Clipping masks also operate through the use of black and white. By planning an image above another (needs to be black and white) and press layer, create clipping mask to make something a kin to a digital stencil.
When importing vector graphics like text from illustrator it is best to do this as a smart object because it allows the maintenance of the quality of the image. Once the smart object is in photoshop it can be altered in illustrator, once it is saved as its altered self the version in photoshop will change accordingly. To import a smart object you can simply copy and paste from an illustrator document or use the command 'place'.