Jesse Brown Nelson

By Nicole Woolridge, BHSU junior mass communications major from Huron

BHSU student Jesse Brown Nelson was awarded the photography internship for the South Dakota Department of Tourism recently. Nelson will be the first BHSU student chosen to perform this paid internship for the Department of Tourism. The internship will consist of Nelson traveling to the various festivals and tourist attractions throughout the state of South Dakota during the summer of 2007.

Nelson learned about the internship when Steve Babbitt, a photography professor at BHSU, invited a senior photographer for the Department of Tourism Chad Coppess, who graduated from BHSU in 1985, to speak for his photography class. During his visit, Coppess spoke of the photography internship and encouraged students to apply online.

Two years later, Nelson pursued the photography internship and applied online this last March. About one week later, Jesse received a phone call from Coppess and was asked to go to Pierre for an interview.

“I was very excited and surprised. I wasn’t expecting to be chosen for the internship,” he said. Nelson was interviewed by Coppess and the Creative Director for the Department of Tourism.

“The interview was intense. They asked me similar questions to make sure I was consistent with my answers,” Nelson stated. Through this internship, Nelson hopes to develop his photography skills and gain experience in the field.

“I want to get out into the real world of photography,” Nelson stated.

Nelson is pursuing a mass communication major with emphasis’ in photography, journalism and desktop publishing. Of his three interests, photography has been his favorite. Nelson recalled taking pictures at Bear Country USA when he was seven or eight years old after his mother bought him a disposable camera.

“For as long as I can remember, photography has always been something I have enjoyed,” Nelson said. In high school, he photographed pictures for the yearbook and at sporting events and took photography classes.

Nelson’s well-rounded style enables his eye to capture a photograph from any scene, but his favorite photos are taken on a snow-covered mountain dominated with snowboarders. The sport has attracted Nelson’s eye because snowboarding is something that he likes to do in his free time.

Before graduation, Nelson will have one last photography show which will include snowboarding pictures from Colorado, Montana, and the Black Hills

“I like to capture light and bring a photographed scene into the public’s eye,” Nelson said. Nelson plans to graduate in December. His long term goal is to be on staff at a top snowboarding magazine.