October 14, 2011

southern charm, up north

This wedding was full of down home fun! Scarlet and Bryan fell in love in North Carolina and recently returned to Scarlet's midwestern routes and settled down in Minnesota. They didn't forget where their love blossomed though and included plenty of South Carolina fun in their north woods Minnesota wedding!

September 5, 2011

little wedding on the prairie

Another weekend, another fun couple and wedding. Last weekend was no exception. Heather and Kevin had a beautiful day in south central minnesota, including their "first site" photos at one of my favorite places, the Kasota Prairie. (it's also one of my dog's favorite places, but that's another story)

Thanks for including me in your amazing day!

August 16, 2011

good tunes

FUNDAY SUNDAY! What a great day! I got the opportunity to shoot one of my favorite local bands, Goodnight Gold Dust. Have a look and a listen! Enjoy! (and make sure to see them live if you're in Wisconsin or Minnesota! They're great!)

August 15, 2011

In the beginning.....

A wedding day is so much more than just a wedding day. It's a part of a great story, and certainly not the end of one. Of course it's the finale to one day's party planning, but it's really just the start. All the real planning is for your life together.

Like any bride, I think Angela dreamed of a big fairytale wedding, a grand entrance down a long aisle accompanied by her father and a booming church organ, a reception with loads of people and tables drenched in pink and white elements and the perfect wedding cake. But what I think she's most dreamed of is having the kind of marriage and love her parents have had. I first met her parents about a year ago when I photographed their son, Andy's wedding. I instantly fell in love with Terri and Tom. You could really see how much they loved each other and their children, who were truly an extention of their love. They truly meant and lived every word of "for better or worse, richer or poor, in sickness in health."

When I arrived at Angela's parents home the morning of her wedding to Michael, it was a bittersweet day for her parents. Their only daughter and youngest child was getting married. She was moving out of her childhood home (and very pink bedroom) and into her new home with her new husband. Angela's parents have decided to sell the home this fall and downsize now that they'll be empty-nesters. I could see all the memories flooding back for them; the yearly photos on the front steps on the first day of school, Angela's first dance (a daddy-daughter event), the fights over her messy room. We decided to honor some of those memories is photos while at the same time capturing Angela getting ready and leaving home.

When we got to the church, and Michael first saw Angela in the gardens for their "first sight photos" I saw her parents.....not there in the garden, but in the way that Michael looked at Angela....the same way her father looks at her mother, with a radiant love. I imagined what Terri and Tom must have been like at Angela and Michael's age....so in love and ready to start a life together.

I'm so thankful for the opportunities I have to witness love. Thank you to Angela and Michael and her parents Terri and Tom, for reminding me that the wedding day is just the beginning and the best is yet to come.

July 3, 2011


It seems that everyone knows tattoo artist Megan Hoogland, or at least of Megan Hoogland. She probably doesn't remember this, but I actually met Megan for the first time about 13 years ago. It was the summer after my sophomore year in college and I had become friends with a girl that was apprenticing with a piercer at Megan's tattoo shop in Mankato. When I was briefly introduced, I was dumbstruck and ridiculously intimidated, which as you know, for me...takes A LOT. Megan has a presence about her, and it's more than just her beauty (but yep, she's pretty hot). Megan doesn't mince words, she doesn't hold hands or sugar coat anything. She doesn't have the time or want to. She takes charge, gets it done and moves the heck on....oh and not to mention that she's talented as hell (check out her work!)! A couple businesses later, bazillion awards, 3 children, Megan is still going strong (stronger actually!) and owns Mecca Tattoo in downtown Mankato, MN. I was lucky enough to have Megan tattoo my arm a while back.
<------------ (I should really blog about that, eh? Maybe when she does my sleeve work) If you're looking for some new ink, Megan is amazing, no matter what distance you are from Minnesota--her talent is worth the trip. (Dude, I totally just got "Mecca"!!!!)

July 2, 2011

Flowers in the Window

I love music, A LOT, and I LOVE concerts, A LOTTER (yeah, I just made that a word, deal). A few years ago I was in line with friends to see Travis (only one of the best inde rock bands to come out of Scotland....EVER....and I know, cuz I have a bit of an unnatural obsession with Scottish Inde Rock...but I digress). In line I met Jodi, another fan of the dreamy Fran Healy. Jodi told me about her love for Fran and the rest of the band members, and then about her kids, and right there and then, I knew I adored and admired her...the way she spoke about her little ones and their adoptions (2 girls from Haiti and a son from China), the struggles she and them had encountered and their strength as a family. She got the "this is one cool chick" stamp of approval. Jodi and I became facebook friends, and I followed the photos of her kids, and unbeknownst to me, she was following the photos I was posting of weddings.

When Jodi contacted me last year about shooting her wedding, not only was I excited to finally meet her children, but also the man that was worthy enough to earn all their love. When the three of us got together to discuss details, I thought Adam to be pretty awesome, albeit a bit shy (but then again, I've got a big personality and probably just scared him. lol) and above all, you could see the love they had for eachother nearly leaking out of their pours. Cuteness...to the Nth degree, for reals.

Rain seems to have been a theme for my weddings so far this year, and of course their's was no exception. When I arrived to the wedding venue though, Jodi's last concern was the rain. ALL SHE WANTED was to see Adam. Each wedding has that little moment, outside of the "I do's" and pomp and circumstance, where love whispers, and the edges of your lips crack into a smile of truthful joy....this wedding had so many of those moments. Jodi wanting nothing more than to see Adam, who'd she been sequestered from; her son walking her down the aisle on his new legs following another surgery, Jodi's youngest daughter sitting on the edge of the dance floor, wide eyed, watching the first dance and smiling; the way Adam's mother embraced her new Grandchildren as if they'd always been her Grandchildren, and Adam's brother choking up while playing guitar and singing a Travis song during the ceremony. I couldn't help but get choked up at that moment too...not only because it was my favorite Travis song, but because, when you see love, you know it.

I don't often put videos to "popular" music, mostly because of copyright infringement issues, but here's hoping that Fran forgives me.....

oh, ps....did I mention that the rain STOPPED, just long enough to go outside for photos AND have the ceremony outside? And not just stopped, but like "hey here's some amazing weather for you for 120 minutes, enjoy it"....way cool.

love, chelsea

mid year's resolution....and sista from another mista

Can I make a mid-year resolution? Yes, of course it involves my dead-beat blogging....I know, you'll believe it when you see it. sigh.

anywhoozel..........I'm going to blog a few weddings/engagements/bands/sessions/randomness in the next few days, in no particular order. (c'mon, when a deadbeat blogger decides to make an effort, just take it, accuracy in order isn't all that important. :))

Where to start...where to start......OH! Let's start with Leah and Tal! Unlike most Brides that I work with, I've known Leah..........oh, most of her life. I became good friends with her older sister when I was 8. Leah and her twin Brother, Ian, were 4. I claim their mother as a second mother (she's pretty much full of awesomeness, just saying).

Fast forward nearly 25 years (HEY! stop doing the math!)....and Leah is a beautiful girl in love with a handsome guy named Tal, and said handsome guy asked said beautiful girl to marry him. awwwwwwwwwwww. So, although I generally have this "no close friends and family rule", I agreed to shoot their wedding anyway...cuz I'm a softy like that (don't let the word get out, it might get all awkward up in here). Sure, I'm a little biased, but I know I'm not wrong when I say Leah was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen, AND better yet....SO NOT A BRIDEZILLA. She took the rain, missing brother (we found him, no worries--he was assembling the Chuppa at the Ceremony site), and everything in stride that day.

Congrats to my "sista from another mista" and her new groom, he's a lucky man. (ok, she's a lucky gal too :))
Want to check out some of their photos? Of course you do...Leah and Tal

April 6, 2011

a lil of this a lil of that

Someday I'll get all caught up and be on-top of blogging..........but as that doesn't seem to be happening anytime in the future, I'll apologize in advance. :)

In the meantime, here's a lil peek at a couple fun shoots I've done recently, ENJOY!

February 9, 2011

just go with it

I work with awesome couples. I know, I know--I've said it before, BUT IT'S SO TRUE! When I emailed Holly recently about her engagement session with fiance Bryan, she had this to say: "As far as your ideas, I don't even need to hear them, we agree to them. We will be blindly following you that day, and I have nothing but faith that they will turn out awesome"

Naturally, my infamous "evil grin" came over my face...I love being given free reign to be ridiculous. What's that you say? Photograph the couple in front of the Detox center in St. Paul? OK!

We moved all around St. Paul and Minneapolis, despite the very chilly weather! Holly was an extremely good sport, especially since she had a strapless dress on for quite a few shots.

We stopped outside of Firehouse #11 in NE Minneapolis, attracted to the red door. We were greeted by the friendliest fireman who said, "would you like me to open the doors so you can take pictures with the truck?" Like we were going to say no to that!

What a fun Sunday morning that was! Thanks for trusting me and going along with the fun Holly and Bryan, I'm looking forward to your May wedding!

January 24, 2011


It's been a cold winter here in Minnesota, and we've been hit with several large snow storms. I ventured out the day after a storm earlier this month, to capture the day after "snowmegedon"

The joke here is that we've got two seasons, winter and construction. Of course the irony is that the construction season starts out by filling all the potholes that the winter created. Seeing as winter won't be going anywhere anytime soon, I plan to do what I can to enjoy it. This coming weekend a couple girlfriends and I are headed up Bigfork, MN for a couple days of snowmobiling and snowshoeing (no worries, we'll have schnapps to keep us warm).