Me and My Camera: A Love Story

 Here’s an update of a video I made back in the early days to share a bit about how I became a photographer and why I ended up doing what I do here at How to Photograph Your Life.  

(And of course I weave in my favorite photo tips for you. I always weave in the photo tips.) 

Putting together a set of photographs that chronicles the journey of your photographic growth is humbling and enlightning…and makes you wonder what’s coming next. I highly recommend it.

But the point of my sharing this video with you now is just to take a few moments to say let’s get acquainted—or reacquainted—if you’re not familiar with my background and what my mission is here at HTPYL. I hope this will inspire you to consider your own photographic journey and the reason you do what you do. (And I’ll look forward to hearing your story too—more on that later.) 

So let’s all take a little look back now, to focus on where we’ve been and think about where we’re going. You may have noticed that what was meant to be a brief hiatus last spring dragged on longer than expected (you know, the old “life gets in the way” scenario) but we’re ready to recommit ourselves to revving things up around here so get ready to hear more from us during the holiday season and the new year ahead!

To start now, I’m just asking you to watch (or rewatch) this video. 

Of course, my favorite part is the appearance of the young Kelsh boys, and I mean young, toward the end.  I’ve watched that part a ridiculous number of times and never once with dry eyes. 

Please watch and enjoy. And let me know what you think in the comments!



  1. Beth Thomander

    I always have loved this video Nick and I feel the same way about photography. I am so thankful that my love of photography has not just been passed on to Lauren, my daughter, but now my son Grant. A family photo safari is on our to do list! Thanks for sharing this video once again. <3

    • Nick Kelsh

      Beth, it has been so much fun to watch our kids grow up together. They are just beautiful… All of them. I hope the photos never stop. You’re such a good photographer. And Lauren, too!

    • Nick Kelsh

      Beth, it has been a real joy for me to watch our children grow up together. Really amazing. It gives me such happiness to look at the photographs that both Lauren and Grant have taken. You know they’re both going to be doing this for the rest of their lives, right?

  2. Kathy Stone

    I can’t believe Teddy and Alexander were ever that small. We are getting old Nick.

    • Nick Kelsh

      “Old” is your word, Kathy. Seriously, I would be lying if I told you I’m not feeling a little creaky. Yes, they were that small once. Alexander is a young man now. Heavy on man.

  3. Lisa Killough

    I love this video! No wonder I have been a huge fan since I bought “How to Photograph Your Baby” almost 20 years ago!! Thank you, Nick!

  4. Frances Graves

    I really loved this video! I took your basic photography course and learned so much. I now take all my photos in manual and learn something new each time in different situations.
    This video of yours is so inspiring and anyone who is interested in photography should watch it, you put it in a profound way, Nick, the love of photography💕
    I see so much through my lens from the funny faces of the kids when you are trying to get them to be my dog from behind on two legs looking out the back window!

  5. Lisa

    Such a great story and tips! You certainly are a gifted photographer.

  6. Kay Keeshan

    I like the new addition, and I will share the video on my facebook page.

  7. Mary Beth Strachan

    I remember this video from years ago…still wonderful, but I always get a laugh when I remember the one with you in your red and white union suit and your Mother in law photographing the baby doll! Great memories!

  8. Tee Kasy

    Absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

  9. Kelly Garcia

    I do not own a camera that isn’t inside my cell phone, but I have joyfully taken thousands of pictures with it.

  10. Candy Shiveley

    Great video Nick! But I’m a little confused by the web site linked at the end of the video. Other than possibly teaching video production, what does this have to do with you and free photography classes?

    • Anne Kelsh

      Oops, sorry, Candy, that was an error—so I’ve taken that link down butn don’t worry, we will be offering free classes again soon so watch your email for notification when they’re announced. In the meantime, we appreciate you bringing it to our attention. Thanks!

  11. carol ann

    My mother was a terrible photographer. It was rare that she would ever take one and when she did, she would cut off everyone’s head by pushing the shutter button. Almost every photo made the trash can. But, once my son was old enough to walk, she tried harder to hold steady. There is one, and only one photo she took that, for me, is amazing. We were shopping on historic Main Street and Mom snapped an image of me holding my little guy’s hand, walking in front of her. Mom passed away in 2000 and my little guy is 28, now. That image is priceless to me, in all it’s blurry mess, but she nailed it.

    I watched your video and cried as soon as I saw your image of the man and a little guy walking into a field. Photography is everything and sometimes all we have. Beautiful images, Nick! Thanks for sharing what you did. My heart has been touched.

  12. Diane Ogle

    Nick, that is beautiful! You should approach Forever to pay for a tag line to preserve their precious memories! Always promoting Forever 😇
    Shelley’s mom …. Diane Ogle


    It has been fun watching your boys grow up before our eyes. I love the community of photographers you have helped and a treasure being part of that community!

  14. Janine

    I have learned so much from you on HtPYL. I have many treasured photos that reflect your generosity and incredible teaching skills. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  15. Terri Viola

    What a great video. I can’t believe how much your childhood photo looks like Alexander! It’s been fun getting to watch your boys grown up. I can’t imagine a better gift for a child than having their life recorded through their father’s eyes. I remember 11 years ago when we were taking our foster parenting classes to adopt Matt and Laken and they asked what we were going to do to make our kids feel a part of our family. I knew right away, it was going to be adding their photos to our own. I can see the first one from our first day, sitting on my shelf and it always makes me smile to see how far they have come and that we are now a “family”! This year they started college and we’ve become empty nesters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more times… thank you, Nick!

  16. Nikki Stein

    This video brought tears to my eyes. Everything you say about photography and how you feel about it is so heartwarming. I feel the same way. I especially loved that research shows that photographs make kids feel validated, loved, confident an self-assured. “A house full of photographs says I love you with no words required.” I first heard of you years ago at a Creative Memories convention and have followed you ever since through your website, Facebook and various classes. I can honestly say that it has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have loved photography ever since I was a kid but finding you has taught me how to love my camera even more by being able to understand it and take great photos. Your teaching style makes it easy to understand and your sense of humor makes it even more fun! Thank you so much Nick. You have changed my life truly.


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