The Color of Water

Glaciers are mesmerizing.
All that gray, swirling ceaselessly,
Above in the clouds and below in the water.
Then suddenly—almost prophetically—a splash of blue.

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Onlookers are drawn to prophetic blue.
A patch of yellow signals the arrival of someone else.
A comrade-photographer angling low for a shot.

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Before long, the scene shifts.
The colors intensify as if by magic.
Bright and moody all at once.
Forlorn and revelatory.

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Gavin walks to the water’s edge, irresistibly.
A California kid—hanging loose—misplaced in this vast glacial lagoon.

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Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Strong Young Women

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Labor Day weekend.
Salmon Lake.
Cloudless.
I’m with friends.
Lots of them.
I’ve known them a long time.
We’ve seen our kids start small and go big.
Smiles are great.
But eyes are better.
They’re tough as hell to fake.
Eyes scream reality:
We take no shit from nobody.
Not in high school.
Not in college.
Never.

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Adobe: Picture Perfect

Overwhelming gratitude.
That’s how I feel when I photograph at Adobe.
Oh, happy, too, of the bursting variety.
So much to say about this set.
But the images themselves will have to do the talking.
I’m at a loss for words…Neilson_Corporate_Photography_Portrait_Sales5-BrighterDSC_4477-2neilson corporate photography portrait bay area photographer headshot adobe sales blue glassesneilson corporate photography portrait bay area photographer headshot adobe brown hairneilson corporate photography portrait bay area photographer headshot adobe sales dreadlocks

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Best Buds

Meet J.

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And Other J.

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Nowadays, when you don’t have a prom date,
You pair up with your best bud.
Exactly as it should be.
Tear it up, ladies!

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Goofiness and proms go together.
Just ask Other J who has a black-belt in fun.

When it rains outside during a shoot, you go indoors.
You take advantage of available light
And explore new styles of photography worthy of the occasion.

Oh, and you grab a spear of salvia.
That’s key, because if you can’t be outdoors,
At least you can bring a piece of it with you inside.
Where would this image be without that purple petal, right?!

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As lovely as fine art portraiture is, it’s prom night after all.
So you’ve got to end on a goofy and timeless note.

Contact me for kids, teens, graduation, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Heart of Palm

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Snow White and the Baby Bump were gone. A hush fell on the water. And we were quiet and still like the surface of the lake. Paige was musing on dragonflies. Terrell was alone at the water’s edge, sitting on a pile of stones jutting into the lake. Slowly, carefully, Gavin crept up behind her. Don’t scare her, I whispered to myself. Surprisingly, he didn’t scream or poke her ribs. Instead he sidled up beside her with feline grace. He placed his hand on her head, gently. And as he stood there, who knows what—if any—benediction passed through his 9-year old head. But, even if it didn’t, who cares? A child’s touch is blessing enough for a parent. And that’s what really matters in the end.

This summer’s offer is winding down. If you’re interested, contact me.

The Godmother

Family photography Bay Area San Jose Pacific Grove ocean beach portrait

Arm in arm, they strolled the beach.
They dug their toes into the sand.
They laughed, they hugged.
They gazed out to sea.
They were radiant.
Beautiful.
Thinking it to myself wasn’t enough.
Holy smokes, you two look fantastic, I said.
Smiling, the Godmother touched her blue headdress.
Yes, we do, she said.
It’s a party.
We’re celebrating.
My goddaughter’s son turns one today.
Our family is beat, but we are not.
So we’re here, and they’re not.
The Godmother opened her arms to embrace the sea.
Congratulations, I said, and turned to leave.
But she glanced at me and my camera around my neck,
And I understood her meaning right away.
Yes, she said without a word.
Photograph us.
Snap away.
It’s OK.
And when the Godmother speaks—
Telepathically or otherwise—
You do as you’re asked.

Check out this month’s special offer

All The Light There Is To See

Last Thursday, I was scouting light for a family shoot.
I parked at the edge of Alum Rock.
Then I started walking.
And walking.
It was hot and dusty.
And my walk turned into a hike.
After two miles, I was sweating as though on a long run.
Rapid-fire, a non-verbal thought came to me.
It felt something like this…
Yes, was the thought.
Yes, I’m changing careers
Yes, there’s uncertainty
Yes, there’s self-doubt
But this is my new office
My new workplace
My new commute
After the thought flashed through me,
I pressed on, giddy as a 50-year old kid can be.

I’m running a family promotion this summer, so let’s shoot.