Mitchell Parsons has photographed actors and musicians over a span of 14 years for personal work and print publications. In the magazine publication world he has been a designer, layout artist, production manager, writer and photographer.
As a photographer his interest is with conflict, war and Human Rights – “I have huge admiration for war journalists who risk their lives to inform the world outside. I think we’d all be much worse off if we didn’t have people like that in there documenting and reporting on it. It’s such an incredible service to society. Becoming a human rights photographer, a conflict/war photographer is my primary goal. To try to give the innocent and the silent a voice. To help the underdog. To ask why… decade after decade, century after century humanity is still killing each other and finding more efficient ways to do it… why? If I can be another person shining a light on that and asking the question then sign me up. That is my mission and my camera a simple tool.
James Nachtwey, the legendary war photographer said it best – “Everyone cannot be there, and that is why photographers go there, to show them, to reach out and grab them and make them stop what they are doing and pay attention to what is going on, to create pictures powerful enough to overcome the diluting effects of the mass media and shake people out of their indifference, to protest and by the strength of that protest to make others protest.”
When President Barack Obama announced that Seal Team 6 had killed Osama Bin Laden Mitchell rushed to Ground Zero – “Being such a massive historical event I wanted to be there, I wanted to witness history. I spent the next day at Ground Zero as well when President Obama was coming to speak. The energy of that time, the emotion of the people drew me in further to the world of photojournalism.”
When the Occupy Wall Street movement started in New York City Mitchell spent the first four months photo documenting the movement and life at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. One of the key things he says he took away from that experience was witnessing the reaction and the emotional outburst of some of the people there when they witnessed the NYPD being violent toward and arresting protesters and other journalists – “What are you doing?! Why are you doing this?!” were some of the things they’d burst out with as if a sudden, cold realization popped the bubble they had that once believed this could never happen in America. You could hear it in their voice that something had been lost in that moment and it would never be back. More than that, I was charmed and inspired by the broad range of society that would show up at those protests. From students to grandmothers. Doctors, lawyers, soldiers. Straight, gay and lesbian… all showing up and putting themselves on the line to stand up for something they believed in.”
His article “NDAA – From 1933 and back again? for Resource Magazine called attention to Barack Obama’s NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). The article caught the attention of Jennifer “Tangerine” Bolen and her organization Revolution Truth and was posted on their website and social media pages. Tangerine Bolen is one of the plaintiffs (along with Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Kai Wargalla and Alexa O’Brien) in the lawsuit against the Obama administration over the NDAA.
“TRUTH is massive to me. I despise liars. Sometimes the truth is hidden in the shadows and it takes extra effort to shine a light in there and find it and expose it.”