Photographer by lake at sunset
Portrait of Mark Peterson

Mark Peterson
I am a photographer and photo educator based in the midwestern US university town of Ames, Iowa. My work is rooted in a life-long passion for fine-art landscape, natural history, and travel photography. Today I am active in the fine-art photography market, and available for editorial and commercial assignment, portraiture, and events.

Background
My interest in photography began as a young child, when my grandmother gifted me a camera prior to a family vacation. By the age of 10 I was processing my own film, and by 12 I had a full darkroom in my parents’ basement. After photographing travels and friends throughout my teen years, I founded my first photography business at 19 as a sophomore in college. My photographic career has since spanned a wide gamut: from early days as the sole staff photographer at a small college public relations office (which included managing the college’s black-and-white darkroom), to years as a fine-art photographer selling photographic artwork on the regional art festival circuit, to roles as principal staff photographer for advertising agencies, to many more years of freelancing. I have produced and sold stock travel images via multiple stock agencies, and I have executed a number of gallery shows. My fine art images hang in public and private photography collections in the US and in Europe.

My current work is centered in the following areas:

Landscape & Natural History Pictorial
Among my deepest passions is a love for the outdoors. Capturing on film or pixels the natural scenes I encounter when outdoors has always been my greatest interest, especially when venturing off the beaten path.

Documentary Travel/Fine-Art Travel
I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout my life, and perhaps the one thing I’ve enjoyed almost as much as landscape and nature photography, is travel photography. Documenting the people, culture, architecture, and lifestyle of the places I visit, and creating photographic art from the scenes I encounter, has always been highly rewarding. In more recent years, I’ve become interested in the urban landscape as a primary subject itself.

Editorial Lifestyle Portraiture
I’ve always enjoyed creating portraits, especially of subjects engaged in their natural, real-life environment: doing what they do, being who they are, looking how they look. As an extension of my other photographic interests described above, I’m drawn to creating portraits in the wild of nature or in outdoor urban environments. I often use my editorial lifestyle portrait technique to create high school senior, family, and corporate portraits in addition to my editorial assignment work.

Instructional Photography Workshops
From 2006-2016, I actively taught photography workshops via my own workshop brand, Peterson Photo Workshops, and I have produced and taught workshops for a variety of other organizations. In October 2021, I returned to workshop delivery via Peterson Photo Workshops, and I am having great fun with it. See my current workshop calendar here.

PR Event Photography
Many years ago, I was hired to provide event coverage for a non-profit fundraiser sponsored by outdoor clothing company Patagonia. It was great fun, and word-of-mouth from that event led to opportunities to photograph PR events for a variety of high-caliber community, corporate, and non-profit organizations. I continue to offer this service.

Art Community Involvement
In addition to my work as an artist, I strive to be involved and give back to the art community. I have served as a juror for both photographic and non-photographic art exhibitions for organizations such as Octagon Center for the Arts, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, Silos and Smokestacks Heart of America Photo Contest, and for camera clubs throughout the Midwest. I’ve also been a member of the Octagon Center for the Art’s Board of Trustees (including terms as both Vice-President and President).

Partial recent client list

Ames National Corporation
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications
Central Bank
Delta Dental of Iowa
Flyway
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

So how can I help you?
I’m based in the very center of the USA and I’m available worldwide for:
– Editorial or commercial assignment
– Fine art commission
– Portrait commission
– Corporate headshots
– PR event photography
– Private or group photographic instruction
– Camera club or photography enthusiast group presentations or contest judging
– Select brand collaborations

Please start a conversation to discuss your next project – I look forward to working with you.

If you wish, you can also buy me a coffee: