Mark Weiss is an American rock and roll photographer. In 1973, 14-year -old Mark made a deal with a guy in his New Jersey neighborhood to cut the neighbor’s lawn all summer in exchange for a 35 mm camera. While still in high school, Mark snuck his camera into concerts, making his way up to the stage to shoot. He developed the prints in his parent’s bathroom and sold them for a buck a piece.
In 1977 Mark was arrested for selling his photos outside of the Kiss Concert at Madison Square Garden and spent the night in jail. The next day he walked into the offices of Circus magazine with his portfolio. The timing was perfect. The art director needed Aerosmith pictures. Mark’s first published work was a centerfold of Steven Tyler. Soon thereafter, Mark was hired as staff photographer for Circus, shooting covers and features. Fast forward a few years and Mark was shooting Kiss, Steven Tyler, Ozzy and other rock legends in his own studio, just two blocks away from Madison Square Garden where it all started.
By the age of 20, Mark was publishing his photos worldwide in major rock magazines such as Rolling Stone, Creem, Hit Parader and Rock Scene. He branched further into editorial work, shooting iconic celebrities of the 80’s, including Drew Barrymore, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Nicholson and Cheech & Chong, to name a few. Mark was the primary photographer for MTV when it debuted in 1981, documenting many pop music firsts, including Madonna’s first sit-down interview.
Ozzy Osbourne has said of the photographer: “I’ve known Mark Weiss since he was a teenager. He was relentless in the pursuit of his art. Mark would knock on my hotel door all hours of the day and night wanting to take photos. He definitely had and still has the rock and roll spirit.”
Mark developed relationships with musicians and their managers, becoming immersed in creating the visual imagery of the rock and roll scene through his photography, art direction and video direction. Mark traveled around the world photographing tours for Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Guns ‘n Roses, Kiss and Bon Jovi, while creating album covers such as Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry.
More recently, Mark has added to his rock archives by photographing rap, hip hop and pop stars, including album covers for Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani. Today, Mark’s iconic images line the walls of Broadway’s hit musical Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theater. Mark continues to work with the iconic bands he started with more than 30 years ago, as well as with new artists. He also is involved with many charitable organizations, donating his photographs and time.