Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am no longer accepting applications for this series.
No.01Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
Hi all!! I am Chelsea. I’m a wife to this incredible man, mom to three beautiful (and spunky) daughters, a Navy Brat and a professor in Biomedical Engineering…and I specialize in high school senior portrait photography as a part-time business. With my dad being in the Navy and us moving around all the time, pictures were always a link to family—to memories. I’ve always gravitated to them, snapping pictures all throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until after I had our first daughter that I stumbled across Click it Up a Notch and realized that this amazing mom/photographer was the wife of a high school friend of mine (small world)! I was SO drawn to the way she captured the beauty in everyday family life, and that was it, I was hooked. I read up on as much as I could and practiced until I decided that going into a business was the path I wanted. Now I focus on bringing out the essence of beauty for each of my high school senior clients.
No.02What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Be true to yourself. I think that in this day and age, it’s so easy for us to compare. I probably do it weekly, if not more! Whether you are trying to brand your company, or find a voice for your images…being true to yourself is so important. The best thing about it is you stumble, you change, you learn and you grow, but all along you are peeling away at the true you!
No.03Where do you find your inspiration?
Like so many of us, inspiration could be anywhere. We have these great woods behind our house and I like to go exploring with our girls. The way the light hits the leaves and is diffused through the branches. Reflections off the running stream. The way the tall grasses are illuminated by the setting sun. Nature is a huge part of me and how I view the images I want to create.
No.04What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I am a self-taught photographer. I’ve dedicated my extra time to continued learning both on the business side and the creative side. Though I was blessed to have some great business savvy guidance at the beginning of my journey from Christy Johnson from Be True Image Design.
No.05Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I am currently working on marketing for my upcoming senior model applications as well as a Mother-Daughter event to highlight those relationships! I really want to jump back on the 365 bandwagon next year as I’ve missed it so!
No.06If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
Well, I just recently purchased a Pentax 77mm f1.8, so I’d love to spend all my time playing and learning this new bad boy!
No.07Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
How to Create Catchlights
This was probably one of the first tutorials that really pumped me up to improve my photography and capture some great images of my kids. It wasn’t until I read Courtney describing ‘dead eyes’ that it clicked (pardon the pun).
Who doesn’t love bokeh?! I just adore the way that Sarah Lalone describes how she changes the amount of bokeh in an image by where she is to her subject and the background. Her diagrams at the end of the article are top notch!
This tutorial definitely speaks to me, as I adore light and the way it makes its way into all images. Learning the techniques to incorporate light in different ways can really make your images standout!
No.08What is your favorite image right now?
This image of me and my three girls. It always seems difficult to get in front of the camera, but it’s SO worth it!
No.09What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I am kinda the odd ball…I shoot with a Pentax K5-IIs, a 50mm f1.4, 77mm f1.8, 35mm f2.4. I love my Pentax and have always been a Pentax girl! The durability, weatherproofing options and in-camera stabilization are all fantastic features!
No.10Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
Miranda Stoddard. We met through a 365 a couple of years ago and I’ve always admired the way she sees the world. She is a master of exposing the beauty in the most mundane! I love her gritty, true to life style. And she has one of the cutest little boys in the world! ;)
No.11What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
Second guessing. I can’t tell you how many times, I second guess myself. Whether it be a concept for a photo shoot or my ability to truly capture the essence of a teenage girl, I have doubts. However, those are often squashed when I see how images can really touch someone.
No.12How do you display your photos?
I have a collage wall in our house that I change out maybe once a year. Though I’m guilty of keeping some of my favorites hanging on the wall for a few years!
No.13What is the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag?
An anti-itch stick. Don’t ask me why I first put it in there, but after being attacked by ants and mosquitos at one too many shoots, it has come in handy!
No.14What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I want to rock a reflector. I use them occasionally during my sessions, but I want to master the art of directing light just how I want it!
No.15If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?