The Brandon Nelson Shoot: Creativity, Brevity, and Humility

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak." - Thomas Carlyle -

        It's this very quality I want to display in my photojournalistic work and my portraiture work...and especially in people like Brandon Nelson.

         I've known Brandon since early 2015, getting to know him through working with him and hanging out with him. I've had the privilege of hearing his story and learning about the various trials that have developed and strengthened him on his journey. His honesty about his shortcomings and struggles yet continual push to be better while seeking truth and beauty only exemplify the rarity of his soul.

        Brandon has a good balance of the philosophical, the emotional, and down-to-earth humor that make him easy to get along with. But the depth and complexity of his mind and heart aren't mainly displayed in just talking to him (I believe), but are seen in the variety of art forms he expresses himself with. That being said, I chose to display him with different color emphases, angles, and back drops.


        Brandon is a spoken word poet, a writer, a painter, a sketcher, and a barista.  He has an affinity for hip hop, crump dancing, and freestyle rapping. He was once a vocalist for a metal band at one point! Because he has a reserved and unassuming disposition, I wanted to somehow display his personality by using the back drops themselves. I wanted to tell the story of a complex thinker and feeler and ambitious artist.

"Towering Soul"

        The best way I know how to describe what he does is that he's a true 'craftsman.' He's constantly sharpening, always pushing his limits, seeking greater and understanding of the complexity of his art, and strives to be the best in all that he does. He dreams big, looks for the order and rhythm in the midst of the chaos, and seeks to bring a message. And he does so with a genuine spirit of humility.

The 'Humble Beast'

        His best quality isn't in his humor or talent, but is his spirit. He has a contagious amount of hope and faith, making him uplifting to be around, and he shows genuine interest and concern for the lives and struggles of others. He's the type of person who takes life one day and one moment at a time and genuinely enjoys being in the presence of God and other people. He smiles, and wants you to be happy with him. Over time, I learned that I not only found a friend in Brandon, but a brother.

Copyright © Aerial Jay Photography 2016