Mark Essner

Artist Statement

For me, photography is about more than just taking a snapshot.

I have always endeavoured to capture the true mood and feelings that were present and wanted the viewer be able to feel them. I almost always have my camera with me, much as one would keep a sketchbook, or journal on their person.

As a roving photographer I am often able to capture significant moments that occur around me. When taking such pictures, I want the viewer to feel the mood, the tension, the uncertainty or whatever emotion the experience invoked in me.  I use the term “From My Eye to Yours” as I literally want you to see what I saw: Not just the physical image, but the whole picture. Therefore, in most cases I do no post-production work.  As such, my images are as taken from my camera with little editing and no cropping . I am able to work quickly on my camera and utilize the settings to capture images in the manner I wish to share them.

I have been intrigued by alternate ways to display my images, utilizing a variety of media on which I print, including wood, plexiglass and aluminum.  Recently I have been mixing these media.  I take an actual scene recorded on my camera, then I create a traditional “flat” photograph printed on plexiglass. Next, I isolate part of the image and print it on aluminum and fuse it to the “background”. Now the item has a real three-dimensional quality to it, including a tactile element. In these cases, the isolated items that appear in the foreground eg: a vehicle, electrical box etc. adopt similar qualities to the original subjects in terms of reflectivity, texture and other characteristics. I have been using this technique typically with images where there are no people visible, yet there is definite evidence of man. Often the object/scene are representative of conflict or neglect in our society.  The power of what mankind has created (deliberately or otherwise), elicits an emotional response upon viewing. That feeling could be awe, fear, sadness, disgust etc., and it arises in us, without  the human element being present in the image.


Born in Canada, Mark Essner moved with his family to Bermuda as a young child. His earliest memories are from exploring the beautiful island as well as seeing the world during annual family vacations.  In the late 70’s the family returned to Canada, settling in Waterloo Region. Essner’s love for photography was present as soon as he was old enough to use a camera. He was the “one with the camera” whether traveling, attending community events or just spending time with friends. He was the person who recorded the moments for all that were there to remember. Essner is a self-taught photographer who as an individual is firmly rooted in the artistic community. Seeing so many others share their artistic gifts inspired him to become more creative himself, using his tools–his eye and his camera–to create his own art.  He lives in Waterloo with his wife & daughter in a household full of creativity and imagination. Mark Essner’s classroom is the world and he enjoys exploring more of it every day. He has been thrilled to be showing his work locally and has plans to show in New Orleans in the near future. Mark now has a studio/gallery space in the CEI Studios in UpTown Waterloo

To contact Mark Essner:

Phone: 519-588-4540


    Mark Essner