Mitch Nelles was born in New York City in 1953 and grew up in New Jersey. It was during his senior year at Rutgers College that he was first introduced to the “magic” of photography. Mitch had completed all of his required course work for his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and signed up for a photography course, which had a print portfolio for a final exam. This class gave him his first (and only) experience in the conventional darkroom.
Upon graduating from college, Mitch moved to Texas to pursue his Ph.D. in BioMedical Sciences and then to Massachusetts for his postdoctoral training. He moved back to New Jersey in 1986 and focused his attention to his growing family and job as a research scientist in the medical diagnostics field. Family and work during those years left little time for photography beyond documenting vacations and family events. Yet, as he entered middle age, he became acutely aware of his need for a creative outlet.
Mitch was in his mid-forties when he made the decision to get back into photography. Content at first to have his film sent out for printing at a local photo lab, he missed the artistic control he remembered from his darkroom experience in college. Fortunately, during this period, digital image technology had become readily available and affordable for non-professionals. It became clear to Mitch that the digital darkroom was the way to go. Film scanners, inkjet printers, Photoshop, and digital SLRs provided him with all the tools and control needed to produce high quality prints that met his creative and artistic expectations.
Following his move to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2001, Mitch joined the Capital City Camera Club where he met a group of like minded, supportive photographers who got together monthly to critique each other’s work and provide encouragement. He credits this small circle of friends with giving him the confidence in his photographic pursuits and helping him to see how different artists view the world photographically and express their individual creativity.
Mitch is self-trained and credits a wide variety of contemporary photographers for helping to shape his photographic vision and literacy. Chip Forelli, Roman Loranc, Chris Honeysett, Clyde Butcher, William Neill, and David Fokos have had a significant impact on his approach to photography.
Mitch works in the San Francisco bay area in the biotechnology field and lives in Half Moon Bay with his wife Janet. He has three daughters, Sara, Miriam, and Erica, who are the joys of his life. Now that he lives in California, he and Janet get a lot more visits from out of town family and friends.
Mitch's work is available for purchase by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org