By: Joel Nisleit
Imagery has always been part of my life, from an early love of drawing to college studies of creative writing. My father Ron taught me the basics of SLR photography from about age 10 and soon after let me use the cool SLR gear on vacations, placing an ember for photography in my heart that would burn forever. While continuing to photograph both personally and for the college newspaper, I earned a bachelor’s degree in writing from Lakeland College in 2003. I studied under master poet Karl Elder at Lakeland College and received the college’s Outstanding Student in Writing award, later winning awards in photojournalism, writing and design during my nearly seven years at the Dodge County Pionier, a weekly newspaper.
I set out to become a professional wedding photographer in 2012 and received training from world-class wedding and portrait photographers Jerry Ghionis and Doug Gordon and educated myself as much as possible on the topics of lighting and portraiture. I love designing photographs and involving people in the magic of photography. In addition to wedding photography, I love landscape and nature photography, teaching photography, and freelancing for other companies including Edward Fox Photography and Gameface Media. Ansel Adams and Jerry Ghionis are my greatest photographic influences. I am a Sheboygan native, a member of the Beaver Dam Radio Control Flyers, and I enjoy golf and travel, especially going on little adventures with my amazing wife Heather.
My advice to aspiring photographers is to learn to see and control light in photographic terms. Every film I see, I’m paying attention to the lighting patterns and their effect on the scene. Everywhere I go, I’m constantly imagining how I would make a portrait. Make light your primary study.