Michael Clinton is President, Marketing and Publishing Director for Hearst Magazines. His responsibilities include oversight of 20 publications including Harper’s Bazaar, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and Esquire. Clinton also serves on the Board of the Hearst Corporation and is Chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America.
A Trustee of the International Center of Photography, Clinton is also a photographer in his own right. The author of six books with Glitterati Incorporated, Clinton trains his lens on the people, places, and things found around the globe today. His first book, Wanderlust: One Hundred Countries, A Personal Journey (2004) was received to critical acclaim and commercial success.
Since then, Clinton has delved into his archives to monographs titles including American Portraits: 100 Countries, Global Faces: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents, Global Remains: Abandoned Architecture and Objects from 7 Continents, Global Snaps: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents, The Globetrotter Diaries: Tales, Tips, and Tactics for Traveling the 7 Continents, and the limited edition of Wanderlust, which includes a cloth box with a signed and numbered print.
Clinton recounts his path to becoming a prolific and celebrated author over this past decade, as he prepares for his seventh book with Glitterati, set for publication in 2015. Clinton recalls, “I first met Marta Hallett through Jackie Lividini, who was then a senior executive at Saks Fifth Avenue and a great supporter of my photography. Jackie said, ‘You should do a book and we’ll launch it at Saks!’
“I told her that was a great offer, but I didn’t know anyone in book publishing. Jackie said she would put me in touch with Marta Hallett at Glitterati Incorporated. We sat down to discuss the concept for my first book, Wanderlust: One Hundred Countries, A Personal Journey.” Clinton and Hallett are now working on their seventh collaboration, set for publication in Spring 2015.
Clinton reveals, “I have a busy day job working as a magazine publishing executive. There’s always the big challenge of working on my books during the evenings, weekends, and on vacations. Becoming an author has made me really efficient with my time.
“When you produce a book it creates a legacy for family, friends, and colleagues who can share in all of my experiences. Also, when the word gets out that you are publishing a book, you get the opportunity to reconnect with old friends who come together once again.
“I love being an author with a small, independent book publisher. Glitterati provides high touch, high level wisdom, guidance, and direction, which really makes all the difference in the quality of the books.
“Wanderlust, my first book, was a bestseller in the photography genre. It was named one of the best books of the year by American Photo and was selected by the New York Times for their holiday book round-up. These things were a big surprise. You hope for it way in the back of your mind but you don’t expect it. It’s great to see such a positive response from people to the work.
“When you find you have a passion for something you feel lucky. You want to have more of it. Marta Hallett has been very supportive over the years. She shares this passion for books.”
And the results speak for themselves. Perusing the pages of Clinton’s various books, one is struck by both the vastness of the world and Clinton’s dedication to documenting it. His passion for travel and photography converge in these book as a personal path that was set in motion so many years ago. Clinton takes us back to where it all began in the introduction to Wanderlust.
He recalls, “It all started with my first overseas trip to Ireland and England at the age of twelve… I have been roaming the world ever since. How I came to take that trip was the result of a family reunion, and little did I know that it would lead me to a lifetime passion for travelling and its lingering images. Nor did I know that it would be my own personal road to self-discovery.
“As a child growing up in a working class family I Pennsylvania, I would sooner have envisioned visiting another planet than visiting another country. There were six children in our family, of whom I was the eldest, and going to the lake an hour away was about as far as the family budget would stretch.
“So when my father’s brother and his wife, Janet, who lived in their native New York City took a trip that prior year to visit the birthplace of my grandfather in County Monaghan, Ireland, it stirred a curiosity that my eleven-year-old self would never forget…”
“Travel can open one up in ways that you never knew possible. It allows you to explore the core of your inner soul, to challenge your own beliefs, relationships, and spirituality, and to discover new directions to experience….
“Travel also brings out emotions and behaviors in expected and unexpected ways. I’ve wept at the sheer beauty of the late afternoon light descending on the Serengeti, the silence only interrupted by an occasional hyena or cheetah, laughed with merchants in the bazaars of Istanbul and Marrakech, as we have haggled with each other for our price…and more often than not, I have found myself buying more. Like the time I agreed to buy four Turkish rugs from one merchant who convinced me I was making a great investment and could sell them for double in New York. Well, like my photographs, the four rugs are proudly displayed in my New York home, along with Thanka boxes from Tibet, wooden figurines from Djakarta and ceremonial masks from Tanzania. Each one of these items has a story that conjures up a memory, and like a photograph, transports me back to a particular moment….
“Travel and photography have become my own personal answer to a lifelong search for knowledge and understanding, and it has been my key to the inner calm and happiness we all search for in our lives. Hopefully my photographs will show you how I’ve been able to satisfy my own life’s quest, and allow you to think about your own, thinking of those ideas you tucked away many years ago, or have just rediscovered, or are developing now.
“Whatever those dreams, go in search of your own Wanderlust.”