Photo by Michael Nichols

Photo by Michael Nichols


Presenter, 2008

“There’s nothing much interesting to tell about me; what’s interesting is the person I’m photographing, and that’s what I try to show. … I think each photographer has a point of view and a way of looking at the world… that has to do with your subject matter and how you choose to present it. What’s interesting is letting people tell you about themselves in the picture.” —Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark began photographing with a Brownie camera at age nine. In 1963 she was awarded a scholarship to the Annenberg School. From the moment she picked up an old Retina camera for her first school assignment, “I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be for the rest of my life.”

Mark’s images of our world’s diverse cultures are landmarks in the field of documentary photography, exhibited worldwide and published in over 16 books.

As in the academy award nominated film Streetwise, Mary Ellen has collaborated on her most recent book & exhibition project with her husband Martin Bell. Extraordinary Child features children at two specialized schools for the disabled in Reykjavik, and Bell’s film Alexander: Extraordinary Child, will be screened at LOOK3 in 2011.

Mary Ellen’s numerous awards include the ICP Cornell Capa Award, three NEA grants, the Robert F Kennedy Journalism Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Infinity Award for Journalism, five honorary doctorates, and a Walter Annenberg Grant for her book and exhibition project on America.