Hi, I'm Chelsi! I am an adventurous Intimate Wedding and Couples Photographer based in Fort Bragg, California.
I am a rebel who dreams big, thinks outside the box, always has her bags packed, is married to an amazing man named Cameron, and a mom of THREE (yes, three) handsome boys.
Most of the time you can find me drinking coffee (cream and sugar please), devouring tacos, chasing my three boys or cuddling with my hubby. If the sun is out, you can bet, I will be sitting on the beach with a good book while the boys dig trenches in the sand. I think I may be a mermaid because saltwater runs through my veins and I am always in search of the perfect piece of coastline. I value experiences over possessions and would much rather take a vacation to Maui than buy a new car or latest fashion trend.
My ultimate goal is to raise my boys to be kind, courageous, and wholesome individuals who live up to their potential and use their God given talents to serve others. In so doing, I love to spread kindness, foster relationships, and encourage others to dream big and work hard.
What inspires you? What gets you going and motivated to pursue your passions?
One of the things I am most passionate about is sustaining marriages in the fire service. My husband is a firefighter and throughout the last 11 years I have seen so many marriages broken. Not because the people were not in love or willing to work on their marriages but because they couldn't find the support that they needed to sustain their marriage through the trauma that the firefighter sustained at work or through the long hours away from their families.
By capturing and sharing love stories I hope to give hope to those couples who may be struggling to connect or persevere. By sharing my experiences (good bad or otherwise) as a firefighters wife, if I help just one hurting or struggling person, then it's worth bearing my soul.
What advice would you tell your 15yr old self?
You are so damn smart.
You are beyond capable.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
and this may seem cliche, but “mama knows best", listen to her!
Real talk though: I was once slave to self degradation. Telling myself that I wasn't good enough or worthy. I was afraid to pursue my dreams for fear that my choices wouldn't be the right ones for everyone else. I had this misconception that because I was smart I had to go to college. That I had to become a doctor or a lawyer. I didn't go to college so I wasn't good enough.
At 36 years old, I say SCREW THAT!
I am good enough.
I am capable enough.
I am successful.
My maker says I'm worthy, therefor I am.
I can be whoever and whatever I want to be. I don't need the approval of anyone to pursue my dreams. I am running in pursuit of happy, not perfect.I do what makes my heart race, soul sore, and face smile.
I pursue that things that give me butterflies.
The first look on wedding day.
A bride and groom running on the beach.
A cancer survivor and her friend frolicking in our hometown.
An elderly couple still hopelessly in love after 30 years of marriage.
No matter what, I do whatever sets my soul on fire.
What is the scariest part of pursuing your passions and how do you work through it?
Fear of rejection. I have to remind myself daily that I am good and worthy enough. I have to believe that my art is for me and it will speak to the people that it is supposed to. And ultimately, I have to remember that fear is a lie that we tell ourselves because we don't think we are good enough but we are!
What is your dream and how would you encourage others to go after theirs?
If you've been sitting around waiting for your ship to come in, consider this your final boarding call. No wait, never mind, consider this your reminder to kick fear in the face and dive in. ⠀
You can not sit on the shoreline and expect your dreams to come true simply because you wish them to. You can't wait for your ship to come in, you have to swim out to it. Fear will tell you it's too dangerous. It will cripple you to the point that you feel inadequate. FEAR IS A LIAR! ⠀
What's the worst that will happen if you pursue your dreams? You may find out that what you were dreaming of wasn't really what you wanted? You might fail? Failure is the first step of success. If we never fail, we never learn. ⠀
You may dive in and have to keep swimming for years before you reach your ship but if you never try, you'll never know the reward that could have been.
You asked me what my dream is, I am living it. Just a few weeks ago, I closed the chapter on a career that taught me a lot, was completely rewarding, but wasn't my passion anymore. For the last year and a half I have been working my butt off to build my own empire and am happy to announce that photography is no longer my side job.
Share a failure and how you overcame it
When I was first starting out I thought that I could work full time, take care of babies, and build a portfolio. I ended up getting really busy with photography and had to make a choice between time with my family or photographing weddings every weekend. I couldn't take the pressure, so I quit. I finished up my wedding season and then stopped taking inquiries completely. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, and a failure that I am not proud of.
So when I recently decided to pick up my camera again, I promised myself that I would persevere even when it got tough. I am not a quitter and there is no reason for me to quit on my dreams. I can be a mom and an entrepreneur. I just have to believe the truth that I am strong enough. So with the support of my family, I am beginning again.
Contact Chelsi Here
Follow her on instagram Here
We are so grateful to have this badass woman in our RB Crew!