by Ardeana Hamlin

of The Weekly Staff

Katrina Mitchell had another dream come true on March 1 when she opened her new business, Katrina Mitchell Photography, in the Coe Building, Suite 65, in downtown Bangor, the first photo studio she has ever had.

It all started when she was 6 years old running around her house with a Barbie snapshot camera in hand, her first camera. “I dreamed of going to Paris and taking pictures,” she said. In 2004, when she was a student at Messalonskee High School in Oakland, her dream came true.

“I saw something on bulletin board about a trip to Paris, so I went. I had nine rolls of film with me the first time I went, and Canon Rebel EOS camera. I loved Paris to much I went again in 2006,” she said.

Her path was set — or so she thought. Soon she was a student at the University of Maine Augusta majoring in photography. But the cost of going to college forced her to drop out and focus on a career she thought would be more likely to pay the bills in the future. She enrolled in Eastern Maine Community College where she got a degree in medical transcription.

“Photography was on hiatus then,” she said, “but it definitely was in my heart. Eventually, I picked it back up again and moved along with it.”

“I picked downtown because it has a lot of foot traffic,” she said.

She does, but is not limited to, wedding photography, children’s portraits, newborn baby photo sessions, family portraits, and high school senior pictures.

“As a child, I was most drawn to [taking pictures of] nature. Today my focus is more on children. I am versatile and try to fit the customer’s needs,” said Mitchell, who is the mother of three children, ages 3, 5 and 7, all of whom have toy cameras to play with..

During a photo shoot, Mitchell said, she pays attention to technical details, the lighting, the composition. “I try to capture emotion,” she said. “If I can’t get it at first, I let them [clients] do what they want to do and I catch them in an odd moment.” She is always looking to take candid shots filled with meaningful detail.

“It’s a combination of knowing what to look for and being surprised sometimes by what I see,” she said. I have to be aware of my surroundings, lines of symmetry, things that most people don’t normally see. It’s a focused way of seeing. After that, you see those things as you go about your daily life. It becomes second nature. I remember visually what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye — it’s drawing with light — my hands aren’t good at drawing so my eyes do the drawing for me.”