New portraits on the website!

February 25th, 2015















I don’t know about you, but for me updating my web portfolio is a daunting task. I can think of a thousand things I’d rather do. It’s like exercise, it hurts while you are doing it but it makes you stronger in the end. Oh well, owning a photography studio is not all fun and games!

I have been studying SEO this winter and I found out that I must name all my photographs with keywords describing the portrait, where it was shot and that Nelms Photographic Artistry is the copyright holder. I get to write names like, “Midlothian VA senior photo field sunset Nelms.” I try to write different ones and vary the keywords to be found in more web searches.

I also get to brand each image with my studio logo, since once or twice I have found my images on websites of thieves overseas who have stolen my photography for use on their own websites. Pretty nervy! To see if this has happened to you  just right click on an image of yours on your website or blog and choose “Search Google for this image.”  You might be shocked at where your photographs are found.

Resizing is the last step. My web designer recommends that I use “Save for Web and Devices.” I save at 400×600 at a medium quality for speed and, whew! I am done.

After jumping through those hoops I can share the photos with the world and let my clients know that they are now famous!

Winter in the portrait studio.

February 24th, 2015

Winter in the photography world is a time of reflection, reassessment, rejuvenation and relaxation. While the ground lays barren my studio is a warm nest of creation. I wander in at ten after working out or hanging out with my chickens and barn cat on our Powhatan farm.

This week, I am preparing portraits to be added to the Nelms Photographic Artistry web site by renaming with keywords and layering on my logo. It is work that was back-burnered in the heat of autumn and the rush to Christmas. Not the most exciting work, but naming all the photographs of families and seniors with keywords will help Google find my website. It’s like planting seeds that will come up in the spring.

The last few weeks have seen a return of business portrait clients ready to update their headshots for the new year. I am always amazed at the number of business people who have ancient portraits on LinkedIn or worse yet, none at all. The profile photo is your first and maybe only impression on a potential client. If they get a bad feeling then it’s bye-bye. A professionally created business portrait, clear, well lit, with a charming expression is your seed to plant.

Next week, I am going to work on some special family portrait offers for my long term clients. I appreciate the trust and friendship they have shared with me and can’t wait to see how they have grown and changed since last year. At Nelms Photographic Artistry there is always a new project to challenge me and new friend to meet tomorrow. I hope your winter is warm, wonderful and productive!



Business Portrait with natural light


business profile photo

Business portrait by Nelms Photographic Artistry

Ashley- Cosby Class of 2015

July 25th, 2014

Ashley’s session took us from the studio in Midlothian to the gardens of Maymont. Her senior portraits explored a wide range of  her personality and interests. We photographed images of her  health science scrubs in the studio. She wore an amazing red dress for photos in the Italian Garden of Maymont. I love that color on her! She chose a great collection of  outfits for her senior photos, including tailored looks as well as feminine lace. Then suddenly… she emerged as a beautiful princess in that lovely gauzy gown! We  headed down to the Japanese Gardens to use the bridges and water features. Finally, as the park was closing, she put on her Girl Scout vest and we shot outside the gates in the soft light of the evergreen trees. Senior Portrait Senior Portrait
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Senior Portrait
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Sleepy Time

May 16th, 2011

Sleeping newborn wearing cute hat with ears

Sweet Dreams

Photographing a sleeping baby isn’t as easy as it looks. This session took three hours. Babies are ready to sleep when they decide they are ready, not when the photographer and parents decide it’s time. I take great care to make an environment in which the newborn and parents can feel safe and comfortable.  Heaters, sound effects, soft music, and a cozy bed are all necessary elements to create fine newborn photography. What I think is most important though,  is having the right touch. When I hold a baby, they know they are in safe and experienced hands. I have three children of my own. I love getting to soothe an infant and get him or her to relax and fall deeply asleep. Then I can work my magic.

Awesome in-home photography session

March 17th, 2011

Well, my new favorite thing is going to my client’s homes for family portrait sessions. Location photography has it’s challenges, don’t get me wrong, but wow! the creative opportunities abound! When I go for a portrait session at a home I am looking for light quality and quantity. Where does the sun rise and set relative to the main rooms of the home? Natural light enhanced by the studio lighting that I can bring is my first choice. If need be I can light with up to six studio strobes to create my own flattering light.  The next thing to consider is the clothing for the portrait. I recommend choosing tones that compliment the decor of the room where the portrait will hang.  “Matchy-matchy” is out , coordinated hues and styles with individuality is in.   Look at your fabrics and take hints from the color palate. Think of your clothing as additional fabrics for the room. They don’t have to match but will look best if colors repeat and patterns vary in size. While I am in the home I can help you select a spot to hang the portrait and that will help me to be able to custom create the perfect look for that location. I can measeure for the exact fit as well.  Many times I can find a more interesting location for your portrait than you might unassisted. In the nest few days I will be adding some additional images from this session so you can see the variety that we created on this location session.

Child photograph taken at home

A child's portrait taken in her own home.

Custom senior portrait backgrounds!

March 11th, 2011

As you know, I always want to bring something new to the table for my senior photography. My latest addition is custom colored and styled backgrounds to coordinate with your clothing. Senior pictures should be unique to the student. Being able to custom design a background gives us unlimited options for a perfect look. The portrait background should always be in harmony with the senior’s outfit in terms of color and brightness. That way the viewer’s attention stays on the senior’s face and eyes.  A background should not compete with the subject. Our senior portrait clients can have input into the design. They can even bring original art work of  their own that I can incorporate into the design of their senior photographs. Even a cool signature by the senior and added into the image can make the photograph different.  At we  love to make each client feel special by creating something unique for them.

See our February Special by clicking this link!

February 1st, 2011

Taking a moment for me

December 14th, 2010

Nelms Photographic Artistry Studio on a snowy day

Sometimes it is so nice to take a quiet moment and enjoy making a photograph just for me. Today was so peaceful outside the studio. I wanted to make an image that evoked a pen and ink sketch.

HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!

December 10th, 2010

Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for visiting my blog and website.

Location, Location, Location

October 7th, 2010

This is what I’m all about. I love to go away from the studio to create portraits that no one else has. Location photography is the most complex because I have to find the right light, the best setting and hope that there are not unknown factors that pop in to cause issues. I’ve been shooting on location in the Richmond, Virginia area for years and I have the ability to find or create beautiful light. I am always excited to go out and have new adventures with my clients.