Odell Mitchell Jr. became interested in photography at age 17 when an older brother brought back a camera from Vietnam. Odell, a native of East St. Louis, Ill., was an award-winning photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for twenty-four years.He traveled throughout the United States, Mexico and Africa covering the gamut of news, sports, fashion and features. In addition to his career at the Post-Dispatch, Odell has taught seminars on photography and has been a judge in various photographic competitions.His shooting philosophy is “don’t pose, just shoot,” to capture the truth and reality of the moment. Odell says, “Photography is so much fun for me. I’ve been blessed to be able to work professionally doing something that I love that never gets boring or routine for me. There’s always something new to learn, too, as I’ve progressed from using film cameras to using all digital camera equipment.”He currently teaches photography to college and high school students. Odell’s photos have been published in national magazines, books, and exhibits. He and his wife have published a series of children’s books that feature his photography. He lives in O’Fallon, Ill. with his wife, Linda.