Author Archives: Samantha Schatzman

Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark is a world-renowned photography who is today recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. She has photographed everything from brothels in Bombay to a long list of celebrities.¬†For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Her images of our world’s diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography.

The list of awards she has received it too long to fit on one page, and has added producer and book author to her resume as well.


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Artist Inspiration


An amazing photographer who inspires me is Eve Arnold. I was always captivated by a certain photo she took of Marilyn Monroe, and when I started researching her I was amazed by the portrait work she has done. Her portraits of Marilyn are breathtaking and capture her in a way different than any other photographs she took, which is difficult to do with someone who was photographed as often as Ms. Monroe.


There is no denying the power of eyes in Steve McCurry’s portraits. I have never seen work where the eyes are so piercing in so many photos. His work is striking and motivational to capture so much emotion and feeling in just the eyes.


An artist who isn’t afraid to take risks is Mary Ellen Mark. So many of her works carry the “who gives a damn” attitude but each evoke a completely different emotion. She pushes the envelope and creates amazing photos that are so unique and odd they could never be recreated.


Most everyone in Irving Penn’s portraits look slightly mad. I love it. There is a hint of insanity in a lot of his subject’s eyes. It takes a skillful person to bring out the madness of people on camera, and I am always extremely impressed when I see his work that he can bring out and capture the crazy and sometimes slightly creepy side of people.



Vik Muniz vs. Edward Burtynsky

The documentaries “Wasteland” and “Manufactured Landscapes” both deal with the same subject, but are different as night and day. Vik Muniz focused entirely on the people and their stories and how their lives intertwined into the landfill in “Wasteland,” whereas “Manufactured Landscapes” gave no background information of any workers, and often had no face with the voice that was on the screen. Muniz’s focus was the people, and what the world’s waste to doing to their lives, whether that meant holding them back or giving them a great life. Burtynsky focused on the actual waste itself, and the effect it had on the economy and landscape.

Project Proposal

Day and night. People change when the sun goes down. I’m not saying everyone is bipolar and has split personalities, but there is a noticeable change when daylight fades to night. There is a different energy in the air. Things can be creepier at night, more menacing. Sunshine brings new life, innocence, purity. I would love to explore the different worlds during the day as opposed to when the world is sleeping. It’s easily noticeable. Walking down the street alone during the day is a totally different experience than walking down the street alone at night. It’s easy to find yourself checking over your shoulder and suspecting every passerby a possible threat when walking alone at night. The street is no different than it was a couple hours before, but the mood, the energy, the life of the street itself has changed. I want to shoot different people and places during the day and again at night to see how they change. Daytime will be in full of color, while night time in black and white.