Rebecca Mitchell, Frederick Lifestyle's lead photographer, wasn’t planning to become a photographer. It just wasn’t on her radar. In fact, she had never even picked up a professional camera until a few years ago.
Rebecca graduated from University of South Alabama with a business management degree and an enthusiasm for a future in family business.
An unexpected turn of events brought her to the picturesque landscape in Maui, Hawaii. Given the opportunity, Rebecca jumped into an internship assisting a wedding photographer on the island. Before long, a fire was lit within her. Holding a camera meant having the ability to capture a moment in time, to savor that moment and then share it with others. And that was like magic.
Rebecca spent two years in Maui and then gained experience in Alabama before returning to her home state, Maryland. Here, she continued photographing weddings but started to include studio work as well. She gained expertise as she spent time learning more about lighting and setting. She was definitely becoming a full-fledged professional photographer. She jokes, “5 years ago I would not have known how to set up a light stand. [And now] I get so excited about ordering new equipment.”
Photographing in Frederick, Maryland offered a new perspective to Rebecca, who had gotten comfortable with the landscape of Maui, Hawaii. What a contrast, after all: Maui’s white sand beaches to Frederick’s historic brick buildings!
Rebecca adjusted to the completely different setting, and she enjoyed bringing to life Frederick’s beauty and charm in photographs.
I would be remiss not to mention that although photographing in Frederick is a relatively new thing for Rebecca, Frederick itself is not! Indeed, she grew up in the area, and after moving back a few years ago, she began “rediscovering Frederick as an adult,” as she puts it.
It may be a small city, but it has everything you need.
“Downtown Frederick is one of my favorite places to photograph,” Rebecca expresses animatedly. “Parks, creeks, old buildings...It’s like a gold mine for photographers.”
Rebecca finds deep satisfaction in knowing that her clients leave a session feeling confident. Hoping to focus more on style-focused photoshoots and portraits, she opened an in-home studio recently so that she can provide clients with a custom-style package—something fun, beautiful and out-of-the-box. If you want to be photographed in an open field with flowers, she wants to make it happen. When it comes to her clients, she “want[s] them to feel like the photos portray their personalities and...feel better than they’ve ever felt before in pictures.”
But Rebecca’s creative genius doesn’t end with photos; in fact, it barely scratches the surface. This remarkable woman is also a master of words. She is currently ghost-writing for a few authors and planning to write and publish her own books.
Rebecca has a grand vision, and is already working on her transition into the next chapter of her life. She wants to continue with storytelling—through both photos and words—but shift her focus from weddings to make more time for writing.
To Rebecca, fiction writing means diving into a different world. But even “in fiction you get to tell people's stories because they are based on things you see in real life,” she explains.
She has a heart for people’s stories and believes that those stories are something we take for granted in many ways. She continues, “Especially nowadays when we get just a highlight reel on social media, we miss the depth of peoples stories. We aren't taking the time to understand people, where they came from, and the work they put into their life.”
Our culture needs stories. Our culture needs to understand what makes people who they are. This would cultivate a deeper understanding of others and would foster empathy. It would enable us to meet people where they are rather than cast judgment right away. She states, “both writing and photography are so powerful in telling others' stories and empowering them with confidence and hope.”
“We are so much more alike than we think.”
Tips for a great photo session:
1) Play some tunes to help you have fun and relax.
2) Have snacks for yourself, so you're not distracted by hunger during the shoot.
3) Wear something that makes you feel good! You will look your best when you feel your best.
4) Choose a photographer you love. Someone you connect with behind the camera is going to help you be yourself in front of the camera.
5) Just enjoy it! Your photo session should be an experience, not just a product. It's a memory to last for years to come!