Real Life Connections: Willard Clay

The newest (ok, only the second) inductee to the Real Life Connections crew is the remarkable Will Clay, landscape photographer extraordinaire.

Big shout out to the fabulous Tom Vadnais for this shot.

Willard gave a seminar here in Atlanta last weekend through the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and it was oh so juicy. I say juicy because it was so full of inspiration and insight that you can’t possibly swallow it all in one sitting. It’s been almost a week since and I still haven’t absorbed everything he put into his presentation.

I’ve only been partaking of photography seminars and talks over the last year or so and, while they’ve all been helpful and inspirational on one level or another, I have to say…I love Willard. Anyone with that combination of talent and genuine, approachable likability automatically qualifies for the completely uncoveted Val in Real Life Seal of Approval.

His deconstruction of composition and light make me want to do nothing more than spend all my days exploring the possibilities of this medium. His work makes me want to throw out all I’ve done (or tried to do anyway) and start over as his apprentice. His career path makes clear the possibility of changing direction in mid-life. His Willardness makes me want to buy him a beer…or coffee…or whatever floats his boat.

So Willard, thank you for stoking the flames of my creativity. I promise I’ll photograph like I mean it.

PS – One of the gems of GNPA, the incomparable Tom Vadnais, was so kind as to grab this shot of Will Clay and me. Thanks Tom!

And now for you moment of green…

Clearing Storm
It takes a dynamic personality like Willard Clay to help you realize how much further you still have to go without making you feel like you'll never get there.


  1. The writer is certainly correct: Willard Clay’s talent is extraordinary.

    1. He is. Wonderful photographer and friend. 🙂

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