Welcome to the home of Chelsey Nelson Photography! It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do in life. At least to me, 26 years feels like a while! I've heard that once you decide what you want to do, you'll realize there was a trail leading you there that you'll be able to recognize throughout your life. That was so true for me!
Hint #1. When I was seven years old, my family had to evacuate our home due to a tornado coming through and making it unlivable. The sweet family who took us in for those first weeks after the tornado had a collection of photo albums on their bookshelf chronicling their every day memories and family vacations to the Florida Keys. I'd spend hours going through them, over and over again, fascinated to learn about their family history. I think it helped me feel connected to them while I was sorting through what it was like to technically be homeless, away from what was familiar.
#2. What was the first thing I ran to when we got to my grandmother's house each visit? The picture collages hanging throughout her house. I loved seeing me and my cousins as little kiddos, and the chic retro glasses my aunts and uncles sported to classic 90s BBQs.
#3. At the age of 14, I began to obsess over our family collection of home videos and photo albums. It was around this time I also realized how awesome my big brother was! I already had a lot of respect for him, but there's nothing quite like watching him make sure I'm OK after sliding off a tricycle ("Jelsey, ar wu OK?" *heart melts*). Those photo albums helped me peek back through time, a theme throughout why photography means so much to me and a core factor in why I'm passionate about offering it to others.
#4. Once I upgraded from disposable cameras to a Kodak point-and-shoot to take on a mission trip in high school, I took it with me everywhere. That nugget lived in my purse at all times, capturing youth group shenanigans that are thoroughly documented on Facebook.
#5. I fell head over heels with blogging. Reading them, writing them, proofreading them - you name it. But you know what? I realized that I loved blogging because I liked the photography! Every part of it. Styling the shot, finding the right angles, editing in Photoshop, etc. But even at that point, I was afraid to think of myself as "creative" because then there would be a standard I might not reach (an invisible, mysterious one mind you, like so many of our fears!).
Now I see a dotted line woven through the roadmap of my life. After all, what was the first thing we rushed out of our home after the tornado hit when we heard "gas leak!" (no joke)? Our pictures! It was the sentimental value in the memories the photos represented that made them so valuable and irreplaceable. My hope is to give that gift to others - beautiful images that will represent special memories, become family heirlooms, and tell the story of each legacy represented, because it matters. If you'd like to invite me into your story to capture your life, I'd be honored. Whether it be a special event, family and couples portraits or some fresh head shots to land your next gig on LinkedIn, you can get in touch with me here, or leave a comment below to let me know you stopped by! Here's to big things coming!
Big shout out to Jenna Kutcher, who helped me take the plunge and taught me how to make a good net to catch my fall ;) And thanks to my sweet new friend Laura of Laura Cook Photography. God brought you into my life at just the right time. Thank you for creating images that reflect my brand so effortlessly. To my husband, Derrik, who lovingly challenged me to to do something about my dream instead of getting lost in talking about it. You are the greatest gift on earth Jesus could have possibly granted me.
I think that's enough mushiness for this post! Thank you for reading this and being part of my journey. It means so much to me.