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Daily Inspiration: Meet Mark Edward Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Edward Harris.

Hi Mark, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
After I graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BA in History then from California State University, Los Angeles with a Master of Arts Degree in Pictorial/Documentary History, I started my professional photography career doing the stills for the Merv Griffin Show and various television and movie companies. When the show ended, I set off on a four-month trek across the Pacific and throughout Southeast Asia, China and Japan to pursue my interest in travel and documentary photography.

Assignments have since taken me to more than 100 countries on all seven continents with my editorial work appearing in publications such as Vanity Fair, LIFE, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, GEO, Newsweek, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Hemispheres, AFAR, Wallpaper, Vogue, Architectural Digest, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The London Sunday Times Travel Magazine as well as all the major photography and in-flight magazines. My books include Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work, The Way of the Japanese Bath, Wanderlust, North Korea, South Korea, Inside Iran, The Travel Photo Essay: Describing A Journey Through Images and my latest, The People of the Forest, a book about orangutans. My photography has earned numerous awards including CLIO, ACE, World Sports Photography Gold Award, Impact DOCS Award of Excellence, Aurora Gold, and IPA awards.

I lead photography workshops around the globe and am a StellaPro Master of Light and a Think Tank Pro Team member.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The life of a freelancer is exciting but seldom easy. You constantly have to be thinking and planning ahead while living and working in the present. It’s vital to have long term personal projects to smooth out the rough road. My Japanese hot spring, North Korea and orangutan series that all lead to books are examples of these types of multi-year projects. I also study Mandarin and Japanese on a daily basis and practice Qi Gong for personal and professional development and to stay mentally and physically in shape.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Since my education was and still is focused on history, I use my photography to create photo essays on a variety of subjects that hopefully give more insight into the world we live in. While we do have way too much domestic and global conflict, I’m constantly aware of how similar we are in the big picture. Hopefully, this humanistic view of the world comes through in my images.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Great question. I definitely don’t define it in economic terms. I do feel a sense of success with my books, having them get out into the world and hopefully creating more awareness on a given subject.

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Image Credits
Mark Edward Harris

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