Youngblood

corporate photography bay area headshot portrait san jose professional linkedin

Call him Aaron.
He hails from the Midwest.
A young, ambitious IT professional,
He’s looking for a new kind of headshot.
We meet at Crema on The Alameda.
We talk about work and life.
There’s something different about him.
He’s polite in an old-fashioned way.
He tells me he’s not photogenic,
That he doesn’t like the way he looks in photographs.
Not only is he considerate, he’s likable, too.
Quiet and introspective,
He wants his portrait to have a cool-hip-creative vibe.
I tell him about an overpass with blue circles.
Something I’ve been eyeing for months.
He’s game.
We release the Birds
And fly through downtown San Jose.
As the sun reclines in the west,
The light is paradoxical under the overpass,
Both mottled and consistently even.
We don’t overthink it.
We hang out.
We shoot.

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

Meta-portrait

creative corporate photography bay area san jose los gatos executive portraits headshotsOriginality isn’t easy.
Case in point.
I’m on a corporate shoot with my client.
We’re having a blast.
Shooting like crazy.
Then this.
I want something different, she says.
You know, something unique.
Well, I like creative challenges, I say.
I pause, I ponder, I hatch a one-of-a-kind idea.
I ask for her mobile phone.
She gives it to me.
And I put it to good use.
Click.
Then I put my camera to good use.
Boom.
A woman,
A woman represented,
And a woman represented is represented again.
The mind would reel if the image weren’t so straightforward.
Right?
Look at it again.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Well, later that night, after I go home,
It takes one minute of sleuthing on the web to discover that my “original” idea has been done countless times before.
Oh, well.
At least I got heart.
And I’m in good company.

Contact me for Bay Area corporate and family photography. 

Friday Night Lights

bay area san jose corporate photography executive portraits headshots

Meet Scott.
He’s a marketing executive
With clients on the East and West Coasts.
Recently he joined me for a Friday Night Lights session.
No, not football.
A much more wholesome activity:
Candid headshots for Bay Area professionals.
I run the sessions out of my DIY home studio in San Jose.
They’re good fun.
I get to meet new people and practice my discipline.
And people get splendidly priced photos,
For use in trade shows, conferences, or digital and social media.
Oh, sometimes they get a splash of wine, too.
And not the cheap stuff, either.
It’s Friday night, after all.

Contact me for creative corporate and candid family photography in the Bay Area.

The Outsider

bay area san jose family photography portrait kids teens families black and white

That’s Gavin.
And his shirt and his glasses.
Together, they form an image of a fine young greaser.
If you know something about Gavin, you know he doesn’t smile for me.
And that’s exactly as it should be.
He’s got a point of view.
He resists much; obeys little.
Good for him.
Cleverly, I asked Gavin to smile,
Knowing precisely what I would get:
A radiant non-smile of magnificent proportions.
Perfect for a steely-eyed visage and a tough kid aesthetic.
So good on dad for hacking childhood behavior and making the shot work.
A few days later, Gavin hacked me back, proper.
We were scouting light at Stevens Creek County Park.
Dad, he said, posting up in dry yellow grass.
You can take a picture of me for a scoop of ice cream, he said.
One or two?
Two, he said.
No, one.
OK.
Smile or no smile? I asked.
He laughed.
No smile, he said.
Deal.
I got the shot; Gavin got his scoop.
So good on us.

Bay area san jose cupertino family photography kids stevens creek outdoor natural candid portraits

Contact me for creative Bay Area corporate and candid family photography. 

1103: Origin Story

Bay Area corporate family photography photographer san joseI didn’t go to grad school to earn an advanced degree for nothing.
There’s an entire philosophy behind 1103 Photography.
1’s and 0’s are a nod to the Silicon Valley
And its fascination with data.
An 0 in the shape of a lens,
Which has great iconographic properties.
Plus, let’s face it—nought is cool.
Just ask mathematician Robert Kaplan.
“If you look at zero, you see nothing;
But look through it and you will see the world.”
A fine sentiment, that.
A 3 because everything excellent and rare comes in 3’s.
And 1103 was my home address as a kid.
1103 Milky Way.
No kidding.
Totally astral.
1103 Photography is a homecoming for me.
Lastly, I’m not a big fan of personality.
I’m allergic to personal branding.
Kevin Neilson photography just sounds silly to me.
1103 Photography, on the other hand, is an all-seeing eye without an ego.
At least that’s my sincere intention.
Fingers crossed.

Contact me for Bay Area corporate or family photography. 

At Play in a Cupertino Creek

Several weeks ago, I ran a promotion on Facebook: Share my update for a chance to win a free family photo session. Some of you did just that. Thank you. Those who didn’t, I forgive you. Good news—we had a raffle winner! Gail Imamura. Some of you may even know her. She grew up in Cupertino and went to Monta Vista High School. Recently we met at McClellan Ranch in the morning, and I got to hang out with Gail and her kids. They’re a joy and a wonder. Her boy liked me right away. Her girl, not so much.

But eventually she warmed up to me.

bay area san jose cupertino family outdoor photography mcclellan ranch kids

The trick of course is to do what kids love most: play. We had a footrace….

bay area san jose cupertino family outdoor photography mcclellan ranch kids

…and hunted for rocks and threw them across the creek…

…and celebrated Feats of Strength…

…and played peek-a-boo…

bay area san jose cupertino family outdoor photography mcclellan ranch kids

…and even flexed our wildlife biology skills with a crawdad claw.

bay area san jose cupertino family outdoor photography mcclellan ranch kids

All told, we had a blast, and by “we,” I definitely mean me. Gail, it was great seeing you and playing with your kids! Thank you.

For Bay Area corporate or family photography, please contact me.

 

Bay Area Gothic

bay area san jose family corporate portrait photographer black and white rural woman

September.
It’s three o’clock.
The sun is hot, the sky cloudless.
In the heart of the Silicon Valley, the valley of profit and loss,
Between the green western and yellow eastern foothills,
A rural woman stands amidst the wreckage of streams and orchards.
Nearby, the Guadalupe River is littered with plastic debris
And choked with abandoned grocery carts.
Walnut and almond orchards, peach and apricot trees
— Turned under long ago —
Are buried beneath a concrete layer of commercial activity.
She stoops, lifts, hauls, and sweats profusely.
Her eyes blaze fiercely.
Two diamonds gleam in her ears.

For Bay Area corporate or family photography, contact me.