Michael Ryan Ballard
I'm Michael, also known as Nilas.
Writing about myself isn't necessarily a strong suit, so I'll just jot it down as it comes out.
I'm a dad, husband, artist, and wanderlust.
Emphasis on the dad part. While my wife attends optometry school, I run my business from home and double as a stay at home dad. If I'm not shooting, there is about a 99% chance my young sons are running circles around me. (they're trying to use my shorts as a Hot Wheel track anchor as I write this...)
Photography is something that I am extremely passionate about. Whether I'm shooting a wedding, lifestyle portrait, landscape or surrealistic art, I always give 110%. I'm very laid back and easy to work with, knowing exactly when to give direction and when to capture a moment as it unfolds naturally.
I love telling stories through creative imagery, both fictional and non-fictional. The majority of my experience comes from shooting weddings/commitment ceremonies and just couples in general. Which is perfect. I love to witness love. Immortalizing memories for a couple is one of the most satisfying and rewarding feelings, and I'm very humbled that so many people have chosen me as their storyteller.
Humor is great, both censored and uncensored. Whether we're telling dad jokes, acting out or telling tongue-in-cheek tales, I just love having a good time.
I'm a bit of a geek, perhaps an oddball. I've always been sort of an extrovert amongst outcasts. Weird, but in a good way.
Life is too short to pass judgment, and we should never judge a book by its cover. I'm open-minded and accepting of the beliefs of others.
I'm an artist and believe in art above monetary value. If I can earn enough to have a humble home and stability for my little family, I'm beyond happy. I travel cheap, I make do with what I have and I always try to smile at the little things. I have no need for extravagant things.
I'm all about adventure and I'm not afraid of any trek. I'll travel anywhere, trail or not. I'll swim under icy waterfalls, hike under the blazing sun and bushwack the unknown. I welcome and love any adventurous challenge.
Pizza, brews, and tattoos. <3
Dark surrealism and darker concepts have always been a very strong interest of mine, it's what sparked my love for photography. Oh, the days when DeviantArt was a thing and I spent all my hours enjoying the subjects. If I can, I'll find alternative couples to help me advance my dark surrealism portfolio. It's definitely a tough niche, but with time and effort, I hope to prevail.
I love the people I've met and the places my job has taken me. It really has been a dream come true. With roughly 80 weddings and countless other sessions captured, I am beyond grateful. This path has brought me so many great memories and new friends (hell, even family), I can't wait to see what and who lies ahead!
-Michael R. Ballard (Nilas)
Looking for more? Check out this blog post...