Utterly Absorbed

neilson family photography portrait outdoors grass natural light candid paige bay area photographer iceland

Peak performance.
By whatever term, I’m a big fan of this kind of moment.
It’s as perfect as we can get, we nickle-plated angels and gold-crusted demons.
In Iceland, Paige is doing what comes naturally to kids everywhere:
Playing as seriously as a scientist at work.
Absorbed in a blade of grass with the insouciance of Buddha.
That’s why I take pictures.
Capturing—not perfect moments—
But the illusion of perfection in a green field with birch—
And a daughter I love intensely.

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

Best Buds

Meet J.

family teen prom graduation photography photographer portraits outdoors eyes

And Other J.

family teen prom graduation photography photographer portraits outdoor brown eyes candid fun hair

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!


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?!

family teen prom graduation photography photographer portraits studio blue eyes salvia petal fine art

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.

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.
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.

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