Knoxville Catholic tennis star shines behind the lens

Local Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – With every ball that comes into his court, Knoxville Catholic graduating senior Davis Clem has a decision to make. Every serve he delivers is followed by a consequence. The fine details of his sport require him to be patient and to plan ahead.

“Before every point I mean, you just map it out in your head and you just make your own game plan based on your own game strategy and your strengths and weaknesses,” Clem said.

A similar strategy is used in his photography.

“I really just try to picture what I want to shoot before I go out and then just see how well I can capture my own vision,” he explained.

The all-state Tennis player has used that vision many at many pre-season team photoshoots, then again on Friday night in the fall where you can often find Clem nestled in the endzone at Blaine Stadium. As an athlete himself, he can relate to the pain and triumph athletes endure mid-game, he believes it helps capture their memories with a unique perspective.

“I know what, like how I would want to be photographed,” he explained. “And so I try to think about that when shooting other athletes, So I get every moment, every emotion making the athletes look good and I get their best, worst moments just to tell the best story.”

But arguably the best story Davis has captured in his young career wasn’t on a field or in his makeshift garage studio. No, instead that click of the shutter happened 2,000 miles away from Knoxville Catholics campus on a mission trip in Guatemala.

Gold Key Award Winning Photograph by Davis Clem

“The baby was just staring at me and it felt,” he recalled. “I felt obligated to take a picture of it. It was just so pretty in the moment, and I really tried to capture what I saw.”

The juxtaposition of bright colors in contrast with a dirt-smeared face and piercing eyes aimed directly at the camera earned Davis national recognition. His photograph was awarded a Gold Key in the arts.

“The Scholastic Art Awards program gives students throughout America the opportunity to broaden their creative horizons while earning local and national recognition. The objective is to foster the confidence of young artists and give them the opportunity to be recognized for their creative achievements.”

“Looking back at it, I had no idea that the picture would be as pretty as it turned out,” he explained.

There’s a similarity in the patience, preparation and at times even execution needed to perform well in Tennis and succeed in the Arts. But the feeling of accomplishment amongst the two is impossible to compare.

“It’s just apples and oranges,” Clem said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter