Matt Silver – 2004 Award Recipient

One week with Andy Clark


When I wrote my Greg Clark proposal, I made sure to emphasize that I wanted to work with a wire service photographer because I’ve always been interested how they work for deadlines, filing and content compared to a city newspaper photographer. I also wanted to work with a photographer who covered both local and national stories.

During my four days in Vancouver before Christmas with Reuters photographer Andy Clark, my knowledge of photography, the business of the industry and the artistic side of taking photographs was expanded greatly.

Each day I met Andy at his Reuters office, which I nicknamed “the classroom.” Andy gave me daily photography tutorials, wire service procedures and a wealth of photo tips, tricks and techniques. Working with Andy was amazing because he’s the true professional. I studied some of his photos before I worked with him and when I inquired about specific photos and why he chose to shoot them the way he did, Andy was more than excited to show me. From his Persian Gulf War photos to his prime minister photos from the 1980s, we reviewed many of his best from over the last 25 years.

He also sent me on assignments throughout the week to take photographs and I would then return to the office and prepare the photos as if they were to be filed for Reuters. We also went driving around Vancouver for feature photos throughout the week since Andy did not have any scheduled assignments. One of our stops led us to Stanley Park, where we photographed the beautiful landscape.

Andy also invited me to a Christmas party during my stay in Vancouver, which included photographers from the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province and The Canadian Press. This was an excellent opportunity to network and talk to other photographers about their work.

Overall, this experience was unbelievable and being able to spend four days with one of Canada’s best photographers gave me an opportunity to learn from someone who has photographed everything. I feel that I am now a better photographer from my week shooting and learning from Andy.

I would like to thank Andy Clark for taking time out of his busy schedule to accommodate my internship. I would also like to thank everyone at the Canadian Journalism Foundation for making this work-experience happen. I will never forget my once-in-a-lifetime week working with Andy and all that he has done to further my knowledge of photography.