Travel and Landscape Photography

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” That’s national treasure Steve McCurry riffing on the desire to explore and notice the world. When I grow up, I want to be a travel and landscape photographer. Till then, I’ll hone my craft and dream of faraway places.   

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Travel Photography

Bay Area Portrait Photography

One of the rewards of photography is the opportunity to capture people at different stages of life—from graduating seniors to business professionals—and visit gorgeous locations, like Yosemite, and photograph the world’s most iconic rock formation at different times of the day. Please enjoy!

Bay Area senior portraits

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Landscape photography

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Bay Area corporate headshots

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

One Lens, Many Styles

Many photographers specialize in one style of photography. They often zero in on portrait, family, street, or landscape photography. I’m a dabbler at heart, always have been, except my dabbling is fairly serious, because I want to be really good at whatever interests me. Here are some examples of photography styles I’ve been exploring lately. Hope you enjoy! 

Corporate headshots

neilson corporate headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower vest glasses
neilson corporate portrait headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower sweater
neilson corporate portrait headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower female highlights
neilson corporate portrait headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower male blazer

Creative portraits

neilson corporate portrait photography model san jose bay area ambient light vintage dana mckay
neilson corporate headshot photography bay area san francisco mubadala sales force tower stylized black and white
neilson portrait photography bay area san jose santana row marika
Neilson family potrait teen photography bay area san jose sisters freckles

Families

neilson family photography bay area pleasanton diablo church
neilson family photography carmel don and ali
neilson family photography bay area san jose woodcox baby
neilson family photography bay area santa clara university jenna and allen

Landscapes

neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae twin falls
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river twilight boulders leaves
neilson landscape photography bay area sacramento national wildlife refuge wide angle hwy 5
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae falls

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

Northbound

If you drive HWY 5—either north or south—you may pass by the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, sandwiched between Willows and Williams, just north of the 505 exchange. I’ve driven by it countless times over the years before finally poking my nose in there last October to explore. I heard beautiful birdsong and saw splendid things—and communed with a solitary tree for a half hour. Next time you’re in that area, poke your nose in there, too.

neilson landscape photography bay area sacramento national wildlife refuge wide angle hwy 5
neilson landscape photography bay area sacramento national wildlife refuge portrait hwy 5

North of Redding, there’s a small town called Douglas City. It sports a campground by the selfsame name. Of course, the big draw is the Trinity River, which has some of the most spectacular sport fishing in California during the fall. That’s my buddy below, patient as a spider, catching beefy rainbows.

neilson landscape photography bay area redding douglas city trinity river fly angler
neilson landscape photography bay area redding douglas city trinity river wide angle

North of Redding, CA, Dunsmuir is a quaint town that stretches along the Upper Sacramento River. We often think of the Sacramento River as a slow moving body of water, brown and murky. But the Upper Sacramento River is something altogether different. Between Lake Siskiyou and Lake Shasta, the Upper Sacramento is a narrow fast-moving river, with blue and emerald tints. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world can be found in Dunsmuir. A major perk of Mossbrae Falls is that it isn’t easy to get to. You have to navigate your way there along a railroad track. As a result, there aren’t many people there in the middle of the week. We only saw one, and she was kind enough to let me photograph her.

neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae twin falls
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae falls
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae falls wide angle with sun
neilson travel photography dunsmuir upper sacramento river mossbrae falls portrait stranger
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river railroad tracks rocks leaves
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river railroad tracks
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river bank tree
neilson landscape photography bay area dunsmuir upper sacramento river twilight boulders leaves

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

Limekiln State Park

Paige and I are back from our first father-daughter camping trip. We went to Limekiln State Park south of Big Sur on HWY 1. Paige is effervescent and highly talkative. I learned A LOT. I learned that in her next life, she wants to be a four-leaf clover, because she wants to bring good luck to people. Either that, or a squirrel, because they’re cute. Here she is playing at the confluence of Hare Creek and the Pacific.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park hare creek pacific ocean sunset

My kiddo, taking the measure of a redwood sapling. How cool would it be if, one day, the redwood tree stands over 200 feet and has notched several hundred years, and Paige was the only human on the planet to have patted its crown, wishing it well?

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park redwood sapling

Hare Creek in the late afternoon, burbling out of the Los Padre National Forest, on its way to the Pacific.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state hare creek burbling among redwoods

Pure, unbridled Paige.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln black and white smile

Strolling among giants of the Earth.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park redwoods

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