“I strive to find and capture the poetry of everyday life in my work. What I love about portraiture in particular is finding shots that capture genuine emotion, a glimpse of character and the environment of the subject, as opposed to surface beauty and current trends.”
Gillian Smith-Clark was born and grew up in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, Canada. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both English and Psychology as well as additional technical education in photography and fine art.
Gillian is an accomplished photographic artist who specializes in creating exceptional images: her portraits reflect her love of the humanist photographers of the mid-20th century as well as the influence of photojournalism. Gillian’s more abstract pieces of work embody her ability to conceptualize subjects differently, her use of intense colour and a life long love of nature and wildlife.
Her photography career began in 1994 while engaged as the editor of Show Trail magazine, at the time one of the top five most read equestrian magazines in Canada. Her photographs frequently graced the magazine cover and appeared in other equine publications, brochures and educational materials. Her work at Show Trail enabled her to continue her technical education while acquiring a broad range of photographic experience. She studied the art and craft of photography with local Saskatchewan photographers and completed her studies at the New York Institute of Photography.
With marriage in 1999 to husband Dale Clark, Gillian pursued a full time photography career in the United States. Imagine Photography opened in 1999 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, offering portraiture, wedding and commercial services. Gillian quickly built a reputation for innovation, excellence in design and imagery, and personalized customer service. As Dale's work moved the couple around the globe, Gillian's career and camera traveled with them: from Leek, England, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to the Baltic country of Estonia, Chicago, Illinois and Chestertown, Maryland, finally arriving back in Canada to a new home in Cobourg, Ontario.
In 2004, following the birth or her first child, Gillian continued to work part-time and offered limited location portrait services as well as occasional workshops and a one-person show of her work in the Chestertown area. She published a full colour Children's book in 2005 with Teddy’s Girl: A Tail of Two Babies receiving attention from the Collie Club of America, resulting in a commission for her to provide images for their national Website.
In 2016 Gillian published the book Beautiful. The book features a series of striking portraits of Northumberland women and girls, spanning the ages from 8 days to 103 years. It is a collection of extraordinary depictions of ordinary women and a pushback against the narrow, popular ideal of beauty so often portrayed in the media and society today.
Today Gillian specializes in environmental portraits by commission, fine art prints and a range of freelance photographic services. You may view her work by appointment, or contact her at directly: or phone: 905.375.6441 for more information.