I’m Mark S. Peterson, a photographer based in the Midwest “Big 12” university town of Ames, Iowa. Thanks for your interest in my photography.

My work is primarily for editorial and commercial assignment in the genres of editorial lifestyle portraiture, documentary travel, and landscape photography. I also am currently accepting editorial lifestyle portrait commissions, which are always great fun.

Over my photographic career, my images have appeared in many magazines, books, ad campaigns, and non-profit publications. I have worked as the primary staff photographer at a liberal arts college, the principal photographer for multiple ad agencies, and have freelanced for many editorial and commercial clients since founding my own company, “Mark S. Peterson Photography.” I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simpson College, and an MBA from The University of Iowa.

For a number of years, I actively exhibited in regional fine-art festivals around the US Midwest. My fine-art images have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in art galleries and public spaces throughout the Midwest, and appear in private and corporate art collections in the U.S. and Europe.

I have enjoyed serving as an invited juror for photography competitions and art exhibitions for organizations such as the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, Silos and Smokestacks National Photo Contest, Iowa Arts Council, Octagon Center for the Arts, and others.

Known by clients as a hardworking, versatile, highly-collaborative team member who approaches each project with dedication and creativity, I enjoy photographically-challenging assignments and strive to create a fun studio or location experience for both clients and project team members.

So how can I help you?


Editorial Lifestyle Portraiture – Let me photograph you in this signature style that captures your true self. No fake poses, manufactured sets, or goofy pull-down or pop-up backgrounds. Just you, on-location in your natural environment, doing what you do, looking how you look, being yourself.

Studio Portraiture – Have a portrait idea that requires a more controlled environment? Studio options are available.

Seniors and Families – I accept a small number of senior and family portrait commissions each year. I prefer to employ my editorial lifestyle approach to these projects, and wow are they fun! I should do more. Maybe you’re next?

Commercial and Editorial Assignment – my photographic bread and butter. I’m ready to work and available globally.

Model Portfolio Development – I have experience working with  both experienced and aspiring models to create images for agency portfolios, look-books, or comp cards.

Collaborations – I’ll consider brand collaborations under certain circumstances. I also enjoy artistic collaborations on conceptual projects that are simply fun! If you would like to propose or discuss a mutually-beneficial collaboration or art project, let’s talk?

Photography Workshops – While I’m currently on hiatus from organizing my own Peterson Photo Workshops events, I am available to other organizations needing an experienced, dedicated photography educator on a short-term basis.

My contact page is the easiest way to get in touch. So why not start a conversation? I look forward to discussing your next project.

Ames National Corporation
Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications
Central Bank
Delta Dental of Iowa
Iowa Environmental Council
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Iowa State University
Latrobe Brewing Co.
Meredith Corporation
Surreal Beauty Magazine
The University of Iowa
think Marketability
Veux Magazine


I’m working on a personal artistic endeavor for which I’m seeking portrait subjects. If you are an artist, musician, chef, author, or other creative; or a yogi, skateboarder, fitness guru, or simply a deep individual with an interesting vibe or look – and you are open to being photographed – I would like to speak with you. Please contact me.


I am not terribly active on social media, but I do occasionally share photography on a few platforms. I would enjoy connecting with you there. I’m @mpetersonphoto on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Let’s connect?

Image © Mark S. Peterson Photography