Prom by Mary Ellen Mark



The high school prom is one of the most important rituals in the lives of American young people, a rite of passage that many students look forward to for years. Mary Ellen Mark internationally recognized for her documentary photographs, took on the extraordinary challenge of working with the Polaroid 20x24 Land Camera, which was nearing the end of its production life at the early part of this centruy, to produce this fascinating look at dozens of young people from a diverse range of backgrounds on prom night.

Traveling across the United States between 2006 and 2009, Mark photographed prom-goers at thirteen schools from New York City to Houston to Los Angeles to make the 127 richly detailed portraits reproduced here. Mark's husband, the filmmaker Martin Bell, collaborated on the project to produce and direct a film, also titled Prom, featuring interviews with the students. A DVD of the film is included in the book.