Sally Mann – Photographer

Sally Mann (2007) by Michelle Hood

Sally Mann (1951- ) An American photographer.  Mann’s style of photography is reminisent of early photogrpahers work from the the early 1900s.


Mann’s work are mostly B&W photography using large format negatives with a plate camera and bellows, she has published some colour photographs, but far fewer. Mann’s photographic subjects have caused controversy over the years because of the subject matter she has chosen.

‘At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women’ (1988) was a series of photographs

Untitled (1998) from the series At Twelve

of girls that had reached the age of 12 years old.  Mann was trying to capture the changes in families as the girls are wanting more independence but the family still wanting to hang onto their little girls, and wanting to protect the girls’ youth and innocence.


Mann exhibited a series of photographs of her family and children at home and at play, living their family life, ‘Immediate Family’ (1992), .  Some of the photographs contained innocent nude pictures of her children.  For this Mann was accused of shooting

Vinland (1992) from the series Immediate Family.

inappropriate child pornography photographs, although she has never been arrested for these images.


A fellow American photographer Jock Sturges he was also known for contraversial photographs of young nudes was arrested in 1990 for pictures claimed to be child pornography.

Body Farm (2000-2001)

An exhibition entitled ‘What Remains’ (2003) contained photographs of dead and decaying bodies, which again offended some of her critics.


‘Proud Flesh’, (2009) Photographs of her husband suffering over 6 years from muscular dystrophy.

More traditional subjects have been landscape work in the American

from the series Deep South

South. These images taken with the large format camera have a mystical quality of light.  Some effects have been applied to the images in the darkroom such as washes or splashes of developer to give another dimension to the photgraphs.




sally-mann-portrait6.jpg (1155×768)

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from the series Immediate Family (Guardian Newspaper article, 2010) (extract from documentary)

The Art of Photography YouTube short about Sally Mann


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