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  • Kelsey & Will's Engagement Session | Jacksonville Engagement Photographer

    Jacksonville Engagement Photographer:

    Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida

    I've known Kelsey since elementary school and the Girl Scouts days, so I couldn't wait to photograph her engagement session with her fiance, Will. Will's family has a cottage at Vilano Beach in St. Augustine, Florida, and it made for an incredible home base as we did their photos on and off the beach. Kelsey and Will brought their baby girl, Buttercup, along to their photo session, which made for some seriously ADORABLE portraits. I love when my engaged couples bring their pets along to their photo sessions! It adds such a personal touch. 

    Congratulations, Kelsey and Will! Coming soon on the blog: their wedding photos!

    Are you engaged and thinking about doing an engagement session? I would love to work with you! Please head on over to my Contact page so we can start planning your engagement photography session

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Loren and Marcus | A Couple's Series in Jacksonville, FL

    "Our love feels like the tides.
    It is ever in motion.
    From highs to lows, our lives are sculpted with its waves.
    Despite the change, we are constant."
    Loren (23 yrs) and Marcus (24 yrs): Together 6 years 9 months
    Married 4 years

    Loren and Marcus are high school sweethearts from my graduating class at Sandalwood High School, so it was a very cool throwback when they asked to be involved in my couple's series.

    They've been together just a little longer than Dylan and I, and their comfort, confidence, and trust in each other was clear throughout the photo session. I may have made them look romantic and majestic in some of these photos, but these two were a couple of goofballs just like Dylan and I, and I loved it! (Keep on sifting through the photos in this blog post to see what I mean about their sense of humor-- you'll see it.) 

    The pier at Atlantic Beach was the perfect location; it took a little bit of research on my part to pick a day where it was high tide and sunset at the same time, but we got it, and the weather cooperated beautifully! On top of that, none of us ended up soaked, which was quite the achievement considering that I had this couple doing a balancing act in the waves, and sitting just a little bit too close to the ocean at times. These two were a couple of modeling pros: well done, Marcus and Loren! Photographing the two of them was a blast. :)

    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information! 

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Jen and Brandon | A Couple's Series in Jacksonville, FL



    "Our love is like a pillow.
    It's something safe to rest our heads on, and it's very comfortable."

    Jen (24 yrs) and Brandon (25 yrs): Together 1.5 years




    We live in a small world, Reader!

    It turns out, this couple and I are basically neighbors, and we didn't even know it! Our local community center ended up being the perfect location for the shoot, and it was just a short walk down the road from all of us.

    I have to give Jen and Brandon a pat on the back for being so trusting with this session. It's not every day that you have a photographer hanging over you on a stepladder as you lay in the middle of a field on some strange pillows and bedding with traffic wizzing by on Atlantic Boulevard, but I'd say it was well worth it! 

    On top of that, Brandon was ready to admit that he's far from being a morning person, but with our pillowy, fluffy set-up, he was perfectly situated to steal a few Z's between snaps.

    All joking aside, Jen and Brandon are a lovely, smiley, sweet couple, and I was lucky to have the two of them in front of my camera on a Saturday morning. I'm so fortunate to be able to meet all of the wonderful couples that I do as I continue on with this series; I've had had the privilege of diving into my imagination to create whimsical photo sets and ideas in the company of people who are in love with each other and with my photos. Dream job? I'd say so!


    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information! 

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Alexis and Caleb | A Couple's Series in Jacksonville, FL

    "Our love is like a tree.
    It started as a small seed, and over time sprouted and grew into something bigger and more beautiful than either of us could have ever imagined.
    Like a tree, our love weathers the storms; it may bend, but it does not break.
    Our love is patient and giving; it takes time for trees to bear the sweetest fruit but they always do so in abundance.
    Our love is persistent and endless.
    The seasons change, but our love for one another always stands tall. Our love is like a tree; forever growing and branching to new heights."

    Alexis (21 yrs) and Caleb (22 yrs): Together 3.5 years


    This photo session has been a long time coming; Caleb and Alexis are busy bees between school and work. Even so, when they were finally able to come out for a shoot, everything else fell into place-- the weather was gorgeous, the sun was out and shining, and we nearly had Treaty Oak Park to ourselves! 

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Alison and JD | A Couple's Series in Jacksonville, FL

    "Our love is like a good cup of coffee.
    It's welcoming. 
    It is sweet and strong. 
    It's smooth and warm.
    It wakes us up in the morning and it helps us get through our days.
    We were both lucky enough to find flavors we don't mind drinking everyday."

    Alison (24 yrs) and JD (27 yrs):Together 4.5 years

    Married 3.5 years



    I'm not a coffee drinker, myself, but Alison and JD have me thinking that maybe I should be. 


    For their couple's photo shoot, we paid a visit to Sippers Coffee House in Jacksonville, Florida.

    The staff was kind enough to welcome us in to their coffee shop and let us play musical chairs as we worked our way to every table, couch, and antique church pew to take our pictures. (For the record, if you haven't been to Sippers, I recommend that you pay it a visit-- it's cute, cozy, and offers hot chocolate and fresh-baked goodies for my fellow non-coffee-drinkers.) 

    Alison and JD were complete naturals in front of the camera; they made my job easy! Plus, while it can be tricky to get some people to crack a smile on demand, all I had to do was look at Alison and she'd start laughing. I was only with these two for about an hour, but it was obvious from the start that they're are very much in love, and very much cut out for each other--right down to a mutual love of Friends, coffee, and each others' company.




















    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information! 

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Jessica and Brandon | A Couple's Series



    INGREDIENTS FOR A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT:

    Adorable Couple: ✓

    Cozy Family Home: ✓

    Blanket Fort: ✓

    Lots of Love: ✓


    With an ingredients list like that, there's no way that you can possibly go wrong.
    Jessica and Brandon, the latest couple to participate in my series What Does Your Love Feel Like, are living proof of that.




    "Our love feels like home. Not a house, but a home.
    Just like home, our love feels like the one thing where we feel our safest, our most comfortable, and where we can be ourselves.
    It's where we want to be at the end of every day - with each other, in love with each other."
    Jessica (23 yrs) & Brandon (24 yrs): Together 4 years


    This description of love truly resonated with me, as when I first started this project, my personal response to my own question was the same: love feels like home. On top of that, I've recently been seeking to build up my portfolio of lifestyle and in-home photography, so Jessica and Brandon couldn't have been a better fit with the whole project. I came back to them with several options that we could go with to illustrate their love, and much to my excitement, they chose my personal favorite concept: building a blanket fort (home, comfort, safety, and acceptance, all in one perfect, cozy package.)

    As an added benefit, I quickly learned that Jessica is one of the most unbelievably sugar-sweet human beings you'll ever meet-- take gumdrops, sugarplums, and cotton candy, and throw in a dash of smart and pretty, and you'll make a Jessica. A Jessica who will treat you to a bouquet of flowers as soon as you walk in the door on the day of the photo shoot, and make you feel instantly welcome with her upbeat, bouncy personality. 

    Balancing this is Brandon, a stoic individual who is a little hesitant to smile for the camera, but more than willing to smile for Jessica (and to have mercy in a tickle fight).



    After a few warm-up shots, my lovely assistant Dylan and I spent some time getting the lay of the land and staking a claim on the best blanket-fort-building real estate. The dazzling duo was eager to jump right in and help with the building process, and with some innovation, Christmas lights, and balloons, the fort was complete. Not built to code for Brandon's over 6 foot frame, but hey, it was cozy.

    These two brought that pile of blankets to life, and made that fort into a home. That's the beauty of their relationship: they can light up a space and make it their own, just by being together and present. And that, Readers, is what love should feel like.










  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Brooke and Dave | A Couple's Series

    Two weeks can really fly by, Reader!

    In the blink of an eye, it was time for me to come back home from Pennsylvania after my semi-annual family vacation. Now that I'm back in the good 'ol swamps of Jacksonville, I've been wading through 2,500+ pictures and looking back on the trip.

    This is the beauty of taking an outrageous amount of pictures: when it's time to come back home, I have the gift of hundreds of photos to help me reflect upon and relive the little details and big highlights from the trip. 

    I'm going to save my vacation pictures for another, much longer blog post; instead, this post is dedicated to the latest addition to my couple's series, What Does Your Love Feel Like?


    And now, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the budding star and starlet, Dave and Brooke! 

    *cue applause, even if I'm not there to hear them*

    "Our love is like a movie. You have the drama scenes: The arguments.
    You have the action scenes: Chasing after a toddler.
    You have the comedy scenes: Him farting in bed.
    And you have the horror scenes: The realization that a world without the other is the scariest of any movie sequence.
    Yet finally, when the credits roll, you can look at the person beside you and know your movie ended right; with an everlasting happy ending."
    Brooke (24 yrs) & Dave (32 yrs): Married 3 years

    Featuring their daughter, Alivia


    When my cousin, Brooke, and her husband, Dave sent me this in response to my question for the series, I admit, I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to cram four movie genres into one, catch-all photograph. Eventually, I settled on creating a staged, behind-the-scenes style photo of Brooke and Dave's personal "movie set," showing them as they prepare to continue to create the motion picture that is their daily lives.

    So far, every photo that I've done for this series has been a blast to shoot, but in terms of what was going on behind the scenes, this had to be one of the most hectic, hilarious, and fittingly theatrical. 

    There were 13 family members, two dogs, and a cat mulling around my grandparents' snug home at the time of the shoot, and many bopped their heads into the frame at one time or another (most, understandably, not fully grasping what kind of strange production was going on in the living room).

    My "makeup artist" and "lint-rolling stylist," my brother and boyfriend, respectively, fully embraced their roles and enjoyed the opportunity to poke Brooke in the eye with a powder brush. Meanwhile, Brooke and Dave's daughter, Alivia, although not thrilled to put on her dress, was perfectly happy to sit on the floor and look adorable while playing with her toys when prompted.

    Ultimately, everyone involved went along with the crazy, and all of that crazy combined into something wonderful. 

    Sounds a little bit like love, doesn't it?


    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information! 

    Each couple who participates in the project will receive a 30% discount off of a future photo shoot with me, as well as a free low-resolution copy of the photo that I take for the series that you can post on social media.

    If you would like prints of the photograph that I take for the series, then you can also email me for information about print prices for your photo. The photos that I am taking for this series are each an original work of art that I've put time and effort into creating as an illustration of each couple's love; I would love to have them grace the walls of people's homes.  

     

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Amber & Brandon | A Couple's Series by Chelsea Whiteman Photography

    Hello again, Reader!

    After much preparation and planning, I am happy to finally be able to share the second installment in my series, What Does Your Love Feel Like? 

    Tomorrow, I will be heading off on a two-week vacation to my favorite place, Frenchville, Pennsylvania, to spend time with family and unwind in our family cabin in the middle of nowhere. (Stay tuned for pictures from the trip!)

    In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this little piece of love, paint, and happiness:

    “Love is like laughter. You can't not smile.
    Laughter is the best feeling; you want it to last forever and when you're with the right person, it happens without warning.
    It doesn't have to have a reason or make sense to anyone but the people involved. Love and laughter make everything better, so it makes sense that they're one and the same.”

    Amber (23 yrs) & Brandon (22 yrs): Together 1 ½ years

    I have known Amber since high school, and her bone dry sense of humor and quick wit have always kept me laughing. I wanted to give her and Brandon an experience that would make them crack genuine smiles -- and what better way to do so than to have them splatter paint at each other?

    To make this shoot happen, Dylan (my boyfriend and unintentional part-time photo assistant, for any newcomers in here) and I concocted homemade paint out of equal parts flour, salt, and water, plus a load of food coloring. One white sheet, a clothesline, and a little accidental trespassing on church property later, we had the ingredients for this beautiful chaos of a photo shoot.

    It takes a special couple to get up early on a Sunday morning and frolick around in a field for a paint fight, and I am lucky to have had such good sports involved. There was plenty of laughter and plenty of mess, and, especially in the brief cease-fires to grab more paint, there were occassional quiet moments where Amber and Brandon's love showed through the most. 





    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information! 

    Each couple who participates in the project will receive a 30% discount off of a future photo shoot with me, as well as a free low-resolution copy of the photo that I take for the series that you can post on social media.

    If you would like prints of the photograph that I take for the series, then you can also email me for information about print prices for your photo. The photos that I am taking for this series are each an original work of art that I've put time and effort into creating as an illustration of each couple's love; I would love to have them grace the walls of people's homes. 

  • What Does Your Love Feel Like?: Tiffany & Jamison | A Couple's Series by Chelsea Whiteman Photography

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. 

    Showertime ideas are the best ideas.

    Showering gives our minds a prime opportunity to float, while our bodies are on autopilot, taking care of the lather, rinse, repeat.


    It was thanks to a showertime several weeks ago that I came up with the idea for a new series. My mind was drifting around, thinking about how I could best capture my relationship with my boyfriend of five years, Dylan, in a photo, and then landed on how great it would be for me to do the same for other couples: to genuinely illustrate exactly what they believe their love feels like. Couple's photograpy is so often a formula of "smile and look at the camera," "kiss each other," or "flash your engagement ring," but this doesn't say much about who each person in the relationship is as an individual or what they feel about each other as a united front. 

     With this in mind, I came up with the question:

    What Does Your Love Feel Like?

    I know that sounds strangely-phrased, but rather than asking couples how their love makes them feel emotionally (i.e. happy), I became curious about what different couples would compare their love to. There are so many cliches about love: "Love feels like flying." "Love is like a warm blanket." "Love is like being caught up in a storm." It's a topic that authors, poets, and songwriters have dedicated decades to describing in new ways.

    The wonderful thing is, since everybody feels love in a different way, every couple's response to the question will be unique.

    For this new photo series, I've already asked several interested couples to answer my big question, and I've gotten so many inspiring, "aww"-producing, and heartfelt results. The beauty in the whole project is that the question has been thought-provoking for the couples who have taken it on; it gives people a chance to stop for a moment, turn off Game of Thrones (or, in my case, Friends on Netflix) and have a meaningful conversation about what their significant other means to them. It's a personal question, but it's an important one.

    For each couple whose response I've received, and for those I continue to receive, I am creating one artistic photograph that interprets the couple's response into a picture. Each time, I get the pleasure of putting on my thinking cap and contemplating how to make these beautiful concepts into worthy pictures. So far, it has been a ridiculously enjoyable challenge. 

    With each photo that I create and post, I will be including the couple's answer to my question, as well as a little bit about their identity as a couple. 



    Now, Reader, the best way for me to really describe this project is to stop gushing about the series and start showing you some results, so, without further ado, here is the first photo that I have taken for the series!

    "Our answer may be cliche, but our love feels like sunshine.
    What we mean by that is: We see the light within each other; it's comfortable to know that our love will never die in our lifetime.
    It can be hot at times, 
    and we look forward to it every single day."

    Tiffany (24 yrs) & Jamison (23 yrs): Together 8 years

    High School Sweethearts


    Jamison and Tiffany were the first to volunteer for my series. When they gave me their response to my question, I came up with the idea of "liquid sunshine" and surrounding them with light and warmth.

    They were so natural at showing how much they love each other that it only took about fifteen minutes for me to get the shot I needed for this photo. They were absolutely wonderful to photograph, and I hope to take their pictures again soon!



    I am incredibly excited about this whole project so far, and I plan to continue to gain a large scope of couples who participate. Love crosses all boundaries, so I hope to photograph couples of all ages, races, sexualities, and so on and so forth. Variety in the participants will show how unique love can be, and yet similar in its beauty across the board. 

    If you would like to get involved in this whole series, please feel free to email me at chelseawhitemanphotography@yahoo.com for more information!

    Each couple who participates in the project will receive a 30% discount off of a future photo shoot with me, as well as a free low-resolution copy of the photo that I take for the series that you can post on social media.

    If you would like prints of the photograph that I take for the series, then you can also email me for information about print prices for your photo. The photos that I am taking for this series are each an original work of art that I've put time and effort into creating as an illustration of each couple's love; I would love to have them grace the walls of people's homes.