Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Rebecca Plotnick. Rebecca’s work is soft, beautiful, and captures everything I love about traveling. I was so excited to see her work in person, since I’ve been following her on Instagram for what feels like forever! I also got to ask her a few questions. Keep reading to find out more about her travels!
When was the first time you went abroad?
My first time abroad was when I studied in College at Indiana. I studied in Florence, Italy. We stopped in London and then Siena, Italy for 3 weeks. We arrived in January; it was cold and the city was small. At first I didn’t like Siena but one day we climbed the tower overlooking the city and at that moment I fell in love with travel. It was this trip of exploring Europe that I knew I wanted to do something with my life with traveling the world because I didn’t want to stop!
What’s your favorite season in Paris?
My favorite season in Paris is tough; I have experienced them all! The snow in Paris is amazing and is not often but it’s unbelievably magical. Spring is probably my favorite because the cafes start opening terraces on the streets and the entire city is in bloom. After this last trip I noticed the spring goes in stages and different colors bloom throughout the season. It’s lovely to watch the transition in the city.
What’s your favorite place to visit in the U.S.?
In the U.S. my favorite city is NYC. It’s so full of life and there’s a lot to explore. My aunt and uncle live there and they are foodies so when I visit we are always going for the best meals. There is also a good francophile community there which is a good feeling.
How long have you lived in Chicago; what keeps bringing you back here?
I lived in Chicago for 8 years before packing up my belongings to move to Paris. I wanted a change of pace and I needed to change my life. Living in Paris and traveling for 3 years will do that to you. This week I have moved back to Chicago to make it my home base. It’s been a good city to me and I need to live somewhere where there is a lot going on and I can hop a plane to anywhere in the world pretty quickly!
Do you prefer the dark room, or digital?
I love the process of the darkroom. I started in high school and it was the action of the print meeting the developer and watching the image appear that got me hooked. I spent 4 years in the dark room all throughout high school and loved it. Digital is great and I can shoot so much more and know if something worked or it didn’t. That’s a huge help to know instantly. I am not a big fan of computer manipulation when it comes to digital. I believe that that photo should come out the way it does when you shoot it. Post processing is a little like cheating!
If you had to describe your photography style in five words, what would they be?
My photography has changed so much over the years so this is a challenge. Romantic, colorful, warm, detail oriented, french.
What’s your best-selling print?
My best seller changes so much but I guess the one that is most popular over all these years is the Hall of Mirrors from my Paris trip in 2010.
What cameras do you shoot with?
I started my business after getting laid off in 2008 and I didn’t have a lot of money. My first camera was a rebel which I absolutely loved and it worked well. I highly recommend it if you are just starting out. I now shoot with a 70D which is much heavier than my first camera. I lug it around Paris with a few different lenses. I love the 35mm and the 50mm lenses best.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to travel on a budget?
Traveling on a budget. I highly recommend renting an apartment vs a hotel room. If you can research the area you are staying in you can cut your costs in half by renting an apartment. I have rented through Airbnb and it has worked out well. Visit the local grocery stores and markets and eat breakfast at the apartment if you can. Lunch picnics are great. In Paris there are a ton of restaurants that do lunch prefix menus that are a great value. Try to avoid the high season if you want to save money. Traveling in the winter is fantastic you can get great deals and the tourists are gone so you can experience the city as a local!
Are there any hidden gems in Chicago that photographers should know about?
I wish I knew of hidden gems in Chicago. After being gone for a few years I look forward to rediscovering the city myself!
Have more questions for Rebecca? Comment below!