PhotograpHER diaries

Diane Arbus

As a female photographer myself, I also find inspiration in other women street photographers. I can connect somewhat emotionally and relate 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 installment, I will be discussing Diane Arbus. In the following weeks, I will be taking a look at photographers such as Vivian Maier, Helen Levitt, Susan Meiselas, Diana Markosian, Carolyn Drake and Bieke Depoorter. So stay tuned!

Introduction

Diane Arbus was an American photographer born on March 14, 1923, into a wealthy Jewish family that lived in New York City, NY. She had a hard and lonely childhood as her parents kept ignoring her and she found later love in her close and twisted relationship with her brother, poet Howard Nemerov. Because of the sterile environment in which she grew up, Arbus felt the need to break out and explore more of the unconventional and strangeness of the world.

She started her career photographing with her husband, Allan Arbus. She did fashion and advertising, making photos for prestigious magazines such as VOGUE. But since she didn’t feel that she could make her “creative voice” heard or have the identity that she desired as an artist, she left fashion and chose a different path in 1950.

Mary Ellen Mark photographer self portrait

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.