Meet the Photographer
Award-winning Alaskan photographer Mark Kelley has built his entire career around the place he calls home-Alaska. Mark has been photographing the places and faces of his state for the past forty years. A true Alaskan ambassador, Mark knows when to be where for Alaska to reveal itself in the next photograph. Mark’s images have been reproduced as art prints and in books and calendars, collected by locals and visitors as important reminders of this great place of awe and wonder.
Mark has worked on assignment for UNESCO and Jaeger-LeCoultre, National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Outside, Alaska Magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boy’s Life and USA Today. His images have appeared in National Wildlife, Sunset, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic World, Alaska Magazine, Outside, Alaska Airlines, Time For Kids, Sierra, Runner’s World, Travel & Leisure, Boy’s Life, USA, and the Washington Post, among others. Mark Kelley’s images have appeared on the covers of more than two hundred publications.
Mark Kelley is a double-silver winner in the Graphis Photography Annual 2015 Contest and a winner in the 72nd Annual Picture of the Year International Competition, Natural History Category-Reportage Division. He is a North American Nature Photography Association Showcase winner and a recipient of the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for Excellence in Still Photography from the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Mark placed first in the 2013 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Photography Awards—Outdoor Adventure Category and his winning image is now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. In 2014 and 2013 Mark received an “Award of Excellence” from Communications Arts, the leading trade journal for visual communications. Mark’s work in journalism has been recognized by the Alaska Press Club, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Mark has published twelve photo books with over a quarter million copies sold. Mark’s latest book “Once Upon Alaska”, is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient and a Foreword’s 2013 Book of the Year Finalist. Mark’s books “Glacier Bay National Park: Alaska”, “Alaska’s Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers”, and “Alaska: A Photographic Excursion” were awarded a Benjamin Franklin Award by The Independent Book Publishers Association in 2001, 2006, and 2008, respectively. Mark owns a thriving publishing business and in addition to books he produces two annual calendars, with over 200,000 calendars sold to date, as well as note cards, postcards, bookmarks, and individually signed prints.
Mark Kelley products help support local causes in a variety of ways. Since the inception of the Mark Kelley Alaska Calendars in 1989 calendar sales have helped generate over $20,000 in total annual donations to Discovery Southeast and the Juneau Raptor Center. Mark is a former soccer coach, and during the Christmas holiday Mark Kelley’s calendar sales support fundraising efforts by local soccer teams, raising more than $10,000 each year. A percentage of sales from Mark’s book “Alaska’s Watchable Whales” supports the work of whale researcher Jan Straley, and the Sitka Sound Science Center.
Mark is a regular speaker at community events and with his slideshows shares the beauty of Alaska with locals and visitors alike. In 2006 Mark Kelley self-funded the exhibit “Alaska’s Watchable Whales: Humpback and Killer Whales” featured in the Governors Gallery at the Alaska State Museum.
“As a kid in Buffalo, New York, I always wondered what it would be like to encounter a whale,” says Mark, “I moved north and in 1978 graduated from the University of Alaska with a journalism degree.” Mark worked as a photojournalist for the Juneau Empire, Juneau’s only daily newspaper, for over thirteen years before leaving to pursue a full-time career in freelance photography and publishing in 1993.
Mark has lived in Alaska for more than 39 years. He resides in Juneau where he and his wife, Jan, raised their two sons, Gabe and Owen.