The 2022 edition of the Aurora Area Go Guide features nearly a dozen photos of people and places in the Aurora Area captured by photographer Amy Nelson. We thought it would be fun for Amy to step out from behind the camera and tell us about her experience capturing memorable moments throughout the communities of the Aurora Area. You can get your copy of the Aurora Area Go Guide, the official visitors publication of the region, in print or online at our Visitors Guide page.

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EnjoyAurora: Give us a bit of background on yourself and your photography business. 

Amy Nelson: I am a freelance photographer based in Aurora, Illinois. I studied business at Aurora University and initially enjoyed photography as a hobby. Before becoming a stay at home Mom, I worked in Events Management for my alma mater. Now I balance my daily duties, mom life with photographing my community with an emphasis on tourism and economic development. I have been in business for 4 years now.

Your photos in the new Aurora Area Go Guide are so varied, from outdoor adventure to dining, a beautiful snap of new public art in downtown Aurora, and of course a lovely photo capturing family fun that appears on our cover. Do you have a favorite area or subject matter to shoot? 

My favorite subject matter is capturing people genuinely enjoying their community whether that is interactions with one another or interactions with things like food, art and architecture. In a broad sense, I would describe my photographic interests as anthropological, or relevant to everyday life. Some of my favorite endeavors have been shooting advance photography for the Paramount Theatre, where art and talent are always on full display. In the same vein, I have also really enjoyed photographing Sugar Skull City which is a festive downtown-wide celebration of Day of the Dead right here in Aurora, Illinois. 

When you go out with your family or have friends visit the Aurora Area, what are some of your favorite things to do?

I love Midwest summers! Some of my favorite things to do with family and friends in the area are enjoying a day lounging at Splash Country, kayaking the Fox River, listening to music at RiverEdge Park and eating tacos and drinking margaritas at La Quinta de Los Reyes.


Amy Nelson and family at La Quinta de los Reyes in downtown Aurora, Illinois

Do you have any tips or advice for visitors to the Aurora Area, maybe the 'inside scoop' on a great restaurant, event, or activity in the region? 

I mentioned it previously, but I think the patio at La Quinta de Los Reyes makes for an enjoyable meal with friends and family along the Fox River. Also, we have a wonderful stretch of trails in the area, so you can't go wrong with a nice bike ride along the Fox River Trail and the Gilman Trail. Lastly, Blackberry Farm is a great retreat for families with young children.

And for those of us not as gifted as you are when it comes to photography, any tips for how we can improve? 

If your phone has this capability, use Portrait mode. Everyone loves a good photo with some bokeh (which is just a fancy term for a crisp subject and a blurred background). Also, I'd say just keep shooting! Experiment with your camera settings. It can be intimidating at first but most camera phones have the ability to switch to manual mode. This means you can change things like exposure, shutter speed and aperture - all foundational elements of photography. Gone are the days we have to pay to develop our film, so just keep taking those photos!

Thank you, Amy. Where can people find you and your work?

I can be found at I am most active on Instagram and can be found at