Quotes by Mary Ellen Mark (Photographer/American).

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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
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Usually my ideas for work have revolved around my interest in people, especially people that live on the edges of society.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I respect newspapers, but the reality is that magazine 'photojournalism' is finished. They want illustrations, Photoshopped pictures of movie stars.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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In every successful still photographic project that I have completed, there has always been a turning point in the story where I felt that perhaps I was working on something that could be very special.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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As a kid, I used to dream about airplanes before I ever flew in one. I really knew, when I started photographing, I wanted it to be a way of knowing different cultures, not just in other countries but in this country, too, and I knew I wanted to enter other lives. I knew I wanted to be a voyeur.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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The obsessions we have are pretty much the same our whole lives. Mine are people, the human condition, life.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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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
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You don't need to retouch if you know how to light.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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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
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I was thinking about how fleeting and precious life is. Life is also arbitrary. For example, the choices that you make, the luck of being born into the right bed, to parents who support and help you and who love you. That doesn't always happen - and then, what happens when it doesn't?
• Mary Ellen Mark
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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
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It's good that everyone has an opportunity to take pictures, the chance to be a photographer. Some are good, too. But the bad thing is that it's very, very difficult to take a great picture. Everyone can take a good picture - even a child - but it's hard to make a great one.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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A lot of people who don't have anything collect dogs; it's kind of a symbol of having something.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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Every photograph is the photographer's opinion about something. It's how they feel about something: what they think is horrible, tragic, funny.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I remember the first time I went out on the street to shoot pictures. I was in downtown Philadelphia, and 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 forever.' There was never another question.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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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
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I'm most interested in finding the strangeness and irony in reality. That's my forte.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I realized all of the possibilities that could exist for me with my camera: all of the images that I could capture, all of the lives I could enter, all of the people I could meet and how much I could learn from them.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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Reality is always extraordinary.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I love to photograph people in their own environment. It offers clues to what's important in their lives.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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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
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I always think, 'What does this picture mean? What's the best place to put my camera? Do I have anything extra in the picture, things in the background that will distract? Am I in the basic position that will give the essential things for this picture but not too much?'
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I'm just interested in what makes a photograph.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I was something of a problem kid. I was emotional, wild, rebellious at school. I'm very touched by kids who don't have advantages; they are much more interesting than kids who have everything. They have a lot of passion and emotion, such a strong will.
• Mary Ellen Mark
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I don't like to photograph children as children. I like to see them as adults, as who they really are. I'm always looking for the side of who they might become.
• Mary Ellen Mark

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