19 Jun The PhotograpHER addiction diaries – Mary Ellen Mark

Source: Street Hunters

As a female photographer myself, I also find inspiration in other women street photographers. I can connect somewhat emotionally and relate also as a woman not just as a photographer. I would like to share my ideas in this new series called PhotograpHER. This is a series where I will be talking about women photographers that inspire me and the ways that I connect with them. In this first installment, I will be discussing Mary Ellen Mark. In the following weeks, I will be discussing photographers such as: Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, Helen Levitt, Susan Meiselas, Diana Markosian, Carolyn Drake and Bieke Depoorter. So stay tuned!

Introduction

Mary Ellen Mark (http://www.maryellenmark.com/) (20 March – 20 May) is the first photographer I will be speaking about in my addiction diary, as I mentioned before.

Mary Ellen Mark was an American photographer well known for her photojournalism, her portraits, her commercial photography and of course, my favorite, her documentary photography. She documented prostitution and circuses in India, homelessness in the United States, mental institutionalization and orphanages, refugees camps in Ireland and much more.

Her work spans over almost five decades. The fact that she was active for so long, makes her work so much more interesting, as you can see in her photos how her style evolved throughout the years but also how the world has changed. In 1962 she got her degree in photojournalism and a BFA award. Her first book called “Passport” was published in 1974.

In 1977 she became a MAGNUM photographer for a period of 5 years, but decided to leave as she felt constrained. Mary Ellen Mark liked working on her own, not being part of any organisation and not copying other styles. She was self motivated, self driven and unique.

“If you can shoot

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