© Mary Ellen Mark - The Damm Family in Their Car, Los Angeles, California, USA 1987. 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.
American photographer Mary Ellen Mark, who is well known for her documentary photography and striking portraiture, is set to receive the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography award.
Mary Ellen Mark, who works primarily in black & white, is now recognised as one of the world’s most influential photographers and her work has become the benchmark for excellence in the field of documentary photography. She began her career, which spans four decades, as a freelance photographer where she often found herself working on film sets.
Talking about the award Mary Ellen said: "I feel very grateful to have received the Sony World Photography Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography accolade. I follow a list of very prestigious people – they are among my favourite photographers."
© Mary Ellen Mark - ''Rat’ and Mike with a Gun, Seattle, Washington, 1983'. 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.
Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation, said: "Mary Ellen equates nothing short of excellence and we are honoured to present this award to her. Having spoken to dozens of her peers and critics, it is clear that Mary Ellen has made a permanent mark on our industry. She is fiercely committed and consistent in her work and is bound to show us a great deal more in the coming years."
Mary Ellen Mark will collect her award at the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on Wednesday 30 April 2014.
A special retrospective of Mark's work will be shown at Somerset House from 1-18 May as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. A further selection of images will be published in the 2014 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards winners' book.
Alongside Mark's work in the exhibition, the winning and shortlisted photographers of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards will also be on display, as well as two exclusive new bodies of work, commissioned by Sony for their new Global Imaging Ambassadors programme.
For more information, visit the WPO