Ken Mitchell recently joined the Lensbaby team as our new General Manager. He is a passionate photographer and fan of Lensbaby lenses - we're excited to have Ken as a part of the team. Read on below to learn more about his background and what he sees for the future of Lensbaby.
Tell us a bit about your photography background.
I bought my first SLR camera when I realized that I needed some way to express myself visually, and that drawing was not going to be it. I fumbled around with film but then DSLRs were introduced, and once I was able to get past the learning curve, I found better success in my photography. I shot a lot of nature and bicycle races. I am basically self-taught, mostly through trial and error.
How did you learn about Lensbaby, and what made you want to shoot with our lenses?
I had come to a point where I felt that I was reaching the limits of my capabilities with the equipment that I owned, so I went into a local photo shop to upgrade my DSLR. I saw a Lensbaby display and inquired what they were about. I saw the Composer and thought it would be interesting so I bought it.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
I like shooting street scenes, buildings, street art, and nature, sunsets in particular. For ten years Ive had views of the sunset from my home, I must have shot the sunset hundreds of times and yet each is still a marvel to me.
What is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?
I still have the Composer with Double Glass Optic, but lately I have been using the Velvet 56, and thats my new favorite. I like the Composer, the constraints of the lens offer a unique challenge that make it especially rewarding. The Velvet 56 is fun because of its versatility.
Tell us a bit about your business background.
I have worked for a variety of small and large companies, most being in the baby care or sporting goods space. These are businesses that have a passionate customer base. I find that to be very important. My area of focus has been in product development and marketing, having developed and launched literally thousands of products over my career.
Why should our fans be excited about the future of Lensbaby?
I joined Lensbaby because I saw the impact that the product had on my creative expression. Lensbaby will continue to create new tools and methods to help photographers not only see the world in a new way, but to express their vision through the images they make. I am a deep believer that internal impressions need to find an external expression.
If you could meet any famous photographer throughout time, who would it be and what would you ask that person?
Saul Leiter. It is unfortunate that he recently passed away so I will not be able to do so. He was part of the first generation of street photographers in the 1940s and came from a fashion photography background. As his art evolved he was not about creating technically perfect images, but instead pictures that captured feelings through color and composition. I would want to ask him, what caused him to push himself out of his comfort zone?