Image by Brian Sullivan

Image by Brian Sullivan

Mark de Paola


Mark de Paola was literally born into a photo studio on Cahuenga Blvd in Los Angeles and grew up splitting time between Los Angeles and New York. Mark's earliest recollections are of watching photoshoots and being completely immersed in the fashion books and periodicals of the time, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. Mark's photographic foundation is the works of his father Alessio, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Bert Stern, and Art Kane.

Having learned on an 8x10 Deardorff, Mark's personal obsession began at age 12 when he was given his first professional camera, a Nikon F, and the obsession continues to this day. Mark would roam the streets of New York City photographing candid beauty and annoying the many camera shop owners. He would photograph the hippie girls at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on the weekends until, with a gun to his head, his Nikon F and all his lenses were stolen on one rainy Sunday. He still wants the film that was in the camera. This did not alter Mark's determination, who worked at a local drug store in exchange for film processing, saved his allowance, and bought a Leica M3 rangefinder which was to form what is Mark's unique vision.

Mark's vision is best described as a combination of reportage, fashion, and beauty. It has always been Mark's objective to capture a natural beauty in a setting where a model's personality is allowed to flourish while a story is being told.

Mark's very first assignment was a magazine cover image of actor Henry Fonda. And while working in New York, Los Angeles, and Milano, Mark would go on to shoot countless campaigns, editorials, and covers, including those for Vogue Mexico and Vogue Spain.

Mark's story telling still style quickly translated to motion/ television commercials where Mark directed/shot several hundred spots including those for Anheuser-Busch (aired on Super Bowl), Giorgio Perfume (exhibited in Museum of Modern Art N.Y.), Donna Karan, Neutrogena, English Ideas Cosmetics, Sony Cybershot, Century 21 Real Estate, Ford Motorsports, Toyota, Ducati Motorcycles, Kawasaki Jet Skis, and many more; all with an eye for style and realism.

De Paola continues to work with select clients around the world combining his artistic sensibilities. 

De Paola's fine art photographic series, “60 Seconds,” has been exhibited at the Leica Gallery San Francisco, Leica Gallery Los Angeles, Leica Gallery Boston, and Leica Gallery Ginza in Tokyo,  with several more international solo exhibitions slated for 2017.  Mark's work is included in fine art photographic collections, both public and private, around the world. "60 Seconds" delves into a realm of abstract figures, fluidity, and poetic forms, challenging and seducing the limits of motion contained within still image. With each photograph taken handheld with a 60 second exposure, de Paola has discovered the connection between his physiological make up, the Leica M camera as a tool, and time, the unflinching competitor to the timeless image. 

His most recent fine art series is the "Art of Backstage" worldwide collaboration with Aveda during New York Fashion Weeks. Immersed in the primal backstage environment of fashion week , NYC based fine art photographer, Mark de Paola documents a visual collective consciousness between artists, immortalizing a look otherwise walked and disposed of. Rendering de Paola’s unmanipulated and cinematic narrative, “Art of Backstage” has been produced using with the historic photojournalist’s tool, the Leica Camera. The series was most recently exhibited at the Leica Store Ginza Six in Tokyo and at the 7th Dali International Photo Festival in Dali, China. The series is slated to travel on to Vietnam, Singapore Malaysia, and other cities in China in 2017 and 2018. 

Mark's work is included in fine art photographic collections, both public and private, around the world.

In addition, Mark continues to give master classes worldwide including “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, "Leica M Panel" with Ralph Gibson and Leica Camera at Photoville New York City, and de Paola's Masterclass “Photography Wide Open” at the Leica Store San Francisco, the Leica Gallery Los Angeles, the Leica Store Boston, the Leica Store Tokyo, New York Film Academy, and Photoville NYC. Most recently, de Paola gave a private master workshop at the Great Wall of China and a three day intensive in the ancient Chinese town of Dali.  

Producing and directing multiple upcoming feature films, including Proof Film, as well as producing his own fine art portfolios, de Paola melds the crossroads between both fine art and commercial aesthetic.

Commercial Credits: Vogue Spain, Vogue Mexico, Giorgio RED Worldwide Launch, Brioni, Gucci, Donna Karan, English Ideas Cosmetics, Sephora, MAC Cosmetics, Neutrogena, Aveda, Smart, and Sony + nearly 700 television commercials.


Image by Mike Kobal