Mary Ellen Mark quotes

  • Finding the right subject is the hardest part.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Hardest #Subjects #Findings

  • Usually my ideas for work have revolved around my interest in people, especially people that live on the edges of society.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Ideas #People #Interest

  • I just think it's important to be direct and honest with people about why you're photographing them and what you're doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Thinking #People

  • It’s not when you press the shutter, but why you press the shutter.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Shutters

  • Photograph the world as it is. Nothing's more interesting than reality.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Reality #Interesting #World

  • Reality is always extraordinary.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Reality #Extraordinary

  • No, I don't think you're ever an objective observer. By making a frame you're being selective, then you edit the pictures you want published and you're being selective again. You develop a point of view that you want to express. You try to go into a situation with an open mind, but then you form an opinion, and you express it in your photographs.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Thinking #Views #Mind

  • The subject gives you the best idea of how to make a photograph. So I just wait for something to happen.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Ideas #Giving #Waiting

  • That's the way I learned photography: You make your picture in the camera. Now, so much is made in the computer. ... I'm not anti-digital, I just think, for me, film works better.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Thinking #Way

  • I'm interested in reality, and I'm interested in survival. I'm interested in people who aren't the lucky ones, who maybe have a tougher time surviving, and telling their story.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Reality #People #Survival

  • I’m just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven’t had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #People #Want #Break

  • I was fascinated by my own prom pictures.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Prom

  • Nowadays shots are created in post-production, on computers. It's not really photography.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Computer #Shots

  • One of my all-time favorite photographers is Irving Penn. I wish I could have watched him work.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Wish #Photographer #All Time

  • If I hadn't become a photographer, I would have loved to become a doctor. I would have loved to have done something that actually helped people and changed their lives.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Doctors #People #Done

  • Sometimes I work on film sets. I've done this for 40 years. I always wanted to photograph on the set of an Ingmar Bergman film. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Opportunity #Years #Done

  • When you're working on a film, it's almost like photographing paintings at a museum. You're photographing somebody else's world. I just try and interpret it and make it real, and make it what the actors are about, what the director is about, and what the film is about.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Real #Museums #Trying

  • The difficulty with color is to go beyond the fact that it's color ? to have it be not just a colorful picture but really be a picture about something. It's difficult. So often color gets caught up in color, and it becomes merly decorative. Some photographers use it brilliantly to make visual statements combining color and content; otherwise it is empty.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Color #Use

  • To touch on people's lives [ in a way they ] haven't been touched on before, it´s fascianting. You know, it's one thing if [ a celebrity ] has an incredible character and you're really going to be able to delve into their personality – that's great. But you can never get real purity if people have been spoiled by the camera and don't trust you. I like feeling that I'm able to be a voice for those people who aren't famous, the people that don't have the great opportunities.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Real #Character #Opportunity

  • I always wanted to photograph the universal subjects.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photograph #Wanted #Subjects

  • I think the prom is very serious also. It's an American ritual, it's a rite of passage, and it's very much a part of this country.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Country #Thinking #Serious

  • I respect newspapers, but the reality is that magazine 'photojournalism' is finished. They want illustrations, Photoshopped pictures of movie stars.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Stars #Reality #Illustration

  • Im just interested in what makes a photograph.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photograph

  • Learning how to use different formats has made me a better photographer. When I started working in medium format, it made me a better 35 mm photographer. When I started working in 4x5, it made me a better medium-format photographer.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Use #Different #Photographer

  • I'm a documentary photographer. That's what I've always wanted to be; that's where my heart and soul is.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Heart #Soul #Documentaries

  • It's just a matter of who you are and how you talk to people. Your subjects will trust you only if you're confident about what you're doing. It really bothers me when photographers first approach a subject without a camera, try to establish a personal relationship, and only then get out their cameras. It's deceptive. I think you should just show up with a camera, to make your intentions clear. People will either accept you or they won't.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Thinking #People #Trying

  • I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject. There's nothing much interesting to tell about me; what's interesting is the person I'm photographing, and that's what I try to show. [...] I think each photographer has a point of view and a way of looking at the world... that has to do with your subject matter and how you choose to present it. What's interesting is letting people tell you about themselves in the picture.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Thinking #Views

  • I want my photographs not only to be real but to portray the essence of my subjects also. In order to do that, you have to be patient.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Real #Order #Essence

  • I think you have to have a real point of view that's your own. You have to tell it your way. And, I think that it's a mistake to shoot for a specific magazine's point of view because it's never going to be as good. You have to shoot for yourself and photograph [ the way] you believe it..
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Real #Mistake #Believe

  • The obsessions we have are pretty much the same our whole lives. Mine are people, the human condition, life.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #People #Obsession #Human Condition

  • I work in colour sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white - I like the abstraction of it.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Black And White #Sometimes #Colour

  • I wanted to travel from the beginning. As a kid, I used to dream about airplanes, before I ever flew in one.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Dream #Airplane #Kids

  • I’m trying to please myself; certainly that’s a big criterion... though in a sense, I don’t take images just for myself. I take images that I think other people will want to see. I don’t take pictures to put in a box and hide them. I want as many people to see them as possible.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Thinking #People #Trying

  • Everyone asks me how I get my subjects to open up to me. There’s no formula to it. It’s just a matter of who you are and how you talk to people - of being yourself.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Being Yourself #People #Matter

  • There are some people who become best friends with everyone they photograph. There are people that I really like and admire and respect, but in a way I think it's better to keep a distance. I think you get better pictures of people that you don't know very well.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Distance #Thinking #People

  • I'm not against digital photography. It's great for newspapers. And there are photographers doing great work digitally. When they use Photoshop as a darkroom tool, that's fine, too. But at this point of my life, after so many years, I don't really want to change, and I still love film.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Years #Tools

  • A good print is really essential. I want to take strong documentary photographs that are as good technically as any of the best technical photographs, and as creative as any of the best fine-art photographs. [...] I don't want to just be a photo essayist; I'm more interested in single images...ones that I feel are good enough to stand on their own.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #Photography #Art #Strong

  • When I started out, it was considered very wrong to change an image. There were scandals if someone inserted a sky into a war picture or something. Now it's all about that.
    -- Mary Ellen Mark

    #War #Sky #Scandal

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