Thank you for visiting my page! From a young age I had a deep appreciation for the outdoors, wildlife, and travel. I Spent my childhood summers exploring in the woods, catching reptiles and amphibians, and most summers going on a long road trip in a camper with my family to visit national parks. This love for the outdoors eventually lead me to earn a degree in fisheries and wildlife from the University of Missouri Columbia. While I was studying there, I had picked up a camera and started shooting the things that interested me. Mainly reptiles and landscapes at the time. I developed such a love for photography that I decided I wanted to pursue photography as a vocation.
I decided to earn a second bachelor's degree from William Woods University in graphic design. There I learned to express my creative side and to solve problems as a designer, all while honing my photography skills. After graduating for the second time, I really wanted to look for opportunities to use both of my skill and knowledge sets together.
My first job out of college was teaching at a high school career center. It was a great opportunity to master creative software. Working with a large group of students, I got to see creativity from dozens of different perspectives. I gained a lot of inspiration and knowledge during this time, but I still wanted to pursue photography as a daily livelihood. One summer, I took a part time job as the photographer for Missouri State Parks. It was what I wanted to do! Fortunately, that job turned into a full time job as the department photographer for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. That's where I am today.
On this page, you will find my portfolio of professional and personal projects, as well as photographs available for sale as art prints. When I am not working at DNR, I spend as much time as possible traveling, trying new photography techniques, and doing freelance portrait and product photography. If you would like to schedule a photoshoot or buy a print, please don't hesitate to contact me! I'm on the road a lot for my job, often in places with limited cell phone service, so it's easiest to get ahold of me via e-mail at Ben.Nickelson@gmail.com or text at (573) 680-2943.