Collaborators Sometimes Make the Best Artists

By June 13, 2011Events

One of my favorite moments during the recent LOOK3 Festival was when Martin Bell and Mary Ellen Mark took the stage at the Paramount Theater to show Prom, a movie created by the tandem. Over the course of 4 years, they went to twelve high schools in ten cities, covering a wide range of ethnic and economic groups, and interviewed the teens about life as they perceived it. Martin oversaw the filmmaking while Mary Ellen Mark captured the stills for the book. But when you watch these engaging interviews, it was clear to me that this was a marriage of art.

Mary Ellen Mark talking about “Prom” with Martin Bell standing beside her. Nick Nichols also on stage.

I don’t know how many hours they spent discussing the project at its beginning stages, or how they blended their visions once filming began, but the movie is passionate, funny, touching, unique, and superbly crafted. In a way, it was an icon for LOOK3 itself — talented people working as collaborators to create something bigger than each could do individually.

Participating and helping to sponsor events like LOOK3 is important to Lowepro. Watching the next generation of photographers learn for those who have achieved success is exciting.

Then, bringing it home, if you’re feeling stuck in your creative work, consider partnering with another artist. Who knows… you may find yourself on a stage showing something as wonderful as Prom.

Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro and covered the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph as part of the Lowepro sponsorship.


About Derrick

Derrick Story is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and photography evangelist for Lowepro. He has authored several digital media books, including his latest, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers and The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly Media, publisher). Derrick is a Senior Contributor for Macworld magazine where he writes a digital photography column, and he's a regular presenter on the popular training site, Online, Derrick has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story ( that's open to all photography enthusiasts. The site features weekly podcasts, daily posts, training videos, and reader-submitted photos. You can reach Derrick at

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