Sally Mann began studying the art of photography at Vermont Academy. In many interviews, she claims that the only motivation for studying was the opportunity to stay in a dark room alone with her then boyfriend. Sally studied in Bennington for two years, there she met Larry, whom she proposed a marriage herself. After studying in Europe for a year, the future legendary photographer received a diploma in 1974, and after another three hundred days she expanded the growing list of her achievements with graduation from the magistracy - not in photography, however, but in literature. Until the age of thirty, Mann both was taking photographs and writing.
The American photographer found her true vocation after her second publication of photographs came out: a collection of images of life and mindset of young girls. The book was entitled as "At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women" and was published in 1988.
In 1984-1994 Sally was working on a "Close Relatives" series (1992), focused on portraits of her three children. Kids at that time were not yet ten years old. Although at first glance it seems that the series presents ordinary and routine moments of life (children are portrayed playing, sleeping or eating). But it turns out that each shot touches much larger topics such as death and cultural differences in understanding sexuality.