Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lets Meet: Paige Nelson, Photographer

Paige Nelson is a photographer from San Diego, California specializing in fine art portraiture. Paige began shooting in 2009, tempted by a combination of curiosity and the urge to document the natural beauty of her hometown. After graduating with her bachelor's in journalism, Paige thought she might be a photojournalist and freelanced for several local newspapers.  Unsuspectingly caught in a never-ending daydream, Paige soon realized the ideas in her head served as a greater source of inspiration and outlet for her art. Now strongly influenced by cinematography, Paige's images often border the line between reality and dreamlike worlds. Her unique narrative style encompasses everything from self-portraiture to weddings and events.
     ANF: When did you first become interested in photography?

PN: When I was younger, I remember spending hours upon hours in front of the computer browsing through down loadable screen-savers of incredible landscapes, trying to imagine myself in those scenes. I used any disposable or point and shoot camera I could get my hands on. I finally got my first DSLR, a Nikon D80, when I was 16. I told everyone who would listen that I wanted to be just like the photographers of National Geographic.

As a freshman, I joined my college newspaper as a staff photographer and worked my way up to photo editor. It wasn't until my senior year that I discovered Flickr and the world of fine art, conceptual photography. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Paige Nelson

ANF: Why is photography important?

PN: Photographs transcend words and connect us as human beings on a deep emotional level. They have the power to move, educate and inspire. Photography is also one of the most important forms we have of documenting and preserving our memories. Ask anyone what possessions they would take with them out of a burning house and I guarantee the majority would say a photo album.

On a more personal level, photography is my outlet and my escape. No matter what I’m feeling, there is always a place for it in my work and a community willing to embrace me. The best part of my day is when I get to just grab my camera and go create.

ANF: How would you describe your vision/philosophy when it comes to photography?

PN: When it comes to my fine art work, my vision often starts with a naturally beautiful place. I try to imagine how a person can interact with the scene unobtrusively, so equal amounts of attention are given to both the subject and the setting. My latest series, ‘The Dream Sequence,’ capitalizes on this idea of oneness with nature. The color of the dresses become a part of the landscapes.

On the other hand, I have a very hands-off approach when it comes to documenting weddings and other client work. I want to tell their stories, not my own. That’s the photojournalist inside of me- I prefer to capture moments as they happen naturally so it the photographs flow more as a narrative.

ANF: What inspires you?

PN: I am inspired by magic. The natural world is magic to me. Inspiration will seize me spontaneously when visiting a beautiful place. Other times I’m moved to create by the work of other artists. Films with gorgeous cinematography that have inspired me in the past are The Prestige, Atonement, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. As for music, Florence and the Machine, Explosions in the Sky and Bon Iver always help me channel my thoughts.

To learn more about this amazing and unique photographer/visionary living in our San Diego community go to

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