By Hana Al-Henaid
Prominent American photographer Mary Ellen Mark photographed students during the prom on May 17 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica for her âPromâ exhibit.
Throughout the evening, students who volunteered to help Mark for the night photographed different couples for Mark to then choose from.
âIt wasnât really a question of wanting to be photographed,â Robert Barry â08 said. âShe had people running around taking pictures of everyone.â
âIt was a little random,â Jason Byun â09 said. âSomeone came up to us and asked if we wanted them to take a Polaroid of us, and that weâd be informed later if we were chosen.â
For Markâs series, all students are required to pose in a specific manner.
âShe made us stare straight ahead, look forward, and link arms. She had us do the same pose the entire time,â Logan Guntzelman â08 said. âI felt sort of uncomfortable.â
Markâs assistant, Meredith Lue, said that couples were chosen to be photographed based on their diversity, energy and overall appearance.
Guntzelman thinks she was chosen with her date, Jordan Odiakosa â08, because they were an interracial couple.
The photographs are unique Polaroid prints, reproductions of which will be available to the students who were photographed. Mark creates the prints from a Polaroid camera, one of three in existence.
âThe camera was pretty cool,â Barry said. âIt was like six feet tall and very old fashioned.â
âIt was so unique. There were only about three slides in it, and it looked like you could take them out,â Byun said.
A compilation book of all the photographs of her âPromâ series will eventually be released, along with a short documentary directed by Markâs husband, Martin Bell.
âOverall, I felt very honored just to be chosen,â Byun said.