How I got started

Photo by Jon Lysons

When I was eleven years old my Father Charlie Clayton taught me how to see and appreciate images that were all around us in nature, on the street, in a tray of cutlery or in the faces of strangers. With overwhelming enthusiasm Dad saw, captured and presented images so others could enjoy their beauty and when an image didn’t present itself willingly he would hunt it down with keen eyes, persistence and patience until it was found. Father photographed nature while I found inspiration in documenting people.

In 1984 for the first time I combined travel, photography and portraiture and found my magical combination. I began taking what I call environmental portraits or photographs of people in their home or where they worked. Since those early days I have kept a journal and now include words and stories along with the pictures.

You are invited to look through my photo essays that have been in progress between 8 and 27 years and see for yourself the lives of subsistence farmers, hustlers and artists of Bolivia, The Gambia and Ghana.