The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

GHS Graduate Pursuing Dreams


April 24, 2019

Amy Nelson

"There is nothing quite like the feeling of pursuing your dreams." Amy Nelson knows of what she speaks. The young photojournalist recently saw her photo, featuring best-selling author Christopher Paolini, above the fold of the Billings Gazette.

Nelson accepted the summer photo intern position at the Gazette in late March, and was told by her new boss Larry Mayer that her photo would be featured on the front page. "Although my first assignment at each paper I've worked at has made the front page, it was a whole new level of excitement to see my first assignment make the front page of the biggest paper in the state," she told The Courier.

The photo in many ways is a shot of Nelson herself, even though she was on the other side of the lens. Like the author, she found her passion early and has parlayed that passion into a career. She too has received high accolades for her art when she was named one of Sony's top 50 photographers in the world in 2017.

Before graduating from Glasgow High School in 2016, Nelson had her own artist show in the Sean R. Heavey Gallery. That show led to an offer from then-editor of the Glasgow Courier, James Walling, to come on board as a photo intern. Nelson has worked in photojournalism since that time.

"Among my favorite events this past year was photographing President Donald Trump, meeting and photographing Jeff Bridges, and following the MSU Spirit Squad and football team to the Cat-Griz game in Missoula," Nelson enthused. "Photographing President Trump was a highlight of the past year. At the Trump rally at Belgrade in November, I was the youngest member of the White House Press Pool."

She credits her internship with starting her career, "The Courier gave me the freedom to share my work on a larger platform and see people and events in a whole new light." Currently at Montana State University-Bozeman, the junior works at the university's paper, The MSU Exponent, where she shoots a variety of events, including collegiate sports, lectures, music and breaking news. Nelson says, "With so much going on around Bozeman, I shoot almost every day. If you spot me around Bozeman, it is likely I'll have my camera in hand." This year she is also the photographer for the MSU Spirit Squad, the school's cheerleading and dance team. Next year, she will take on duties as photo editor at the paper, in addition to photographer.

Nelson was at the Cat-Griz game this past year to capture all the glory of the Cats' win and the team as they carried the sacred Brawl of the Wild trophy around the field. "In order to get photos of Montana State with the trophy, I had to run backwards on the field in front of the team all the while taking pictures and having three cameras strapped to me," she recalled.

While Nelson is currently enjoying some of the best experiences of her young career, the art hasn't always come easy to her. She admits to struggling at times with motivation and self-doubt, despite always knowing she wanted to become a full-time photographer. She credits her mentors and mother with keeping her on track until she was able to fully embrace her talents. "Not everyone has the ability to see the world with an artistic eye," she said. She will graduate from MSU in December, 2020, after finishing her studies in political science and writing, and intends to continue working in photojournalism, while working with political campaigns.

"The best advice I can give any young aspiring artists in Valley County is don't give up. If you have talent, harness it and pursue it. Attend workshops and find mentors in order to build your social circles. Hard work and talent really do pay off," says the successful young artist. "The art industry is tough and competitive. But there is nothing quite like the feeling of pursuing your dreams."

To view her work please visit or


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