Mark Chilvers is a British freelance photographer. He began his career in 1998 as a photographer for The Independent, a British national newspaper, shooting everything from portraits and news stories to travel features.
Chilvers has visited all 7 continents in his quest to find new and intriguing people and places to photograph. In 2013, Chilvers embarked on a near impossible mission to visit all 50 American states in just 30 days, in search of compelling characters and stories. In each state Chilvers made a portrait, that in a way becomes almost like a synecdoche for the whole state. Chilvers uses a plain black backdrop as a way to isolate the subject from their background while also revealing the environment beyond the fabric. It is a classical approach that brings the formality of the studio portrait to the environmental portrait.
Back in the UK, Chilvers devised a project called ‘Elephant’, which explores questions of regeneration and urban development. He examines the experience of displaced community through the microcosm of a Brutalist housing estate in Elephant and Castle in London. This project is far closer to home for Chilvers, who in fact spent ten years of his life on this estate. His images, which are a personal homage to a time spent there reflecting the end of an era, are passed on to London’s collective memory.
Chilvers has featured work in all major UK national newspapers, and has work in several international publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time magazine. Chilvers was the head photographer for the Slow Guides to both Dublin and London and also shot the works for a recent Lonely Planet photo book reflecting his personal vision of his hometown of London.