What is an Ian Clark anyway?

Ian started freelancing for his local paper back in 1975 and hasn’t had the sense to stop. These days, he shoots for editorial, stock and commercial users from his home in West Newbury, VT. Ian and his wife, Lee Sprecace Clark, have both been regular contributors to The Bridge Weekly Sho-Case, a weekly (circulation 12,000) out of Woodsville, NH for several years.

Ian has over 70,000 images of transportation stock from around the US, Canada and China. His focus is on railroads, with additional images of trucks, ships and aircraft. He is working on photographing all of the remaining steam locomotives in the US. In 2005, he traveled to Inner Mongolia to document the last all-steam locomotive driven railroad in the world. ImageState represents much of his transportation stock.

Ian’s career actually started out in photo labs. He spent 18 years owning or managing commercial labs around the US. Along the way, he processed something over 10,000 miles of film and something like 600 acres of photo paper. One of the labs he managed was for an obscure government agency in Virginia. Usually known only by its initials, NASA, they're best known for their grainy, high-contrast images that are just out of this world. In 1997, he decided he’d had enough of working in offices without lights and switched to shooting full time.

Ian's other interests include receiving a B.S. in Photo Finishing & Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and meeting Lee while in grad school at The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. His interest in railroads has prompted him to travel widely in North America, and he may be the only guy you hear from today that went to Inner Mongolia to watch trains – which was the last place on earth with an all-steam locomotive driven railroad. He also likes dogs.

Photography is a second career for Lee. She started out as a Russian language translator working, as they say, ‘for the government.’ For a time, she worked in our embassy in Moscow. She can’t say what she was up to over there, but Ian takes her at her word that it was merely coincidence that the Soviet Union collapsed shortly before she returned to the US.

Lee then earned an MS in photojournalism from the S.I. School of Public Communications at Syracuse University before taking an internship at the Daily News. It wasn’t long before the News hired her permanently as a Picture Editor. After leaving the News, Lee freelanced in New York, including for the Wall Street Journal and Editor & Publisher. She’s now exploring a third career; her interest in baking led her to King Arthur Flour. She now shoots part-time and takes on a few editing projects.

You can email Ian here or phone him at (802) 429-2477.