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I’m a farmer’s wife, lifestyle wedding photographer and beagle mama! The three of us do life from our recently renovated farmhouse that sits in rural, Southern Illinois.

Most days you can find me greeting brides and their grooms from our front porch, and serving them with a beagle at my side. When I’m not busy with wedding photography, you can catch me tackling our latest farmhouse project, heading out the door to hunt or garden, or spending time with my best friend turned husband, Ryan.

My obsession is providing a bigger wedding experience for couples with small town values. An experience that involves thorough planning, natural imagery, tangible heirlooms, and tight hugs.

As a little girl, I hugged everyone who looked at me in the grocery store. My mom repeatedly told me to to stop. hugging. strangers. I should have known, that same girl would one day make a career out of turning strangers into friends.

While building my business and drinking too much iced coffee, I earned a Bachelor of Arts at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where I majored in photography and minored in photojournalism. These two specific backgrounds provide a foundation that allows me to both create skillfully and curate stories authentically.

Dying to hear more? Here are 6 details you might not know:

  1. Ryan’s senior session was my first paid gig. Yep, seven years ago. We weren’t even dating at the time! That single session turned into a weekend hobby, a part-time job, a photography degree, and (as of three years ago) a full-time career.

  2. The name Shot by Chelsea comes from that fact that I am always shooting. I have been hunting my entire life, competed on a trapshooting team in high school, picked up a bow about six years ago, and then there’s the whole photo shoot thing. So, yeah, lots of things are “shot” by Chelsea.

  3. I am most relaxed curled up on the couch with my grumpy, mama’s boy of a beagle. His name is Copper, but in our house he mostly goes by Beags (and about a million other cutesy names that roll off the tongue). Yes, we are those dog parents.

  4. I secretly hope that our list of farmhouse improvements never ends. I love the ongoing process of painting old furniture pieces, changing up our home decor, and making old things feel new again.

  5. When spring arrives, I turn into an 85 year-old lady that is obsessed with gardening and preserving vegetables. I’m on a mission to see how many different ways I can cook with zucchini. 

  6. When the gardening is done, I pick up my bow and focus on deer hunting. (Because, apparently, I like hobbies that require me to work for my food! ha!) Hunting is deeply rooted in my family, and Ryan and I’s shared passion. He actually asked me to marry him beneath the most perfect oak tree on our way to the deer stand!

Still here? Let’s connect!