Hello and welcome, Monica “MoMo” Mitry! Tell me a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Daytona Beach, FL

Did you play sports as a kid?

I did: gymnastics, soccer, tennis, basketball, and softball.

Where do you live now?

Daytona Beach, FL

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

[I was] raised in Florida, [but was] born in Cairo, Egypt. I am Coptic Orthodox. I am passionate about the arts and went to school for art history. I worked in a museum for a bit until I decided to pursue photography full-time. Outside of photography, I am always out running, climbing, or at CrossFit.

Very cool. How long have you been a photographer? When did you start?

As a business and semi-professionally, [it has been] 3 years. I took my first photography class [my] junior year of high school, circa 2007/2008. I learned on film. I didn’t really start to do photography as a hobby until [my] sophomore year of college.

What was your first “pro” camera?

A Nikon d3000.

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with?

A Sony Alpha III and IIIR

Another photographer who has swapped Sony for Nikon! Ha ha. What makes a “professional photographer” in your opinion?

This is such a tough question to answer because it can be very subjective. Hence why you ask it as my opinion. For me, it’s someone who actively seeks to continue to develop and hone their skill. There are many photographers out there who pursue this as a hobby but produce high-quality photos. Just because they don’t charge someone for the service doesn’t make them less of a professional. To me, they have truly learned the skill. To be honest I still struggle to call myself a professional photographer. It’s something I love learning and developing my talent.

I think that is common, and "imposter syndrome" is real (not saying that you have that). This is one of the reasons I ask this question, as you mentioned.

What was your first paid photography gig?

It was my Sunday school teacher’s wedding back in 2011 (I think). I look back at those photos and I just think about how much I’ve improved with still so much to learn.

What was your first paid sports photography gig?

My first CrossFit Competition at my home box in August 2019. I had just joined CrossFit earlier that year. The box owner knew I dabbled in photography as a hobby and invited me to photograph at the box. I was nervous and just wanted to try. Then they asked me to come back and photograph the in-house competition for members only. Before then I never tried to pursue photography as an actual profession and wanted to remain a hobby. That quickly changed when I fell in love with photographing CrossFit.

What was one of your favorite events/competitions/games/matches that you shot?

There are so many to try and choose from. I think my absolute favorite to photograph is the Atlantic Coast Classic, previously known as The Bacon

Beatdown, in Daytona Beach. It’s one of the bigger CrossFit competitions in Florida. In 2021 I photographed it as part of the official media team and I finally felt like I was going somewhere with this career. However, what truly makes this event my favorite every year is seeing everyday athletes who are not professionals challenge themselves to their limits and push themselves farther than they can ever imagine. I have met so many amazing people at this event and I always look forward to seeing them again.

I always loved the name Bacon Beatdown.

Do you do your own photo editing? If so, do you like photo editing? Why or why not?

I do my own editing. It is honestly the aspect of photography that I struggle with the most. It is a love/hate relationship. I love getting to develop my skill with it but I do struggle with editing sometimes. I would love to outsource editing but at the same time, I feel like I would lose some of the education aspects of the skill. It is how I learn to enhance the composition of my photos for the next event/shoot. It’s through editing that I evaluate how to improve posing, angles, and creativity for the next photoshoot/event. There is still sooooo much for me to learn in the editing process and although I dislike editing I still want to learn and develop that skill.

Hopefully, you are following my email newsletter and learning a bit?! I want to help as many sports photographers as I can.

What photography jobs do you have coming up that you are excited about?

Any [and] all CrossFit competitions are my favorite events and I look forward to them. Some comps that I have coming up are:

  • Atlantic Coast Classic – May 31 - June 2
  • Tampa Bay Games September 7 - 8

Also, any and all rock climbing events like:

  • Daytona Climbing Company’s Annual Boulder Bash in July
  • Run Daytona 5k, 10k, & 15k – September 14-15.

I love getting to hang out with my running community that entire weekend.

You've got lots of fun events coming up, congrats! What kinds of non-sports-related photo jobs do you take?

I also do family portraits, senior portraits, and professional headshots. Prior to pursuing photography full-time, I worked for a museum and other non-profits. Through those connections I find myself photographing fundraisers for many of the non-profits in the area.

What is a topic related to photography in general, or more specifically sports photography, that you are really passionate about?

I love capturing those moments of movement and those try-hard moments capturing the athlete's grit, power, and passion. I am currently finding a newfound passion for adventure photography for climbing. Not only capturing athlete moments but challenging myself to get creative to capture the photo.

Who were/are your mentors?

Chris Pullium, Jay Knickerbocker, and Maria Mor.

What would be an event/competition/game that you would love to shoot someday?

The Crossfit Games. I don’t feel like I am anywhere near the level of skill or talent that the photographers there are at but I hope to one day get there. As a rock climber, I have been getting more into photographing climbing. I would love to get to be at the different competitions for the International Federation of Sport Climbing. I am also a runner and love to get to photograph the different races in town. I would love to get to be at the major track and field events. Another side of it is trail running and the Gold Trail Series. I would love to get to travel the world capturing the entire race series.

What sport have you not shot yet that you would love to shoot?

I would love to shoot basketball. I used to be a basketball player growing up and I think it would be cool to photograph that.

Thank you so much, MoMo! I appreciate you taking the time to be interviewed for our blog. Readers, follow MoMo on socials on Instagram.

Join us back here next Thursday for another interview with a sports photographer!

~ Wendy