Out Shooting Horses

July, 2019.
Iceland, dusk.
In the summer, twilight lasts a long time.
The sun never never fully disappears.
It flirts with the horizon.
Skirting, touching, and dipping beneath it, briefly.
Then it pops right back up again.
I made these images at 11:30 at night.
My family was asleep.
I was not.
I crossed the road, empty.
I sauntered into an open field.
Potatoes, cotton bolls, lush green grass.
Oh, and horses, lots of them.
Corralled by trenches and thin wire fences.

neilson travel photography iceland horses landscape cotton bolls

They skittered a bit, on edge.
One bolted, then stopped on a ridge.
He looked at me, miffed.
As I walked, he parallelled me with precision till I was gone.
A wild, long-maned Icelandic geometer of sorts.

neilson travel photography landscape horse solitary

Another horse.
Not skittish, friendly.
Soft nose, curious eyes.
Closer, closer.
I touched the forehead,
Then the muzzle.

neilson travel landscape photography iceland horses mono e mono

I approached a small band of horses.
On hands and knees, I crawled up to them.
Totally unnecessary.
They greeted me, flicking their tails.
I sat down before them, at the feet of muscle and bone.
Rocking quietly before their strength and beauty.
Listening, observing, and shooting.
Always shooting.

neilson travel photography landscape iceland horses cinematic group

Now that’s a damn fine image.
Big print here I come!

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

Pensive Is Joy

 

Faces without expression interest me.
I like the ambiguity, the pensiveness.
But clients don’t like Pensive.
Not as a general rule.
They like unvarnished Joy.
Always have.
So.
Lately I’m doing something different.
During family photo shoots,
I run participants through a series of prompts.
Together we travel from Pensive to Joy
With many waystations in between.
I’m happy with the results.
I get what I want.
And clients get what they want.
Thoughts and reactions are welcome!

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

Him to Her

WINTER, SUMMER—I traveled up and down the San Francisco peninsula photographing corporate business professionals. I’d like to share a few of them.

Adobe

The only thing better than a corporate shoot at Adobe is a corporate shoot at Adobe on a balcony overlooking the City. With a cityscape like that, your eyes would pop, too.

neilson corporate photography photography bay area san francisco silicon valley adobe staff headshot executive portrait will allen

CyCognito

Members of the CyCognito leadership team needed new headshots to match an existing look and feel. Although it departs from my customary style and aesthetic, I thoroughly enjoyed working with a white background and two off-camera strobes.

Procurant

When you provide solutions for the global food supply chain, it’s smart branding to photograph your leaders outdoors where trees and hedgerows provide a splash of color.

Fenwick & West marketing pro

This aspiring marketing leader at a legendary law firm wanted to blend the venerability of law with the approachability of marketing. Done and done. 

Oh, did I say Adobe?

If so, no harm in repetition 🙂

neilson corporate photography photography bay area san francisco silicon valley adobe staff headshot executive portrait will allen

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

Utterly Absorbed

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

Flow.
Attunement.
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.

Have Sister Will Weep

bay area family kid photography photographer black and white boy cry

Sisters.
They can be a nuisance.
Paige pushed one too many buttons.
And Gavin was about to punch her in the throat.
I saw him wind up like Madison Bumgarner.
Fast ball, all the way.
I intervened.
Dads.
They can be a nuisance, too.
When the urge to violence is muted, frustration often ensues.
Bitter, heartfelt frustration.
Tears happen.
Then—moments later—
A silent, unobtrusive camera click,
Because of course…

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

Healoha Is Waiting

Meet Brigitte Mouchet.

She’s a wellness entrepreneur in the Bay Area.

She’s the founder and CEO of Healoha, a marketplace for wellness services that helps both clients and practitioners. Healoha is available in the U.S. and French-speaking countries in Europe.

Inspired by waves and ocean air, Brigitte hired me for a day of corporate photography on the coast in Half Moon Bay, one of her favorite places in the world.

We captured images for use on the company’s digital and social media channels, images ranging from corporate headshots like these two images…

corporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo glassescorporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo environmental headshot

…to environmental portraits like this…

corporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo environmental headshot orange sweatshirt

…and this…

corporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo headshot orange sweatshirt bridge

…to social and active shots like these…

corporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo social media runningcorporate portrait photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo ceo social media walking footprints

…and even to landscape photography, which required a jaunt to Santa Cruz, where the mist lifted at last and Walton Lighthouse winked at the purpling sky.

corporate landscape photography bay area half moon bay santa cruz healo social digital media

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Thank you.

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

Smart Start

Let’s get one thing straight: Teachers are the best.

In the back-asswards Hierarchy of the Underappreciated, they’re perched on a mountaintop of nurses and EMTs, janitors and sanitation workers, freelance writers, line cooks, and UN interpreters.

So when Smart Start preschool hired me for staff photography, I jumped at the opportunity and threw myself into the assignment as though it were Teacher Appreciation Day.

Actually, days. I hope my effort shows.

Day 1—Newark, CA

 

Day 2—Livermore, CA

 

To the staff at Smart Start—and teachers everywhere—thank you. Thank you.

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