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St. Lawrence College alumni and photographer Bernard Clarke poses with his cameraReady for his Close-Up: Photographer Bernard Clark on soaking up knowledge and getting through airports

You’ve been a photographer running your own business for 23 years. Was this your plan when you graduated?
The first 2 years were in Toronto and the rest I have been based in Kingston. Yes, this is what I have wanted to do since I entered the Fine Arts Program at SLC.

Your work runs the gamut—from corporate portraits to photographic art. What is your favourite kind of assignment? I have always enjoyed photographing personalities—people who have excelled in their fields. It’s usually magazines that give me the opportunity to do this. I’m a huge magazine lover so it’s satisfying to see my work in the pages.

What advice have you received that has stuck with you the most, and who gave it to you?
My dad’s advice has been to always work hard, and if it’s sounds too good to be true then it likely is. My parents have always encouraged me and my mom always collected my magazine spreads up to her death.

What subject did you wish you paid more attention to when you were in College?
This may sound odd but I tried to pay attention to every subject & teacher I had in college. My years in the Fine Arts Program were ones of soaking up as much knowledge as possible. I wish I had more business experience before I started mine, but you learn as you go along.

You travel a lot for your work. What’s your best piece of getting-through-airports advice?
Airports and travel aren’t as much fun as they used to be. Flights never seem to run on time so I try to make sure that my connecting flight isn’t too tight. My other advice is if you are based in the Kingston area and flying to the States, fly out of Syracuse Airport. The cost is much less and the drive down is nice unless it’s the winter months.

Excerpted from Voyageur Magazine