Like many a proud papa, Desmond Clark found himself snapping tons of family photos when his twin girls were born six years ago. But somewhere along the way, the Chicago Bears tight end discovered his interest transcended just capturing precious moments.
Soon, Clark started experimenting with lighting and focus; he bought a serious Canon digital camera and enrolled in a photography class. Now, he’s a full-blown shutterbug. “I take my camera out wherever I go,” he says.
Not surprisingly, the longtime football player loves shooting sporting events. When a prescandal Tiger Woods competed in a golf tournament near his off-season home in Orlando, Clark followed him around with his camera. (Alas, he didn’t score any shots of Tiger hitting on Hooters waitresses.) Later this year, he’s hoping to shoot a Bulls game from the parquet floor of the United Center.
But Clark has an eye for more than just fellow jocks in action. His hard drive overflows with photos of everything from St. Peter’s Square in Rome to the Lincoln Monument in D.C.—the latter taken when the Bears were in town to play the Redskins. “I always say I’d like to do more sports photography. But then I find myself taking pictures of flowers and stuff like that,” he says with a laugh. A Desmond Clark original even graces the album cover of rapper PC Slim.
And while football and photography don’t appear to share much in common, Clark notes that both pursuits require a similar sense of vision. “My coach always tells me we have to have vision: If a team is lined up in a blitz look, vision is knowing what’s going to happen once they snap the ball,” he says. “It’s the same thing with snapping a photo: You have to visualize what the picture is going to look like before you take the shot.”