Al Clayton, a renowned Southern photographer whose work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, passed away over the weekend. He was best known for a series of photographs he took in the 1960s that chronicled hunger and poverty in the rural South. Clayton also famously collaborated with Southern civil rights and food historian John Egerton, providing images for his seminal book “Southern Food.”
I mostly knew him as the husband and sometimes collaborator of Mary Ann Clayton, the great food stylist with whom I sometimes worked in the late 1990s. He was the kind of person who could turn a minute-long phone conversation into a memorable moment.
And here’s a wonderful 2001 story from our archives that Mary Ann wrote about Al’s New Year’s Day greens and beans:
The other night, at a friend’s 60th birthday party, my husband, Al, and I met up with a couple we