Local photographer has big plans for the future

Contributed Mikala Gallo is shown shooting photographs in late December.

Mikala Gallo’s future is coming into focus.

The East Meredith resident recently made her passion for photography official with the launch of Mikala Gallo Photography.

“A few months ago, I sort of kicked into gear and said, ‘OK, I need to do this, this is my passion,’” Gallo, 25, said. “I think this whole year has forced a lot of people to think about what they care about most, so that forced me to do what I love.”

Being behind the lens, Gallo said, is nothing new.

“I got my first camera when I was 12 and, throughout high school, I did AP art,” she said. “My whole thesis was on photography and, in 11th or 12th grade, I really dug deep into my passion.

“And about two years ago,” Gallo continued, “I started photographing a band called Hanzolo, and that helped me grow a lot with the business aspect of photography. Now, I’m just really thinking, ‘OK, what can I do to grow even more?’ I don’t really want to limit myself, so I’m just doing everything. It’s overwhelming, but it’s cool, and I’m excited for it.”

“Everything,” Gallo said, includes family, maternity, engagement, elopement, wedding, newborn and product shoots.

“I’m open to any creative process,” she said. “When I started advertising that I was doing weddings for next year and the following year, I had some people reach out to me about photography for their businesses. I would love to work with some of the vintage businesses around … and do more editorial, social media stuff. Everything has shifted to online platforms, so I’m really looking to dive into social media and help other businesses generate content using my work and really work together to help everybody grow.

“But my passion lies in portraiture,” Gallo, whose degree is in sociology, said. “I love people and the expressions people make and working with people — that’s where the sociology comes in — but I won’t limit what I photograph.”

Gallo said, after the pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19, she plans to delve further into wedding photography.

“I’m hoping to establish myself and really dip my toes into the wedding industry,” she said. “This past year was supposed to be the year for that, but that didn’t happen. I’m really intrigued by elopement photography … and making it about that very intimate moment: a small wedding with magical pictures and just you and your significant other.”

Gallo, an Otego native, said most customers are local, though she hopes to broaden her scope.

“Everyone has been super supportive and messaging me saying, ‘I love these’ or, ‘I’m so happy with them,’” she said. “It’s been primarily throughout the Oneonta and Otsego (County) area and a lot of my clientele are women. I’m looking to reach out and grow to the Albany or any sort of city area, just to get more of my work out there. And I haven’t had a chance to go down to New York City, but I have a couple of photographer friends there and would love to grow toward that area when things feel safer.”

Gallo, who offers edited digital packages, said she’s planning to fine-tune her process in 2021.

“Everything’s online, so I send (customers) digital prints in their gallery or whatever we’ve worked out,” she said. “Typically, what I do for most of my package deals, is I provide color and a black-and-white … and I go through and edit every picture individually. I’m working to transfer to a smoother online platform for getting people their gallery, eventually with printing services.”

For more information, to book a session or to view Gallo’s work, follow @mikalagallophoto on Instagram, email mikalagallo@gmail.com, visit mikalagallophotography.com or find “Mikala Gallo Photography” on Facebook.

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