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 Mike Nelson is a New Yorker. And a surfer. A shop owner and a contest promoter. A mentor and supporter and steward of all things surf in the Empire State. Alongside his longtime business partner Dave Juan, their retail baby, Unsound Surf Shop, is the cornerstone corner store of Long Island surfing; while their annual contest, the Unsound Pro, has gained distinction as one of the most progressive surfing events on the East Coast. Nelson filmed and produced three surf movies — Couch Tour, North of Nowhere and ESM’s Always Right — but his dominant identity is that of a surf photographer who’s documented some of the most exotic waves of Earth but focuses primarily on his own homegrown, hardcore community. Nelson’s career spans three decades, where he served as a senior or contributing photographer for myriad publications highlighted by countless features, portfolios, photo essays, travel stories and cover shots. On the rare occasion that he’s away from the ocean, he shoots real estate, sporting events, weddings and landscapes. He lives in Oceanside, NY, with his wife, daughter and two sons. 

Featured Clients:

Published in:

Awards and Achievements:

Red Bull
Xcel Wetsuits
Adorama Photo
Clif Bar
Attn To Detail Construction
Blake and Dane
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
Casa Islena Restort and Hotel
Haviland Kitchen and Bar
A&E Construction
Coach Realtors
Home and Hearth Realty

Island Realty
Eastern Surf Magazine
Surfer Magazine
Surfing Magazine
The Surfers Journal
Transworld Surf
Whalebone Magazine
Newsday Long Island
The New York Times
Long Beach Herald
North East Surf Mag
White Horses
Stab Mag
Wavelength Magazine
Mundo Rad

2002 NE Surf News Cover

2003 Eastern Surf Mag March Cover

2007 Eastern Surf Photographer of the Year 

2007 Eastern Surf Mag May Cover

2008 Eastern Surf Mag September Cover

2009 Eastern Surf Mag June Cover

2013 "Yo Shot Challenge" winner

2017 "Cold Shot Challenge 3rd Place

2017 Surfer Magazine May Cover Photo

2018 White Horses Cover Photo (Q4)


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