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Michael Ballard and Rose Gerber of Nilas Photography

Image by Tonya

Nilas Photography and our little team.

Complacency is the death of mastery.Our art is every day, ever-changing and open-minded. It is our lifestyle.

Short, short summary.

Michael is an alternative and highly experienced fine art, portrait, and event photographer working with his partner Rose who is a dedicated model and creative collaborator. His passion for photography is mostly derived from a darker aestheti
c but loves all photographic challenges, especially involving people who may not have their images captured often. Common services include portraits, branding, boudoir, and tons of weddings (as seen on


Our team, as you may assess quickly, is our family. We work out of our home, coffee shops, and our professional photo studio, Cobalt Studios PDX. Our lives revolve around photography and creativity around the camera. The extended family we've built in Portland is very camera-centric. Everyone we pull into our lives is from creative shoots, networking events, workshops, and, of course, clients.
Together we are dedicated educators, organizers, and parents to our photographic community.

We strive to stay adventurous, always seeking new locations like incredible hike-worthy waterfalls or abandoned spots to sneak into and do creative photoshoots. Attending weddings also opens us up to a whole new array of amazing places to explore and photograph. 

Us, the individuals.

Rose in December 22 - Wedding Photograph

a PNW and destination photographer

The eye behind the lens. A dad, weirdo, wanderlust, and passionate photographer, dedicated to art and authenticity. Fascinated by natural sciences, abandoned buildings, and the unknown. If it wasn't for family, would be wandering with little more than a backpack and a camera. Deeply, madly in love with Salem, Nilas, and twin flame, Rose and creating alongside them.
@xnilasx / @weddingphotographerguy

Model, Communications, booking, and image selection

Passionate model, avid concert and music lover, vinyl collector, obsessive waterfall chaser, and an absolute badass. Keeping things organized when all is unhinged. Fiercely dedicated to anything she supports or involves herself with and is the perfect counterpart for a photographer. 

Nilas and Rose at Blue Heron at Night Stair Lights and Yarn - Wedding Photographer Guy - N
Nilas and Rose at Blue Heron at Night Stair Lights and Yarn - Wedding Photographer Guy - N

Assistant photographer and occasional lens caddy

A budding artist who has given two tattoos by age 9 and attended (even photographed) various weddings. Patient and kind. Passionate about reading, games, playing pranks, and his little brother. Loves to learn and be involved. A very mature and charismatic young charmer at events, and extremely helpful as a volunteer photographer's assistant.

Photographer in training and loveable wildcard

A roaring ball of energy that contains well when composure is necessary. Passionate about building, animals and ancient beings, the outdoors, and spending time with his family. Sweet and loving. His time in our work is currently spent learning the basics and child communications. He loves to pose for the camera and encourages others to laugh or set a pose for a shot when attending certain sessions.

Salem - Ecola - Nilas Photography - 2020-2.jpg

Our work together, with backstory

Burnt Out Black Friday - Wedding Photographer Guy - Nilas Photography-57.jpg
Salem with full frame - Nilas Photography-2.jpg
Nilas 9th Bday coast - Nilas Photography - Wedding Photographer Guy-14.jpg
Cobalt Logo v2 (1).jpeg
Nilas and Rose at Blue Heron at Night Stair Lights and Yarn - Wedding Photographer Guy - N

If I could choose to stay here forever, I would. And I will.

Unapologetically myself.


What we offer

Nilas Photography offers photography services including (but not limited to):

Natural light and on-location flash portraiture for individuals, couples, families, and groups. 

Studio photography that includes, but is not limited to, fine art, commercial, editorial, product, lifestyle, and just about anything you could need in a photography studio.

Studio rental and education for other creatives

Candid individual and event photography coverage.

Conceptual dark art, fine art, and alternative photo sessions.



Based in Portland, Oregon, most commonly servicing the Portland metropolitan region, the Oregon coast, the Pacific Northwest, and throughout California.

Beyond willing to travel anywhere around the entire globe and often providing incentives in beautiful scenic destinations. 

Engagements are typically captured within the Pacific Northwest. but known to conduct sessions during travels, so don't hesitate to inquire if you're looking to shoot elsewhere.

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