Q&A with Helen Henry of Rhubarb Photography, Brisbane Queensland

We love sharing these personal profiles of our favourite Australian professional photographers! Find out all about the person behind the lens in our Q&A series.

Rhubarb Photography, Brisbane

How did you get started as a photographer?

I knew I wanted to be a photographer in high school after picking up my Dad’s old Pentax film camera. I studied a Bachelor of Photography straight out of school finishing in 1998, all still film and darkrooms! I then worked in professional print labs printing for some of Australia’s best wedding and portrait photographers.

I moved to London for 3 years and traveled the world falling in love with photographing people. I started my first portrait studio from home in East Brisbane in 2004, it grew and I took on a business partner for a while and moved to a busy inner city studio. For several years it was high volume and fast paced and I felt in my heart that I needed change. It no longer felt like the right place for me. I started Rhubarb Photography in 2011 and instantly felt like I could breathe!

What did life look like before photography?

There is no life before photography for me! It is all I have ever done. It is all I know.

Tell us about a day in the life of a professional photographer …

Wake up, drink coffee, get 2 kids off to school, drink more coffee while checking and replying to emails and phone calls, shoot 10 am session, edit and upload sessions, set studio for next days session, check weather for location sessions booked in within the next week, respond to emails and phone calls and process client orders, pick up kids from school……. editing/order processing restarts after kids have gone to bed if needed! (usually another coffee in there for good measure!)

Do you have a special story to share?

Honestly, each of my clients are special to me but there are a few who have blown me away. I have had several families book me from overseas knowing that they would be in Australia visiting their family. I have traveled to Bundaberg, Dalby, Victoria, Sydney and Newcastle for clients from New Zealand, London, New York, Abu Dhabi and more. I cannot think of a more beautiful gesture than to go out of your way to find someone’s work you love so much and got that much effort to have me photograph them and their family.

If you could photograph 1 thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

6-8 month old babies (hello thigh rolls, giggles and cute bottoms!) and family sessions on my favourite Sunshine Coast beach at sunset! Bliss!

What is the best thing about your job?

Meeting so many beautiful families who give me creative licence everyday to create their family memories! I don’t think I’d survive without a creative outlet and that other people put their faith in me to do this for them is truly the most beautiful thing for me.

Tell us something we don’t know about professional photography …

I plan more for your location session than you could ever know. Not just making sure the weather is going to be fine. Wind, tides, sunset time, traffic, a second camera just in case of technical issues. I planning this from the very first conversation when I ask who is in your family and what you want from your family photographs. I want to find the perfect location that suits you. Not just a cookie cutter session because I like that location. I want more than anything for you to fall in love with your portraits because I know that these will mean so much more to you and your children in 5, 10, 20 years than they do the day hang your wall art on your wall.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?

Hmmm… I would love to flip houses! I love the idea of bringing back to life outdated or run down houses and creating beautiful living spaces. Turning them into homes.

Here’s a blank cheque! What are you going to spend it on for your business?

A beautiful natural light studio on the waterfront! I would love nothing more than the combination of natural light to create light filled portraits then step outside and use natures textures and warm sunsets!

If you could photograph someone famous, who would it be and why?

Michelle O’Bama! I admire her so much. Intelligent and well spoken, beautiful and with such a fabulous sense of humor. A very close second would be Joanna Gaines. I just love her style and think she is absolutely stunning.










0413 209 446

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