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Meet Ashley J. Mitchell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley J. Mitchell. 

Hi Ashley, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hello, I am Ashley Mitchell a local freelance sports and event photographer. My love for photography started at a young age. I grew up in a house that was filled with photos on the walls and photo albums all over. My granny had an old Nikon film camera and my mom bought a camcorder and that was all I needed to get started. I was that person who was always in your face with a camera, capturing moments that we will never get back but will remember for a lifetime because of the images and videos. I took photography for three years in high school but did not continue in college. I was always the photographer of the family taking and printing out images in albums. While attending my sister’s wedding in 2019 all I could think about was the photographer and wishing I was photographing the wedding. That moment is what really sparked the fire in my heart for photography again so that weekend I picked up a camera at the pawnshop and here we are. The time we were given in 2020 allowed me the opportunity to learn the advances of digital photography and start photographing again.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Personally for the most part I would say it has been a smooth road. I have been very fortunate and blessed to come across the right individuals who are open and willing to share information. I learned after college it’s not what you know but who you know. This journey has also taught me it’s who knows you. If there was a challenge I have faced I would say it is breaking into the field as a newcomer and getting connected with the right individuals. Overall, even with those small challenges, I would say it has still been a smooth road with the people I have met and the support I have in my life. Ask me again in about three years and we will see if the answer stays the same.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As mentioned I specialize in sports and event photography. I love all sports and hope to photograph a variety of sports but I have a passion for women’s sports. Being a woman and an athlete or just being a person, you see the marginal difference in media coverage and exposure of women’s sports vs men’s sports. You can go to almost any arena and see the difference in the amount of fans when it comes to a women’s sporting event and a men’s sporting event. That is across all levels of sports from grade school to the professionals. If I was offered an opportunity to photograph an NBA or MLB game, I would NOT turn it down but if I have the opportunity to highlight women athletics, I will take that opportunity. If I can have some sort of impact to get the story out and give it exposure I want to do that. You never know who might see it or who it could possibly inspire. My passion and my goal is to share the story and increase the exposure of the sports story.

I am most proud of my passion and reason behind what I do. For the younger athletes, I want them to know they matter and they can keep going and potentially get on the highest stage possible if they work for it. I don’t want female athletes at any level to look at the male sports and think they don’t get the same coverage as those sports. If I can have any positive impact that is what I want to do.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I do not know if it is a surprise because I am learning most people can tell but I am very introverted. Being a photographer, you are a service provider. You have to, at least you should, interact with people and meet new people. That is a part of the profession but I am very introverted and nervous when it comes to meeting new people and talking to people I don’t know. Once I get to know you, I may eventually open up but right away I am super nervous. This journey has allowed me to open up and meet new people. I enjoy meeting and getting to know new clients, everyone has somehting to share.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dionte Wade
Ashley J. Mitchell

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