Mark McKenna

Camera Magician and Lecturer

Biography: 

Mark McKenna teaches photojournalism, advanced photojournalism and introductory journalism tools courses at Humboldt State. He is the owner of Eureka-based MMPhotographic.

Mark’s interest in photography started so young in his life that he can’t actually remember how old he was when he caught the bug.  His passion was truly kindled when he completed photography merit badge in Boy Scouts and got his first taste of the darkroom. There was something magical to him about capturing light and shadow in silver halide crystals affixed to acetate and watching the black of those shadows slowly darken against the white photo paper under the red lights of a darkroom. That was nearly 30 years ago.

He joined the staff of the Eureka High School newspaper, The Redwood Bark, as a way to photograph bands and get into shows for free. It was at this time he got his first SLR, a Pentax K1000, which he still owns. His first real photojournalism experience came when he photographed a child pedestrian who was hit by an EHS student in front of the school and he sold the image to the Times-Standard.

He honed his skills as a photojournalist by attending San Francisco State University as a journalism major graduating in 2000. During his time there and the two years following graduation, he freelanced for many Bay Area publications and websites including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oakland Tribune, The San Mateo Daily Times and several websites no longer in existence. He watched as silver halide and acetate gave way to silicon-based sensors and images were stored as zeros and ones.

While working as the Photo Editor of the Times-Standard he attended a photo seminar in Jerusalem, Israel with Gary Knight and the late Alexandra Boulat of the VII photo agency. He currently teaches photojournalism at Humboldt State University, is represented by a photo agency you have probably never heard of, Zuma Press, and operates a photo and graphic design studio in Old Town Eureka.

For McKenna, it is important as a photojournalist to capture the events and assignments he shoots in a way that accurately represents them as they unfold. And while that may in some cases limit the artistic side of the endeavor, he’s always looking for the unusual while photographing the routine. It’s the hidden moments, often on the peripheral of an event, that tend to be the most visually compelling to him.

 

 

Short version:

 

Mark’s interest in photography started so young in his life that he can’t actually remember how old he was when he caught the bug. His first real photojournalism experience came when he photographed a child pedestrian who was hit by an EHS student in front of the school and he sold the image to the Times-Standard.

He honed his skills as a photojournalist by attending San Francisco State University as a journalism major graduating in 2000. He watched as silver halide and acetate gave way to silicon-based sensors and images were stored as zeros and ones.

In addition to teaching photojournalism at Humboldt State University, Mark is represented by a photo agency you have probably never heard of, Zuma Press, and operates a photo and graphic design studio in Old Town Eureka.

He’s always looking for the unusual while photographing the routine. It’s the hidden moments, often on the peripheral that tend to be the most visually compelling to him.

 

(707) 826-4775
Bret Harte House, Room 105