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Mark Weinberg ’03

Thursday, September 1, 2016

When did you come to Waterford, and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I started at Waterford in 1999 in 9th Grade. It seemed like a great fit. I remember especially liking the feel of the campus and how it wasn’t enclosed in a single building.

What do you feel has been the most important impact that Waterford has had on you?
The photography program. It was taken so seriously by the faculty and, although in the basement of the Institute building, wasn’t pushed aside as secondary to any of the academic classes/schedules.

What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere (photo, theater, dance, robotics, birding, Shakespeare, ceramics, tennis, outdoor, lacrosse, etc.)
Photography. Curiosity, turned passion, turned profession. I remember the instant I knew photography was for me. I was touring Waterford during the summer and there was a summer photo program going on at the time (possibly one of the Mammoth Camera Workshops). As we were touring the photography facility, Steve Manning walked out of the darkroom with a wet fiber print in a tray. The image was contact printed from a 4×5 negative and had such incredible tone and depth to it that, over 14 years later, I still have a vivid memory of it. Something happened then and there. I was captivated, and I remember thinking, “I want to do that.” The photography program that Tillman Crane set up was truly phenomenal.

What were Waterford students campaigning for when you were a student?
The Raven…

Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
Most impactful, Tillman Crane (see #3). Favorite classes, Robert Ralphs. Teacher with classes that best prepared me for college, Dr. Jeffrey Ward. I am disappointed that “phone a friend” is no longer an option on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” because Mr Zellmer was going to be the ticket to winning. The list goes on…

How prepared for college and for life were you?
I felt very prepared. The quality of the classes and the type of assignments and projects we worked on were a great jumping off point for college and life.

Where did you go to college?
Brigham Young University

What was your first job after college?
I moved to New York City and started my own photography company. I shoot commercial and advertising images specializing in architecture, interiors, still life and food:

What culminating experience(s) helped you select a career?
I was choosing between dental school and photography my Junior year of college. I was double majoring in Chemistry and Photography. I went with a group of students and a couple professors from BYU to New York to visit various practicing photographers and studios. After that visit to NYC I remember knowing that moving to NYC and pursuing photography as a profession was for me.

How has your career evolved?
I began assisting a few photographers in the city when I first moved to New York. They were very helpful and were great mentors. All along I was photographing and building my portfolio and network as I transitioned from assisting to photographing full time. I now photograph for a variety of clients, some of which include: One Kings Lane, Kenneth Cole, Aveda, Whole Foods Market, Kinfolk Magazine. I am grateful to live here in New York and to be able to do photography every day.

Where do you live now?
My wife, Liz, and I live in New York City, right near Columbus Circle and plan on staying in New York.

Words to live by?
“Dare greatly.” paraphrased from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, The Man in the Arena:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.