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Meet Culver City Photographer: Mitchell Sargent

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitchell Sargent.

Mitchell, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My love for photography began when I was young. I was always fascinated by photos: how they represent such a specific moment, which sparks the imagination into crafting an entire story around that scene. As a small child, I would constantly check out the same books from the library–ones that had incredible pictures–and then I would lay on my stomach, right on the floor, and stare at the images for hours, just dreaming of what it would be like to be standing there in that place.

I got my first camera in high school, and it was then that I discovered I love creating the image just as much, or even more, than the final product. Photography motivates me to explore, and take with me the viewer, on a journey. With every new project, there’s a new challenge, and being able to routinely accomplish new things is incredibly rewarding.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been a few bumps along the road for me and photography. My first camera in high school was a Nikon film camera, which got very expensive to develop film. The money I got from mowing lawns was allocated mostly to my social life, so left little funds for photography. It really wasn’t until digital cameras and equipment became more affordable and capable did I really launch my career. Digital has allowed me to push boundaries and experiment within the art.

When my obsession started to get serious, I was mainly taking landscape shots. Mountains don’t move. The variable is only you, your know-how, and your artistic vision. The idea of photographing people scared the hell out of me. When I first started out photographing people, I was still learning lighting, which prime to use when (I only shoot primes BTW),or how much bokeh do I really need/want. So, I was incredibly nervous, and too preoccupied with the technical side of photography to really know how to help the model. My anxiety really made me hate shooting people at first. Fast-forward a few years with a lot more experience, and I’m no longer that nervous, silent photographer. Now, people are now my favorite subjects to shoot. Everyone has their own personality, and you have to adapt your style & personality to mesh with theirs and work together to get the end product both parties are excited about. For me, working with people is the most fun and rewarding aspect of photography.

How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
I grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia, an adorable suburb of Atlanta. Driving through, you might think it was where they shot the movie Pleasantville. Each household had 2 parents, 2 or more happy kids, 2 cars, a fluffy dog, and a golf cart, yes, a golf cart! The town was connected by golf cart paths, and one could get anywhere in the city via a path through the woods on their very own golf cart (regardless if you actually golfed or not). It was here that I got into trouble. I rode my bike everywhere. I was the city’s Denise the Menace terrorizing the town. No one would have thought, though, because I made straight A’s, and was a bit of a track star! I was a big closet nerd and could tell you anything you wanted to know about airplanes and/or helicopters–I was obsessed! And then there was my artistic side. I was never without my sketch pad. I was constantly doodling in class: a hybrid Simpsons-style cartoon / Ralph Steadman horror-laugh-fest. I was what one might call “well rounded” or, how I actually felt, confused as to where my life should go, as a child.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Growing up, my father was a pilot for a major airline. Most of our family lived on the West Coast, so we’d always fly out to Portland, Oregon. Almost every weekend we’d ski Mount Hood Meadows. We’d fly (for free) from Atlanta to Portland, pretty much every chance we could. In 3rd grade, I missed 33 days of school and almost had to repeat the grade because I missed so much school! I was, maybe 12 years old, and after convincing my parents, I packed a survival backpack and skied “Heather Canyon”, a double-black, out-of-bounds area of Mount Hood. The powder was amazing–untouched, so soft. The threat of avalanche was high, and knowing ski patrol wouldn’t come get you, should you get caught in one, or injured in some other way, only added to the exhilaration. I remember it being so quiet too. All alone, and one with nature–relying only on your skill and luck–is so thrilling and rewarding. Much like what motivates me to shoot photography today. It’s always challenging and rewarding!

What are your plans for the future?
I’m not planning on any dramatic changes in the future. Just continuing to learn the art of photography, and to broaden my portfolio with more videography. Los Angeles is so diverse and amazing, from the geography to the people; it’s a place of unlimited creativity, and I’m lucky to call this home. I’m looking forward to shooting more, and meeting more great, inspiring people along the way!

Contact Info:

Picture9 Picture8 Picture7 Picture6 Picture5 Picture4 7-DSC08604-7.22.16 6-lauren6-finalImage Credit:
Models: Andrew Bracewell, Meghan House, Talia Weldon, Lauren Reeder

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