About Michael


The first thing you should know about me is that my only fear is mediocrity, and my approach to life and work is the same — full of humor, spontaneity, and a lot of passion.


I've been photographing for 30 years, had the big commercial studio where we photographed everything from paint buckets to Grammy winning singers.  Learned a heck of a lot about shooting in the process.


Moved out of the studio, bought a huge grip trailer - a la the movie industry - and take my gear wherever I want to shoot, mostly between Georgia and the Chesapeake Bay.


After years of shooting what I had to, I now focus on telling neat stories about neat people and celebrating femininity and intimacy.


I shoot digital and film - still shoot my boxes of Polaroid 665 from my work with them - depending on the project. 35 mm, medium format, 4x5 - I use them all.


Lighting is intuitive to me, but I don't like it overdone.  Headlights, streetlights, candlelight, strobe lights, tungsten lights, all of the above - it works.


I've been a firefighter/EMT, delivered babies, run into burning buildings, had people die in my arms, breathed life back into people, flown planes, scuba dived, taken my sailboat to the Caribbean for a month, driven a big rig, and taught myself photography in my spare time.


I married an incredible woman who became my business partner/producer, have survived cancer, and don’t want to waste moment of my life.


I love shooting - would do it every day if I could.  I hope they have to pry the camera out of my hands when I die.


Let’s get to work!


Articles about Michael or featuring his art


Links to articles about Michael or anthologies featuring his work.


Exhibitions Without Walls, April 2015, featured artist


Winter Tangerine, Volume 3, April 2015, featured artist, with work from “407 West Howard”.


CandleLit e-Journal, Volume 2, featuring Afternoon Song.


Art Habens Art Review, Autumn 2014, cover and feature article about Michael and his work.


Art Katalyst Magazine, August 2014, featured artist, various works


BorderBodies Mixing Futures, featured video montage from the Lola's Hands project, April 2014, Bari, Italy


Small Stories, a collection of images and words in collaboration with author Chuck Holmes. Self-published through Blurb Books, 2010.


Lynn Simonton, "Before the Curtain: Portraits of the Atlanta Ballet, an interview with Michael Nelson”,
artist profile and portfolio feature on dance project,Photo Technique Magazine, July/August 2010


Bluestem Press/Emporia State University,Flint Hills Review,"Three Houses" selected for inclusion in of literary and fine art review publication, 2008 edition.


Mary E. Alderman, "Michael Nelson" artist profile and cover story, American Muse Magazine Spring 2001


Jeannie Moss, Artists using the Polaroid 20x24 Camera, CNN feature story with Michael, New York City, NY 1996