Hello there! My name is Ross Nelson and I'm a photographer living in Omaha, Nebraska.
As a young child, my family owned a 110 speed film camera. In fourth grade, as part of the local 4-H club, I was participating in an all day event and, in advance, had to choose from a list of things that I would do that day. I had to show at least two things (I only remember a baseball card collection), and had to attend at least two sessions. I struggled to find things in the list that interested me. Then I saw it: there was a session on photography!
The only thing I remember from that session was that we took turns standing in front of the group, a thing I wasn't comfortable with in the first place, and held a camera that had a small mirror on it, trying to hold it still while they shone a flashlight at the mirror. Growing up with little money, I was terrified of breaking the camera they put into my hands, and on top of that the flashlight was blinding me. Combine those two and I was very shaky. I have no idea what the woman running the session actually said, but in my mind, she told me that I'd never be able to take a good picture.
The following year, my fifth grade field trip went to De Smet, South Dakota, once home to the Ingalls family, known to many through the books that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote. My family had upgraded to a super fancy cheapo 35mm camera, and I was allowed to take that on the field trip. The pictures turned out terrible, but I was hooked.
A few years later, my teacher for ninth grade Honors English wanted to have a website for her class. Being the resident techie, I was selected to do the work and got to use her Sony Mavica camera to take pictures of the students from both periods of her Honors English classes, then build a website that showed all of them with names.
When I graduated high school, I used graduation money to buy my own camera, some terrible little Vivitar digital camera. A couple years later, I replaced it with a Canon PowerShot SD450. That camera spent countless hours in bars and at parties taking pictures of myself and my friends, documenting a good chunk of our time in college. My love of portraiture is a direct result of bringing that camera out with me.
After moving to Lincoln, Nebraska for graduate school, I took the SD450 out once and took some shots of nature and architecture around campus. I found my way to Flickr and found the local group. Wanting to try something better, I impulse bought a Nikon D80 (with an AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED). I bought a bunch of books, read a ton of blogs, watched a ton of YouTube tutorials on editing in Photoshop, and bought a copy of Aperture. I even shot a few weddings, eventually buying a D90 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.
I still own the broken D80 and D90 and my old lenses, but it has been replaced with a Nikon Z 7II a Nikon Z 5 and the following lenses:
+ Mount Adapter FTZ II (to attach F mount lenses)
My day job is writing software for a consulting company. Photos are much more interesting. 🙃
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