I woke up this morning to find a note from osso in my inbox telling me that my hero, Mary Ellen Mark, had died.
Even if you didn't know her name, I have no doubt that you've seen her photographs. She turned her camera on everything and she showed us what it looked like -- to get old, to be homeless, to be poor, to be a prostitute in Bombay, to be famous, to go to prom, to be in a mental institution.
There are lots of photographers I admire and enjoy. They all showed me moments that I'll never otherwise see but she's the only one that showed me the lives I'll never lead.
If you're not familiar with her work I really urge you to visit http://www.maryellenmark.com/books/books.html.
Click on any book and go through the photos and see these other lives.
From her photo essay on the homeless Damm family for Life magazine
To her work with the the street kids of Seattle
To the rich and famous
She always showed me something I'd never seen before.
I'll miss her.