Todd & Lou Nettelhorst


About Todd Nettelhorst

Todd Nettelhorst (IL) Photography Educator, Professional Photographer. Todd Nettelhorst is a professional photographer and educator that has had a passion for photography and videography much of his life. He started photographing at a very young age when his father gave him his first SLR camera. His appreciation of photography grew while photographing throughout the country during the family’s summer road trips.

Todd’s path to becoming a professional photographer began after starting a family with his beautiful wife, Tambi. As he documented the honesty of his children’s lives, friends and family members began requesting his unique style for their families. His ability to capture un-posed, un-planned and spontaneous moments were much in demand. Todd developed a keen eye for documenting the personality and expressions that bring out the “real life” of the subject in an image.

Soon a variety of commercial clients were taking notice of his skills, as well. Todd has photographed a variety of events, architecture, engagements and products. Today, he continues to engage in commercial work with new and established clients. In 2016, Todd partnered with his father, Lou Nettelhorst, as part of Nettelhorst Images, Inc.

Todd enjoys bringing his charismatic energy, unique photographic perspective and deep passion for the visual arts to others by helping them explore and develop the best of their creative abilities through education. As a photography educator, Todd uses his fresh perspective to help students see the “pictures within pictures.” He is also delighted to share his explorations with phone photography and apps to create stunning visual images.

About Lou Nettelhorst

Lou Nettelhorst (IL) Photography Educator, Award-Winning Photographer. Lou Nettelhorst is first and foremost a photography teacher. His mission is to help photographers discover and explore the artist within. He’s an award winner and stunning image-maker. Lou is a man with a purpose – a purpose to make photographing fun, creative and rewarding for others through his unique teaching style.

The hallmark of Lou’s style is his eagerness to share his professional experience and techniques, while always providing encouragement, constructive feedback, and (often groan-inducing) humor! Lou has taught thousands of aspiring photographers. He literally gets “goosebumps” when he sees the amazing images made by his students and counts their successes as his most treasured reward. One of his students recently commented, “You can be a great photographer, but not know how to teach. Lou is a phenomenal teacher and an amazing photographer!”

Lou shares his talents through local and national workshops, outings, presentations, and private instruction. A natural and experienced teacher, he employs his signature Teaching Model: Inform. Practice. Feedback. to help his students improve their images.

  • Inform: It all begins with personalized instruction designed for photographers of all levels and photography styles.
  • Practice: Students put their lessons to use in a live-shooting environment. Lou provides as much or as little one-on-one coaching and assistance as the student desires.
  • Feedback: The most highly valued component of the Teaching Model which may be in the field, or in a feedback session as part of a workshop or clinic. Students share their images and receive encouraging, gentle tips for improvement, along with a bit of Lou’s wit!

Background, Educations, Awards:

Lou’s life work and passion has always been teaching. He has also had a life-long interest in photography which ultimately became his second career.

Beginning as a high school biology teacher in 1966, he progressed through several leadership positions at the school district. Soon, he was asked to serve on the Cooperative Teacher Education Program (CTEP) planning committee with the University of Illinois. He was selected to be their first Science-area coordinator and became an adjunct professor at the university, where he taught beginning teachers how to teach. In 1984, after a succession of roles in school administration, he left the district to assume the role of Executive Director for an educational service center whose primary purpose was to train teachers and administrators.

Lou was a student of noted photographers Freeman Patterson, Sam Abel and Bob Sisson. His images were published in Nature’s Best Photography, Outdoor Photographer, North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA) Member Showcase and Chicago Wilderness Magazine, as well as many newsletters. In 2010, he received the Kohout Outstanding Nature Photographer’s Award from the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association (CACCA). In 2019, Lou received the prestigious NANPA Fellow award for his significant contributions to the nature photography profession.

In 2016, Lou partnered with his son, Todd, to continue his photography education mission through their company, Nettelhorst Images, Inc.

For information on Lou and Todd Nettelhorst’s workshops, outings, online photo feedback series, private lessons, presentations and other activities, visit, NettelhorstImages on Facebook and Net_Images on Instagram.