It started as a hobby to fill time between commercial photo shoots. Now, Wild Birds Flying has become a lifelong journey for wildlife photographer Paul Nelson.
Stacy Fortier, Paul’s wife and business partner in Wild Birds Flying, first prompted their love of birds while she volunteered at the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. The beauty of these majestic creatures led to a mutual passion for birds and flight — so much so that they released a great gray owl at their wedding to share the experience with family and friends.
Paul had already made a name for himself in the advertising world with his remarkable photography. But the artist in him wanted to portray the stunning details and grace of birds in flight in a way no one else had been able to do. What was once left to the imagination, he wanted to capture in photographs for all to see: a moment of flight.
Paul built a specialized photography rig that could catch those split-second images. The quest led to partnerships with bird banding groups and nature centers that regularly release songbirds into the wild.
With the well-being of the birds in mind, Paul sets up his equipment to capture these breathtaking moments using high-speed photographic techniques. The laser-triggered shutter is tripped as the bird flies past a pure white background. The results are nothing short of spectacular — wings translucent with astonishing detail, awash in brilliant color and patterns the naked eye alone cannot hope to see.
And so, Wild Birds Flying has found its wings. With initial regional success, Paul is setting his sights on birds from across the globe. And he and Stacy have taken these wonders a step further: the amazing imagery and patterns translate to scarves, note cards, pillows, and prints — decorative items that can be enjoyed throughout the home.
Determined to give back, Paul Nelson and Stacy Fortier have committed to donating 10 percent of their net proceeds to wildlife causes. For every product purchased, they will be benefiting the environment and ensuring that future generations can share in their passion for wild birds in flight.