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Mary Ellen Mark has received international acclaim for her many books and exhibitions as well as her editorial magazine work. Mark’s portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, brothels in Bombay, and her award-winning essay on runaway children in Seattle have confirmed her place as one of America’s most significant and expressive documentary photographers. Mark is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and her work has been featured in LIFE, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. Her many honors include a Cornell Capa Award from the International Center of Photography, an Infinity Award for Journalism, a Guggenheim fellowship, the World Press Award for Outstanding Body of Work Throughout the Years; and the Matrix Award for Outstanding Woman in the field of Film/Photography.

Mary Ellen Mark’s first book, Passport (Lustrum Press, 1974).

An interview with Jennette Williams and Mary Ellen Mark

“I was just looking for pictures to talk to me, really, and there was a lot of excellent work. It was hard. I kept coming back to Jennette’s pictures, because I felt like it was so complete and unusual. I just felt she was ready for a book. Most people do one or the other: they’re either a fly on the wall or they’re a portraitist. I think the photographs in the book are a combination of portraits and seemingly caught moments. They work really well together. It took a long time to decide, it did, but I’m glad I picked her work. . . . I’ve never seen anything like it. . . . I’ve always thought of myself as more of a photographer who does books than as a photojournalist, definitely. It’s much more rewarding. A magazine, you throw away; a book, you keep.”

A full transcript of the interview


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