I’m a photographer based in the Midwest “Big 12” university town of Ames, Iowa – thank you for visiting my website. While my photographic career has spanned many genres over the years, this website showcases my nature, landscape, and travel photography. 


I have been photographing my entire life: I acquired my first camera and began actively taking photos at the age of six, developing my own film at eight, and I had a full darkroom in my parents’ basement by age 12.

In the interim decades, my photographs have appeared in internationally-distributed magazines and books, national and regional advertising campaigns, and both corporate and non-profit publications and annual reports. I have been the staff photographer at a liberal arts college, the principal photographer for multiple ad agencies, and have freelanced for many editorial and commercial clients since starting “Mark S. Peterson Photography” in 1993. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simpson College, and an MBA from The University of Iowa.

My fine-art photographs 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. For a number of years, I actively exhibited in fine-art festivals around the US Midwest.


I have enjoyed serving as an invited juror for photography competitions such as the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, Silos and Smokestacks National Photo Contest, and as competition judge for many camera clubs. I have also juried art exhibits for organizations such as Iowa Arts Council, Iowa State University, Octagon Center for the Arts, and others. I enthusiastically accept presentation invitations to speak to camera clubs and other arts organizations.


Living in the very center of the US enables me to be able to be anywhere in the country in just a few hours’ time. I’m known by my clients as a hardworking, versatile, highly-collaborative photographer 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. Please contact me to discuss your next photographic 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
Meredith Corporation
The University of Iowa
think Marketability


My photographic interest and experience spans many genres. Much of my current (2017) work is in the area of editorial lifestyle portraiture, and can be found on my other web assets. But I’ve also created literally thousands of global travel images in 2017, which I look forward to sharing in the coming months. I will be posting about this new work on my blog soon.