Sometimes, your creative heart just needs a morning to play around with some wedding dresses in downtown Raleigh. My friend, Carla from Carla Nunez Photography put together this styled shoot for us one Saturday morning and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! It clearly reminded me how important it is to create images for yourself sometimes. Thanks to all the beautiful vendors that let this happened!
I believe some of my favorite sessions come when unexpected things happen. For this session, one that was big surprise was when my Somer and Gary told me they were expecting their first child together a couple month ago ( which then made me run to Target and send them all the onesies I could) and two when I woke up on the morning of their engagement session and it was the FOGGIEST morning ever.
I drove to our meeting place, and literally was like “Crap, what are they going to think!” Don’t get me wrong, as a photographer, you learn to love all different types of weather, but with engagement sessions you have a little more control of when you do the session, or you can reschedule, unlike a wedding — so lots of my clients prefer the sun filled day, which makes sense due to my brand. But Somer and Gary showed up and were in love with idea of a foggy, romantic, engagement shoot. Within the first five minutes, Somer’s shoes were off and were running around the fields just soaking in the cool morning air. The fog was thick and transformed a place I have seen 100 times into a magical land. It was great and so fun. I loved hearing them tell stories about how they fell in love and how excited they are for their little boy who will be due in August. My dream clients are people like Somer and Gary who aren’t afraid to show how much they love each other. That is all I could ever want because it makes my job such an effortless joy.
Lindsay and Alex’s wedding was two years in the making. They had been together for much longer than that, but they put so much love and effort into this November day, it was clearly worth the wait. As their photographer, I was over the freakin moon that they were willing to spend as much time with me as they possible could. I literally had to caps and bold time on our schedule where they would dedicate time to eat to make sure it happened. But every time we popped out of the venue to capture them and the sinking sun, it was pure gold. From intimating each other on the dance floor, to making Lindsay laugh as hard as possible, to the quiet thankful moments where they would reflect on the years together, it was so much fun to see them soak in that their wedding day was finally here.
Photographer: Chelsea Morgan Photography
Venue: Pavilion at Carriage Farm
Flower: Daniel's Florist
Makeup: Erin Kelly Makeup
Hair: Hair by Emily Batten
Catering: Cook Shake Catering
Cake: Anna Edwards
Rentals: CE Rentals
Paper: Stephanie Trotter
DJ: Trent Coppersmith
Videographer: Jon Clark Weddings
When you have a couple who look like models straight out of a wedding magazine, life is pretty good. Alyssa and Austin were so stunning on their special day, and as you can tell my camera was absolutely in love with them, their sweet families, and the greatest reception party I have been a part of, in a while. When I got the chance to hangout with Austin & Alyssa before the big day, they told me how important their family was to them, and let me tell you how beautiful it was to witness their family love and celebrate them in such intentional ways. There was laughter, tears, and many sweet embraces to show their support for these two lives joining together.
It was the most evident from the very moment Alyssa got into her backless dress, and Austin put on that tux, they were ready to see each other during their first look. One thing people might not realize about a first look is that it is kind of the quiet before the wonderful, overwhelming, crazy, lovely storm takes place. It is rare you will be alone with just your person again on your wedding day, as you are surrounded by the many people you love, but that intimate first look moment can be so precious. It calms the nerves, but most importantly I believe it also prepares your heart for the big known moment of walking down the aisle and saying “I choose you everyday.”
As soon as Alyssa & Auston said I do, and walked back up that aisle, it was such a epic celebration of love and family. Absolutely everything you would want in that one day where you get to have all your favorite people together. It was truly a day to remember.
Photographer: Chelsea Morgan Photography
Venue: The Cotton Room
Florals: Eclectic Sage
Rentals: Petal & Oak / CE rentals
Wedding Dress: Coastal Knot Bridal
Cake: Once in a Blue Moon Bakery
Makeup: Makeup by Ashley Mooney
My heart. Oh this wedding was special in every since of the word. If you guys need any catching up, Dana has been my best friend since sixth grade, and when she asked me to capture her intimate wedding ceremony, I was incredible thrilled. Not only did I get to see my best friend get married (when only 20 family member got to witness the actually ceremony), but I also got to capture her and her new husband on one of the most beautiful days of the years.
Looking back on this day, one of my favorite moment was spending time with Dana and Kevin afterwards and hearing all their thoughts about what just happened. Kevin was over-the-moon excited and couldn’t stop telling Dana how beautiful she looked, and Dana just was so couldn’t stop smiling. They were simply giddy.
After the ceremony, we ran, laughed, danced, though the forrest at Umstead park until the sun was pretty low, and then headed over to Chatham Station in Cary for the big reception part of the evening. After capturing some beautiful details shots, I was able to pass my camera over to my second shooter and enjoy the rest of evening as a guest. I loved everything about Dana & Kevin’s day, and it was wonderful to witness one of my dearest friends begin a whole new kind of adventure.
Photographer: Chelsea Morgan Photography
Caterer/ Desserts: Rocky Top Catering
DJ: All Around Raleigh DJ / DJ Jim
Coordinator: The Gathering Co.
Ceremony: Umstead Park
Reception: Chatham Station
Florals: Mood Fleuriste
Rentals: CE rentals
Lounge & Arch Rental: Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Oh the beautiful venue that is The Little Herb house. I shot one of my first weddings here, and it was so fun to go back and be reminded how much I love everything about it. Kimberly and Chad got married in the most serene setting as they officially became man and wife, where their dog, Foster, even was present for the ceremony. My absolute favorite part of the day was hopping in some-what of a tractor with the bride and groom to take some stunning photos in the back part of the property. There were cows, grasshopper galore, and a sunset that didn’t disappoint. It was everything a wedding day should be, filled with happy tears, close family and friends, an epic dance party, and two souls who were over the moon that they will get to spend the rest of forever with each other.
THE DREAM TEAM
Photographer: Chelsea Morgan Photography
Venue: The Little Herb House
Wedding Planner: Set the Date Event Planning & Design / Barbara Gautier
Cake: Daphne’s Bakery
Flowers: Flowers On Broad
DJ: CWDJ Entertainment
Caterers: Donovan's Dish
Hair: Ashley Riva Hair
Makeup: Olivia Thompson
Watching this girl grow before my very eyes is the craziest thing I have ever experienced. In the past three months her little wobble has turned into a confident walk, she has full on conversations with us even though we have no idea what she is saying, and seeing her enjoy Holden Beach the way our family has for so many year was absolutley everything.
One morning, we decided to hop up early and capture Lindsey and Andy and baby Claire to document her 15 months of life. Now, if you came here for smiling faces pointing towards the camera, you came to the wrong blog. Being 15 months old means exploring, being tossed up in the air by your dad, and picking up every shell you can possibly find while waving to seagulls that fly overhead. So that is exactly what we did. It's the only way I enjoy capturing youngsters. You can't force them to be something they are not, and that is beautiful. Lindsey and Andy are also crushing it as parents, so we definitely need to give credit where it is deserved. All in all, Aunt Chelsea loves her little girl, and I am so happy to capture every growing moment I can.
This shoot was everything to me. This is what I love to do, these are the type of people I love to capture, this location is where I feel the most free, it took everything in me for my heart to not fully burst. Something you might not know about me is that I have tried really hard to invest in my business through education. The joys of being a creative is that you can always evolve, get better, learn more, improve on your craft, and hone in on what you love. There is no part of me that believes I can do it all on my own. If I did, then this would be a very lonely creative journey.
This year I decided to invest in myself, and took some time to go to Asheville to meet with the amazing Megan of MorningWild Photography where she would mentor me for day. We talked about everything. Seriously my brain was so overloaded that it took about a week to process everything. And on top of that, we planned a session, tailored to me, so I could capture my ideal client. I got to observe Megan at work, but also got to jump in and capture these two lovebirds. Katie and Christian were the best people I could have ever asked to be our subjects for the evening. They were a real engaged couple, both artists (Katie is a photographer, and Christian focused on video production) who were planning on eloping in these very mountain in October. It was so much fun to ask question, learn more about them, and see what made them fall madly in love. Their chemistry was effortless, and also when Katie told me she packed overalls as her second outfit I knew this was the perfect couple for me, my business, and my nerdy heart.
Thanks again to Megan for taking such time to deep dive into my business. I hope to continue to build on all the things she taught me, and looking forward to the many more mountain filled adventures to come.
This my friends is a super special session. Dana has been my best friend since 6th grade. We met, and our awkwardness just complimented each others, and we have been friends — no probably more like sisters — ever since. I have lived a lot of life with the wonderful human, and she means a whole lot to me, so when Kevin came in the picture I was cautious. So when I hung out with Kevin for the first time, I knew things were different. He jumped into our lives and fit right in and not to be too blunt again, but it took no time at all for us to fall in love with him as well. My best friend had found a guy who treated her well, complimented her personality, and was helping her grow to be the best Dana she could be, do you know how happy that made me?!?!? That is literally all you want for your best friends, and Dana & Kevin were the best match.
So fast forward some time, and when Kevin told Andrew and I he wanted to propose to Dana, we were so pumped. We helped Kevin put his plan into action, stood with a card and champagne on their porch when they got back home from the big event. I couldn’t stop yelling, “YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!”. I think the most humbling thing is getting to be so involved in this whole process. Having Dana ask me to take their engagement pictures meant everything to me. We traveled up to the mountains over a weekend, and played in the crazy fog that fell over Craggy Gardens. I have never seen my best friend so happy, and to capture a touch of that happiness is all I want as a photographer and most importantly a friend.
Now, I am patiently waiting their wedding day, and know I am going to ugly cry and make them super uncomfortable. It will be great. A day to truly cherish for years to come. Enjoy the post, because this one has a lot of my heart in it.
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.