About Niek Nijsen

Dad, Husband, Pilot, Entrepreneur, Modeller, Photographer, Car Enthousiast, Website Developer.

Born on 14 November 1989 in the Netherlands, I have always been busy pushing myself to be the best I could at anything I participated in. From playing many sports at during my youth, such as field-hockey, competition swimming and gliding, to joining various committees, including the youth committee of the local hockey club and being one of the Dutch representatives at the "International Air Cadet Exchange" for 2 years in a row.

While studying at the "Rijksuniversiteit Groningen" (University of Groningen), I started my own business in photography alongside my part-time job as a private chauffeur and being a member in many committees related to the University. Not only did this teach me how to interact with people professionally, it also helped me build a large network of clients. Constantly pushing myself to go further and being able to speak multiple languages, I managed to reach my goals and run a succesful business.

My move to the USA led to a big change in my life and required me to adjust to a completely new environment. Although it caused my photography business to become a much smaller part of me, I excelled in my newly choosen direction and as a result was hired by the flight school as a full-time instructor. At 24 years of age I was responsible for the safe training of the next generation of pilots. More importantly, in 2014 it made me the first and youngest civilian SAR pilot hired directly out of flight training.

Both in my personal and professional life, I try to achieve perfection. It's what makes me go the extra mile in any and all of my endeavours.

My Scale Models My Portfolio My Aviation Career

Scale Modelling

Thinking about it, it’s actually pretty difficult trying to write about what exactly got me into putting together plastic kits. I remember from a young age that my dad had model trains and being an engineer, I’m sure he’s the one that introduced me to scale modelling. The first few models I put together were straight forward out of the box, probably with more glue on my fingers than on the wings of my little planes. Gradually the results were improving, and I recall being allowed to use his airbrush for the first time when I was in my young teens. I ended up with a bright red spitfire in 1/72nd scale. Probably not very realistic, but I was very proud of my creation. I think most of my early models have gotten lost over the years, but I recall my collection consisting of at least a 1/48th F-16, a 1/48 F-117 Night Hawk, an IndyCar in 1/24th scale and of course the bright red Spitfire. As high school progressed, I slowly shifted my interest from building models to spending more time doing various sport activities.

It wasn’t until I moved to Florida in 2011 that I swapped outdoor activities at 35 degrees C for indoor activities with AC again. It was time to relight the modelling candle. Though this time I wasn’t going to add more red Spitfires to my collection, instead I’d be making proper models. And in my eyes a proper model contains a lot of details. However, striving for perfection and always trying to improve myself, I soon found out putting just one model together would take me a long time.

I guess that brings us to the “type” of modeller I am. At least if you believe there are different types out there. In my eyes there’s the person that builds a kit in a few weeks, straight from the box. Opposite to that is the person that takes years to build just one kit while adding all the extra details and corrections that are missing from the basic model. Both of them have their pros and cons, and sometimes I wish I could be the kind building straight from the box. Yet I believe that taking a minimum of a year to finish a kit qualifies me as the second type. At least I get to test my patience on a regular basis.

Last but not least would be my specific area of interest. Turns out I don’t really have one in particular; I enjoy almost all of them. Aviation, armour, ships, cars, space, figures. Anything to try new techniques and learn new skills. Though having said that, I do notice somewhat of a pattern across my collection. There’s a fair share of aviation and German subjects I’ve build over the years, but all of them being the best in their class (I’m sure some of you would like to discuss that with me and I’m more than happy to do so). As long as the models form a good starting base for me to go to town on, scratch building missing details and adding a personal touch to it, I’m willing to add them to my stash.

Enough talk, time to let the models speak for themselves. Time to witness the dedication & persistence at work.

View the Models


So what motivated me to start my own business in the world of photography; The "shutter click" that started it all? From my very first image, the first clients and later on the expansion of the business?

It all started when I was asked to take a few photos with someone's camera during a go-kart race my brother was participating in. Not really knowing what I was doing, I kept shooting the whole weekend. Once the word spread of my results, more people were asking for photos of their drivers. An opportunity showed itself and I grabbed it with both hands. I bought my first camera and started "Nijsen Photography", specialising in go-kart racing photography. Being able to capture a special event and turn it into an everlasting memory, that is what I strive to achieve. Capturing precious moments for those who are unable to do it themselves, all with a personal touch.

Throughout the years that followed, I improved my skill and provided unique photos to my clients. More equipment was added to my collection and new doors were opened. Despite not being able to enter the tracks, I managed to take photos in such a way as if I was right next to the driver, in the middle of all the action. The business expanded and I began work in the field of "Media & Design", by creating posters, business cards, stickers, videos, calendars, websites, and more. Mind you, this is only a handful of your options. You name it, my work has no limits.

As I moved to the United States to chase my flying dream in 2011, I became interested in other types of photography. Capturing sunsets and the combination of aviation with B&W became my favourites. Although it was a completely new type of photography, I was able to adapt known styles and techniques and maintain that personal touch. And although I'm severely restricted in capturing photos in my current aviation role, I still manage to take interesting shots, presented in my photo blog; "The Art Of Flying".

Most of you will be familiar with my old website (which looked very similar to the current version). However, you'll notice quite a change when visiting the galleries. Instead of simple text that you could click on to go to the albums, I've now created a look that's very similar to all your on-demand TV programs (like iTunes, Netflix and Amazon), where each album has a cover photo with the title on it that takes you to the photos when clicked on. Hope you'll like it!

View the Portfolio

Aviation Career

The dream is alive - John Young

Since I was a little boy, I've been staring at helicopters in the sky, knowing I wanted to be the one flying them. A true passion was born. Growing stronger throughout the years, I started flying glider planes when I was 14 years old. After attending university for 3 years, I made the decision to chase my ultimate dream and start a career as a helicopter pilot.

"The Dream Is Alive", I've been enjoying it ever since.

An overview of my experience and hours are available upon request.

Flying Career

Sept. 2016 - Present
S.F.O. S-92 UK SAR
Feb. 2015 - Sept. 2016
F.O. S-92 UK SAR
June 2014 - Jan. 2015
F.O. S-92 UK O&G
Feb. 2013 - Feb. 2014
EASA & FAA Flight Instructor
Sept. 2011 - Feb. 2014
EASA & FAA Flight training
Aug. 2010
IACE to the Phillippines
Aug. 2010
IACE to Switzerland
Flying glider planes


  • EASA FI (H) | (exp.)
  • EASA ME IR (H)
  • FAA CPL - Rotorcraft
  • FAA FI - Rotorcraft | (exp.)
  • FAA IR - Rotorcraft
  • EASA Class I medical
  • FAA Class III medical


  • Eurocopter AS355 | (exp.)
  • Robinson R44 | (exp.)
  • Schweizer Hu269C-1 | (exp.)
  • Sikorsky S-92
  • CRM
  • HUET, STASS & Fire fighting
  • NVG
  • US ITAR clearance
  • S-92 Oil & Gas
  • S-92 Search And Rescue

Flight Training

Bristow Helicopters Ltd. | UK
O&G Ops. conversion
SAR Ops. conversion
Sikorsky S92 Type Rating
NVG certification
Bristow Academy | UK
Bristow Academy | USA
FAA CPL, IR & FI (all Rotorcraft)
Twensche Zweefvlieg Club | NL
Glider Planes


2015 -
Sikorsky Rescue Award
Sumburgh, UK
Honours individuals who directly perform a lifesaving rescue flying a Sikorsky helicopter.
2014 -
Flight Safety Award
Bristow Academy, USA
Awarded for a high degree of professionalism, flying skill and 500 accident free flying hours.