Jay L. Clendenin joined the Los Angeles Times as a staff photographer in October 2007. Clendenin has focused his attention in Los Angeles on portraiture, but he has nearly 20 years of experience in photojournalism. A graduate of San Jose State University, with a degree in journalism, Clendenin started his first newspaper job at the Hartford (Conn.) Courant. After four years, he went on to pursue work as a freelancer in New York City and eventually in Washington, D.C. He spent nearly five years in the nation’s capital, documenting politics, taking portraits and chasing human-interest stories, all while maintaining a presence in the White House press pool, working primarily for the news magazines Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. A native of California who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, Clendenin greeted the opportunity to move to the warm beaches of the South Bay with open arms.