Sally Mann is an American photographer, best known for her large black and white photographs, first of her young children, then of landscapes suggesting decay and death.
Born in Lexington, Virginia, Mann was the third of three children and the only daughter. Her father, Robert S. Munger, was a general practitioner, and her mother, Elizabeth Evans Munger, ran the bookstore at Washington and Lee University in Lexington. Mann graduated from The Putney School in 1969, and attended Bennington College and Friends World College. She earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Hollins College (now Hollins University) in 1974 and a M.F.A. in creative writing in 1975. She took up photography at Putney, where, she claims, her motive was to be alone in the darkroom with her boyfriend. She made her photographic debut at Putney, with an image of a nude classmate. Her interest in photography was promoted by her father. His 5x7 camera became the basis of her use of large format cameras today.