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!
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.
“It’s not when you press the shutter, but why you press the shutter.”
The photography world lost a giant on May 25th of this year, when Mary Ellen Mark passed away. Born in 1940, she lived for 75 years on this planet and carved out a legacy that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The staggering amount of work she produced is impressive, but her legacy is not defined by the volume of her output. Couple the quantity with the quality of her images, and you have a model of consistency in photography. But even more impressive is who she shot and the passion she put into her craft.
The work of Mary Ellen Mark
Mark’s incredible career has been discussed in memorials and remembrances worldwide. And that’s because Mary Ellen Mark worked and touched people globally. Touched the lives of her subjects, and touched the lives of us, the viewers. She did this primarily with her photojournalism and documentary photography. She documented the lives of people that were on the fringe of society. Homeless teenagers, prostitutes, autistic children and mental patients, to name a few. Mark portrayed her subjects compassionately. Humanely. She earned their trust and did not betray it. This is easily seen in her photographs. Her work was gritty, real and emotional.
Exactly one year ago we wrote a post that went viral at the time. Since then it has been viewed more than 75000 times and commented on more than 50 times. This post is called “The 10 most Influential Active Street Photographers“. If you haven’t read it, we recommend you check it out and let us know what you think in the comments. In this post, we presented Street Photographers that we think are worth mentioning for 2 specific reasons. How influential they are and how active.
Influential: “having great influence on someone or something.”
Active: “engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits.”
A while back we published a post called “The 10 most Influential Active Street Photographers“ that was about the 10 Street Photographers that are still active and that influence the Street Photography world in one way or another. Some might inspire with their work, others with the expertise and others with their overall contribution. No matter how though, the important thing is that all the people listed in the post have something to offer to the Street Photography Community. Even though most of the comments we received were positive, we also had the odd troll here and there, one of the most common asked questions was why are there no ladies listed. At first we got this question asked on Social Media Networks and then our Readers asked us on our website. Well, the answer is that we never noticed until you told us. That means that during our research we didn’t choose to look only at the work of male Street Photographers, it just happens that male Street Photographers are more active. It is just something that is what it is. What I am trying to say is that we didn’t leave out the ladies deliberately. Those comments though sparked an interest in us. We searched the internet looking for a list of Lady Street Photographers but we couldn’t seem to find one. So, we thought that since we had been asked by our Readers to add more ladies in our “The 10 most Influential Active Street Photographers“, why not make a separate post with a list of Inspirational lady Street Photographers. So, we did our research and today StreetHunters.net presents you with “25 Inspirational Ladies of Street Photography”.