Photographer With Down Syndrome Shows the World a Unique Perspective With His Camera
Oliver Hellowell sees the world differently from most people, and he translates his distinct outlook into art.
The 18-year-old, who lives in Somerset, England, and has Down syndrome, developed an interest in photography around the age of 11. After watching his stepfather, Mike, take pictures, he wanted to try it for himself, according to his Facebook page. It didn’t take long for his natural talent to become evident.
“I am very proud of Oliver and the fact that I have seen him mature and become very much more confident through his photography,” Mike O’Carroll, Oliver’s stepdad and photography teacher, told The Mighty. “He started by wanting to take pictures ‘like Mike’ and now can do that, but more importantly takes pictures ‘like Oliver.’”
Photography is a tool that allows the world a glimpse from Hellowell’s perspective, and it brings him a great sense of achievement as well. Someday, he hopes to make a living off his work.
“He has every right to be a professional wildlife landscape photographer,” his mother, Wendy O’Carroll, told BBC News. “Just as anybody else would.”
About a year ago, Wendy O’Carroll created the Oliver Hellowell – Photographer with Down syndrome Facebook page to share his art online, and now it has almost 17,000 page likes from fans all over the world. It’s clear that people are deeply touched by his pictures.
“I just love it!” Hellowell told the BBC.
His pictures are rarely of people; instead, they feature natural landscapes and wildlife, especially different kinds of birds, according to the blog, “Downs Side Up.”
“I’m different from other photographers,” he told the outlet. “I like the framing and the composition and having the camera on the ground looking up.”
Currently, Hellowell is attending college in Taunton Somerset England and continuing to pursue his dream of becoming a professional photographer.
“Oliver is a funny, amazing, random, kind of guy who brings a smile to my face several times every day,” his mother wrote on his website. “[He] provides his own unique perspective on the world, and we are all the richer for his being here.”
To see more of Oliver Hellowell’s photography and/or to purchase prints, visit his website.