luke: "What would you advise other couples who were thinking of working together?"

Kate: "Make sure you have a sense of humor. Make sure that you are best friends. I think that a lot of couples would know whether they are able to work together or not, deep down."

Luke: "The more time a couple can spend together, the better?"

Kate: "Yes. Clinton and I were friends for a long time before we were romantically involved."

I chat with Clinton.

Luke: "Are there certain people, even though they are attractive, they don’t photograph well? Why?"

Clinton: "Not everybody is comfortable in front of the camera. It’s what’s inside. It’s all about making people comfortable and bringing out who they are."

"I take photographs but I am not comfortable in front of the camera."

Luke: "Why?"

Clinton: "You’re exposed."

"On the wedding day, there’s enough stuff distracting the bride and groom that you can get around a lot of that. But family portraits… I assist a photographer in Los Angeles who shoots famous people and it takes them a while to warm up. People like Madonna have photographers they prefer to use because there’s probably a comfort level there. They bring out the best in them."

Luke: "What makes for a successful photography session?"

Clinton: "Making a connection with the people being photographed. Putting them at ease. Getting to know them. Getting a sense of how they see themselves. Some people are comfortable looking vulnerable and some aren’t. I talk to the people I’m photographing the entire time, asking questions, learning about them."

Luke: "What are the characteristics of somebody who photographs well?"

Clinton: "Confidence."

Luke: "What are the joys and sorrows of working with your spouse?"

Clinton: "Sometimes you spend too much time together."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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