Indoor and Outdoor Portraits

Winter crawls ever closer, gnarled hand by sharpened claw. But we’re fortunate to have a figure to protect us. An actor by day and a bright emblem at night, Abisola is the very picture of springtime, flinging butterflies and yellow beams of light. Radiant! 

Studio Actor’s Headshot

neilson bay area san jose actor's headshot studio studio portrait photography abisola in yellow

Outdoor Actor’s Headshot

neilson bay area san jose actor's headshot outdoor portrait photography abisola at the rose garden in yellow

Bonus studio shot with wardrobe change

neilson bay area san jose actor's headshot studio portrait photography abisola in red

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Headshot Photography

BW Portraits and Headshots

When I became more intentional about portrait and headshot photography, there was a temptation to make things complicated. Two or three lights instead of one. Expensive canvas backdrops. Snoots, grids, and scrims. Best advice I ever got was to keep things simple. One light and a reflector, or maybe just a reflector,—or maybe neither, just ambient light only, depending. I love simplicity. It makes the production process more enjoyable. Not only that, it influences post production, too. Sometimes, color—all those reds, yellows, oranges, and greens—can be terribly distracting at times. When that’s the case, there’s a special joy that comes from stripping out color for black and white portraits. The aesthetic is in keeping with the glories of simplicity. Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image. Hope you enjoy!

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Headshot Photography

Portrait of a Cowboy

One person will see her husband. Some will see their dad or their uncle or their grandpa. But I see a cowboy, a neighbor, and a prophetic eye. In conversation, he asks questions and works hard to commit answers to memory and to keep those memories—so many of them now—properly sorted. When I asked him if I could take his portrait, he politely laughed me off. But he warmed up to the idea after a few more conversations,—and I’m glad he did. Thank you, sir.

cowboy in the wasatch mountain range utah

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Headshot Photography

Kolob Terrace, Virgin, UT

The Kolob Terrace in Virgin, Utah abuts Zion National Park. The terrace is ideally situated to minimize tourists and maximize compositions on the eastern horizon at twilight. Although this image isn’t as dramatic as Double Rainbow, I’m personally convinced it’s superior. It’s sharper, cleaner, wider, and more holistic. Maybe better integrated is the right phrase. The stone and grass in the foreground play an important role in introducing the layers of orange rock and dark clouds. Even the pinyon pines lead to the canyon peak beyond. The whole scene breathes nicely. I also think it would print better at the pixel level than Double Rainbow. Still, I love them both,—but suspect this may be one of the best landscape photos I’ve taken yet. What do you think?

neilson landscape photography zion national park kolob terrace virgin, UT boulders and clouds

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Travel Photography

Portrait of a Creative Professional

Quiet, intense, visionary, thoughtful, worldly, confident. Those are just some of the traits that help define creative professional Aïda Jones, whether she’s sitting for a portrait or creating brand experiences for global clients. I hope you enjoy the headshots as much as I enjoyed making them.

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creative professional aida jones portrait headshot san francisco bay area chair black and white
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creative professional aida jones portrait headshot san francisco bay area black and white table
creative professional aida jones portrait headshot san francisco bay area books horizontal

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neilson corporate headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower stylized black and white
Headshot Photography