Mary Ellen Mark was born on March 20, 1940 and died on May 25, 2015.
Her style of photography was portraits and documentaries. Almost all of her images were done in black and white.
The type of camera she used was a Canon EOS-IN with 24mm, 28mm and 35mm lenses. On occasion she used the Hasselblad X-Pan with its 30mm lens. Also the Mamiya 7 with the 43mm, 50mm, and 65mm lens. When working with 4x5 equipment she used Linhof with 120-135mm lenses. She claimed that each system does something different and she likes to switch it around.
A photographer that has had an affect on her is Cartier-Breason. She said he is a great photographer and she has collected some of his photographs.
Mark also liked the images of Kertész and Robert Frank. Their photographs were the first ones she looked at when she started photography.
People like Dorothy Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and Eugene Smith are a few photographers who have inspired her. She claimed they took powerful images and some of them became icons. She aspired to be like those photographers and she also said "They are very difficult images to make because you only have a certain amount of them in you that you can make in a lifetime. To me that is what great photography is about."
Mark attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her BFA degree in painting and art history. She then earned a Master’s Degree in photojournalism from the Annenberg School for Communication in 1964. The next year she received a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph in Turkey for a year.
Mark was known for touching upon very social issues over her career, such as; homelessness, loneliness, and drug addiction.
Mark was a contributor to magazines such as; Life the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair.
She has received many awards over her years. Some include; Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from the George Eastman House (2014), Outstanding Contribution Photography Award from the World Photography Organisation (2014), and The Phillipe Halsman Award for Photojournalism from the American Society of Magazine Photographers (1986)