Mitchell and his wife Susan have raised their two daughters, Megan and Morgan, in the Midcoast region of Maine, but now make their home on Southport Island, just a short drive over the swing bridge at Townsend Gut from Boothbay Harbor.
Bob Mitchell has lived and photographed in Maine for over 40 years. Mitchell's work is well known throughout the area, through his long time affiliation with the local newspaper, his books and Connections Publishing, started by his wife in 1980.
His work has lead to a wide range of photographic opportunity, from documentary commercial work for Swiss Air in Europe to yacht portraits, weddings, family reunions and fine art landscape. The wonder of his craft continues to invigorate and refresh his interest in recording the lives, locations and limitations of the world environment. Like his life-long photo hero Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose work caught Mitchell's eye as a child in LIFE and LOOK magazines, he seeks the instant that freezes time, forever.
One of Mitchell's most memorable experiences grew out of his work and subsequent friendship with the late, great newscaster Charles Kuralt. Mitchell photographed Kuralt for the cover photo of his last book, Charles' Kuralt's America when "Sunday Morning" came to Maine.
Mitchell has been at work over a long period of time on his next book about the people of Maine.
From Robert Mitchell
I've enjoyed photography since I was 8 years old when I found my grandmother's KODAK Brownie camera in the candy drawer. I was immediately curious about how this box caused something to appear on the semi-transparent strips of film which I found in the paper pouch with photos of my family. It was utterly fascinating and I was hooked!
From that day forward I loved looking at pictures in the magazines of the day like LIFE and LOOK. The black and whites made by people unknown to me were so captivating.
Since I was a poor reader, photographs became my favorite way to understand the world outside our small rural Pennsylvania coal mining village. Great images were etched into my brain from countless hours of study and admiration.
For much of my youth I didn't photograph, but I always looked at pictures. Perhaps through my fascination with photography I learned without being taught - a lesson that I became critically aware of as I traveled through the public schools. I was not a good student.
I have always learned best by doing, and for me, photography is an ideal medium. I am self taught, but all my teachers were not always the best! But, what a great way to learn about cameras, film and printing - the ultimate "hands on" experience.
To this day the element of discovery still excites me. I love the process of finding photographs. Sort of like finding the Brownie camera in Grandma's candy drawer! There's no end to what can be found; just more places to look, more ways to see and lots of wonderful gadgets and gizmos to experiment with. I can't imagine a better way to pass the time and make a living.
— Robert Mitchell