Nelson Stegall Bio - Nelson Stegall Photography

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Nelson Stegall

About Nelson Stegall


In fourth grade, armed with a point and shoot 110 camera, I was off to Disney World. This is my first memory of taking pictures. I think I wore that camera out.


Next was some cheap plastic 35mm that didn't last long. Then, just before a two-week backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, my Dad took me to the pawn shop to get a real camera. I don't remember the name, but I loved it! It was a 35mm with a built-in light meter, 35mm lens, removable flash, and it all came in a red bag for the negotiated price of $60.00. I wore the leather off that red bag and the black camera body soon became a polished brass color. I don't know how it survived the beating it took. I carried that camera everywhere; it lived in the back of my car, was clipped to a climbing sling, got stuffed into dry bags on river trips, banged around in the top pocket of a backpack, served as the high school year book camera (I was the "official photographer"), suffered through all weather (hot/dry/cold/wet/snow/wind), and endured countless numbers of zip lock bags to stay dry.


I was always looking to get pictures developed and get a free roll of film.


When the digital point and shoots came out, I mixed in a few but still carried the trusty ole 35mm. A few years ago, the Nikon D80 entered my life and renewed my love for photography. Up until then I was taking a lot of pictures with limited knowledge of content and photography. The Nikon D80 ushered my pictures into the world of more professional photography. I started taking classes, reading a lot, and understanding what it takes to create a photograph. Earning the title of "full-time photographer" has always been a dream of mine, and I learned it takes a lot of work to make a dream come true.


My full-time traveling has ended and landed me back into my hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina to help care for an aging parent. I have upgraded my primary camera to a Nikon D810 full frame camera with lens, filters, tripods, bags much bigger the original red one, and a supportive wife. My dream is to tell the stories of our public spaces, create family environmental portraits, headshots that stand out from the crowd, and to create thought-provoking photos. I want to start a conversation with a thousand unwritten words.

So, why do I care?

"My days in the wilderness will live with me always. Everything there was so alive and familiar. Whoever gains the blessings of one mountain day is rich forever." - John Muir

I am on a quest to show my life as it is happening, and to share the places I journey to, whether I’m down the street, the next state over, or off the beaten path. I hope to share the quirky, artistic, and even ugly things that might get overlooked in our daily lives. I want to inspire people to slow down and reflect on what is happening around us. To seek out the overlooked beauty in the simple pleasures of our daily lives.


I want to tell you a story with pictures and a few words. I want to inspire you to think about everyday things in a unique way. I want you to see what I see, capturing forever that brief moment in time. I invite you to come along on an adventure with me. Let’s take your family portrait where the family enjoys spending time. Let me unobtrusively document your family’s special events, and let’s start a conversation of everlasting memories, one photograph at a time.


All my photographs are offered for sale in a variety of formats. I also hope my landscape photography inspires you to support conservation and education around our public lands because these wild places matter so much. Please feel free to reach out and say hi, ask a question, or meet me on the road. I would love to hear from you!

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