Shoot the Breeze: John Clayton Lee

John Clayton Lee is a painter-turned-photographer living in Los Angeles. He seems to be able to capture just about anything with a subtle and measured eye. All of the formal qualities that make good photography are here. However, what separates Lee from other photographers isn’t just his craftsmanship. What stands out is his reverence for beauty itself and his uncanny ability to bring it right on out, from wherever he finds it, for all of us to see.  -Joe




1. Why do you take photos?
I began as a painter and then got into filmmaking in school. Making photographs has always been an outlet to always be observing and making something, pointing to something outside of myself. I’m into this feature, not only in making photos, but in other outlets of life like music and filmmaking.

2. Do you carry your camera with you everywhere you go?
Yes, I do for the most part.

3. What celebrity would you like to shoot most?
I always thought it would be cool to make images with Mark Gonzales.




4. What animal would you like to be, if not a human?
A lizard

5. What is your favorite smell?
The smells of the past

6. Would you like to live forever?
Not really tho

7. What do you think is the best photo you have ever taken to date?
This is a tough one, I always feel like my photo practice is a constant practice, not sure if one image is better than another.

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8. What’s your favorite pastime?
I like climbing on boulders outside these days, but I also love skateboarding.

9. Do you like having your photo taken?
Yeah it’s fun to be on the other side of the camera

10. Who are your favorite photographers, currently?
I’m super stoked on Javier Torok, Nicolas Wilkins, Alina Asmus, Lark Foord, Daniel Shea, Peter Sutherland, Jerry Hsu, and Alex Francois (whom runs has a great eye especially for curating photo work. I’m also always stoked on photographers I work with like Boone and Bailey Speed, and Chris Hornbecker.