Lakefront Sunrises by Béle Benard in Chicago, Illinois

We love the way Chicago- based photographer Béle Benard plays with the theme of movement in her feed. We also dig her beautiful aerial shots of Chi-Town! Be sure to check her out and follow along: @belebenard.

Name:Béle Benard

Place you live: Chicago, Illinois

Occupation: Freelance photographer

Place your Instagrams were taken? Chicago

Can you sum up Chicago? No, a light coat will not suffice during winter.

What is a perfect day in Chicago? Exploring new places to take photographs and meeting new people to take photographs with.

If Chicago was a person or character who would it be and why? It would be that cool aunt that secretly gives you alcohol at family gatherings. Chicago is homey and still full of excitement, the longer I live here, the more I love it.

How long have you been using Instagram? I’ve had my account for about four years but only began taking photography seriously a year ago.

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? Most recently I’ve been on a disposable camera binge. It’s made me pay attention to what I’m taking photos of and why. Aside from that, I have a weak spot for instant film photography (Fujifilm, Polaroid), but I always have my Canon 6D with me.

What is your editing process? Chipotle, loud music, and Lightroom. There isn’t a secret to making nice photographs. It’s all about trying new things and figuring out what works best for you.

Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? Totally! I quickly found myself framing things to fit into a square before IG changed the portrait/landscape game on us. It’s also nice having an audience, it pushes you to create, and if someone says they don’t care about that, they’re lying (or just way more self-sufficient than me).

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Reach out to the people who inspire you! Everyone started somewhere. Hashtags are also a great way to get connected with your community. A few I use that are Chicago specific are #Chitecture, #ChooseChicago, #FlippinChi, and #InstaChicago

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? Right now, it’s @jibasaur, @corieshotts, and @thesamgraves.

Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features and learn from the masters.

Want to be featured on our best of Instagram series and bask in the glory? Follow Global Yodel on Instagram and tag your best local shots with #GlobalYodel!


Name:Béle Benard


Best place to eat:

Taqueria Los Comales – cheap & open late!

Best place to drink:

Gallery shows! Art and booze – the perfect combination!

Best outdoor activity:

Lakefront sunrises are unforgettable.

Must do:

Chicago is much more than the Loop. Explore the great neighborhoods that surround downtown Chi, it’s where all the fun really happens!

Local tip:

Stay on the right side of the escalators and don’t make eye contact with the people who sing (loudly) on the CTA.