Clarence H. White was born in West Carlisle, Ohio, in 1871. A member of the the Camera Club White joined with Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Gertrude Kasebier to form the Photosecession Group.
White became increasingly interested in teaching photography as an art and in 1914 established his own school in Maine, and later one in New York. During this period he taught two of the most significant photographers of the 20th century, Margaret Bourke-White and Dorothea Lange.
Clarence White died in Mexico City in 1925.