Some may have a set of particular images in their heads when they think of the Hamptons, but Michael Clinton hopes to show a different side this summer.
The president of marketing and the publishing director of Hearst Magazines is about to release his seventh photography book, “The Hamptons.” The book, which hit shelves Monday, July 4, is the first in “The Snap Series,” which will chronicle Mr. Clinton’s trips all around the world. “The Hamptons” features more than 250 pages of photos and descriptions of eye-catching settings and events from Shinnecock to Montauk.
In a recent phone interview, Mr. Clinton said the book took a little more than a year to put together.
“I did a book last year called ‘Closer’ and it was the same format as this one,” he said. “I went all over the world and did detail shots in different places. So then I thought, ‘Why not do a book each for different special places?’”
As far as his choice of the Hamptons, he said he wanted to showcase the area in a different perspective.
“I wanted to capture the everyday Hamptons. There are many things that people don’t look for or look at because they always see the usual stuff, the fancy houses, the beaches, and so on. I wanted the photos to be something different so that everyone could relate to it. Not everyone can relate to the photos of big mansions.”
Mr. Clinton captures multiple elements of modern life in the Hamptons, whether it be a group kneeboarding session in Sag Harbor, the outdoor sculpture that welcomes visitors to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, or the Old Hook Windmill at the Home Sweet Home Museum in East Hampton. Mr. Clinton said his favorite place to take pictures was Water Mill, where he has a home.
“My house is on a farming reserve and the town is still very countrified. There’s big open space, lots of light, and it’s very uncrowded.”
Mr. Clinton said Amagansett proved to be a difficult area to shoot, though he admitted the blame was on him for the struggle.
“I’m not familiar with the back-roads of Amagansett, so there were so many parts of the area I didn’t know.”
He already has selected the next two destinations for “The Snap Series.” Santa Fe, New Mexico, and New Orleans, Louisiana, are on his agenda. Though that’s as far as he says he’s gotten.
“It’s probably going to take a couple of years to plan the trips and put everything together,” Mr. Clinton said.
Mr. Clinton originally started out as a reporter and—despite his day job of overseeing magazines such as Esquire, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar—he says his passion for photography has been going strong for the past 20 years.
“In my genre of work, you’re lucky to have a special kind of experience. I’ve flown over the Skeleton Coast in Namibia, which is a dazzling place to see with your own eyes. Whether you’re in the mountains of Bhutan or Madagascar, it’s all about capturing these once-in-a-lifetime moments.”
He refers to his style of photography for the book as “detail photography.” He explained that one incident taught him a lesson about taking pictures.
“I was standing on a glacier ice pack in Antarctica, and standing to the left of me was this abandoned wooden shed. I shot that and it eventually became the cover of my book ‘Global Remains.’ You can often miss the detail that’s often right in front of you, the pearl in the scene.”
One fine body…