Images from Mary Ellen Mark's newest book " Prom"
I was fortunate enough to see some of the prints that come from the Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera and can attest to how remarkable they are. The detail, tones and size of the print would get any photo nerd salivating. But Mary Ellen Mark being the photographer she is doesn't rely on the camera's detail alone to stun viewers. As she has so many times in her career she finds poetry in her subjects, the subtle expressions, the way they hold themselves, so that this project becomes so much more than just a celebration of an American rite of passage. It becomes a celebration of that brief moment in time where the world really is full of endless possibility.
Mary Ellen collaborated with renowned film maker ( and her husband) Martin Bell on this project. The way the two of them work together is completely in sync so his film becomes and natural progression of her images but neither the film nor the photos eclipse one another. I strongly recommend you watch the preview of the film here and be sure to check out the NYtimes slideshow particularly this image of Ashley which I think shows exactly what makes Mary Ellen Mark's photography so legendary.