You have seen Andrew and Anita Neilson’s photography. With a client list so happily peppered with the great and good of the timepiece world, if you’ve ever lingered over a close-up of a Kennett, Michel Herbelin, Accurist, TAG Heuer or Patek Philippe (for a genuinely random sampling of his clients) then you were possibly – in some cases probably – looking at a Neilson image.
The married duo have become the industry’s go-to photographers. When you look at their stunning shots, it all seems so effortless. But it’s not.
In an age when digital technology has democratised photography to a breathtaking degree, getting the image of a watch right remains a remarkably elusive art. But that suits the Neilsons just fine. Andrew says: “I’ve never been attracted to things that are easy to do. In photography, watches and jewellery are renowned as being the most complex to capture, but we love the process of creating photographs that wow. We shoot at huge magnifications, which can show details in products clients didn’t think could be conveyed.”
Andrew – always supported by wife Anita – has been crowned commercial photographer of the year in the prestigious British Institute of Professional Photography Awards, which reminds us that the Neilsons are denizens of their own creative industry. But do they truly feel part of ours? “Definitely. I hope that’s why we were chosen for the Hot 100. We shoot the product and our images become the face of these brands. That’s fantastic.”
After a decade shooting watches and jewellery, the duo launched into their own face lift early last year when the company rebranded. “It’s placed us firmly in the eyes of all the market,” Andrew says.
The Neilsons are now prepared to lead the industry forward, teasing us with news of a launch mooted for IJL 2013. “We have always been involved in 3D, animation and rendering but making that commercially viable is a challenge.” After a “huge” amount of testing, Andrew says, this could be the year that changes.
And as Andrew states his ambition to expand into a global brand for commercial fine product imagery, it’s a good bet that a lot more changes will be afoot.
Neilson Photography founders Andrew and Anita Neilson were Entrepreneurs in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.