Mary Ellen Mark (March 20, 1940 – May 25, 2015) made portraits of unfamiliar people and the well known in unfamiliar places. Her subjects exude self-possession and ease within their own skin. She said of her passion for street photography: “I just took a walk and started making contact with people and photographing them, and I thought: ‘I love this. This is what I want to do for ever.’”
Later, she added: “When it’s good and interesting it’s still that feeling of being on the street and wondering — God, I love this! — what’s going to happen next?”
“Much of life is luck. No one can choose whether he’s born into a wealthy, privileged home or born into extreme poverty. I guess I’m interested in people who haven’t had as much of a chance because they reach out more, they need more. They touch me. I do a lot of other work to support myself, but those kinds of projects are the reasons I became a photographer.”- Mary Ellen Mark, 1987 interview with Darkroom Magazine
Would you like to support Flashbak?
Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.