5Q2 - Mark Mahaney

How to make pictures in an arctic environment? In March 2021, American photographer Mark Mahaney told us more about that in our format 5 questions to (5Q2). Here, we talk to the artists of our Instagram takeovers about the work they show, their influences and upcoming plans.


Mark Mahaney (born 1979, Chicago) is an American photographer living in California and New York. His clients range from Nike, AirBNB and IBM to The New Yorker, M Le Monde and Time Magazine. Commercially, Mahaney is represented by Claxton Projects in New York and he works with Kominek Gallery in Berlin. In late 2019, Trespasser Books published Mahaney’s first book, Polar Night.


Fototreff: Did you encounter a special challenge while working on the project you’re showing?

Mark Mahaney: This project was fraught with challenges. I’d never photographed in arctic conditions before. The temperatures were sometimes 40 degrees below zero and it was entirely dark. You could only be out for a few minutes making photographs before having to return to warmth. We had to keep my equipment warm as well. Weather this cold kills photo equipment, so we had to tape hand warmers to the batteries and had to have two pieces of every piece of equipment in case there was a failure.

Fototreff: Which (photo) book should everybody own (or you would like to have?

Mark Mahaney: That’s a tough question, but the first book that comes to mind is Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects

Fototreff: Have you started working on a new project? Any beans to spill?

Mark Mahaney: I currently trying to wrap up a collaborative project I began working on with my 9 year old daughter during quarantine last year. Beyond that, I’m started the research on a project I’ve been meaning to work on for years. It’s about a town where the dead outnumber the living.