Photographer Mark Jones

Photographer Mark Jones was raised on a farm just outside of Arthur, IL and he remains living in this area today. While it is common for many Midwesterners to spend their entire lives in the same community they were raised in, what makes Jones’ life unique is that his passion for photography has led him on a long and winding journey filled with experiences that many in the field can only dream of.

As a teenager, Jones chose photography as his artistic outlet and spent countless hours in his homemade darkroom located in the basement of his family farmhouse. His love of photography led Jones

Photographer Mark Jones

Photographer Mark Jones

to major in Cinema/Photography at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. After graduating in 1973, Jones and his wife, Beth returned to Arthur and opened the Tintype Shoppe of Photography, which is still in operation today. In the following years, Jones focused on photographing many of the events typically covered in this profession: sports photography, weddings, portraits, etc. However, his true passion was always fine art photography, which led him to seek further guidance and knowledge from his idol: Ansel Adams.

From 1979-1983, Jones attended numerous workshops in Yosemite National Park, CA organized by Adams and his protégés John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum, Ray McSavaney, and others. During this time, Jones was provided with extensive training in fine art photography and his work was personally critiqued by Adams. As his professional relationship with Adams flourished, Jones was invited to work as an assistant at the Friends of Photography Fall Landscape Workshop in Carmel, CA in 1982. He had advanced to an instructor position on Adams’ workshop team. Unfortunately, Adams passed away before these plans were realized.

In 1988 Jones added another new segment in his photography career. He was named the University of Illinois Official Sports Photographer and still holds this position. He and his staff photograph all seventeen varsity sports.

In recent years, Jones has re-connected with Sexton and McSavaney at workshops in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. These experiences have renewed his enthusiasm for photographing the western landscapes of our nation. While his heart will always be with Arthur, Jones is looking forward to the next chapters of his photographic journey.

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