Rebecca Patton graduated from the University of Dallas with a B.A. in biology and lives in the Design District in Dallas with her husband Andrew Patton and terrier Truman Capote. In college she worked toward becoming a physical therapist, but two years ago the call to photography was too loud for her to ignore, so she became a full-time photographer and immersed herself in the Dallas photography community. She works with a variety of clients: from Dallas bloggers to startups to weddings and creative events.
Q: Could you tell us about your company, BECKLEY & Co — how it got started, and what made you want to open your own business?
BECKLEY & Co. was born out of necessity to create. I had operated under “Rebecca Kirstin Photography” in college and was looking to make some extra money, and once I graduated I was looking for a way to rebrand and start fresh. It started with the concept of working with a stylist, who at first was my best friend Sarah Lockhart, to consult on what to wear for a shoot. For example, for an engagement shoot, we would be able to tell couples what to wear, where to go, what time to be there and curate an entire story for the shoot that brought out the couple’s personalities.
I always thought photography would be a convenient hobby for me as I continued my career path as a physical therapist, but one day I was talking with Andrew and everything lined up and we both came to the realization that I should just be a photographer full time. And that was one of the best days of my life.
Q: As a recent graduate, what has been the biggest takeaway from your UD education? Do you see a connection between your studies in biology and your work in photography?
I think I have a bigger takeaway from my college experience … than my education as a biology major. As in, I wish I had done things differently. I made the mistake in college of never asking for help when I needed it — I never took advantage of office hours or admit[ed] that I simply cannot do everything … After learning that [lesson] and owning my own business, the simple understanding that people want to help has been a huge factor in my success.
Q: As former photography editor for The University News, do you have any advice for current students pursuing a career in photography?
Stick to your gut. A lot of people are talented — and this goes far beyond photography — and you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people in your field. Be inspired, seek advice, learn from each other. But don’t compare: It’ll mess with your head and your art.
Q: What’s the best part about your job?
I do love the fulfillment in knowing I do what I absolutely love and I’m helping other people either start their business[es], or run and promote their business[es] or capture memories they will look back on forever. It’s just a really gratifying field to be in, and I love how many people I have met while doing that [who] are just as excited as I am about being part of the Dallas community and supporting local businesses and art. I guess there is no “best part” — I just really love what I do in it’s entirety.
Students, are you interested in speaking with alumnus Rebecca or learning more about photography? Contact UD Alumni Relations at email@example.com.