Mallory Bracken is a writer, social media strategist, photographer, and more. She’s a veritable Jill-of-all-trades. But she truly excels and shows her true talent when using a camera to tell incredible stories.

As the resident photographer and videographer here at Rocket Pop Media, every day it’s my job to tell a story. These stories take a variety of shapes, and range in gravity, but a story is a story and I’m a firm believer that the best way to get through to folks is by telling one. In pursuit of telling these stories, I find myself in some unexpected places —  a children’s ballet class, between rocks on Belle Isle, in Senator Tim Kaine’s office. There’s adventure in touring these unfamiliar environments and situations, but the magic is being allowed into these little pockets of life and to be given access to the people in them. The magic is in meeting all different kinds of people from all different walks of life and in all parts of this great city – a city that, through my work, I’ve been provided the opportunity to explore more intimately than the average Richmonder.

What I love is learning stories that are outside of my own experience — both the lighthearted and fun stories, like the success of a local Boy Scout in popcorn sales, as well as the heavy, need-to-be-told stories, like that of an organization fighting housing discrimination in Richmond or of a young girl who has struggled with a pile of medical obstacles her whole life, but loves to sing. I love meeting people and am inherently curious about them and their experiences; I love working to satisfy that curiosity, reaching for the details of their stories; and I love solving the puzzle that is putting the pieces together into the story that is to be told.

I believe in the power of a story to make change, if it’s told thoughtfully, thoroughly, and with compassion. I think that visual images, through still photography and good video, do much to better tell these stories and help to create that change.

Being able to come to work everyday and practice this skill is something special, and the fact that it often comes with a view into and new understanding of experiences different from my own is what keeps me coming back.