Take 10

Nellie Gould

Few people can capture the tender emotions of life-changing moments in a still frame like Nellie Gould. You may have seen her toting a camera around town, capturing the love of a newly married couple or the first weeks of a new life. After earning her photography degree from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, Nellie spent time working with some of the top photojournalists around the country, and opened her own studio after moving to Peoria in 2005. It was that same year that she married her best friend, Dave.


  1. What was your childhood dream job? I always wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. I fell in love with the glossy, colorful photos that told so many cultural stories and the power the camera had at capturing them.
  2. What’s the best thing about being you? That I wake up every morning with an amazing, loving husband; a beautiful, happy baby girl; supportive family and friends; a strong faith; and my dream job.
  3. What is your greatest achievement? I am proud that I followed my heart and was able to open a successful photo studio.  
  4. Three words that best describe me are…Determined, generous, spontaneous.
  5. Who has had the greatest impact on your life? I moved around the country a lot growing up. I like to think that I take a piece of every place I have been and the people I have encountered into my life.
  6. What’s your favorite meal? My husband's grilled ribeye steaks, portobello mushrooms and fresh steamed asparagus paired with a tall glass of red wine.
  7. What song always puts a smile on your face? I especially like “Keep the Car Running” by Arcade Fire and “Carries On” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. 
  8. What inspires you? The circle of life. A mother's bond with her new bundle of joy; little fingers that tickle brothers and sisters; a daughter's goodbye kiss on her father's cheek before she embraces her new husband; and soft, wrinkly faces and the scent of lavender lingering on grandmothers as they pass on their life stories.
  9. What is your favorite time of day? I love the moments just before the sun goes down. The world is filled with a glow that makes everything golden and peaceful.
  10. What is your idea of perfect happiness? The still frames of life. Quietness as I watch my daughter sleep in her dreams; laughter I share with my husband; and feeling blessed. a&s