Today marks a very sad day for the world of photography. It was announced in the New York Times that the great documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark passed away on Monday, at the age of 75.
Mary Ellen was my light of possibilities and a profound role model. I looked up to her in awe, and revered her work for it's compassion and creative mastery. When I had the opportunity to take a photography workshop through the Friends of Photography in Carmel in the late 1980's, I was so tongue-tied with her that I could barely introduce myself. The last morning of the workshop, she sat down next to me at the breakfast table and started a simple conversation. I was delighted!
Her work is breathtaking in it's scope and human in its substance. She's given our time and history an incredible window from which to view humanity from. It is with profound sadness that I write this post.
"I would die if I had to be confined. I don't want to feel that I'm missing out on experiencing as much as I can. For me, experiencing is knowing people all over the world and being able to photograph." Mary Ellen said this in an interview to the introduction to her book, "Passport". Again, I follow her lead, and would agree with every word.