This story is part of 30 Under 30.
Oliver Hellowell is a young nature and wildlife photographer who happens to have Down’s syndrome. This Nature Photography Day, Oliver tells us what photography means to him.
I was about 10 years old when I first started taking pictures. I like wildlife, I like birds and I like the landscape and taking pictures of the trees. I like water and I like going for walks out into ‘the wild’ and the countryside.
We once had an exhibition and lots of people came to see my pictures. I gave a speech and we sold lots of pictures and with the money I bought a Chinese takeaway for us on the Sunday night when we finished, and bought a week in a holiday cottage in Wales in the middle of nowhere! I’m very proud when I have an exhibition.
My fans say ‘that’s amazing!’ about my pictures and write messages to me. I like it when we get more places to put on the map!
You should give photography a go. Just do it. Just go out there and do what you want!
As part of 30 Under 30, Oliver shares the top 10 photographs that he has taken.
Canada Geese Flying
This is my all-time favourite image. I have a canvas of it in my bedroom. This is my best one with the three Canada geese flying.
Clown fish in an anemone
I took this through the thick glass of an aquarium which is very difficult. I got the clown fish just right – it’s a really good picture.
I took this one and the cormorant was in the tree and looking out and I got it.
I was on a day out with my friend Adrian and I got this picture of a squirrel. I got it straight on and he’s got his paws up eating and everything it’s brilliant.
I took this at the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent. I love the sharpness of this one and the brightness of the eye. It’s just very cool!
River Dart in Devon
This is a long shutter speed shot which I’m very pleased with. It takes a bit of effort and you have to keep the camera dead still or on a tripod. I love the colours in the water.
I waited as all the swans bobbed their heads up and down in and out of the water to pick up the food which had just been given out and sunk to the bottom. I waited to catch a shot with just one head and beak showing.
I said to my mum, “Mum you know those red flowers outside in the corner? Well, look! I really got them!”
From the ground
When I’d just taken this, I called my mum over to where I was standing, pointed to the ground and said, “see that bit of ground there? I’ve just got it just right! See the little green leaves and the light? I got that perfect!”
Watersmeet in Devon
I was very pleased with this long shutter-speed shot. I got it by standing my camera on a rock.
Oliver is sharing his story as part of our 30 Under 30 campaign. We are releasing one story a day throughout June from disabled people under 30 who are doing extraordinary things. Keep up to date with all of our new stories on our 30 under 30 page.