Featured Photographer: Jeanne Mitchum

Featured Photographer: Jeanne Mitchum

 Jeanne Mitchum

Blessed is a word I would use to describe my life and this city I get to call home. I’ve lived about 30 mins outside of Charleston, SC my whole life and I’m about 95% sure I’ll never leave. As a photographer, I absolutely love that my job (not that it ever feels like a job) can take me to so many alluring places, and I am always ready and willing to go.  While I am super blessed to live near spectacular beaches, a city full of history and lush plantations, I especially love the mountains, cold air, and wooded areas with winding roads.  Some of my favorite haunts right now are thrift stores and coffee shops (Iced Cafe Americano, please!). Moseley is my clever little Shih Tzu side-kick, and I rock a bass guitar on Sunday mornings at Seacoast church.  Music is woven into my life  just as much as photography is and I hope to someday travel with a band and capture all their shenanigans on and off stage (hello bucket list!). I’m a huge fan of horror movies—especially zombie movies. I’ve been married now for 8 years and my husband is the most amazing person you’ll ever meet (fact), and he just happens to be a pastor.  Yes, this horror movie fanatic—zombie loving— metal head,  is a pastor’s wife and loving every minute of it.

Which lens do you use most of the time?

Probably my 85 mm. Something about it I just really love!

How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t shooting weddings? 

I definitely LOVE spending time with my wonderful spouse and our Shih Tzu pup Moseley (it’s my favorite thing to do)! I also love serving the church in multiple ways including playing bass and engineering the lighting. I also love painting and I’ve found that it has been a fabulous creative outlet that I think has also helped my photography some! Another thing I really love is thrift shopping with my friends and trying on the wackiest things.

Do you have any advice for beginning photographers?

So many things… First, stop comparing yourself to others and just be you while you truly seek to develop your niche/style.  You are uniquely made with your own gifts and talents so the sooner you can tap into that, the better. Also, take business/marketing courses. I know it’s been said before but photography is basically 10% taking great photos and 90% all the other stuff it takes to run and maintain a business.  If I could go back in time, I would take more business classes.

What would you do if you weren’t a wedding photographer? 

I have always been one of those people that could really have about 10 different careers. I love doing so many things!

So here’s a list (I’ve dabbled in a few of these already):

FX makeup artist

Costumer

Graphic design artist

Voice actor

Painter/artist

Script supervisor for films…maybe just about anything in the film industry

Tour/concert promoter

Interior designer

Professional bass player

Wedding/event planner

Who do you respect – in photography or elsewhere ?

Parker Pfister is the first photographer that I thought of. I just love his attitude and his style so much. He really doesn’t seem to be afraid of truly being himself and photographing things the way he wants to; it’s inspiring for sure. If you haven’t checked him out yet, go check him out as soon as you can!

What is your personal definition of success? 

Gosh what a question. It really depends on a number of things. I think valuing and loving what you do is important, but I think to really look at success you have to think about how you want to be remembered when you die. I know it seems morbid to think like that but if I want people to remember me a certain way, I need to make changes now that will lead to that result.

So success, to me, would be defined as living your life so that you leave the mark you want to leave on the people around you. I don’t want to be remembered as JUST that person that successfully ran a photography business and paid the bills on time; I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but that’s not my main goal.

 

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