This week’s Featured Photographer is:
Rebecca Hellyer Photography
Areas you Serve:
Chicago and Chicagoland suburbs
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hi! I’m Rebecca. I was born in Australia and lived there my entire life until I came to the United States as an au pair back in…2004? It was so long ago! While working as an au pair out in Maryland I met the man who would become my husband (we met on Match.com!). We now live in the city of Chicago in a 1920’s bungalow, with our 4 year old son and two ridiculous dogs.
How did you get started in photography?
Like so many others, my love for photography began with the birth of our son. I bought a decent point and shoot that allowed me to learn how to shoot in manual, and then quickly upgraded to a Canon Rebel t3i. I instantly fell in love with the “blurry background” and would shoot hundreds of frames a day. In April 2013 I opened up for business and I haven’t looked back!
What do you shoot?
I shoot mostly families and children, as well as newborns and maternity. I also occasionally work with couples and have photographed a few weddings (and hope to do more in the future!). And of course, I photograph my own family and the wonderful city of Chicago.
Who or what inspires you?
My son. Capturing him and preserving our family’s memories are without a doubt my biggest inspiration and reason to keep shooting.
The wonderful city of Chicago also inspires me — it’s so breathtakingly beautiful living here…the intense changes of seasons, the gritty urban environment, the many parks and of course, Lake Michigan are all so inspiring to me. On the first warm days of spring after a long winter I love nothing more than to wander around the city with my camera, taking in all the sights and sounds (and smells — ha!).
What kind of camera bag do you carry and what’s in it?
I have a beautiful Ona Chelsea bag — it’s such a stylish, gorgeous bag and I’m in love with it!
Inside at any given moment you’ll find my Canon 6D, probably with my Sigma ART 35mm lens attached. You might also find any of my other lenses — the Canon 135mm f/2L, my 100mm f/2.8 macro, my 50mm f/1.4 or maybe my Lensbaby Edge 80. Sometimes my 580EX II speedlight will be in there as well. And you’ll always, always find an assortment of general stuff — an Expodisc, my Lens Pet, some memory cards, a prism, spare battery, a red clown’s nose (hey, we family/child photographers do what we gotta do!), some stickers, a Lens Pen…you get the point! There’s a lot of randomness in there!
What are some of your favorite photography products?
My two favorite lenses are, by far, some of my fave photography products — the Sigma 35mm and the Canon 135mm f/2L. I always, ALWAYS have those lenses on me and I love them both dearly.
Aside from lenses, I couldn’t live without my Lens Pen (I often leave lens caps off so I need something on hand to clean smudges and dust off dirt). Oh, and I big puffy heart love my Expodisc!!
Three random things about yourself:
1. I’m terrified of heights! I work on the 19th floor of a building downtown, and my knees wobble when I get too close to the windows.
2. I’m an avid reader.
3. I have the terrible habit of biting my nails…awful, I know.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Shoot what you love.
The rest will fall into place if you just shoot what you love.
Any advice you’d like to share?
Try not to get caught up in the hype. The most important thing about photography is that you put in the work — do the work, practice your craft, and you will grow as a photographer. Don’t worry about taking the latest workshop or buying the newest gear…you can learn so much by just trying and trying again and not being afraid to learn from your mistakes.
Mac or PC? Photoshop or Lightroom?
PC! My husband works for Microsoft, so a Mac will never, ever, EVER be a part of our household.
I primarily use Lightroom, but will also use Photoshop occasionally.