Mary Ellen Mark (March 20, 1940 – May 25, 2015) was an American photographer known for her photojournalism documentary photography,portraiture, and advertising photography. She photographed people who were “away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes”. Today, she is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. Her images of our world’s diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. A 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.
She has published eighteen books and Mark’s photographs have been exhibited worldwide. Her book, Exposure, is a large retrospective book published by Phaidon Press. It showcases 134 of Mary Ellen’s best images, including both iconic and previously unpublished images. Her most recent book Man and Beast features photographs from Mexico and India. Aside from her book and magazine work, Mark has photographed advertising campaigns among which are Barnes and Noble, British Levis, Coach Bags, Eileen Fisher, Hasselblad, Heineken, Keds, Mass Mutual, Nissan, and Patek Philippe.