Creative Thinking

October 25, 2014

Popular Photography’s September issue included me in their column on creative thinking.   The column was a “how to” on making images that had an unexpected detail or some added element to make it more special.  It was a challenge to look back on the past work and figure out what went through my mind when I was making the picture.  Which part of the image creating process was pre-shoot,  shoot or post-shoot?  I think it came down to a little bit of everything, like ” Is that Snapper looking at me?”  Then shooting it and thinking “What is it looking at,  is it looking at me? and why?”  Then deciding,  yes!…. it’s looking at a knife in the hand and it’s so fresh that it’s still afraid.  So I shot a knife in a hand,  photoshopped  a little glance out of the corner of the eye and done.


Who loves a good trade? I do!

September 24, 2014

I love a good trade. Over the past several years I’ve had opportunities to do trades with all kinds of interesting people and companies. It’s a great way to get really cool things I ordinarily wouldn’t get.  I’ve traded bird prints to friends and owners of Billy Kirk Inc. for awesome merchandise.  I’ve traded a bottle of booze for photos to Norseman Distillery proprietor Scott Ervin and have had an ongoing trade with furniture maker Scott McGlasson of Woodsport. Got any interesting ideas, send them my way. I also trade photography work for cash and checks.




I Moved!

June 1, 2014

Well, it’s finally happened. I moved into Frost 180 ( ) on June 1st this year. Maybe you didn’t know that it was a long process but it was. My wife Stacy (boots on the right) and I sold our little building in Uptown Minneapolis and moved into a much larger space with old some friends. I’m excited to be here now, catching up after 15 years. Now I just need to find where I put my camera.


Wacom Bamboo Paper lets me save that idea for later

May 23, 2014

Creating layouts for my portfolio shots is fun with the Wacom app Bamboo Paper. It allows me to get the idea across but still allow good things to happen on set. I’ve always liked to draw and paint ( I was actually was planning on being an illustrator when still a young person) It’s obvious I never developed my skills to make final illustrated art but it still fun to doodle!

Illustrations are a great communication tool especially when combined with some text and scrap. Now I can hand off my layout to a stylist and we can execute the idea with some expectations but still open for interpretation.


New Paul Nelson Photography branding

April 5, 2014

It looks like I’ll be moving in the Spring if all goes right. And what better time to treat myself to a make over. This time I’m working with awesome designer/artist Michael Lizama ( ) Mike has helped me with promotions in the past such as Snapshots magazine, other mailers and design for sourcebooks.

I’ve also enlisted my talented brother Kirk ( ) to create a customized WordPress site. So have no fear, you can look at my stuff on a desktop, laptop, Ipad phone and it will all look the same and function seamlessly.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-25-at-4.41.56-PM torpedo

PNP logo horz color

Environmental out takes

March 15, 2014

Since I did the makeover, and following advice gotten from the good people at Wonderful Machine, I’ve edited my categories into Cosmetics, Food, Beverage etc. You know just the essentials for life.

That doesn’t mean that’s all I can do. I’ve actually been hired to do pictures with backgrounds and environments if you can believe it. A while back I did a promotional project featuring a human character (photo assistant Pete Bischoff) who liked to go camping and dress up as a bear. He takes a trailer out to the woods and spend time roaming , drinking beer and listening to tunes especially.


Lurzer’s Archive 200 Best Photographers 2013-2014

February 2, 2014

I’m honored to be a part of the Lurzers Archive best 200 ad photographers world wide for 2013-2014.  This time it’s for some drink shots.  Developing a collection of images for a beverage category can be a lot of fun.  What could be more thrilling than throwing liquids around the studio in the presence of high speed,  high buck electrical lighting equipment?  Especially if you’ve had a few.



Birds flying in Eastman Nature Center observatory

December 20, 2012


This is a collaboration with designer Robert Jensen to put my bird pictures in the newly completed Eastman Nature Center’s observatory. It’s a beautiful new building located in Osseo MN. It was Robert’s idea to print on magnetic paper so they could be changed out seasonally. They look great, thanks Robert and the bird banders that helped make it happen.

My male cardinal print shows up in design on a dime benefit in NYC

July 3, 2012


Tyler Wisler of HGTV’s Design Star chose two prints from Lux Archive, including Paul Nelson’s male cardinal, to be featured in the prestigious Design on a Dime Gala in NYC in late April.  Design on a Dime featured more than 50 of the world’s top interior designers who create unforgettable room vignettes sold to benefit people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Check out the Lurzers Archive 200 Best Ad photographers worldwide fro 2012 to see some of my Wild Birds Flying pictures

March 21, 2012