Mark Seliger (American, 1959)
Mark Seliger was born in Amarillo, Texas, where he lived with his parents, Maurice and Carol Lee, and his two older brothers and younger sister, until 1964, when they moved to Houston.
Seliger’s early interest in photography began when his brother Frank promised to give him his Diana camera if he got a base hit in Little League. He didn’t get the hit, but he got on base (by getting a walk for getting hit in the shoulder with the ball), and the camera was his. His first love quickly became the darkroom where he began experimenting with printing and developing in the family’s bathroom.
He attended Houston’s High School for Performing & Visual Arts and, from there, went on to attend East Texas State University, where his education began in earnest, as he studied the history of documentary photography. He moved to New York City in 1984. In 1987, he began shooting small assignments for Rolling Stone. He was signed as their Chief Photographer in 1992. During his time at Rolling Stone, Seliger shot over 125 covers and began a long-term collaborative relationship with Design Director, Fred Woodward, which continues to this day. They have co-directed numerous music videos for artists such as Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, and Elvis Costello.
In 2002, Seliger moved from Rolling Stone to Condé Nast, where he is currently under contract. He also shoots frequently for Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue and German Vogue. In 2006, he co-founded a non-profit exhibition space for photography with Brent Langton called 401 Projects.
Seliger continues his love of the darkroom by using the platinum palladium process to create large-scale, 30”x40” prints, and his photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. He has published numerous books, including: Listen (Rizzoli, 2010), Mark Seliger: The Music Book (teNeues, 2008), In My Stairwell (Rizzoli, 2005), Lenny Kravitz/Mark Seliger (Arena, 2001), Phsyiognomy (Bullfinch, 1999) and When They Came to Take My Father – Voices from the Holocaust (Arcade, 1996). Seliger’s photographys have won countless awards, from such esteemed awards committees as The Society of Publication Designers, The Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, Communication Arts, American Photography, Photo District News, and the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Portraiture.