Clay Patrick McBride – My career – “a series of small breaks and relentless perseverance.”

CreativeLive is very excited to introduce a new instructor to our platform. Clay Patrick McBride will be joining us in our Seattle studios to teach all of us some effective studio lighting techniques. We sat down with Clay and got a glimpse into his hugely successful career.

Clay Patrick McBride began his visual training in the South of France, where he spent his late teens and early twenties studying painting and art history. He eventually turned his focus to photography, moving to New York City at the beginning of the 1990s to attend the School of Visual Arts. While earning his BFA, McBride developed a bold style of portraiture intended to both celebrate and empower the subject with humor and honesty.

Kanye West

Clay’s mastery of studio lighting techniques has enabled him to create fantastic work. “Find the light, and you’ll find the photograph.” Learning different lighting techniques can help you develop your style, just like Clay has done since the 90s. Clay’s goal is to help everyone build up some confidence with lighting. It can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! “Lighting is like a martial art, practice your craft and watch yourself become the master.”

Juliette Lewis

Portrait photography has pulled on Clay’s interest, as it truly speaks to him. “I love people. A portrait is a small celebration of who that person is. I do my best to convey that.” Clay Patrick Mcbride is also Irish, and the Irish are storytellers! He works to tell the story of each subject in his photographs. If it’s Jay-Z, Lil Kim, or Kid Rock each have different stories and emotion that Clay conveys.

Jay Z

McBride’s portraits of top athletes and musicians such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Metallica, Norah Jones, Jay Z, and Kanye West have appeared in countless magazines, among them Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and NY Magazine. His commercial work includes dozens of album covers for Sony, Blue Note and Atlantic Records, as well as print campaigns for Pontiac, Boost Mobile, and Nike. Over the past few years, McBride has expanded into moving pictures with many short film projects and music videos. Characterized by a stark surrealist quality, his film work is an exciting and logical extension of his still photography. Current productions include The Incredible Exploding Boy, an autobiographical feature that explores father-son relationships, insanity, and addiction.

Kid Rock

In 2013, McBride earned his Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts, where he has taught for the past 10 years. McBride currently resides in NYC and Rochester N.Y. with his wife Sarah Keane and Italian mastiff Judy. He is now lending a hand to the next generation of photographers working as a professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky in my long career. I’ve fortunate to shoot many of the top artists and athletes in the world. But luck is what you make, the relationships in which you create along your life journey are essential. My career has been a series of small breaks and relentless perseverance.”

Check out Clay’s Studio Lighting Techniques classes!


Ted Livingston