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 on 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.