Romantic Sunrise Pregnancy Announcement

When KJ contacted me that she was hiding a little secret and wanted to do something Romantic/dreamy to tell the world they are expecting, I knew just who to call! Take a peak into this amazing Sunrise "We're pregnant" session with Borrowed Charm with the Styling and Ever something with the floral crown! 

Congrats again KJ + Sam and thanks so much for waking up at 4AM, driving to OKC, and allowing us to be apart of something so special! 

xoxo 

When You're 18...

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I am taking a break from normal things like catching up on editing like I have been 24/7 for the past few months, 4 to be exact, to put my heart out there and maybe help people understand a little bit more of me.. a little bit more of my story.. something that has been lingering in my heart for a while.. so here it is... Stay with me.. 

Just like everyone finds their purpose in life or 'why' they do this or that, of course in everything I do I search for my Why... brought up in a world of needing a purpose for serving others and what I choose to do everyday with my life hasn't came so easy for me. If I do this what does that mean? How does that serve others? How is that really my calling that Jesus Christ created me for? What's my bigger purpose in life? What did our loving God craft with his very own hands for me to be?  Needless to say, because of the way my mind works, things haven't come so easy for me in making huge decisions in my life... The way anxiety works is so drowning.. you talk yourself out of EVERYTHING and let's just say I am not one of those people who watched a trend turn into something so easy to pick up and just started at it.. so follow along if you will... 

18 and off to college because that's what you do, right? 18 and the thought of "OH! I know, I'll be a doctor. That would be the most amazing calling in life... the ultimate way to help others.." 1 Semester into college and you find out A. I could never do 18 more years of this and B. I am definitely not smart enough for this.. So then the question comes of.. what will I do with my life? General business degree will do since I have absolutely no idea... 

Here we are 21 years old and 3 years into college.. just doing it. Getting it done when some adult circumstances happened in my life and needless to say, I needed a job. No more living off of mommy & daddy to get through school so waiting tables to put myself through the rest of college soon became my life. About six months in I can always remember having this idea of wanting to do photography, but never really understood what that meant. Would I do it on the side? Would it become some sort of hobby? But I can remember thinking at that time.. it would be so much more I just didn't know how. 

6 months into waiting tables and continuing school, my sweet mom who had probably heard me for months talk about photography bought me my first camera. The canon rebel t3i (yeah I feel antient I think they are up to like 7 or 8 by now)... Let me also point out to you all that I will never forget my mom doing this... I won't go into detail because that's their own story.. but I know my mom made some huge sacrifices to buy me that camera.. I love you forever.. 

Anyways..  I'll still never forget my first shoot, or my first paid shoot. It wasn't until then I thought, 'hey I could get paid to do this.' 

6 more months and before I knew it I would never look back to waiting tables to get myself through college. I would now spend my time studying and shooting and editing... Little did I know this would then become my life for the next 4 years... 

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It was then that moving back home I finally found what I thought was finally my purpose in life.. my passion.. besides this photography thing ya know.. through treating cancer patients as a radiation therapist.. for those of you that have no idea what this is, because you only know what Chemo is, Radiation Oncology is a tiny yet huge field in medicine so misunderstood and unless you personally or a family member has gone through radiation you probably think we take X-Rays, which is somewhat true but so far from what a Radiation Therapist is... (For time's sake do a quick google search if you wish..)  

Having 2 close family members pass from cancer, cancer patients have always held a special place in my heart. Such a terrible disease that for some reason I always wanted to be apart of. 

At this point into finding therapy and knowing I would do anything to do this with my life, after spending a year focusing on my GPA and prerequisits for the program, against what I thought were all odds, I found out in April of 2015 that I would be accepted into the program and it was all figured out.. God answered these prayers so graciously and with so much ease.. with a GPA slightly lover than the average, and knowing multiple people tried multiple times to get in.. I knew God heard my heart.. so there I went.. 

So much happened in life and it all seems like a blur, but in May of 2015 I married the absolute love of my life, we bought a house, moved to Oklahoma City, and began my journey to become a Radiation Therapist. Alllll while building what I had no idea would become such a flourishing business.. 

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Those two years of my life I spent my days literally being nothing but a student and a business owner. I think about the days and how I can't even imagine now how I did it all... I didn't get to be a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister... I got to be nothing but a head in the books or a head in my computer..  Maybe others are capable of it all but those two years it was like my goals had to happen to get me where I am today. I remember the amount of tears and pain and frustration.. It's unbearable to think about. No one ever wants to be a quitter in anything that they do, but halfway through it's hard to admit but I seriously thought about quitting something I had so longed for and worked so hard for because it was just that bad.. 

The days just felt so long and somedays I would wake up with depression so unbearable quitting sounded better than going through all this for even another second... but somehow something in me got myself out of bed and just kept on.. the days without even seeing or having conversations with my new husband... weeks without talking to my mom or sister.. I knew it would all come to an end.. but when? It felt like each day was just forever.. those moments that were so unbearable you truly feel like you can't go even though you know things WILL get better and there is an end to this all.. 

Fast forward (or more like slow forward if there is such a thing) to May of 2017 and there I was walking across that stage to get my degree in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences.. The day had finally come.. the hell was ending.. If this even begins to tell you what life what like.. that same day I walked across that stage I also drove an hour and walked into someones special day.. that's right. I shot a wedding on the day I graduated college.. Of course I made that decision nd some of you can wonder why.. but let's say for 2 years as a new couple we had bills to pay and this was half of our way to pay the bills.. 

the Irony in my life at this point is like so many people thought in this process.. What do YOU want? Do you want to be a photographer or a Radiation Therapist? 

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To keep this not terribly long, let me write you the shortest paragraph about therapy as I possibly can... Imagine this.. you spend $40k in college tuition to be told for 2 years, "You might not have a job... the opportunities are slim.. it's all about your personality and how much people like you and want to work with you" excuse my language, but what bullshit. 12 of us to spend that kind of money and half if not more not be able to get a job.. maybe move across the country for one? Anyways, with that being said, I knew working my butt off and being the best version of me in clinical hours was key if I wanted in a future in this field... long story short I did just that and was one of the first students offered a job here at the most amazing place I have ever stepped foot in, Stephenson Cancer Center. 

The odds of getting a job haunted me and the fact I landed one, I knew God lead me to that very moment to do that. And to be a caregiver to these sweet vulnerable patients. 

So where is this going? Imagine this... you have $120k in student loans, a thriving business that you love, but also your dream career in something you worked so hard for.. You do what any person with a personality like mine does. You think at this point in life this is the answer.. you were never meant to be a full time photographer.. that just sounds ridiculous.. but it's fun and you love it and you're good and it adds to your income.. so you think you can do both... but you quickly see you're so so wrong... you quickly see your back in the depression in the hell in the reality that you're not being a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister.... you're miserable.. yeah you're paying off all your debt but you're absolutely miserable.. 

If any of you even knew how bad this question has haunted me for months you'd truly know how crazy I have felt.. Knowing Mason couldn't answer this for me or my friends or my parents... I knew it was all up to me and as much as I loved both jobs I knew I had to do something about my life... 

Weeks went by of discussions, heartache, tears... How can I leave something so amazing for something I feel isn't real?! Something I felt you can't just do.. something I felt wasn't a 'real' job. I needed that 9-5, with a retirement plan, the safe plan...

I prayed and prayed and prayed... God send me the answer to my life.. on my knees begging what should I do? People are willing to fly you all over the world to be there for them to end up being the only thing left they have from the most important day in their life.. yet you're willing to give that up.. NOT for something mediocre because that's not what therapy is.. but for something that is making you feel so trapped and stuck.. How was I at a point in my life having to choose between what I feel was two dream careers... 

Ultimately I was able to find my answer.. When I realized.. I am not able to give up weddings. I am not willing to say no to couples who want to pay me to come document and spend the whole day with them.. It's not fair to my fellow radiation coworkers who put their whole heart into their patients and their job when only half of mine is there... But with that being said... I 100% believe you can have two passions... and this journey has helped me realize that. 

The conclusion to my life is this: I absolutely have two passions... my heart is big enough to play both fields.. I am trying to relax and know God has me... I have comfort in knowing my husband supports me and us and this journey 100%.. I am a Radiation Therapist... and I am a wedding photographer.. and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.. 

I am happy to fully announce my full time-ness into photography... for as long as you'll have me... for as long as you want me... I'm here. The sacrifice I made the past two years is my security... to put myself through college while building a business.. the ultimate sacrifice... am I done with therapy? NO.. I will have patients someday that are near and dear to my heart that I help fight their battle with.. but for right now.. my calling is to step away and work ONE job and enjoy my life a little bit. 

to my husband.. my family.. my best friends.. my Classmates... my clients..my coworkers... and my patients..  THANK you for forgiving me when I couldn't make it to events... Thank you for forgiving me when I couldn't make it to class.. Thank you for believing in me and knowing God crafted me into someone so special to serve a purpose.. thank you for being patient with me especially clients who's edits have taken so long. I hope you understand even more now.... thank you therapists for teaching me.. thank you all for understanding.. thank you for the encouragement...thank you for making me the photographer I am today.. and the therapist I am and will be.. and most of all thank you for never turning your backs on me.. 

I don't know the answer to everything in my life.. but I know right now I am okay... I know everything will be okay.. and I know everything will work itself out.. 

& Thank you for reading if you made it this far.. 

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart.. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 

xoxo, Chelsea 

 

Vail Colorado Engagement

Bailey + Jerry 

These two Oklahoman turned Coloradans met me at the top of the mountain in Vail, Colorado as I was there shooting a gorgeous wedding. What a great way to capture their engagement with their Oklahoma Photographer who was traveling to Colorado. Way cooler than shooting in the plains of Oklahoma. I am beyond thrilled to shoot their South Wind Hills wedding in Oklahoma next June and so glad we were able to capture their sweet love while out in Colorado. As we decided to take the gondola up and hike down, we quickly realized what a trek we had set out on. However, we had the most fun just sharing life stories and learning all about each other. I always strive to make my sessions more about hanging out and enjoying the moments versus a chore of something you need to do in your season of wedding planning and lately I feel I have really accomplished that in reflecting on all the sweet time I have shared with my couples for their shoots. The storms rolled in and we got rained on a bit but it never held up these two lovers in just enjoying their session up on the mountain top of Vail. 

 Destination engagements are always welcomed and be sure to catch my Travel section to see where I will be next! Let's meet up and make some Magic! 

Also, how cute is their little puppy who hiked the whole mountain with us? Dogs are family too and always welcome no matter where we are on this earth! <3

xx 

Griffin + Savannah

If every wedding could be as bohemian + magical as this one my heart would be complete. I'm not going to lie it was also awesome seeing one of my husbabe's projects come to life. The triangle stand for the ceremony backdrop was made right in our garage and we let Savannah and Griffin use it for their sweet wedding. 

The sweet day included the funnest moments getting ready, exploring downtown scenes, enough bohemian decor to make you fall over dead, the most popular food truck in Tulsa, donuts, and plenty of fun drinks/dancing. 

These two are so special to my soul and I am so honored to have been apart of their amazing day! I feel as though a little 100 picture blog really can't do it justice but hopefully their over 1000 photo gallery does! Enjoy a little bit of their day here and be sure to love the bohemian inspiration all dreamed up by the gorgeous couple! 

Venue: Pearl District Building-- Tulsa, OK 

Barefoot Bohemian Babes

Mikayla + Jonathan 

This sweet sweet day was encompassed by so many things I personally love so much in a wedding day. Care-free, open hearted, free spirited, plain ole' lovin'. 

To see raindrops at an all outdoor wedding venue did absolutely nothing to Mikayla's sweet character. She was just so happy for it to be her and Jonathan's day no matter what. The grace in that speaks volumes as at the end of the day their vows and the presence of God in their marriage is all that matters.

The 'gloominess' set the most amazing vibes and honestly guided me right along to shoot steadily in smooth overcast shadows. 

The Stone Barn at Blueberry Hill here in OKC will always be a fave. 

Here's to the Ogans!