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Clive Barber Photography



I have always enjoyed taking and looking at photographs. My father was an avid amateur photographer and had a darkroom in the home so I suppose the interest was initially encouraged by him. The first camera I remember using was probably in the mid 1960’s and might have been a Kodak Brownie Flashmite or something very similar. Throughout my school years I had a few cameras such as an Exakta, a Praktica and for a long time a Pentax Spotmatic SP500.

Becoming a professional photographer never seriously entered my mind until after I finished high school. Part of the reason was I didn’t have the confidence; I would look at magazine ads and think I wasn’t good enough. But one day I realized I wouldn’t know unless I tried and dedicated myself to learning the trade. I was accepted into the 'Photographic Arts' program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now called Ryerson University) in Toronto and studied there until 1981 when I accepted a full-time assistant job to an established commercial photographer in the city.

Commercial Work

After a few years of assisting I began seeking my own assignments and slowly began building a client base. I enjoyed working in the studio and for several years the majority of my work was studio based using a large format camera. My work came predominantly from advertising agencies and design houses. Over the years I was fortunate to shoot for a variety of clients including: Molson Brewery, Labatt Brewing Company, Coca Cola, Canada Dry, Cadbury Chocolates, Mitsubishi, Noxema and Cover Girl Make-up, Air Canada and Magna International. I considered myself a general commercial studio photographer, shooting a variety of different genres such as, product, room sets, people, food, corporate and packaging. Many of my images were reproduced in regional and national advertising campaigns for large corporations as well as brochures, packaging, POP, internal use, etc.

In the early 1990’s, I began seeking out location work and in particular industrial photography. It was not that long before I found myself traveling around North America and England photographing a range of subjects from people, product, interiors/exteriors to large machinery and production assembly line shots. This work tended to be reproduced in corporate Annual Reports.

Golf Course Photography

In 1995 an unexpected photography assignment referral came my way that would eventually lead me to specialize solely on golf course photography. To this day I am not certain why the advertising agency contacted me, especially since I knew very little about the sport and had not even played a round of golf. In any case, it was most fortuitous because the client was arguably Canada's most premier golf course at the time. I arrived at this beautiful, peaceful location just prior to sunrise, got in a golf cart and set off with the aim to create golf landscape photographs. It was a perfect fit for me. However, I quickly recognized that while I had years of photography experience and problem solving behind me, I was stepping into a new field. I did not fully appreciate the difference between a successful (commercial) golf image vs just a pretty golf image. That was something I had to learn very quickly and always keep it in mind.

Professional golf photography around that time and especially in Canada, was not very common. In the mid 90's golf's popularity was just beginning to really take off. It was the ideal time for me to enter the market at the ground level.

Over 20 plus years of shooting golf courses, my work has taken me across Canada, USA, the UK and Ireland photographing some of the world’s best golf destinations and loviest areas for a variety of clients including numerous golf clubs, golf architects, golf magazines, book publishers, advertising agencies etc, etc. To everyone I worked with, thank you!

Present Photography

After more than 35 years as an independent working photographer I am no longer accepting any commissions.

I am slowly returning to and discovering what it means to take pictures for myself. Something I admit I have forgotten how to do! This website is now a place to display personal photographs, but you can still find a selection of my golf course photography online here.