At its root, the photographic process is about documenting life, and those images can live on to celebrate a life that was taken from us.
Tupac Shakur died 15 years ago Tuesday. New York-based photographer Mark Peterson was on set during the filming of Tupac’s 1993 film Above The Rim and captured a behind-the-scenes moment of the rapper-turned-actor early in his all-too-short career.
“The vibe on the set was really nice. It was on a basketball court in Harlem and there were a lot of really good street players there,” Mark told Wired. “I love basketball, and it was really nice to just watch some of the actors try to perfect their skills in the short amount of time they had.”
The assignment was shooting behind the scenes on the film set for Premiere magazine.
“I usually try not to bother anybody or talk that much. I want them to go about what they’re doing. I try and capture reality as it is,” he said. “I might interpret that moment, in an artistic style, how I crop or in what do I choose to photograph. But I still want a person to own that moment more than me owning it.”
Mark still works editorially and loves to be sent out on assignment to places he’s never been, but his most recent project for Geo magazine brought him back to the streets of his home base of New York City.
“I went around and found World Trade Center iconography on peoples’ walls or in the logos of businesses that still have the old skyline in their logo. I was looking at how the World Trade Center still means something to people, and not as a memorial or as what happened, but how it’s still in our lives.”
Photo: Tupac Shakur on the set of “Above the Rim” in Harlem. Mark Peterson/Corbis