SUMMER ADVENTURE / ALASKA

This trip was the coolest thing I have done in a while. This past summer, Andrew and I went on an Alaskan cruise with his family. I have never been on a cruise before, and neither had Andrew, so I felt like we had no idea what to expect. Andrew’s parents planned this trip about a year before it took place, so to be completely honest, it snuck up on us. We had no expectations, so we packed our bags, hopped on a plane, and landed in Vancouver to start the journey.

Now, as a photographer ( this is embarrassing to admit ) but I am not the best at taking pictures of my life. When I go to an event, on vacation, or just hanging around the house, my camera isn’t usually attached to my hip. But this trip I was determined to take my big girl camera and capture the beauty that Alaska had to offer. Also, we were out at sea for a couple days at a time, so being the nerd I am, I challenged myself to try a couple settings on my camera I wasn’t super familiar with — I actually learn something new, so that was a bonus.

Below are a couple highlights of my AMAZING, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE trip to Alaska. You guys…who knew Alaska was so freakin stunning. To say it took me by surprise is an understatement. Everywhere you turn - there were mountains for days, glaciers are a normal thing, and salmon are everywhere. Again, this isn’t everything from my trip since I tried to enjoy my vacation, but hopefully its enough to convince you to hire me when you want to get married in Alaska…mmmkay. Enjoy!


Just for some cruise background, we started in Vancouver, and were in port in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, saw Glacier Bay completely by boat, before landing in Seward and taking a train to Anchorage. The cruise was super fun and an awesome experience, but I am not 100% sure I am going to become a cruise traveler ( Introverts unite! ). I do think it is a pretty sweet way to see Alaska though because most of these places you couldn’t get to by car, so just waking up and being in a different port was very convenient. We traveled with Holland America, on the Noordam ship in case you want to look into a vacation of your own.


DAY AT SEA / DAY 2

JUNEAU, ALASKA / DAY 4

SKAGWAY, ALASKA / DAY 5

GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK / DAY 6

GETTING TO KNOW ME / CHELSEA

I know there's a huge About Me section on this web page (you should read it, it's pretty great) that you could read and learn everything you would want to know about me, but I figured in the new year, with new people coming to my page I wanted to take some time to tell a little bit more about me. Might be some random facts that you never wanted to know but I'm trying to open up and show you how important it is to have a true relationship with your photographer who you feel 100% comfortable around. If you're a little shy I'll start...

doing poses i make my clients do sometimes...

doing poses i make my clients do sometimes...

REAL LIFE THINGS...

  • I’m not allergic to cilantro, but it tastes like soap to me. Therefore, I hate it.

  • I once won a photo contest for news station and got free Chick-fil-A for a year. Be jealous.

  • My favorite movie of all time will probably be While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock.

  • I absolutely love giving gifts, but when it comes to wrapping presents I suck at it.

  • I have gotten to the age where I want kitchen gadgets more than anything else. The rapid egg boiler is my favorite -- buy it, if you know what's good for you.

  • Andrew and I adopted a three-legged dog named Phoebe less than a year ago

Our first born - Chewie

Our first born - Chewie

  • I played volleyball on a year-round team for a majority of my young life.
  • My mom tells me that she knew I was going to be some sort of artist when I grew up when I was merely in elementary school.

  • I graduated with a degree in graphic design and am very thankful that I did.

  • I've known Andrew since I was 17 years old yet we didn't start dating till I was turning 23.

  • Andrew has opened my eyes to the good board games in the world. I'm not talking about Monopoly or Life, I'm talking about ones that are actually enjoyable to play.

  • I have dreamed of going to New Zealand for so many years I'm really hoping someday I get to go either on vacation or on a work adventure.

  • I won a ribbon in preschool for being the best hugger and I feel like that might still be true to this day.

  • One of my oddest things I love to do is track mail/packages. I had a pair of shoes once that went on a wild ride when I order them online. They finally came to my door gently place on top of a completely demolished box. It’s like they survived their crazy adventure.

NOW, SOME PHOTOGRAPHY RELATED THINGS

  • I think one of my favorite moments to capture in a wedding is right after people walk up the aisle and are alone for the first time after becoming husband and wife. You can't fake that kind of emotion.

  • I think my least favorite part of weddings is the garter and bouquet toss. Those are two traditions I have never really understood.

  • I believe the most important thing for a photographer to bring to a wedding, besides their camera equippment, is Advil and a good pair of shoes.

  • I still absolutely love going to weddings. Even when it's my job to be at weddings most weekends, attending a wedding is still super fun.

cmp-ellen-dylan-42.jpg
  • My 35mm 1.4 lens is my favorite by far.

  • One of my random passion projects is photographing people's homes. I love decorating and creating a space that reflects the people that live in it so I'm always on the lookout for people who will let me catch them in their unique space.

  • During family sessions, if your kids are old enough, I will let them tackle, tickle, and chase their parents. It's probably my favorite part of family sessions.

  • I still get nervous before sessions and weddings because I want you to have a great time.

  • I really love editing photos. Sure, it can be a lot when you have many weddings in your queue, but I actually got into editing photos before I started taking them professionally.

  • Seeing people print out my photos is probably the biggest compliment I could get. the fact that you would want them displayed in your home means that I have done my job well.

My shirt says "put queso in my faceo" and it's one of my favorite shirts

So there's more information about me than you probably ever wanted to know. I hope you learn some things about what makes me, me. I would love to get to know you so please send me a quick note or comment on one of my Instagram photos so we can start a conversation. I would love to get to know you.

TIME TOGETHER GIVEAWAY / GIVEAWAY

CMP-van-deth-043.jpg

The first giveaway of the year! The best way to kick off a new year is to give away things that I'm really excited about and believe in, so here we go. I am giving away time to capture memories. I want to give a photo shoot away to a couple who has lived life through marriage. I think it's such a shame that photography is such a huge ordeal for the day you say “I do” but after that, it becomes less important even though you actually start a marriage and a life together after the wedding dress is put away, the guests have left, and thank you notes have been written. I feel like there needs to be a dedicated time two people can come back together and celebrate their marriage, where it currently is, and reflect on the people they have grown to be together. Wedding days are structured to be very happy days, but marriage is a journey with highs and lows and absolutely everything in between. Marriage is a life together, and it’s continually deciding to choose that person for the rest of ever. I think that's worth documenting.

Let’s take the terrible excuse that you are too busy away and let me give this to you as a gift or a date, so when you're old and gray you will have photos to look through to remember this time with great joy. You said I do, you continue to say I do, and I want to celebrate you as a couple. Skip the fancy anniversary dinner this year, and capture memories that will last a lifetime. 

CMP-Baughmans-69.jpg

 Details for the session:

  • 1-hour session
  • Hi-Resolution, edited photos
  • Online Gallery
  • Free travel in the NC area*

*Any travel outside NC will have to be settled in payment for gas/airfare, food, and hotel.

Rules for session apply below:

  • You have to be past your 1 year wedding anniversary.
  • This session is to focus on you and your partner, so this session will not include pets or children.
  • The session has to take place sometime in 2018, and does not have to be on your actual anniversary.
CMP-Colby-Amy-299.jpg

All you have to do is fill out this form below and you will be entered to win. The giveaway will end January 25th, and be announced on different social media platforms on January 26. If you win, I will personally email you. Hint, if you sign up for my newsletter and let me know in the entry form, it doubles your chance of winning. You can sign up for my newsletter right here. Good luck, and I cannot wait to capture your memories!

YEAR IN REVIEW / 2017

You guys, we made it! 2018 is officially here. It came so quickly and I'm not sure if I was a hundred percent ready for it, but ready of not, we are diving in face first. I feel like as I get older the years seem to fly by so fast and in my attempt to try and slow it down, I'm going to reflect on 2017 in my first post of the new year. I was part of some really amazing memories this past year,  and I feel like it would be wrong not to give some of those wonderful moments their time in the sun. On top of that, it's a new year and I have some big plans  for Chelsea Morgan Photography in 2018. I continue to explore my true intentions of running my business, and find ways to light the passion I found 5 years ago. Slowly, I feel like it has become so much more than just photography and that's why It makes me so excited to see where it continues to go. So cheers to 2018, an adventurous new year, before we get there, here's 2017 and all its glory.

If you recently got engaged, or have another story you would like captured I would love to start a conversation with you! It would be great to have you be part of the CMP family in 2018. Say hello by simply sending me an email at chelsea@chelseamorganphotos. Cannot wait to hear from you!

OUR WEDDING / SYLVA, NC

Evening writing this blog has me teeming with happiness. Andrew and I are celebrating our first married anniversary in a couple days, and I wanted to relive the day with you with showing some of our FANTASTIC wedding photos taken by the talented Emily Chidester. We were even fortunate enough to be featured on Junebug Wedding's website for our special day. When you get a second, hop over there to check it out. It is such a complete honor to be able to share our day with so many people :) It makes that memory just that sweeter. 

On September 17th, 2016, Andrew and I got married :) We chose a charming venue up in Sylva, North Carolina called the Vineyards of Betty’s Creek where we fell in love with the stunning lodge, and pavilion with a killer view. It was so awesome how our families could stay on the property for the weekend so we could have time together before the festivities. To look back on this day warms my heart. It was everything we had hoped it to be, plus more. These photos are such a wonderful glimpse into such a happy occasion, it was when I promised forever to my best friend. From getting ready to our first look reading our vows out loud, to saying our “I dos” and dancing the night away, it was one hell of a celebration, and the beginning of the best adventure yet. 

Now, of course, the day of was perfect, but the marriage has been so better. It has been hard, messy, and imperfect of course, but it has been filled with more laughter, love, goofiness, and more selflessness than I have ever known before.  Andrew, thank you for loving me, and for choosing me every day. You are my best friend and a wonderful husband. Thanks for doing life with me, and making me laugh. I love you dear friend, and I cannot wait to continue on this adventure -- it has been a wonderful one so far.

Before, during, and after baby!

I will leave you all will fresh happy tears and true sappiness as I watch our wedding video done by Jon Clark Weddings over and over again. Happy September 17th, it will forever be one of my favorite days :)

MEET THE KILLMERS

When I was planning on writing the blog post, I was hoping to just tell you how we got engaged, but now since it has almost been a year since we got married I think it might be better for you to meet the Killmers.

This is Andrew. My husband, and favorite person in the world. This is Chewie (our first born) attacking Andrew with kisses.

This is normally how we act when we are around each other. We are complete goof balls and I hope that never changes.

I cannot believe it has almost been 10 years since I met this guy. 10 years ago I was hanging out with my future husband, just casually, not having any idea what God had in store for us. To tell the short story, Andrew and I met when we were in high school. We were both going to Belize on a mission trip where we became fast friends. He ended up going to college in Boston, and I stayed down here, but we remained pretty close for the first two years of college. We would talk every night, and I would see him when he would come home, but we never talked about us as a couple, or dating, or anything romantic at all. We were simply friends, even though I know I liked him at some point, and Andrew tells me now he has pretty much liked me since day one (oh how timing is everything). Junior year of college is when we really began to lose touch, and life just continued on as he was teaching up North and I was starting my business and doing graphic design work down here in North Carolina. It wasn’t until almost a year after we graduated college that we both were invited to a mutual friend's wedding. I had no idea he was going to be there since he had been living in New York at the time and had just recently moved back down to the Triangle,  so when he came in I was so happily surprised. We ended up dancing the whole night, and I told him to call me so we could catch up. I ended up getting a text, call, and facebook message from him the next day (haha he gets slightly embarrassed by that) and we just went out to dinner to catch up.

It didn’t take long for us to realize, after we had started to officially date, that we were both all in. To simply put it, he stuck around through so much more than I ever thought he ever would. I have terrible anxiety, and when I would run into doubt in our relationship I would just blurt it out. I would carry my loaded “what ifs” and talk about every crazy scenario that my fears and worries would trick me into thinking. He would simply smile, take his time to answer all my questions, kiss me, and we would move on. I felt safe with him. He was confident in us and eased my panic so easily. I couldn’t believe the patience he had with me. I never thought someone could handle my flaws so beautifully, but he did, and did so often. And when he told me, he wanted to marry me, I couldn’t believe how easily I could answer yes. He first told me that he was "sold" about a year before we actually got engaged, so we still had our time to grow, ask questions, pray, and fall more in love, but both knew we were all in.

After being friends since high school and dating almost two years, when we got engaged, we were both very ready to be married. Being the planner I am, I thought it would be fun to make our engagement 15 months....worst idea ever. Sure it’s great for planning, but it was the longest year and a half I have ever had to wait. If you know me well, I was not gifted with patience and I was SO ready to marry my man. Then it finally came. September 17th, 2016, our wedding day. Or as I describe it, BEST. DAY. EVER. According to us it will be a day that will go down in history. More on that later, but seriously, it was great.

After the wedding was done, and we got back from our honeymoon, real life followed. It was so weird finally living in the same space and starting our new life together. It was hard. It was tricky. It was fun. It was a easy. It was all these things at once. Just like any average human, we had our good days and our bad days, but if I sit here right now and tell you the truth, marriage has been the biggest joy I have ever known. I have had my fair shares of anger and frustrations, but they are always easily forgotten with forgiveness, laughter, and more love. In our first year we have settled into our house, we took a financial class to get out of debt and officially will be by September (talk about adulting), we have traveled to new places together and apart, have figured out I will fall asleep instantly if Andrew wraps me in a blanket burrito, learned how to take care of our lawn, adopted our tripod dog Phoebe, been through countless Netflix shows, found we both really like cooking together, and so much more.

The biggest struggle we are working on constantly is our communication. Our communication about what is important to us, how we feel on certain subjects, and how we need to feel loved by the other person. We sometimes CRUSH IT, but other times we fall flat on our faces. Andrew and I have different vocabularies, so when we talk, some things get lost in translation. Then our expectations we have in our heads don’t match up with reality, which ends up leaving us frustrated. But we are growing in this, and learning to talk in ways so we understand how to set expectations correctly so neither one of us gets hurt. It’s a process, but we are learning, and we are getting better. Why am I telling you this, because we aren’t perfect.  My worst fear would be for you to think that we are. As much as I want to just celebrate the good times, I also want to reveal the not so great times as well. I want to be transparent in our growth, and celebrate our progress in hopes to encourage others that life and marriage aren't always perfect, and that’s OK. We both know we are in it for the long haul, and this journey so far has been my favorite adventure yet. I love Andrew more now than I did when we said our “I DOs” and I know with confidence he feels the same way.

As a photographer, I am always hoping that my clients will share the good, the bad, and the ugly with me. So when I stand with them on their wedding day I can capture the most precious moments of two people promising to work hard together andto stay together. For better and for worst, you know. It won’t be easy at times, but it is always worth fighting for! Andrew and I are going to continue to work on our short comings, and relax in the grace of it all. Thanks for letting us share our lives with you, I will forever be grateful for this journey.

Photos taken by our dear friend Jordan Maunder. All photos were taken before we had the Phoebster (our second dog), just to make that 100% clear!

CMP BRAND RELAUNCH

Stacked-final.png

You guys! It's finally arrived that I am able to reveal my new website and brand with you all. I am so thrilled!  Want to give you a little bit of the backstory so you are all up to date what I have been doing for the past 4 months.

I kind of took a leap of faith with this, as I was not happy with the issues my old website had ( from behind the scenes), so I told myself next time I updated everything I would switch my brand to another web host. With that, came some sacrifice, as I lost some of my old work in the cross over of when I started back in the day. After the initial panic, I took a deep breath and realize I am actually 100% ok with that. My brand and overall style of photography has evolved greatly since my very first wedding in 2012, and to me, it's MOST important for my clientele, viewers, or just photography enthusiast to see the latest and greatest of CMP. To see the work I am the proudest of rather than things I was into when I started this company almost 5 years ago. So the blog archive might not be as long, but the work is recent, fresh, and really reflects what I am hoping my brand is shaping to be.

When thinking about my brand this time around, I spent much more time writing drafts of mission statements, vision statements, the feels I want people to feel when they interact with me and what they can truly expect from Chelsea Morgan Photography. I feel like such a grown-up. I hoping to evoke a brand that is filled with more genuine conversations and emotional-filled art. I want more than anything to be more than a photographer to my clients, but an educator, explaining the creative process further so they understand how beautiful photographs get created. I want my business to be a loud supporter of intentional marriages, and capture wedding days that are simply the beginning of that journey. And for those who don't know this, this brand I'm building will not all exist all in my logo, or in how my website is laid out. It shouldn't, it wouldn't, it possibly couldn't! I am hoping it goes far beyond that and the rest will live in how I talk, how I promote myself, the experiences my clients go through, and the photos I produce. CMP should be the whole package, don't ya think :) It should reflect everything I love and am passionate about, along with photography. 

So yes, here it is! The new logo, new web page, passionate attitude, let's do this! Hope you like it, because I like it, therefore you should like it too.

My beautiful logo was designed by the talented Meera Patel, check out her awesome work