Mark Laurie (photographer)

Mark Laurie (photographer)
Mark Laurie
Born Mark Keith Laurie
February 7, 1955(1955-02-07)
Didsbury, Alberta,
Nationality Canadian
Education Master of Photography Degree, Master of Photographic Arts (7th Bar)
Occupation Photographer, Instructor, Author
Spouse Jan Howells-Laurie

Mark Keith Laurie (born 7 February 1955) is an award-winning[1] Canadian photographer, specializing in female fine art photography and digital photography. He is also an international speaker, author, and studio mentor. He teaches extensively in England and Canada,[2] and runs Revealing Venus, operating Nude & Glamour Photography Workshops around the world.[3]

Laurie's images have been displayed worldwide at venues such as Disney World's Epcot Center, Hungary's National Culture Center, the Calgary Stampede, London's International Hall of Fame,[4] and the Czechoslovakia International Celebration of Women. Three of his female nude portraits are aboard the Voyager III time capsule.[1]



Early life and education

Mark Laurie was born in Didsbury, Alberta, Canada, receiving his education at Henry Wise Wood Senior High School and Mount Royal College in Calgary. Laurie worked as a recreation director, and as a realtor before settling into what would become his career and passion: photography.[5]

Laurie holds a Master of Photography Degree, Master of Photographic Arts (7th bar), Service of Photographic Arts,[6] and the highest British award: a Fellow in the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers [7] as well as a PPOC Fellowship. [8]

In addition to his boudoir,[9] nude, and glamour portfolios, Laurie does pre-natal and family photography, high profile celebrity and charity events, and has also done commercial and wildlife shoots. He is the author and photographer of two fine art photography books,[10][11] as well as a book of poetry, one of his lesser-known indulgences.[12]

Early career and innovation

In 1978 Mark opened his first studio, Wizer Wizard Photography. His business partner and wife, Jan Howells-Laurie, trained and became the retouch artist.

In 1980 the partners created Inner Spirit Photography, incorporating it four years later. The studio specialized from the beginning in photographing women.[13] Their mission statement was “to create images that express a woman’s inner and outer beauty and provide an experiential environment that enlarges the boldness of a woman’s soul.” By 1984 the home-based Calgary studio was receiving a growing and significant amount of media coverage, including a 14 minute national news story on CBC on June 12, 1984.

In 1987 Mark Laurie and his photography techniques were the subjects of a year long clinical study which observed how Laurie’s work was notably different from mainstream portrait photography, and statistically how those differences resulted in more positive psychological and lifestyle benefits for his subjects. Among other things the study discovered was that his photography sessions were catalysts of change in his clients’ lives.[14][15]

Through the 1980s Mark Laurie became known as the resident celebrity photographer in southern Alberta, shooting portraits for stars appearing in the Calgary area, including Cloris Leachman, David McCallum, Robert Reed, George Kennedy, Georgia Engel, and family photographer for Bret "the Hitman" Hart. This is a recognition and honour that he still holds, most recently being the official photographer for the 2010 Calgary Choice Awards,[16] Fashion Has No Borders: Calgary, and Leonard Nimoy’s high profile “homecoming” to the town of Vulcan, Alberta.

Personal life

Mark Laurie continues to reside in Calgary, Alberta with his wife Jan Howells-Laurie. In his spare time he donates the use of his photography studio and some of his original work to charity events and fundraisers such as the Calgary Choice Awards and the Sportchek Mother's Day Walk & Run.

Digital art photography

A Certificate confirming that some of Mark Laurie's work is aboard the NASAVoyager III time capsule

Mark Laurie began crossover photographic art in 1984 with the blending of an airbrush environment painted onto photographic prints. Several of those images won awards, and one,The Defender, which was a collaboration with an airbrush artist, is even included in a collection of his work aboard the NASA Voyager III Time Capsule that launched in December 1990.[17]

Laurie had worked with computers since the mid 1980s as a hobby, doing image manipulation and writing software code for programs and databases. His innovation and creativity pushed photographic conventions, and by 1989 he was a pioneer in digital art photography. Always on the front edge of photographic changes, Laurie was doing digital alterations to his images before the advent of Adobe Photoshop. A second photographic art piece - this time a mix of body paint, pre-Photoshop digital work and airbrush - was included in the aforementioned NASA Voyager III collection.

At one industry event some of the judges wanted to throw Laurie out of the organization, so angered were they at having digital work entered into their contest. It was years before digital art photography became commonplace. In 1994 Laurie won the first ever Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) Award for a digital image.

In July 2001 Mark Laurie became a regular columnist for Focus, the national fine art photography magazine, writing instructional articles and reviews about digital photography techniques, products, and technology.

Photography mentor and instructor

In 1984, Mark Laurie joined the Professional Photographer Association of Canada and the local Alberta branch, and began teaching the same year out of province, and internationally by 1985. As his notoriety and award list quickly grew, he was receiving many requests to share his knowledge with other photographers. Laurie became an instructor, teaching courses and speaking at professional photography seminars and workshops. He also began to accept individual students for his mentorship programs.

In 1987 Laurie was the Host and Producer of the educational photographic how-to TV series Inner Spirit Photography. It ran on Calgary Cable 10 for a season of seven episodes.

Laurie was the headline speaker at the Canadian National Photographers convention in August 1992, was past president to several photography organizations including Professional Photographers of Canada and Calgary Photographic Society, and the founding editor of two photography magazines, Portfolio Magazine and InFocus, and the PPOC Loan Collection Book Series.

In 2003 Mark released an instructional CD entitled The Art of Marketing of Female Portraiture,[18] and in 2008 an instructional DVD entitled The Foundation Series: LIGHTING.[19] His work and techniques have also been prominently featured in several Norman Phillips photography books.[20][21][22]

Mark Laurie still teaches in Canada, England, and Italy, maintains a professional photographer mentorship program, and holds photography seminars and workshops in locations around the world. In 2008 he launched his Revealing Venus series of workshops [23] which annually gather photographers of all skill levels for direct instruction with the award-winning photographer, and unique opportunities to photograph nude models and have the resulting images published in one of Mark's books. The Revealing Venus workshops continue to date. [2][24]

He has served as a National and International Accredited Print Show Judge for over 30 years, and will be a Speaker and Judge at the 2012 Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers Convention in England [25]. Mark writes on professional topics for a variety of industry and online publications, as well as posting photography tips and advice on his blog entitled What’s Mark Up To.[26]

Awards and recognitions

Faded Rose won the Portrait Photographers of Canada Best Figure Study award in 2009.

Laurie holds four International Photographer of the Year Awards, has been a runner up for the PPOC Photographer of the Year Award, and holds 64 Best in Class and First in Class Awards – Provincially, Nationally and Internationally – including the prestigious Fuji Master Print and Kodak Photographic Excellence Awards, and the World Photographic Print Competition - Best in Nudes B&W category.[1]

Other awards and recognitions include six Loan Collection Awards, 140 Honorable Mention Awards and Merit Awards, and 223 prints selected for Gallery Display Awards (including the Disney World Epcot Centre, Voyager III Space Mission, Czechoslovakia International Celebration of Women, Hungary National Culture Centre Grand Opening). Laurie has also been dubbed the "official photographer of" many events, including the Calgary Choice Awards, Miss Nude Canada, Miss Nude Alberta, National Miss Hooters Event, Ms. Fitness Canada Championships, Fashion Has No Borders: Calgary, and Forzani's Mother's Day Run and Walk.

Recent additions to Mark Laurie's awards list include the PPOC 2009 Best Figure Study Faded Rose [27], SWPP 2010 Landscape Society Photographer of the Year Award for "Lone Tree" [28], PPOC Alberta 2010 print contest Best in Class Figure Study "Triumphant" and Best in Class Freestyle "Lone Tree", and Canadian Imaging 2011 Judges Choice for "Triumphant".

In 2011 Mark received an Artist of the Month recognition at [29], an online photographic community with over 700,000 members. He also had two prints, "Body Armour" and "Goddess of Time", accepted to hang at the PPOC print salon in Quebec for the National Convention Awards.

All of Mark Laurie’s competition entries and award-winning images are taken from his day-to-day client work. They are not custom-created for any of the competitions - they are images that his patrons have selected for their walls or album collections.

Major Awards won by Mark Laurie include:

  • International Photographer of the Year, SWPP 2004 in Child Under 5
  • International Photographer of the Year, SWPP 2004 in Fashion & Glamour
  • International Photographer of the Year, SWPP 2004 in Nature & Wildlife
  • International Photographer of the Year, SWPP 2004 in Commercial
  • Yousuf Karsh Lifetime Achievement Award, PPOC 2010


Mark Laurie has been awarded 33 photography accreditations to date, making him one of the most accredited photographers in the world.[1] There is only one photographer in North America with as many accreditations, and Laurie is the only photographer in North America to be accredited in 5 different categories.

Mark Laurie's photography accreditations include:

  • Animals
  • Animal Portrait
  • Boudoir
  • Child Study
  • Children High-Key Portrait
  • Children Portrait
  • Computer Generated Art
  • Couples Portrait
  • Crossover Artographics
  • Digital Illustration
  • Digital Manipulation
  • Environmental Portrait
  • Fantasy Illustration
  • Fashion
  • Female Body Sculpture
  • Female Fantasy Makeup
  • Female Nude Portrait
  • Female Portrait
  • Figure Study
  • Fine Art Photo Décor
  • General Portrait
  • Glamour
  • High Key Portrait
  • Model Portfolio
  • Nude Couple
  • Pinup Portraiture
  • Prenatal Portraiture
  • Studio Portrait
  • Travel Illustration
  • Wildlife


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Historical Society of Alberta (1994). Who's Who in Alberta : a Biographical Record of the Men and Women of our Time, 1994-1998. B & C List Ltd. ISBN 0969704933. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Laurie, Mark (2009). Nude in Paradise (fine art photography). Xlibris. ISBN 1436356466. 
  11. ^ Laurie, Mark (2010). Images from Paradise (fine art photography). Xlibris. ISBN 1441544690. 
  12. ^ Laurie, Mark (2008). Pages of Man (poetry). Xlibris. ISBN 1436329973. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Dr. Brown, Robert J. (1987), "The psychological effects of being photographed", Department of Psychology, Calgary General Hospital 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Laurie, Mark (2008). The Foundation Series: LIGHTING. Wizard Academy Press. ASIN B001LIUM4E. 
  20. ^ Phillips, Norman (2007). Lighting And Posing Techniques For Photographing Women. Amherst Media. ISBN 1584282215. 
  21. ^ Phillips, Norman (2008). Lighting Techniques for Middle Key Portrait Photography. Amherst Media. ISBN 1584282312. 
  22. ^ Phillips, Norman (2010). Mother and Child Portraits: Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers. Amherst Media. ISBN 1584282622. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links

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