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Clara Sherman: My Kidding-Around-Make-Believe Daughter

Posted: April 17th, 2011 | Filed under: feature, friend, great face | 7 Comments »

This post is a bit more personal. Let me try to explain — Clara is the daughter of Lizette Tucker, my first wife. Clara’s dad is John Sherman, and he lives here in town. Lizette now lives, I think, in Seattle. Clara’s now 21, and she’s amazing. Three years ago, Lizette called me and asked me to shoot some pictures of Clara to document her 18th birthday. At that time, I’d never met Clara. So let’s just say, it was a bit interesting at my house — Lizette and Clara walked in, and even though, of course, she was not my daughter, it was a bit surreal to see a grown daughter of someone I’d been married to. Can we agree on that?

So fast forward to about two months ago, and I went to a dinner party at Michelle Myers’ home, and Lizette and Clara were there. Clara’s now 21. I guess it just hit me, “This is about as close to a child as I’ll ever have”. Weeks later, several of us were on the sidewalk in front of Fido, in Hillsboro Village, and Clara yelled my name, and came over and said hi. It was nice. All of us in the group commented on how radiant she looked, and there she was, with her entire life in front of her. Twenty-one years old, looking for a job, and getting her own apartment. It’s an exciting time for her.

So recently, I wrote to her and asked her if she’d be willing to be photographed for this project. I told her that the angle on the story was that she was my “almost daughter”. We laugh and kid around about it now.

Yeah, it’s still pretty surreal when I think about it, that I’d be old enough to have a grown child. I only recently feel mature enough to be given a license to have a child; only in the last few months.

(Image above): Clara in makeshift studio, with the flowers that Iris brought to my birthday party.

(Image above): In the back yard of my house, right at sunset.

(Image above): I’ve been looking at a lot of books on painters lately, and this was just an experiment to build contrast and see what happens. I’ll work more with this image later, and try to bust it up.

(Image above): Accidental flare into the lens, making a rainbow, but this picture expresses what I feel about her about as much as anything i shot that day. Love the colors across her face. Wish I could say that I planned it…

(Image above): I just liked how these two frames worked together. Feels like a book cover or something. Shot on B/W Polaroid in the old Graflex camera.

(Image above): Upstairs studio, at sundown, with the big Graflex camera and uncoated lens. Love the flare.

All photographs and content © 2011 Mark Tucker. All rights reserved.

7 Comments on “Clara Sherman: My Kidding-Around-Make-Believe Daughter”

  1. 1 Edie said at 2:41 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    So pure and heartfelt. Adore this.

  2. 2 Karen said at 6:27 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    How these touched my heart… The second to the last picture (B/W polaroid) reminds me of when I first knew Clara around age 10.Very sweet. She’s a good almost-daughter to have. You do lovely work!

  3. 3 tamara said at 7:24 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    Gorgeous. I love the double image and I can’t wait to see what more you could do with the etching looking image of her on white. It is beautiful just as it is but eager to see how far you will go

  4. 4 helen bransford said at 8:57 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    Clara looks beautiful. she always did but
    these pics are extraordinary . we love her
    very much.

  5. 5 David Bean said at 8:29 pm on June 8th, 2011:


    What beautiful story and amazing images. Seriously great on both fronts.

  6. 6 Danny Tucker said at 8:08 pm on August 9th, 2011:

    Lovely story and I really enjoyed the heartfelt photographs and images. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 7 Kay Denton said at 9:45 am on September 7th, 2011:

    Such wonderful images…my granddaughter turns 21 this November…from my many years photographing her I will try to have a few as endearing as yours of Clara.