new additions

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My parents are the type of people to welcome anyone and everyone into our home with open arms, which probably explains why growing up I thought everyone I met was my cousin. But I'm not so far off, blood alone doesn't make family; love and care and loyalty are what make family. 

So when I got the chance to work with Krissy, I more than jumped at the opportunity, because family celebrates family. There's a bit of an age difference between us, so we never spent a lot of time together while growing up, but when I had the chance to hang out with her for the day a couple weekends ago, I learned so much about her and the journey she's been on.

I should preface this by saying that babies are super cute, but I see myself surrounded by dogs and not children in the future. But growing up my mom always said she knew she wanted to be a mom, that it was one of the few things she was absolutely certain about, and after spending the day with Krissy she mentioned the same thing, that being a mom is something she always saw for herself. 

There's something about being in the presence of a mom or mom-to-be, they are just full of love for this tiny little human that they have yet to meet, but all the while knowing that this will be the most important aspect of their lives.

Although I usually spend my Saturdays catching up from the week and binge-watching whatever new netflix series I've stumbled upon, this Saturday spent in Palos Verdes in the sunshine was one of my most fun local adventures...

a year in review

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A couple weeks ago, I was laying in bed, scrolling through instagram, and I saw a post that showed the growth cycle of a butterfly. It related 2016 to a caterpillar, 2017 to being in a cocoon, and 2018 to a butterfly, and honestly, it put my mind at ease.

2016 was exciting and thrilling and scary and eye-opening— graduation, moving to a new country, traveling by myself. There was so much new to experience and so much living to be done. That year’s promise to myself was to learn how to be okay with being alone and I attacked this promise with much zeal and enthusiasm. I ended 2016 feeling like new individual—well at least in the regards to a new-found confidence in who Chelsey ‘the individual’ was.

2017 was one of the most difficult years I’ve had in a while—don’t get me wrong, there have been so many blessings, opportunities, and doors opened for me, but in the same breath there has been struggle, self-doubt, and stagnation. This past year I promised to learn to love myself and in January 2017 when I made that promise I was referring to loving myself—the physical. But in December 2017 as the year came to a close I very much realized that I was beginning to love myself in all regards. 

I’ve always been my biggest critic and my smallest fan. I have nothing but patience and praise for those whom I surround myself with, but nothing but negativity and tear-downs for the person I’m supposed to love the most—myself.

2017 was a year of immense growth, self-awareness, and lessons learnt. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no—if it doesn’t bring you the upmost joy, why do it? It’s okay to take a break—it’s hard to enjoy life if you’re working yourself to the point of exhaustion every night. It’s okay to not be okay— every day is not going to be the greatest day of your life, you will have bad days, weeks, months, even years, but it’s what you do with these moments that ultimately counts. It’s okay to take risks and follow dreams—what brings you the most happiness may not bring you the most money, but I’ve learned that I would rather bust my ass doing what I love, than wake up everyday, miserable as fuck.

2017 was rough as shit—I don’t care what you say to me.

But I didn’t realize just how strong I could be until I was pushed to what felt like my very limits. I may have come out on the other side of 2017, bruised, weary, and a little worse for the wear, but I came out the other side…

It’s an enlightening experience to acknowledge your self-growth and to be entirely honest, I didn’t realize how much I had grown in 2017 until last night, December 31st at around 10pm. My  last couple New Year’s had been spent the same way—at home, hiding in my room, in tears, disappointed in myself for not accomplishing everything I felt that I had to accomplish for the year, feeling left out and lost for not having extravagant plans for New Years, and unable to enjoy the rapidly approaching New Year because I was too consumed by the past. But for the first time, I knew I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing, with the people I was supposed to be with and I entered the New Year feeling so excited and energized for what 2018 could possibly hold.

2018 I promise to chase my dreams unabashedly, to only do what makes me happy, to only surround myself with people that add value to my life, to be okay with saying no, and to be patient with myself…I’m only human after all.

johanna + christian

When I first started my photography journey, excitement about this new endeavor was at the forefront of my mind, but a part of me was a bit worried about interacting with strangers. Being a reserved individual by nature, I could only come up with an abundance of awkward situations that I was bound to find myself in. 

Almost a year later, I've come to welcome the pre-shoot jitters, finding that meeting so many new and lovely individuals has become my absolute favorite part of the journey thus far.

Interacting with individuals who love what they do or share their love for one another with me and allow me to translate this into photographs is something I've come to look forward to.

Knowing Johanna from our time at university and living in Greece--where most of our time was spent causing trouble, and sleeping, and eating-- I knew that I would love her boyfriend just as much. 

This sweet couple and their trouble-making pup were one of my favorite shoots thus far. Even though they both were worried about being in front of the camera, their fears were soon dismissed with the help of an amazing LA sunset and some laughs courtesy of my awkward dad jokes...