PHOTOGRAPHER

IVAN MCCLELLAN | 8 SECS

Entre Indígenas- Who is Ivan McClellan?

Ivan- First and foremost I’m a father and a husband. I am a photographer and designer, I approach both disciplines from a place of curiosity and interest in understanding people, and what makes them tick.

I love learning other people’s stories and documenting them with my camera.

E- How and when did the love for photography come about?

I- When I lived in Kansas City for a brief time after leaving New York, my neighbor may or may not have been in the CIA, and taught me a ton about photography. He had a bunch of old cameras and let me borrow one to take on a trip to Istanbul with my then girlfriend at the time.

While there, experiencing a new city and new culture with so much life and color, I became hooked.

E- Why a tribute to the American Cowboy?

I- What’s more American than a cowboy?

The cowboy is an architype of our time, and I think it’s important to remember that cowboys are from all races and walks of life. The cowboy is as diverse as the country we live in.

E- What do you like to convey with your photos?

I- We are here. Soft, gentle, nurturing, happy, land owners, animal caretakers, eco warriors, we are here.

E- Whose work has influenced you most?

I- Gordon Parks

E- Which of all your photos is your favorite (attach)

I- Photo of Jazmen Marie, Miss Black Arizona USA in 2018

E- Where and how would you like to see yourself 10 years from
now?

I- I hope to be doing long term photo projects documenting Black culture and my relationship with it for the rest of my life. So much of what I do now.

My largest goals for the next decade though would be having published multiple photo books.

E- What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?

I- Constantly being reminded that we are all connected.

My camera has taken me all over the country and whether I’m talking with a bull rider in Texas, or a black farmer in Oregon, we all have shared experiences and stories.

No one is alone on this journey called life.

E- Your best quality and your worst defect:

I- Best quality: I have had enough experiences in my life that I can find something to relate to with anyone I meet.

Worst defect: I don’t believe in time, so I’m late to pretty much everything.

E- Describe yourself in three words:

I- Ruby + Ishmael’s dad.

E- A success and a failure.

I- Success: Sometimes I take photos that are in focus.

Failure: Sometimes I miss the shot entirely and it haunts me forever.

RECOMMENDATIONS

– A phrase: “The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.” – Gordon Parks

– A film: Bull, starring Rob Morgan

– A song: Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell

– A drink:  Rose lemonade

– A city:  Houston, Tx.

WHAT DOES IVAN PREFER?

  • Ten years in a coma / Ten years in jail
  • City life / Country life
  • Talking to animals / Talking to the dead
  • A good book / A good movie
  • Only being able to whisper / Only being able to scream
  • Lifetime free wifi / Lifetime free coffee
  • Singing in public / Dancing in public
  • To only eat salty / To only eat sweet
  • Waking up in a desert / In a boat in the middle of the Ocean
  • Knowing what you will die of / Knowing what day you will
  • Something organized / Something improvised
  • Music concert / Theater play
  • Visiting the past / Visiting the future
  • Being unable to see / Being unable to hear
  • Reality / Fiction
  • Never leaving your city / Not being able to return
  • Continuing with your life / Restarting your life 
  • Being submissive / Being dominant