Mann was born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia,
where she continues to live and work. She received
a BA from Hollins College in 1974, and an MA
in writing from the same school in 1975. She
studied photography at the Praestegaard Film
School, the Aegean School of Fine Arts, Apeiron,
and the Ansel Adams Yosemite Workshop.
Her early series of photographs of her three
children and husband resulted in a series called
"Immediate Family." The work created an extreme
controversy, it gained notoriety for it's nude
photographs of her own children.
Some groups called her work child pornography.
These condemnations have not hurt her career
however. Her photographs appear in most major
American art museums. Mann's most recent work
have been of rural and unpopulated areas of
Virginia, most of her recent work is untitled,
and in a collection labeled "Deep South".