Herstory: Mary Ellen Mark – Through the Lens of a Talented Photographer

American photographer Mary Ellen Mark’s successful career in the world of advertising photography, portraiture and photojournalism was one to be admired and emulated. She has exhibited in both museums and galleries around the world, was the recipient of numerous awards and fellows, and is proof that photography knows no gender.


Image courtesy of imgkid.com

Born in Philadelphia on March 20, 1940, Mary Ellen Mark ventured into photography using a Box Brownie camera at nine years old. Mary Ellen obtained her BFA degree in art history and painting in 1962 from the University of Pennsylvania. Two years later, she would receive her Master’s Degree in photojournalism in the same university under the Annenberg School for Communication. A year later, she began her travels to Turkey, Germany, Greece, England, Spain and Italy to photograph, thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship.

Capturing Poignant Images of the 60s and 70s

Mary Ellen Mark was also well known for her moving pictures of countless socio-political issues and demonstrations in the late sixties and early seventies. A move to New York (which would also serve as her home until the time of her death) in 1967 saw her documenting images of demonstrations in relation to the women’s liberation movement, the Vietnam War opposition, transvestite culture and more. She gravitated towards the raw and troubled side of photojournalism – far from mainstream society and well into significant social issues.


Mary Ellen Mark, 1975 – Image courtesy of flickriver.com

Through her photography, she shone the spotlight on issues such as prostitution, homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness and loneliness, among others. Her aim in focusing on such subjects was to show their way of living to those who were in the best position to reach out or at the very least acknowledge that they exist.


This prostitute is a transvestite; Falkland Road, Bombay, India – 1978 – Image courtesy of http://www.maryellenmark.com/

mem ward

Ward 81, Oregon State Hospital, Salem, Oregon, 1976 – Image courtesy of http://www.maryellenmark.com/

From Photos to Film

Some of her work was also translated into film; her “Street Kids” project eventually turned into the movie Streetwise. In the seventies and onwards, she dabbled into unit photography. She was involved in more than a hundred known films such as Alice’s Restaurant (1969), Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Apocalypse Now (1979), to name a few. In the early nineties, Mary Ellen Mark also became an associate producer, still photographer and a writer for the film American Heart, which starred Edward Furlong and Jeff Bridges and was directed by Martin Bell, her husband.

mem poverty

In a settlement camp near New Delhi, one of the daughters of Waris (monkey trainers) plays with the animals that provide the family’s living and exist almost as members of the family. (1981) – Image courtesy of http://www.maryellenmark.com/


“Rat” and Mike with a gun, Seattle, Washington, 1983 – Image courtesy of http://www.theguardian.com/


The Damm (homeless) family in their car, Los Angeles, California, 1987 – Image courtesy of http://www.theguardian.com/

Mary Ellen Mark also went on to publish a total of 17 photography books, contribute to popular publications such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Life and The New Yorker, and even became a guest juror for entries submitted to The Center for Fine Art Photography.

It was a very busy and full life filled with active involvement in the world of photography, film and the media for someone like Mary Ellen Mark. Her powerful and moving photographs serve as an example of brilliant photography that not only captures beautiful subjects but also brings to the forefront issues that continue to plague our society today. On May 25, 2015, she passed away due to myelodysplastic syndrome at the age of 75 in her hometown of Manhattan.


Image courtesy of imgbuddy.com

For more of her renowned works, please visit https://www.pinterest.com/source/maryellenmark.com/



Tech Tools: Mail Chimp – The Best Email Marketing Platform for You?

In the realm of digital marketing, email service is a necessary tool. This is why it is important to utilize an email marketing service that has all the features you need to deliver your message. One such service is provided by MailChimp, which has been around since 2001. But has MailChimp been able to evolve in a way that its range of services is considered to be top of the line? This review will help you see if this “freemium” email marketing service is the one for you.


Image courtesy of wpbusinesstips.com

Features to Like:

MailChimp has several features that users will easily appreciate and take to right away, including:

1. It is easy to create newsletters for your company thanks to the available templates, if coding is not your thing. On the flipside, you can also customize newsletter to the hilt if you want to go beyond what MailChimp templates offer.

mailchimp templates

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com

2. You have the option to use the built-in photo editor. Let’s say you want to make some tweaks to a photo that you want to attach to your email. Instead of having to go through (or learn!) Photoshop, you just need to upload it to the built-in photo editor and perform basic photo-editing or enhancement tasks.

mailchimp imge editor

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com


3. Your mailing list can be segmented into a variety of target audiences. It also has an option for RSS-to-email, allowing your newsletter to be sent out automatically whenever you do blog updates.

mailchimp mailing list

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com


4. MailChimp comes with a report feature that lets you know if your advertising efforts are indeed paying off. The report lets you know who and how many people are opening your newsletters and if they are sharing it on various social networks, among others.

mailchimp reports

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com


5. The program comes with mobile device compatibility for iOS and Android devices. For the digital marketer on the fly, this spells good news as she has the means to push out content as soon as it happens – without having to open a laptop.

mailchimp mobile

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com


6. Mail Chimp easily integrates with the widely used apps that are being utilized by small business owners like Facebook, Google apps, Paypal, Highrise, WordPress and Zendesk to name a few. You can connect your Mail Chimp account with these apps for smoother workflow.

mailchimp integration

Image courtesy of mailchimp.com


A Note on Support

One thing worth noting about the service is that it does not easily connect you with the service support team in real time. There are options for sending out queries via a contact form, but that’s basically it. A closer look at the program will reveal that a generous amount of self-help information is at the user’s disposal: from a quick start guide to a glossary list and a video tutorials section. Perhaps the makers seem to expect that any sort of problem their users might find while using the program can be answered by the information here.


True to its “freemium” nature, MailChimp gives the option of being able to send a maximum of 12,000 emails or newsletters to no more than 2,000 subscribers. Doing the numbers, this seems pretty generous. But this free version does not have the automated email sending feature, nor the audience or time zone segmentation, among others. For those features, you will have to shell out a minimum of $10 each month (limited to 500 subscribers) or $25 each month (limited to 2,000 subscribers). Large-scale and enterprises can go for the higher packages, and for those who send email intermittently a pay-as-you-send option is also available.


MailChimp Suitability

So, taking all of these things into consideration: it will seem that the best type of businesses to take advantage of MailChimp’s features would be the small business owners category. They can initially try the free version when they are just starting out. As their business grows they can also consider the paid option to get the analytics report and other features.

What is co-working, anyway?

Woolf Works-11

What is co-working? Co-working spaces are shared offices.

Many co-working spaces are focused on collaboration, community, and innovation. Some are run more like traditional co-ops than businesses, with members playing a large part in day-to-day operations, while others are run purely as real estate and are usually called serviced offices.

The term ‘co-working’ was first used in 1999 by a man called Brian DeKoven to describe as ‘a method that would facilitate collaborative work and business meetings, coordinated by computers.’ The first few spaces opened in the US and Europe around 2004-2005 and the movement began to pick up steam around 2008. In Asia, it was only around 2011 that spaces started to open. Today in Singapore, there are a lot to choose from, catering to a variety of niches.

Woolf Works JooChiat was opened in mid 2014. We provide a relaxed work space for women who are currently underachieving in their home office and need a new space and a community to help drive productive work and new business opportunities.

We follow the five co-working values that were put together by the international co-working community a few years back:

1-1-Woolf Works-20


The co-working community works best in an environment of trust and openness. We collaborate and support each other where we can, with a basis of trust and respect.


We believe in transparency and the freedom of ideas, both within the space and with the space itself – open-plan working and the freedom to play around with things as you like.


Us. The people of the space. Learning together, supporting each other, playing, and celebrating together.


We are accessible to all women, all strata of business, and all stages of life.


Our space is environmentally conscious and responsible. Our community is respectful and authentic with each other.

3-Woolf Works-13

One of the biggest struggles women (especially mothers) who work from home face is the balance between work and life. Mums working from home often find themselves only giving 50% to both the business and the kids, as they can’t focus on either. By setting clear work hours and leaving the house to work in a co-working space, boundaries are established; this allow women to be 100% business owners and then go home and be 100% mothers.

Working from home can also be lonely and pretty uninspiring. Working from Woolf Works means being surrounded by like-minded women to chat with over coffee, to collaborate with and to refer business to. Our member lunches and social evenings give members the chance to bond and discover deeper ways to connect.

At Woolf Works, we want women to value themselves and their work. We found too many women putting their needs and aspirations behind the rest of the family’s needs. We see co-working as a tool to push women into making themselves top priority and aim to be a hub for women who are passionate about reaching their goals.

This digital age is creating a seismic shift in the way we work. The 9-5 PM corporate job in the CBD is being replaced by flexi-workers who are defining their own times and working on their own terms. Entrepreneurship is booming and the connectivity and flexibility that technology provides us means co-working has a clear place in the future of work spaces.


This article was written by Michaela Anchan, the founder of Woolf Works and was featured in  Executive Lifestyle.

Tech Tools: Evernote – Elevating Note-Taking to a Whole New Level

One of the most popular novelties that come with using apps for smartphones and tablets is replacing your notebook with a digital version. With hundreds of note-taking applications available today, the safest bet is to choose from the most popular ones – like Evernote. In this review, we take a look at Evernote’s features and usability and weigh in on exactly how essential it is to one’s pursuit of productivity.


Image courtesy of techloy.com

The Sum of All Things

Basically, Evernote is a mobile, desktop and web-based application that strives to become a be-all, do-all digital note-taking tool. Some of the things that you can do with Evernote include using it for:

• Taking down and recording meeting notes

evernote meeting

Image courtesy of blog.evernote.com

• Keeping a diary or a journal (personal or professional)

evernote journal

Image courtesy of http://crookedpixels.com/

• Marking up documents in PDF

evernote mark up

Image courtesy of evernote.com

• Saving photos, pictures and other important digital files

There may be more functions or reasons for using Evernote (depending on your need, profession or current goals) but it is clear that it hops between your business and personal life easily.

Using Evernote

Touring Evernote’s features and interface could have you toeing the line between instantly getting how it works or struggling to figure out what to do and where to go. This is mainly due to its flexibility (i.e. plain interface encouraging you to let Evernote cater to your needs and not the other way around), which may give some people a “blank page syndrome” or an “analysis paralysis”. It’s best that you already know what you want to do with it before you use it, (ex. using it to keep track of your home renovation jpegs) so you can get on with exploring the tools to achieve your objective.

Some of the more efficient features of Evernote include:

• A search tool to look for anything that was uploaded to your user account

evernote search

Image courtesy of iteachu.uaf.edu

• Tagging files (geo-tagging and manual) for better organization

evernote tag

Image courtesy of blog.evernote.com

• Organizing files into notebooks and stacks (just like filing folders!)

evernote stacks

Image courtesy of blog.evernote.com

• Work Chat for real time instant messaging (includes note sharing)

evernote chat

Image courtesy of blog.evernote.com

• A full-screen mode to focus on content and not be distracted by text editors

evernote full screen

Image courtesy of blog.evernote.com

If you assess these efficiency features, you will come to realize that even the most disorderly and distracted note-taker will still find a good measure of organization with Evernote (hurray for search and tagging!) by simply pulling up what he needs through key terms that bring together common or related files.

A tiny warning, though: If minimalism is not your thing, you might find yourself a bit helpless or at a loss at all that blankness (take for example, the stealthily hidden search bar which is practically invisible).

Try Before You Buy

Evernote sensibly comes in a free version so you can try it out yourself, but expect some limitations in functionality. Like many apps out there, this is of course to encourage you to go for the premium version to enjoy the app’s full suite of tools, whether you use it on your mobile, tablet or laptop/desktop. Enterprise, heavy users and those who can say they are completely lost without note-taking apps might find the $5 monthly cost to be a satisfactory trade off to all that organization and flexibility. But for light or occasional users this may be too costly – especially if you know your use of the app will not pay for its monthly fee in profit or return of investment.

Still, it’s nice to have an app that not only allows you to type up your notes but also attach and keep audios, photos, memos and more. In terms of essentiality, it may hit the sweet spot if you treat it as the replacement of that write-all notebook you keep in your bag (recipes, lists, pegs, etc.). But if you want it to replace all those files and folders that you constantly rummage through, it near-flawlessly does so in one handy and mighty application.