Arlene Nelson


With an eye for capturing the exquisite in ordinary moments, in both real and imagined worlds, Arlene Nelson’s cinematography has led to collaborations with iconic directors. Christopher Guest, Cesar winner, Agnes Varda, and Academy Award winners Louie Psihoyos, Paola Di Florio and Morgan Neville are among the visionary directors that share a passion and singular vision, with whom Arlene has collaborated.

Whether shooting narrative films, documentary features or commercial campaigns, Arlene’s camera work and lighting reflect a naturalistic, organic quality, conveying passion, beauty, and even the absurdity of the human experience.  An intrepid traveler, her work has taken her to every continent across the globe from traversing the Himalayas in India, navigating the wetlands in Brazil to camping on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Arlene has received numerous awards for her cinematography, including an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for her work on Academy Award winner Morgan Neville’s Troubadours, a documentary on the singer songwriter tradition, featuring Carole King and James Taylor.

She has guest lectured at USC, UCLA, SFSU; served on film juries and panels, and is a mentor and International Advisory Board member  for Global Girl Media, dedicated to empowering High School age girls around the world to create and share their stories through digital journalism.  She holds degrees in Fine Art Photography and Philosophy.

Arlene’s work has been screened before the U.S. Congress and featured on HBO, SHOWTIME, NETFLIX, BRAVO, PBS and CBS.

When she is not shooting, she can be found sailing or obsessively playing ping pong with her husband and daughter where they live in Los Angeles.