Kristen Leigh Mitchell is a musician, writer, teacher, consultant, and spiritual director. With her degree in communication studies and music from UNC-Greensboro, Kristen spent nearly a decade working as a graphic designer and singer-songwriter before moving to New York City to earn her master's degree (M.Div.) from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, where she spent four years researching the intersections of music and art, spirituality, psychology, religious ritual, and culture. Kristen's writing and teaching challenges the modern Western conceptual split between spirituality, religion, and secular life, through her analysis of the inherent connection between religious identity, language, embodiment, art, spirituality, and healing.
Kristen was the 2014 recipient of Union's "Traveling Fellowship," awarded each year to the graduating senior showing the "highest promise for usefulness through teaching or contributing to theological knowledge." She has published articles on early Christian music and the history of the liturgy, artistic vocation, theology and film, and theological aesthetics. In addition to offering a variety of classes, workshops, and retreats on music, art, spirituality, church history, theology, and more, Kristen also serves regularly as a guest speaker and preacher in a variety of secular and religious contexts,.
On a professional level, photography supplements my graphic design work, which includes social media and web design (including this website!), in addition to printed promotional materials. My goal in this work is always to capture the essence of people, places, and organizations at their best.
But more broadly, seeing the world from behind the lens of a camera - and trying to capture the essence of a moment, a place, or a visceral experience within one small frame - is one of my favorite creative challenges and artistic outlets, especially when traveling. I love the opportunity that the lens offers to discover new ways of framing and re-framing the experience of everyday life, to find beauty in the ordinary and the holy in the mundane. I consider this to be one of my primary (and favorite!) spiritual practices.
This gallery offers a collection of some of my favorite images, taken from around the world. Be sure to check out my Travel Page for a more extensive portfolio of my travel photography. Thanks for stopping by my page!