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 photography, and landscape pictorials. I also am currently accepting portrait and senior photo commissions, which I create in my editorial lifestyle signature style.

Over my photographic career, my images have appeared in many national-circulation 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.

Finally, I also develop and teach my own photography workshops for photography enthusiasts of various skill levels.

So how can I help you?


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

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 – Desire a portrait 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 they are great fun! I should probably do more. Maybe you’re next?

Fine-Art Commission – I am accepting commissions for work that is consistent with my key genres. For a list of past clients and references, please reach out.

Photography Workshops – I’m bringing back my Peterson Photo Workshops events in 2021 – more info will be coming soon. I am also available to other organizations needing an experienced, dedicated photography educator on a short-term basis.

Collaborations – I’ll consider brand or artistic collaborations under certain circumstances. If you would like to propose or discuss a mutually-beneficial collaboration or art project, let’s talk?

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


Updated Winter 2020/2021: I’m working on a personal artistic endeavor for which I’m seeking creator lifestyle 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.


Honestly, I’m not very active on social media. But I do occasionally share photography on a few platforms and plan to amp that up in 2021. I would enjoy connecting with you. I’m @mpetersonphoto on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Let’s connect?

Image © Mark S. Peterson Photography