Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment

The Photography Workshop Series

Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark. Authored by Mary Ellen Mark.

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In the fourth installment of The Photography Workshop Series, Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)—well known for the emotional power of her pictures, be they of people or animals—offers her insight on observing the world and capturing dramatic moments that reveal more than the reality at hand. Aperture Foundation works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches to, teachings on, and insights into photography—offering the workshop experience in a book. Our goal is to inspire photographers at all levels who wish to improve their work, as well as readers interested in deepening their understanding of the art of photography. Through words and pictures, in this volume Mark shares her own creative process and discusses a wide range of issues, from gaining the trust of the subject and taking pictures that are controlled but unforced, to organizing the frame so that every part contributes toward telling the story.

Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 128
Publication date: 2015-07-28
Measurements: 7.5 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches
ISBN: 9781597113168



As a reading experience, the books feel more like monographs with expansive captions than generic how-to guides.Eye Magazine

Offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at some of her iconic photographs, along with sage advice on making powerful, storytelling portraits.New York Journal of Books

The wealth of experience and wisdom—more than 50 years’ worth—distilled into these pages makes this book a worthwhile addition to any photographer’s library.New York Journal of Books

It is Mark’s blend of frank reminiscence and honest advice paired with her photos selected from over 50 years of photographing that makes this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Mark’s work and technique.PDN


Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark. Authored by Mary Ellen Mark.

Renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark’s (born in Philadelphia, 1940; died in New York, 2015) numerous honors and awards included a Fulbright Scholarship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Cornell Capa Award, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from George Eastman House. During her lifetime, her photo essays and portraits were exhibited worldwide and appeared in numerous publications, including Life, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the Academy Award–nominated film Streetwise, directed and photographed by her husband Martin Bell, and was published in book form in 1988. Mark published twenty-one books, including American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999), Twins (Aperture, 2003), Exposure (2005), Seen Behind the Scene (2009), Prom (2012), and Tiny: Streetwise Revisited (Aperture, 2015). In addition to producing her own work, Mark taught photography workshops for nearly thirty years; her thoughts on teaching are captured in one of her final titles, Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment (Aperture’s Photography Workshop Series, 2015).

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