Mounted Patrol. Minnesota State Fair style.

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2016

 

The Minnesota State Fair is always a good place to take a photo. The buildings often create a great background and the subjects are plentiful. The photo you see here is of a mounted patrol who helps to part the seas of people so that vehicles, parades and animals can travel through the streets. I do not know his name, but I do know he has been at the Fair for many years (as told to me by my wife Cristine Nielsen). Sometimes I think it would be a grand idea to sit down with a man like this and hear the tales of all he has seen in his years at the fair.

 

Best wishes on your day,

 

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Serve #17 – Morrie M.

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Serve # 17

This Serve centers around a man named Morrie Melchert. He was a shop teacher and coach from my hometown of Rockford starting in the fall 1968, and retiring in 1999. He always had a handlebar mustache, and many of us wondered what held it up. The story doesn’t end there though. He to me was an instrumental part of my life in 1988. He was my photo class teacher as well as my small engines shop class teacher as well. I would be in error to say I did well in small engines class. Photo class though is where my world began to open up. It was there that Morrie helped me to see that I could express my self through photography. I owe much to this man, this teacher, this molder of dreams. He had a gentle spirit with students. Sometimes he was the smiling guy in the halls that served as an anchor for those of us going through our tumultuous teenage years, and other times he was the coach leading us on to become better people, athletes, students.

He has also faithfully served his wife in their 55 years of marriage, and helped raise 4 children. Morrie also served our country by joining the airforce before becoming a teacher. The years of service that Morrie has given to this world is many, and the impact on my life was and still is substantial.

Just before I took his photo I asked him why he served as a teacher.  His answer was immediate, “I served to teach others to respect, do what’s right, and to improve as a person”.

Thank you Mr. Melchert for being my teacher, coach, and the guy who was the first to unlock my photographic abilities. You changed my life!

 

 

Serve #16 – Mitch P.

 

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Serve #16 

The man for this Serve is Mitch P. He is a bike mechanic and sales guy at Ramsey Bicycle in Ramsey. He greets you with a warm smile and a genuine heart when he asks you; “what can I help with you with today”? So why a bike shop dude for a Serve? I think it comes down to the fact that deep down inside most of us is a kid that still love to have the wind on our face, and the back to the basics feeling that a bicycle beneath us can bring. When I asked Mitch why he serves the public like he does he said it in these simple words: “Corporate world stressed me out, helping people find a bike, or tuning one already owned is great. Rarely does someone come in with a bad attitude, or stressed out”. He ended by saying; “I like to help people”.

Many thanks go out to bicycle guys all around. You keep us pedaling with smiles on our face.
Also a big thank you to Jeff Comfort for introducing me to Mitch!

So grab a bike, maybe even make motor sounds like you did when you were a kid, and put some roadway behind you on a bike. You may just find the fountain of youth;-)

Serve #15 – Don V.

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Serve #15

Serve #15 has a small town Americana feel to it. It starts with the long time tradition of the Memorial Day Parade in my hometown of Rockford, MN.  The parade is woven into the fabric of local families, myself included.  This little small-town-parade has the high school marching band, fire trucks, and last but not least, kids carrying flowers and flags bringing up the rear of this meaningful yearly tradition. Stopping on the bridge overlooking the Crow River the band plays a hymn and the children throw their flowers in the river to honor those lost at sea.  It doesn’t just end there.  The parade continues a short, winding path through the streets, followed by the parade watchers, and up to the local cemetery that overlooks the tranquil countryside split by the Crow River. Once all assemble within the boundaries of Elmwood Cemetery, the Lions begin the yearly commemoration by asking the band to perform a couple musical pieces, then one of the Lions reads the names of those that have served and are buried under the headstones that dot the hillside cemetery.

     This year though was a different one.  One of the longstanding local guys by the name of Don V. was not present on his normal corner spot.  He has proudly sat at the corner of Bridge St. and Lieder St. for many years with a Korean Vet hat sitting on his head, waving to other locals and the children all while holding a small flag on a stick.  This year I found him sitting in the cemetery waiting for the crowd to assemble. There is a pride in this man that runs deep.  Maybe it is the farming blood that courses through his veins, or the service he gave to his country as a truck driver in the U.S. Army in the war in Korea, maybe it is being the only living charter member of the Rockford Lions, or maybe it was his years serving as a leader in the local  4H group that was in Rockford, or on the Wright County Fair board. Don served in so many ways that it was really hard to talk about just one.  I asked him why he served, he said, “Because.”  What wonderfully complex and yet simplistic response.  Meeting great people like him causes me to realize that we need to have a vision for the future, to change our communities by being more like this wonderful 84 year old man.

Thank you Don for serving your country,  your family, and the Rockford area.

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

50mm Green

Sometimes it is wonderful to grab a camera, take a deep breath or two and view nature through a 50mm lens.  Loving the country life!

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Serve #14 – Crystal & Anna.

 

 

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Serve #14

Serve #14 is about another goat. This one’s name is Crystal, and she’s the 11 year-old goat my oldest daughter, Anna Rose, raised and worked with throughout her 4H years. This pair made many trips to the Wright County fair, in Howard Lake, MN – nine to be exact. Crystal competed eleven times at the Minnesota State fair in 4H (6), or open class dairy goat shows. I’ve watched my daughter wear her whites and proudly show this regal old doe with determination (when she won senior showmanship), but also with a grace that has grown through the years as she’s become a woman ready to take on the world. The animals young people show, and grow up with, are true gifts in life. They are a means to help young people look beyond themselves, to care for something else. Each turning page in life means something new is around the corner. The next page for Anna is a wedding ceremony set for May 21st.  It’s a big day for all of us. The changes ahead are many, and yet to be written. The memories of watching Crystal and Anna grow together are cherished entries into the journal of life. When I asked Anna what Crystal meant to her at the end of our time taking the photos, she said with flowing tears, “Crystal is all of the memories and adventures at the fairs, it’s all been her.”

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I am blessed to call this young woman my daughter, and am excited to see how she and her husband will change this world.

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Serve #13 – Joshua, a man of his word.

 

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      Serve #13 Joshua V. is an average guy with a great beard who looks more like a lumberjack than most lumberjacks actually do. However, under that bearded exterior is a guy with a faithful, loving heart. It is the heart of this rugged looking man that I want to point out. When I asked Joshua what his commitment in marriage meant, he paused for a moment reflecting back to his wedding day seventeen years ago. He then went on to say that he “lives out his vows” or as he clarified the “covenant” he shared with his wife during their wedding ceremony. He continues to be passionate about the words of his covenant and does his best as a Christ-follower to live them out.

 

Joshua’s covenant

Scanned Document

 

      Is he perfect? No. Speaking of his marriage, Joshua passionately said, “No matter what we face we will be there to rely on each other.”

He is a man of his word, you can see it in his eyes when he talks about his wife, his children, and his friends.

As we were wrapping up, he said a couple of things that ring powerfully true. The first was, “A marriage needs to approached by putting others’ needs higher than your own.” The second powerful statement Joshua shared was, “Truly being selfless is serving.”

These are powerful words to live by!

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Serve #12 -Mabel , World War II Veteran

On a recent photo shoot my good friend Scott Whitman and I had the grand opportunity to meet a spunky lady with a great story. While I photographed, Scott wrote down her story. Serve #12 is Mabel S.  

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Mabel defies expectations. She’s full of wit and humor, and maybe just a little spit and vinegar, too. Perhaps what you’d expect from a girl who decided to sign up for the military and leave home to find adventure. With a twinkle in her eye she says, “don’t write that down, it’s off the record.” What makes all that so great is Mabel is 96. In the midst of World War II, Mabel volunteered for the Navy Hospital Corps. As the oldest of six girls, with no boys in the family, she said she volunteered “because I felt it was my duty. It was the thing to do.” Everyone was signing up for the war effort, if they could. Mabel said, “All my boyfriends had already gone into the service, and my girlfriends too.” Her only regret was she didn’t sign up sooner. “I waited until I was in my 20’s,” she said. Mabel and her fellow Navy “WAVES” – the nickname given the “women accepted in volunteer emergency service” – cared for the broken ones, the survivors, when they came home. She said, “The boys on the combat front went through a lot, saw some terrible things. Things you don’t want to think about.” She viewed her own role as more than changing bandages and bed pans. She wanted to give these soldiers hope, help them heal, rediscover their humanity, be normal ‘boys’ again. Of course, Mabel didn’t say it in those words. From her perspective, she was just saying a kind word, bringing a glass of cold water, making a dying soldier a bowl of Jello when his scorched throat hurt too much to swallow anything else. Those simple acts of kindness took on monumental significance in the eyes of the young men who had seen so much. Several were moved to extreme expressions of gratitude. As she put it modestly, “I received more than one marriage proposal, and lots of very overly-friendly letters, which tended to get them in some trouble.” Despite the light and kindness she brought to those injured lives, Mabel still questions whether or not she gave her “full share.” She has the humility of a generation that knows what real sacrifice and service means. She said reflectively, “I never served on the front, but I think I was serving my purpose.” Indeed you did, Mabel. From all of us in the following generations so blessed by the battles you won, and the lives you saved, thank you for your service.

~ Story by Scott Whitman, AgriLife Studios ~

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Serve #11 – Sean M.

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Serve #11

This installment of Serve is one that no amount of pre-planning could have initiated. You see, I met Sean M. while on a photo-shoot for a medical device company in Florida where he played the part of a healthcare professional. Sean is a Special Ops police officer in the Tampa, Florida area. The story of Sean’s “Serve” is 15 years in the making. The events of 9/11 were the force behind what moved Sean to go through training and become an officer. I think 9/11 affected most of us, but Sean was moved to be a positive influence in this world. He hopes to change the course of people’s lives whom he comes in contact with. As a police officer, he spoke of times when people are in the back of his car with no place to go and the peaceful lyrics of songs on the contemporary Christian radio permeating the squad car help calm the people who have done something wrong or illegal. Additionally, he went on to say that he feels his calling to be a policeman is a calling to change lives for the good.

When you look into Sean’s eyes you see that people’s lives really matter.

 

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375
Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1
Web: http://nielsen-studios.com
Blog: https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/
“Tell Your Story”

Serve #10 – His name is Gregg

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Meet Gregg T. He’s a down-to-earth guy with a true heart for people. Gregg was recently brought in to serve as the Adult Minister at a church called NorthRidge Fellowship. In serving the families of this community, Gregg will have the opportunity to counsel those who have life struggles, as well as celebrate with those experiencing life’s joys. During my time photographing Gregg I asked him why he “Serves.” His answer was right to the point: “Each person needs to find God’s grace and discover what their role is in this world.”  Gregg’s answer I think points to a call that all we “humans” should have: to bring out the best in the people we come in contact with. Maybe we need walk alongside a person who is going through a drug or alcohol recovery, or stand with someone who’s in a life-battle with cancer. We never know how important that role could be or what impact we can have.

I’m excited to see what Gregg’s impact will be with the people at NorthRidge Fellowship whose lives he touches.
Shawn Nielsen

 

Serve #9 – A young man’s vision.

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Serve #9

Theo M. is an honorable young man full of ambition, with a desire and calling to change the political tide. He’s a wonderful example for a “Serve.” I have watched Theo grow from a boy into the 17 year old clear-thinking, focused, intelligent, politically conservative individual he is. Don’t let the last words stop you from reading on, because I think you will see merit in his view, and understand that he may well be someone to watch as the years go on. When I asked him a few questions it was easy to see from his excitement that his compassion for people and their needs is at the very forefront of his thoughts and desires for what his future might hold. So often, we draw a line regarding what political party we tend to align with, but it seems as though Theo desires to create change in people, not just provide more political tape to cut through.

This is a quote from Theo when asked about why he serves:

“As a Christian conservative I feel called to be compassionate and sensible. My interest in politics is driven by those values. Christ offered mercy and grace yet held us accountable. The liberal big government programs have created a cycle of poverty and a lack of adequate education, which in turn leads to generations of families being stuck in social malaise. As a compassionate conservative, I know showing mercy, grace and generosity on a personal level helps others. I know that teaching the impoverished REAL hope through accountability and conservative work ethic, while serving their true needs through personal service will give the hand up needed to introduce those in need to a thriving, successful life. It’s my goal to pursue my passion for helping through a career in economics and politics that focuses on developing conservative values in policies and programming.”

I consider it an honor to know Theo. It is refreshing to know that the youth of today like Theo have heartfelt desire for the tomorrows.

 

Shawn Nielsen

Serve #8 – A dog’s life.

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As I thought about it, a dog seemed like a likely subject for this series. I considered shooting a service dog, or a police dog; that seemed too predictable. I thought about a livestock guardian dog, but I may have been torn to shreds for coming anywhere near its flock or herd. Instead, I chose the family dog. Let me introduce our dog Pippa. She is a 2 year old English Shepherd (http://www.englishshepherd.org/). She is wonderfully intelligent and makes eye contact, seemingly to understand what I want her to do next. She uses her delightfully wet nose to thrust my arm into action to giver her a pet on the head, or a rubdown of her orange and white coat. My family and I enjoy this breed immensely for their loyalty and smarts.

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So on with the Why!

So why did I choose the family dog? I chose this particular subject because there is a special place in many of our hearts for dogs. As you read this I ask you to take a moment or two and think back through your years and let the memories of all the furry dogs who have walked in or out of your life wash over you . Oh, I’ m sure sometime in your life you have shared a secret or two with a dog while out on a walk, or maybe you have frolicked through the woods being pulled in the direction of a bushy-tailed squirrel or a fleeing rabbit. Or maybe you have gently run your hand over the hairy coat of your dog as you were going through hard times. You see, truthfully, a family dog looks at you as his best friend (I know it’s the other way around in most writings). A dog wants to go out and play, maybe go for a walk, heck he just wants to spend time with you.

Our lives are often made better by a faithful dog. I really think we have so much to learn from a dog in terms of how we should live life;  Be loyal, quick to forgive and ready to play!

 

There are also a couple of groups on Facebook to check out:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/englishshepherdsociety/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/englishshepherdworkingfarmdogs/

Serve #7

Serve #7

 

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A dreary November day and a desire for a tasty hamburger brought me through the door of Lindas’ Cafe in Rogers, MN. This “old style” cafe tucked into a mall on the western side of Highway 101 in Rogers, MN is a delightful spot. You will often find one of the two Lindas (the namesakes for the restaurant) working there along with some of their family members. Every time I have been there in the past 9 years, since it first opened, I have always felt welcome. This day was no different. Linda greeted me with a smile and the words, “What can I get for you dear?” It is that kind of greeting that opens the door to people feeling welcome, maybe even feeling a little relief from what wears on their life that day. Linda shared that some of her customers are up there in years and sometimes their health, or their friends health is suffering. She feels her smile and term of affection might just change the day for someone. I imagine whether old or young, Lindas’ well served customers’ life stories and what they are struggling with are changed for a moment or two or maybe even for a long time as they sit at one of the tables in her cozy cafe.

Remember to give a tip to your server, they might just make someone’s day a little brighter. Maybe even yours!

Serve #6 – Save a life

Serve #6 is of a friend of mine named Erik.  I suppose this story is a bit about my life and how Erik is a part of that.

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Erik and I have been friends since we were about four or five. We dreamed big dreams like playing professional baseball, and being billionaires driving giant, four-wheel drive trucks.  You know, cool guy stuff. We entertained ourselves for hours playing catch, maybe tackle football, or surfing in our red snow sleds down the snow-laden hills near our childhood homes.  The years when we were just little guys flew by, as often they do, and the teenage years started to come on hard.  It was at the age of fifiteen for me that Erik’s “Serve” comes into play.  It was a difficult year for me;  my Grandpa Bassett died and I was not able to play football. My grandpa was a guy who I told some of my troubles to.  I suppose I did that because he wasn’t my dad and it felt like he would listen, like Grandpas often do.  Typically he was listening with a cigarette in hand, and a sentence or two that had some sort of resolve of the years of life lived in it.  Add to that, I was a bit of an outsider to the “in” crowd, or really any crowd for that matter.  My spiral of emotions during this year was incredibly tough and I internalized far too much. The pains of being teased by fellow classmates for all the unknown teenage reasons wore my emotional strength to a barren thread.  During this spiraling time in my life Erik’s friendship remained the same, constant, tried and true.  My popularity factor didn’t matter to him, we had been through a lot; to him we were friends.  My spiral however was still going on and in my mind, my selfworth was non-existent and here is where the story comes into its fullest meaning.  It the bottom of my spiral I felt it best to end my life with my shotgun.  I had loaded my gun and while fighting back my sorrow had begun to bring the shotgun towards my head when the phone rang.  My Mom answered it and in her best nasally mom voice yelled up the stairs “Erik is on the phone, and he wants you to come play catch”.  That moment in time changed what likely would have happened.  If there was one thing I was always up for was playing catch, you could throw the ball hard, talk a little , but most of all just be friends.  Erik really saved my life that night.  He was my friend in a desperate time of need.
I look at my life today and know that each person who is a part of my life, each photograph taken, each word spoken is possible because Erik served as my best friend.  The way I care for people today is due to the road I have traveled.  I try to let that caring heart for people come out in the words I speak on a daily basis, the photographs I take, or in the wave to the person who I made eye contact with.

You never know what your words or actions in a day might mean to another.  It may just save their life

A girl, a goat and a 4H Goat Show Grand Champion = “Serve” #5

I suppose you could say this post has been 19 years in the making, well maybe more like 11.  It would be 19 years if you take into account my daughters age, or 11 if you take into account the age of the goat (Tempest).

“Tempest” the Alpine dairy goat is my subject for my “Serve” series.  How can a goat be a part of the series you may ask?  Well read on!

Abigail’s senior portrait.

Serve #5

Grand Champion.

The tears you see in one of the photos are of the emotions that most college bound youths have.  Some just wear them on their sleeve a little more like my Abigail.  This “Serve”story goes back 10 years to when Abigail began to show “Tempest” as a yearling at the Wright County Fair 4H Dairy Goat show.  Surely on Abigail”s first entrance into the ring with Tempest she  strided into the ring in her “show whites” ready to take the show ring by storm like any 9 year old would.  I don’t remember the outcome of the first show, but really it is this last one that sums it all up.  The years  since that first show have passed by all to quickly and both Abigail and Tempest have aged.  They have been to 10 county and state fairs together.  Shared countless hours together with Abigail telling Tempest all her dreams for her future.  There is a special bond between this goat and my daughter Abigail.  So those tears come with a great finish in the show ring for Abigail and Tempest and the fact that this is Abigail’s last 4H show with Tempest. So Tempest has served Abigail well as friend, fairgoer and listener.

Thank you to my wife Cristine for bringing our children up in this rural lifestyle.  Thank you to Anna for paving the way for Abigail with your awesome goat “Crystal”.

Written with Love,

Dad & Photographer

The senior portrait of my daughter was taken at a moment when the goats ears were up and I told Abigail to do the same.

Serve #4 – Sue

Thank you Anna Nielsen for writing the following story of Sue for Serve #4: For this fourth installment of the Serve series, we bring you into the home of a woman who served her father with unconditional love and astounding grace. You will notice that instead of telling you where she served, we say instead what she did. That is what matters; the depth of her servanthood. This is my aunt Sue. Serve4 When my dad approached me about writing about my aunt, I was so excited. I have had the honor to get to know her as we went on several trips together and she began to go to our church. I watched as she took in my great-grandpa, Pop, three years ago. I listened as she told me of the struggles of caring for him after he had a stroke. When asked why she had taken her father into her home, she said, “Because my husband said ‘he’s not going to be by himself. He’s not going to be alone.’” Throughout our time, she stated often the fact that her greatest motivation had been that she didn’t want Pop to be alone. After his stroke, which left him without the ability to say more than a few words for the rest of his life, he would have been completely alone living somewhere else. “He couldn’t talk,” Sue said, “that was his joy in life.” Sue didn’t want to put him into a place where no one knew him or wanted to talk to him. Because of her background in nursing, Sue was well-suited to care for Pop. And she did it so well. For the first three years of her retirement, Sue cared for Pop. She said that those three years brought with them a feeling of redemption. She had been the rebel child, she told us, breaking all the rules and pushing her parents. But in these last three years, forgiveness has been found. Pop passed away on April 11th, 2015. Just a few days before, Sue asked a question she had asked several times before. In those times, he had looked at her with a questioning look. But this time he knew confidently what his answer was. “Don’t you want to be with mom now? Aren’t you tired?” “Yes. I do.” He spoke that simple sentence clearly and without halting. It was his first words in several days and one of the last things he said. For three years, Sue cared for the man who had raised her. The man who had made her laugh and had made her angry, but who had taught her grace and love. For the last years of his life, Pop was loved and cared for. But most importantly, as Sue mentioned so many times, he wasn’t alone. Sue, thank you for your love and inspiration. But most importantly, thank you for loving and caring for the man that was so important to our family. Your grace and compassion is something that inspires many people.

Serve #3 – My Dad

The subject of Serve #3 is the greatest man in my life.  He is Niel Nielsen, my dad.   I chose this wonderful man for a few different reasons.  The first was his 32 years of service in Law Enforcement.  He served on the City of Plymouth Police Department starting in 1965 as a policeman and retired in 1996 as an investigator.  He experienced scores of things in his years of service; from drunkards, to child abusers, to kids pulling pranks on neighbors lawns.  The job triggered a few ghosts over the years but that never stopped my dad from serving as a role model to me and my brother, and friend and husband to my mother.  My dad seemed larger than life to me…he was a cop, And I growing up I thought that was pretty cool.

Serve #3

Serve #3


I tried to imagine the grandiose reasons why my dad chose law enforcement, like you would do when you’re a child, you know, like protecting us all from the bad guys, or flashing the badge to protect women and children. But, when I posed the question of “Why, dad, did you serve for that many years?” His answer wasn’t as glamorous as a typical kid might think. He simply said he had an interest in law enforcement, and that it was a stable job.  That stable job lasted 32 years.

But his “Serve” doesn’t end there. You see, he never stopped serving.  The next handful of years were filled with weekly visits to my grandmother in Minneapolis who he likes to say was his second mom until her death in the winter of 2000.  His “Serve” doesn’t end there either. Through the years of my mom’s battle with pancreatic cancer, He unselfishly stood strong in the storm that cancer often brings as he went to countless doctor appointments, chemotherapy treatments, and stood unwavering by her side until my mom’s battle ended in August of 2004.

So, when I look at what the definition of “Serve” is I look at my dad. He is a man who cares deeply for people with faithfulness and a smile.

Love you Dad!

Live for the Tomorrows!

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375

A big thank you to Amy Wells for proofreading and editing this for me.

http://nielsen-studios.com/

Serve #2

The opportunity to photograph Jessica came about when I went on a search to find organizations who had pro-bono photography needs.   Quickly my search led to The Phoenix Residence Inc. They were looking for photography for an upcoming brochure. I felt very moved to help create a set of images that they will be able to use to show what caring for fellow human beings looks like Phoenix Residence style. My contact at The Phoenix Residence. is Rachel K.  who I quickly learned had a heart for people as well and wanted to be able to create more awareness

I knew this opportunity was going to be #2 in my “Serve” series.

Serve #2

Serve #2

When Jessica (who works for the Phoenix Residence) said the words, “Everyone needs a friend.” and added, “I get to be Alice’s friend.” I was deeply moved.  Humanity is still good.  Sure we hear bad stuff from the media, but that is a mere slice of life out there.  I think we need to look at the whole of humanity and realize right in our backyards are people reaching out and making a difference in peoples lives.  People with the desire to “Serve”.

In closing, I put Jessica in the background a little bit, even slightly out of focus.  I did this to bring into focus the one who is being served, because she is the focus of Jessica’s “Serve”

Live for the Tomorrows!

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375

nielsen-studios.com

Serve #1

This is the official, inaugural image, the launch of a new series. “Serve” will be a series about people across many stations in life, jobs, roles, races, and ages. Most of all I want my camera to take me out of my comfort zone once again, much like what my “15 Faces” series did. The road will once again create a hum in my ears, and the light that sets upon the subjects I photograph will tell a story that was started before I ever arrived. I desire to show that humanity still has a heart to serve.

Serve #1

Serve 1

Teri M. is a dear friend and the family pastor at NorthRidge Fellowship in Rogers, Minnesota. She has an electric smile and a pure heart for bringing the gospel alive for children and their families. She and Ben (her husband and lead Pastor) have been a key part of my family’s life over the past nine years. Teri serves with joy, with purpose, and with conviction. She has taught me what it is to serve, which is why I start this series with her smile.

I ask one thing of you, the viewer of this series, help me find those who serve. Let the bartenders, policeman, musicians, waitresses/waiters, mechanics, etc, come to the forefront of your mind. If you want to help write the story, sharpen your pencil, or prep your fingers and come on the journey with me.

Live for the Tomorrows!

Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen
Mobile. 612.750.2593
Studio. 763.498.7375

A big “Thank You” to Gearbox Functional Creative Inc for designing the “Serve” template.

nielsen-studios.com

A little dirt.

aLittleDirt

 

Often I find myself photographing a doctor or executive, a stalk or two of corn, a product for a local company, heck even a cow.  Today my camera was pointed towards a backhoe in a neighboring farmers field.  Sure, it’s a far cry from the close-up of a persons face forged by age and war  (https://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/im-here-5-the-final-installment/), but still worthy of a photograph or three.  It was even worth adding a little grit to the image and show the incredible texture that dirt, steel and great light combine to show off.

 

I still thoroughly love to create images.  Even simple, naturally lit ones!

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