That's why my current work on the Indian circus is a relief because it's not about confronting something that is so terribly emotionally overwhelming and depressing, but is more about the magic and whimsy of the circus, and my love for India.
With Ethiopia I just went and took the photographs because they were there--they existed, and it was an incredible experience. After that I suggested another story, on drug addicts and junkies in London. For example, in two weeks I'm leaving for three months in India, and the idea of everything I have to do before I leave, and also of finally getting through customs with all my film and cameras, is overwhelming.
Each day was like a living soap opera. I stay in contact with many of the people I photograph for long periods of time.
It's just a question of finding my access, then making strong photographs. Usually you just fight to make your pictures work. I consider my longer documentary magazine assignments as grants that allow me to do the work I care about.
I don't do that. One thing I always hope for is that I have a photograph that is so powerful it can open the story, but then I want everything else to be very strong also.
There have been times when after a week I've called home and said, "God, this is a failure and I can't do it. Later, she published a book on the women of Ward 81 in As Mark explained in"I'm just interested in people on the edges.
It varies but I'm still constantly working on ideas. To help finance this trip I will do a series of black-and-white pictures in Jodhpur for Travel and Leisure magazine.
Are you aware of certain themes that you really like and repeat?
I think it's not. At the end of my life I want to look back at what I've done and say, "This hasn't been for nothing.
I also have an obsession with mental illness. I like color when it heightens the reality of the situation. If you want to be a hard-news photographer out there shooting every event you can probably support yourself, but you've got to be really willing to run very hard to do it.
Everyone I have photographed is different. After all, you are taking some of their soul. On big commercial assignments--advertising or work for film studios that requires complex lighting set-ups--I use more than one assistant.
That way when you see someone you want to photograph you can think about it and take pictures you feel are important. Kodak has sponsored my six-month project on the Indian circus.
Do you prefer to photograph in exotic places?
I just try to be honest with people--and they can make up their own minds about me. Well Ethiopia was extreme, but in a sense a prostitute's life isn't--it's very simple, day-to-day survival, and you find your extremes within that.
The content of pictures is what drives me. This is when Mark took the photograph that, in her eyes, solidified her fate as a photographer. Or should I do commercial work? When you talk to students who are seriously thinking about making photography their life, what are two or three really key things you say to them?
It is a method that increases the sense of spontaneity without any loss of technical perfection. Mary Ellen Mark is currently in the limelight with the publication of her new book American Odyssey Aperture There's the photo editor, who usually gives you the assignment, and the art director, who designs the layout.
If it's about famine in Ethiopia, it's about the human condition all over the world: She also works in medium format, and uses Hasselblad cameras usually with a 60mm lensand the Mamiya 7 with 65mm, 50mm, and 43mm lenses.
It wasn't a choice, it was just what I wanted to do. You've been described as both a documentary photographer and a photojournalist. When I first started, there were few female photographers, but now, happily, there are many more. So would you advise someone who's thinking about doing documentary photography that traveling is really a part of this life?
And too, the work is so intense, difficult, and exhausting that if you did it day after day to support yourself you would either collapse or burn out. She studied art history and inwhile attending the Annenberg School of Communication, made an impulsive decision to become a photographer after trying out a Leica.Mary Ellen Mark — a documentary photographer who, through her incredible enthusiasm, competitiveness and determination, influenced many of her contemporaries — had been sick for months.
Jun 08, · The love story of photographer Mary Ellen Mark and her muse, Tiny. Mark's photo essay became the foundation for a documentary, also called "Streetwise," expanding on the lives of.
Mary Ellen Mark has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and has published photo essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and Vanity.
Mary Ellen Mark frequently photographed people on the fringes of society. By training her camera on those who went unseen, she willed them to be just the opposite. Ina collection of these. The Photo Essay has 11 ratings and 0 reviews.
One of today's foremost photojournalists, with work in Life, Stern, and National Geographic, Mark has becom /5(11). The Photo Essay: Photography by Mary Ellen Mark, Smithsonian Institution Press, Mary Ellen Mark: Twenty Five Years, Bullfinch Press (in conjunction with George Eastman House/Kodak),Download