Chelsea Marie Photography: Blog http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Chelsea Marie Photography chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:13:00 GMT Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:13:00 GMT http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v43/u632462141-o64848426-50.jpg Chelsea Marie Photography: Blog http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 A Day in the Life | Self Portraits http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-day-in-the-life-self-portraits I've always loved taking self portraits and understand the importance of getting in the frame with my kids. But I was inspired to take my love of self portraits a step further, when I saw several photographers taking photos as they go about their day-to-day activities and titling it 'A Day in the Life.' This is a personal project that I've wanted to challenge myself with for awhile now, but could never find the right time to do it; but that's the beauty of life, it's unpredictable, messy, and no day is ever the same. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two little boys, ages 5 1/2 years and 13 months, and two fur babies, our cats, Friskie and Fragile (pronounced: fra-gee-lea) and our lives are far from boring. Even on days when we seemingly do nothing at all, we're still making memories and my boys are growing right before my eyes... So instead of waiting and watching my kids grow by the day, wishing that I had done this sooner, I decided to jump on it and finally do this project on Monday, July 11th, 2016. All photos are taken by me, using three things: my camera, tripod, and wireless remote. So, without further adieu, I present to you 'A Day in the Life' - Self Portrait edition.

 

7:30am - The first thing I do each morning is prepare a bottle for my 13 month old, Kolter. After getting him from his crib, and changing his diaper, I sit upstairs in the playroom, while Kolter drinks his bottle and my 5 1/2 year old, Kale, plays. Our cats usually join us and bask in the morning light until we head downstairs for breakfast.

8:00am - Some days, I'm a good mom and actually cook breakfast. But most days, Eggo waffles, Noosa yogurt, fruit, and chocolate milk are on the menu for all of us. I'm not a morning person, as you can probably tell from this picture.

9:00am - While Kolter is down for his morning nap, Kale and I like to snuggle on the couch and watch TV. Our current favorite: Mysteries at the Museum.

9:30am - Kolter wasn't ready for his nap...

10:30am - Kale said he wasn't feeling well, so I took his temperature and sure enough, he had a fever; so he made the decision to take a nap. I've always loved watching him while he sleeps, because it's the only time I can catch a glimpse of the baby he used to be. Reminds me so much of the classic poem... "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Kolter was also napping at this time, but I don't dare try to go in and take pictures because he's a very light sleeper.

11:00am - While the boys sleep, I put on some makeup and try to look less like a zombie. Even when my kids are not in the picture with me, their presence is still evident in my tired eyes, saggy boobs, and stretch marked skin.

11:30am - After putting in minimal effort with my makeup, I attempt to do my hair. This is the longest it's ever been in my life and frankly, I don't know what the heck I'm doing with it. Growing up, I didn't give a shit about my appearance and never learned how to style it. Until I learn more, this side braid will have to do. Another thing that's a part of our daily lives is 'Brand Repping.' My boys and I have the honor of representing several small businesses. They provide us with free and/or discounted items in exchange for the photos I take. This cute tank is from The Wild Kids Apparel.

12:30pm - Kolter is up from his nap, and one of the many glorious jobs of a mother is wiping someone's butt that's not your own, multiple times a day. I did not take a photo of every diaper I changed this day, because that would just be overkill.

12:45pm - Kolter is dressed! You can find his shirt HERE, his pants HERE, and that poster HERE.

1:00pm - The boys play while I tidy up the toy tornado behind them. Note the fact that Kale is still in his underwear; he's usually the last one to get dressed and would happily stay in his underwear all day, if I let him.

1:15pm - Kolter gets hangry and demands food before anyone else.

2:00 - Yes, I realize that's a little late for lunch but it's summer, we're lazy, and I do what I want. On the menu this day: Chicken strips (cooked in the microwave because I'm all about that instant gratification) and one of my favorite snacks as a kid: cottage cheese, tomatoes, and dill weed. Kale was mad for some reason, I don't remember why. Probably because I cut up his chicken wrong or something.

2:45pm - When you have cats, you have cat puke. I inevitably find myself cleaning up puke at least once a day. It's not pretty, but this project is meant to capture what I do on a daily basis and this is one of those things.

3:00pm - Monday is my designated laundry day. Sometimes I'm granted an audience, while I sort the dirty clothes into color-coordinated piles.

3:30pm - We were all dressed and looking cute, so I wanted to take some quick photos of us and Friskie ended up photobombing. haha


4:00pm - My husband is home from his morning shift at work. He's an Air Traffic Controller and on Mondays he usually also works the Midnight Shift. So we spend some downtime together, before he takes a nap in preparation to go back to work from 10pm-6am. His work schedule can be hard on all of us, but we make the most of it and I'm so appreciative of how hard he works to make the best life for our family.

4:30pm - Another diaper change... Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?

4:35 - Kolter's nap time. Some days he goes right down, and others he needs to be reassured that I'll be right there when he wakes up.

4:45pm - Time to empty the dishwasher, only to fill it right back up again. If you haven't already noticed, our cats like to make frequent appearances in my photos.

5:45pm - Kale keeps himself busy with Play-Doh, while Kolter eats a snack, and I finish up the last of the dishes.

5:50pm - Folding a quick load of laundry, before starting on dinner. Kale likes to help me with the towels, because it's something that he can easily fold.

6:00pm - I've been getting more comfortable in the kitchen and cooking dinner a lot more than I used to. I know my family appreciates my effort. This night, I made spaghetti and Kale wanted to watch.

6:30pm - The boys and I eat dinner at our new dinning room table, while my husband continues to nap.

7:30pm - Bath time! Kale is being his goofy self, pretending to meditate with a rubber duck on his head. haha!

8:00pm - After I get Kolter out of the bath and ready for bed, my husband wakes up from his nap. Lately, Kolter loves looking at these Instagram prints I hung on our wall.

8:15pm - Kolter lays on my lap, while he drinks his bottle before bed. I'm glad I decided to take theses pictures when I did, because this was one of Kolter's last bottles before he was weaned off of them. I wasn't able to breastfeed for long, due to recurring Mastitis infections, but feeding time has always been bonding time for us, no matter where the food came from.

8:30pm - This was the day he learned how to give kisses! The classic baby open-mouthed kisses...

8:35pm - Goodnight kisses!

8:40pm - I always read to Kale before bed and usually he picks something educational. His thirst for knowledge is boundless and I want to facilitate his love of learning in anyway that I can. This night, we read about hurricanes and tornadoes.

8:50pm - Someday he's not going to want kisses from his mom, so I kiss him while I can. Each night, we do a kiss on the lips, Eskimo kisses, butterfly kisses, caterpillar kisses (rubbing our eyebrows together... Kale came up with that one) and a kiss on the forehead.

10:00pm - After my husband left for his Midnight Shift at work, Kolter woke up wanting some snuggles and a song. Our go-tos are Rock-a-bye Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

11:30pm - My hair is disheveled, I'm exhausted, but I usually stay up until at least 1am washing and folding all of the clothes, so I don't have any loads to do the following day. I also take this time to catch up on my favorite shows. 'Orange is the New Black' is what I'm currently watching. Once I'm done, I put all the folded clothes in a basket, where they usually sit for a few days until I have a free moment to put them away. The life of a mom.


 

And that's our typical Monday! As a stay-at-home mom, whether this answers the age-old question, "What do you do all day?" is up to interpretation. Granted, no day is ever the same. Some days I scrub poop off of every surface of the playroom, some days my oldest spends the majority of his time playing outside, some days I vacuum the whole house, some days my butt barely leaves the chair while I edit photos, some days we hang out with friends, some days we actually go places, and some days I don't get out of my pajamas and do practically nothing at all. Our life is a beautifully chaotic mixture of moments and I'm so glad I finally did this project to preserve just one day out of the thousands we'll have in our lifetime.

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) A Day in the Life Chelsea Marie Photography Lifestyle Lifestyle Photography Self Portraits http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/a-day-in-the-life-self-portraits Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:12:41 GMT
Personal | My Skinny Struggle http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/personal-my-skinny-struggle I know when you first see this photo; your immediate reaction is probably something along the lines of, “Well, that’s extremely offensive.” But before this photo is taken out of context, let me tell you the backstory behind this self-portrait. What I’m about to tell you is very personal and I debated on whether or not I should share it. But I know there are people out there like me and I feel like my story needs to be heard… I used photography as my artistic outlet and form of expression to overcome the embarrassment of my stretch marks, now I’m hoping to do the same about my weight and negative self body image. My ultimate goal is to inspire others.

 

First of all, I would like to address the fact that yes; this is indeed a shirt that exists. I didn’t just Photoshop those words on it. I bought this shirt when I was 13 years old, back in 2005, at the consistently controversial clothing company; Abercrombie and Fitch.

 

My story begins in 7th grade. Middle School. Quite possibly the worst and most awkward stage in everyone’s life that majority of us would rather forget ever happened. It’s also the time where kids are downright mean to one another. Cliques are formed, bullies emerge, and everyone is just trying to find where they belong. Enter, me. I didn’t care about popularity. I didn’t care about what I looked like or what clothes I wore. I was smart, kind, a little on the weird side (ok a lot), and tried to be friends with everyone. Oh yeah, and I was incredibly SKINNY.

 

I struggled with my weight in a way that most people do not. I struggled to gain weight. And until I got to Middle School, it was an issue that went unnoticed to me. I was tall and thin all my life and I never knew it was a bad thing. That was until, someone pointed it out to me. I had just sat down in the cafeteria with all my friends, preparing to eat my lunch, when someone asked me, “Are you sure you’re going to eat all that? You look like you barely eat at all. You’re so skinny!” I thought to myself, “Of course I’m going to eat all of it. I’m hungry.” I assured them that yes, I was going to eat all of my food. My friends were constantly surprised at how much food I could actually eat. I ate more than anyone else at the table, but yet I was still so skinny. At one point I asked my mom why that was and she explained to me what metabolism was and that mine was just faster than most. It was in my genes. Both of my parents were tall and thin, just like me.

 

My friends and family were the only ones that knew of my special ability to seemingly evaporate food the minute I ate it. Because soon, other people began to point out my weight, or lack thereof. It started as just a few random anonymous comments yelled or whispered at me in the hallway, between passing periods, “Hey Chelsea! Eat a hamburger!” “You’re just skin and bones.” “If you want, I can give you my leftovers from lunch.” “There has to be a reason why you’re so skinny…” And then it escalated. These people began to make themselves public. During lunch, girls would drop extra food off at my table on the way to theirs. They would say things like, “Eat…” “You need this more than I do.” “You should eat more or everyone is going to think you’re anorexic.” At first these comments didn’t bug me and I laughed at most of them, thanking them for the free food, except for that last one. Anorexic? What even is that? I went to my mom and explained to her the things that were happening to me at school, and I asked her what anorexic was. Once she explained, I thought it was insane that anyone would want to starve themselves to lose weight. Why would anyone want to deprive themselves of food? It’s freakin’ delicious. Food is awesome. I love food. She also told me that these people were bullies and they were probably just jealous that I was so skinny. I didn’t even realize that I was being bullied. I had always thought that it was the fat kids that usually got bullied and picked on in school. I didn’t think it could happen to skinny people too.

 

The bullying at school kept getting worse. I had just gone shopping and bought a really pretty skirt. It made me feel beautiful and I was so excited to wear it to school. Waiting in the lunch line the next day, one of the popular girls was standing behind me and said, “That skirt looks ugly on you because I can see your boney legs. You look like a skeleton.” I didn’t wear that skirt again, for a very long time. I started wearing baggy clothes so nobody would point out my scrawny limbs. Even when it was hot, I would wear pants. I loved that skirt so much; I started wearing it over my pants. But then of course I got teased for that too. I figured it was worth being uncomfortable, sweaty, and unfashionable because nobody could see how thin I was. I thought if I hid it, nobody would notice. But the bullying didn’t stop. I was getting picked on in the hallways, I was getting picked on during lunch, and I was getting picked on in class. “Get away from me you anorexic bitch.” “I don’t talk to anorexic people.” I couldn’t escape it. Apparently the word had spread that I was anorexic. Because that was the only middle-school level explanation to me being as skinny as I was. Once my friends heard of the rumor, they thought it was ridiculous. They had seen how much I ate and knew it wasn’t true. “That’s crazy. You’re not anorexic… You eat like a pig!” “You eat more than all of us combined.” “Those girls are just jealous because you make them look fat.” They would say. I knew my friends were right, because I did eat, A LOT. But the words still hurt.

 

Along came winter and I was relieved that I could finally wear pants and long-sleeve shirts without sweating. My parents took me shopping because I was in need of a new jacket. I insisted that we go to Abercrombie and Fitch because ‘that’s what the popular kids wore.’ I found a perfect jacket, but I figured I would look at the shirts too. And then I saw it. A navy blue t-shirt with the phrase ‘DO I MAKE YOU LOOK FAT?’ in bright blue lettering on the front. The shirt spoke to me. I felt as if it were specifically made for me and my situation. Of course, I was only 13 and couldn’t process how offensive and potentially hurtful it could be to others. I could only imagine myself wearing it to school; the bullies would read it and realize the only reason they were picking on me was because they were insecure with their own bodies. Maybe if they realized that, they would leave me alone. It was worth a try. So my parents let me get the shirt.

 

I hesitated wearing the shirt to school at first, because I wasn’t sure if it would make things better or make them worse. I continued to try my hardest to gain weight. I would bring my own packed lunch as well as eat the school lunch. Then a new rumor began spreading that I was bulimic and would throw up all the food I ate. Someone had actually said they heard me throwing up in the bathroom. So that proved it, right? I must have an eating disorder. A few of my friends actually started believing the rumors. After all, they had never followed me into the bathroom to see if I didn’t throw up. I was damned if I didn’t eat enough food and I was damned if I ate too much food. I didn’t know what to do. I felt so alone. No matter how hard I tried to dispute the rumors, nobody would believe me. I felt as though I had one last resort… the shirt.

 

The day I finally wore the shirt to school, I made sure the bullies saw it. I had had enough. I didn’t wear a jacket to cover myself up. I got several dirty looks from people as they read the bold letters, ‘DO I MAKE YOU LOOK FAT?’ But nobody said anything. It felt good. I thought that this shirt had done the trick and now they will all leave me alone. But later in the day, I got called to the office. A collective, “Oooooooo” came from the rest of the students in the classroom as I got up and walked out. On my way to the office, I knew exactly why I had been called there. They sent me to the counselor’s room and she began to explain that my shirt had been reported as offensive and I was ordered to remove it immediately. Since my parents were at work and weren’t available to bring me a different shirt, I was forced to wear one of their extra spirit shirts that had our school mascot on the front. The shirt that they gave me was a small, but on me it looked like an extra-large. Once I had changed, they brought me back into the counselor’s office to explain why I was wearing such an offensive shirt. I realized at that moment that I was the one being labeled as a bully. Oh, the irony. I told her what had been happening to me at school. People were making fun of me because I was so skinny and now rumors had spread that I had an eating disorder. I broke down and cried. I spilled out every hurtful thing that had been said to me. I clarified that I didn’t wear the shirt to hurt anyone’s feelings. I wore it because it was my way of standing up to the bullies. I’m not sure if the counselor just didn’t listen to me or if she misunderstood what I was saying. She said, “Often, girls who have eating disorders have a hard time admitting it to themselves.”  She just told me to continue to eat healthy and then handed me a brochure with information about anorexia and bulimia. I looked up at her blankly and utterly speechless. Her final words to me were, “You can come talk to me for support or questions anytime, but right now you need to return to class.” As I left the office, I had to ask myself, “What just happened? Now adults think I have an eating disorder too?” I was only 13 years old and I came to the very mature conclusion that nobody was going to help me, but me. The rest of that day was miserable. But I was determined to make the following days better.

 

I ignored the hateful words and just tried to be my normal, outgoing, bubbly self. Throughout 7th and 8th grade, I did continue to get bullied here and there, but once the anorexic and bulimic rumors died down, I started to get picked on for other things. My hair was too flat, as was my chest, I hadn’t had my period yet, I wasn’t tan enough, I was too tall, my pants didn’t fit me right, I didn’t wear perfume, my head was too small, my voice was annoying, and someone actually tried to make fun of me because my middle name was Marie. Like really? Is that the best you can come up with? I discovered that some kids are just mean and they will think of anything to bring others down because that’s easier than facing their own insecurities. Although I still got teased, I didn’t let the words of others hurt me. I continued just being myself. And when 8th grade graduation day came, I wore my really pretty skirt and a camisole top. I didn’t hide my body, because I knew I looked beautiful and confident. I tried to be strong on the outside but inside, I was secretly still tormented by the words that had been said to me.

 

Once I got to High School, the bullying never really stopped, it just evolved.  I had a cell phone and a Myspace account. And eventually I became a victim of cyber-bullying. I still remember the day I got that first text… Eat. That’s all it said. It was from a blocked number, so I didn’t know who sent it. I was immediately brought back to those whispers behind my back in Middle School. I would get the same text during lunch almost every day. Eat. Eat. Eat. And when I got home, I would see that there were comments from anonymous profiles on all my Myspace pictures… You really need to eat a cheeseburger. Skinny bitch. Stop throwing up your food. Go crawl in a hole and die you anorexic whore. I would just ignore them, delete the comments, and block the profiles. But just like in Middle School, the words still hurt. When I met some new friends, we were walking to lunch one day and they pointed out the deep valley between my shoulder blades. Again, something else that I had never noticed. After all, I couldn't see what I looked like from behind. I remember them feeling my back and remarking on how 'weird' and 'crazy' it was. They would innocently laugh and I didn't let them know how uncomfortable it made me. I felt like a freakshow attraction. I didn't want to feel weird and abnormal anymore. I told my mom about it and she took me to the chiropractor. He determined that I didn't have enough muscle and was told to do specific exercises every night to build up the muscles. It didn't help much. I was never fully confident in my own skin and I started to obsess about eating and gaining weight again.

 

I would weigh myself before meals and eat as much as I possibly could. I ate an entire pizza to myself once. I would then weigh myself after meals to see how much I gained. “90 pounds, yes! Now just 10 more to go until I hit the triple digits!” I would say. I would do this all the time, no matter who I was around. I wanted to make it public that I didn’t have an eating disorder. My friends and my family all knew that I had struggled with my weight, so they didn’t view what I was doing as wrong. I remember the day I finally hit 100 pounds. I practically threw a party and told everyone around me. “I finally weigh one hundred pounds!” I yelled when I arrived at the tennis courts after school. I received high-fives and congratulations from my teammates. “Way to go Chubs!” They said. We all gave each other nicknames at the beginning of the season and mine was Chubs because it was funny and obviously ironic. I liked it because at least it was something other than toothpick, string bean, stick figure… skinny bitch. At this point, my weight defined me. And as painful as it was to admit, it controlled me.

 

I continued to eat and the weight continued to fall right off of me. But I was making some progress. Shopping with my friends was often embarrassing because I had a hard time finding clothes that fit me right and it was a chore to find size 00 pants or shorts. I was so thankful when I finally fit in pants that were size 0 rather than size 00. And once again, I told everybody. I was so preoccupied with publicizing my weight gain; I was oblivious to those around me that I was impacting in a negative way. I had forgotten that there were people who were dealing with a struggle that was the exact polar opposite of mine. They were uncomfortable with their bodies, just like I was, but they were struggling to lose weight. Multiple people around me developed eating disorders; real-life medical disorders…not just the rumored kind that I had experienced. I was shocked. And I felt ashamed of myself. Maybe if I hadn’t been so open with my inability to gain weight, they wouldn’t feel the need to starve themselves to lose weight. I thought about my shirt that I had tucked away and the question, ‘DO I MAKE YOU FEEL FAT?’ I really did make people feel fat. I blamed myself. Maybe if I wasn’t so skinny, other people wouldn’t try to be like me. I kept to myself after that and struggled with my weight in secret.

 

I was always labeled as ‘the skinny one’ in my group of friends. Never the pretty one, or the smart one, or the one with the huge rack. I knew I wasn’t the only one who was labeled in High School and I knew my label could have been a lot worse. But that didn’t make it hurt any less. Most people don’t think of ‘skinny’ or ‘thin’ as insults, because being thin is something that’s sought after. People would always tell me how lucky I was. But after all I had been through, I would have given anything to be rid of my fast metabolism curse and actually be considered normal for once. All throughout High School, I was never asked to a school dance and no guys ever took interest in me. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t pretty enough or wasn’t popular enough. But I just assumed it was because I was too skinny. I didn’t have a big butt or big boobs, and that’s what guys liked right?

 

I met my husband in my Senior year of high school. He was the first guy to ever ask me on an actual date. For the first time in a really long time, I felt comfortable in my own skin. He loved me for who I was and he didn’t want to change anything about me. Shortly thereafter, I became pregnant. Being a pregnant teenager came with its own stigmas and complications. And of course there was the issue with my weight. I only weighed 100 pounds and my doctor told me to gain more weight otherwise I could run into problems with my pregnancy and my baby would be unhealthy. I honestly think she thought I had an eating disorder because she really stressed the issue. During the first few months I had horrible morning sickness, but once I could eat again, I ate A LOT. I gained a total of 40 pounds during my pregnancy and I was so proud of that. I think I was so concerned about eating, I forgot to pace myself.  I gained a bunch of weight in a short period of time and ended up with stretch marks all over my body. I had them on the back of my knees for heaven’s sake! But I was less concerned with my body and more concerned about making a healthy baby.

 

I gave birth to a 7lb 15oz baby boy on October 9th, 2010. He was healthy and we were so happy. After having my son, I reacted differently than most women do about their postpartum bodies. I felt really good about mine; minus the stretch marks. I felt normal. Many people actually pointed out that I looked better after I had a baby than I did before. “The weight looks good on you.” They would say. And I agreed with them. Within a few months, the 40 pounds that I had gained during my pregnancy magically fell off. I think breastfeeding played a huge roll in that. But people were jealous of me once again. “You’re so lucky that you lost all your baby weight so fast!” “I would kill to have a body like yours!” “Stop complaining about your stretch marks. At least you’re skinny.” “You should be thankful.” And believe me, I was thankful, but many people don’t understand how much comments like do more harm than help. I didn't want people to be jealous of me. I wanted nothing more than for them to be comfortable in their own bodies. When people saw that I lost my baby weight so fast, they assumed I was on some strict exercise regimen and ate super healthy. But in reality, I tried to keep the weight on by sitting my ass on the couch and eating oreos. Everyone has hidden struggles that we know nothing about. So please think twice before you speak.

 

People often don’t associate thin girls with prejudice, but the fact is we DO experience prejudice. I've overheard plenty of things said behind my back, by strangers in public. Are we still in middle school? When applying for life insurance a couple years ago, I discovered that I would have to pay more each month because I was considered underweight. I was told that if I gained another 20 pounds I could reapply to get a better rate. Since when is health solely based on weight? All throughout my childhood, I was always in the lowest percentile for weight. I recalled a time my pediatrician couldn't even point to where I was on the graph because it didn't go that low. Some people would call that a blessing, I called it a curse. Again, I tried my hardest to ‘put some meat on my bones’ with no such luck. To this day, I continue to eat like crap and purposefully don’t exercise for fear of losing more weight. I’m now 21 years old and it’s been 3½ years since I had my son, and my body is still a sensitive subject. I’ve battled with my own opinions as well as the opinions of others for a very long time and I feel it’s about damn time I conquer all the negativity and finally feel confident in my own skin.

 

For those of you who made it through reading my entire story, I thank you. I’m sure there are going to be some people thinking to themselves, “Overweight people have it way worse than you!” And I’m not denying that. In fact, I know that it’s completely true. Thin and lean people still have the upper hand in society, it's undeniable that we are more privileged, but that does not mean we haven't had personal struggles and demons. It's not a walk in the park, like a lot of people think, and my story is a testament to that. I see women in magazines, actresses, clothing ads, etc. and most of them look similar to me. (Minus the airbrushing and photoshop) I understand why there are people who strive to look that way when they see it on a daily basis and I understand why others are trying to bring those images down as the norm, but I want to live in a world where we can all be confident with the body we have and stop shaming each other. In a world that obsesses over body image, it’s hard to escape it. It’s especially prominent on the internet. I constantly see people sharing photos of heavier-set women with quotes like, “This is what a woman should look like,” “Bones are for boys, real men like curves,” or my personal favorite, “REAL women have curves.” When clothing companies share advertisements, they are bombarded with comments about the model being too skinny, boney, emaciated, disgusting… anorexic. When I look in the mirror, I see the same things. Eventually some companies submit to the comments and remove the images or start using ‘normal’ models in their ads. This trend is making it socially acceptable to bash thin people. The ‘skinny’ models and actresses are now facing backlash while the ones who are ‘plus-size’ are applauded. And now there’s a fixation on ‘thigh gaps.’ People going to extreme lengths to attain one and those spewing hatred toward it. I have a natural thigh gap and I never even noticed it until now! Thanks media.

 

Seeing and hearing about things like this brings back all the agonizing memories that I experienced throughout my adolescence. I worry about my son, because it seems as though he's inherited my fast metabolism. And I worry about the current younger generation, because I know there are some just like me. And then there are others who are the exact opposite of me. Because you know what? WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT! Fat, skinny, tall, short, black, white... We are all real, with real insecurities and struggles. Last I checked, I was a REAL woman. I’m not just a figment of your imagination. My body type isn't 'unrealistic' and neither is yours. We are ALL real and words will hurt me just as much as they hurt you. If it’s ok for you to love your curves then why is it not ok for me to love my bones? I am very non-judgmental and wouldn’t dream of telling an ‘overweight’ person to stop eating. Why is it acceptable for someone to tell me to eat more? Body shaming is body shaming, no matter what side of the weight spectrum. Of course there are extreme sides of the spectrum where it's simply NOT healthy. I think, as long as you're healthy, you should be able to love your body, and others should too. I wrote most of this blog about a month ago, but just like when I was hesitant to wear that t-shirt to school, I was hesitant to publish this. But a recent article shared on The Huffington Post, inspired me to finally share my story. Jenni Chiu wrote ‘Banning thin models and calling them anorexic isn't the answer. Plus, it will never happen. Thin-ness isn't the enemy -- exclusivity is. Instead of banning one body type, we should instead be demanding all body types.’ Can I get an Amen!? I look forward to living in a world where we see all body types used in advertisements and body shaming is a thing of the past.

 

My name is Chelsea, I’m 5’7”, 112 pounds, I’m healthy, I have imperfections, and this is me being confident with my body. Please do not use my photos as your ‘thinspiration.’ You are perfect, just the way you are. We are all real and we are all beautiful. Every BODY is beautiful. It’s time to put an end to body shaming. Those who put others down are just insecure about themselves. If you're confident and comfortable in your own skin, words can't hurt you. I’m done being ashamed about my body. Are you?

 

 

 

**UPDATE: You know that really pretty skirt that I bought in middle school? I still fit into it... Someday soon, I will take a self portrait while wearing it, loud and proud!

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) 4th Trimester Bodies Body Acceptance Body Shaming Body image Bullying Chelsea Marie Photography Fat Shaming Skinny Shaming Stretch Marks Thin Shaming Thinspiration http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/personal-my-skinny-struggle Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:46:03 GMT
Kale Weekly {week 5} http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/kale-weekly-week-5 This week: January 28th - February 4th, 2013

Dear Kale,

With the knowledge that we would be moving out of our apartment in a few months, I wanted to capture one of the things that I loved most about our first home... Our patio. We got an apartment on the top floor of a two story complex and when we first moved in, I took a snapshot of you looking out at the parking lot, from the patio. I look back at that picture and realize how much you've grown and how many memories we've made here. Although we never bought chairs to sit on, we've enjoyed this spot through the seasons and you have always enjoyed looking out at the parking lot. This is where your fascination with vehicles began. This is where you learned the difference between cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This is where you practiced naming your colors by looking at the cars. And this is where you watched the school buses, fire trucks, and police cars drive by. Dad hated all the traffic that we got near the apartment, but you absolutely loved it. On the day I took these photos you were feeling surprisingly cooperative but I still had to bribe you with an oreo to get you to do some poses. But of course you were just a goof 80% of the time. haha I loved these photos so much and they were such a great representation of you, I ended up getting one on a canvas to hang in your room. This was not a planned 'session' and nothing is perfect. Your hair is overgrown and messy, you have a scrape on your nose, and the clothes you're wearing are a size too small. But you are beautifully and imperfectly... YOU.

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Kale Weekly http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/kale-weekly-week-5 Fri, 20 Sep 2013 01:19:48 GMT
Kale Weekly {week 4} http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-4 This week: January 21st - January 28th, 2013

Dear Kale,

You're finally back to your silly, smiley self, after your week-long cold! I took you outside on the lawn of our apartment complex, so we could get some fresh air, after being cooped up in the house. You enjoyed having your hair blow in the wind... it's so long right now, but I love it! As a side note, I could take pictures of your ridiculously long eyelashes all day long... Since finding out we're officially moving to Texas in a few short months, I've been wanting to take advantage of the time we have left in Colorado. So I packed up my camera and tripod again and went to the Devil's Backbone... again. lol But this time it was to take some family portraits before Dad leaves for Oklahoma, to complete his ATC training. It may look like your Dad enjoyed taking the photos, but in reality he hated it and complained the whole time. haha But he's now very glad we got these :) I have to admit though, you and Dad are troopers for putting up with me and my camera!

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Kale Weekly http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-4 Fri, 23 Aug 2013 23:00:17 GMT
Kale Weekly {week 3} http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-3 This week: January 14th - January 21st, 2013

Dear Kale,

You came down with a horrible cold this week... It's so hard seeing you sick. But your Dad and I always take good care of you and give you extra love and cuddles until you feel better. We set up your awesome duck humidifier, that you love so much! This week we also found out that you, Dad, and I were officially moving to Texas in 4 months. (Just as long as Dad passes at the ATC Academy) Doubt we'll ever need to use a humidifier down there! haha You started to feel better at the end of this week, we went to Nan's house and you hung out with your best pal, Friskie. One of your favorite things to do together is look out the patio door. You two have been best friends since we brought you home from the hospital.

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Kale Weekly http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-3 Sat, 17 Aug 2013 21:24:27 GMT
Kale Weekly {week 2} http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-2 This week: January 7th - January 14th, 2013

Dear Kale,

It's now the second week of the year and we just found out Dad got scheduled to complete his Air Traffic Control training at the academy in Oklahoma. He is scheduled to leave in February and has tentatively been offered a position as an Air Traffic Controller at the Center in Houston, Texas; pending the completion of his training. He is going to try everything in his power to stay in Colorado, because we love our home and we really don't want to move away from friends and family. I guess we'll just see what happens! But until we know for sure, you're blissfully unaware and enjoying your everyday activities, like you always have. One of your favorite things is to run and jump onto your toddler bed, and proceed to sing 'Ten Little Monkeys' at the top of your lungs, while you bounce! You're not yet potty trained, but we're working on it! (But it's still kinda cute how your diaper sticks out the back of your pants) This week, you also came along with me so I could shoot some more self portraits in that open field that I like so much. I'm working on my personal project (Flow Freely) as well as 'Kale Weekly.' You ended up 'photobombing' some of my photos, but they turned out to be my favorite ones :) Towards the end of this week, you began to come down with a cold, so Dad comforted you and you took naps together on the couch.

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Kale Weekly http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-2 Sat, 17 Aug 2013 03:53:51 GMT
Kale Weekly {week 1} http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-1 So for those of you who follow my photography Facebook page, you know that I have an ongoing project named 'Kale Weekly.' I started this project in January 2013. I was able to complete a 365 project in 2012, but felt I wouldn't be able to commit to one this year. I still wanted to do to some sort of weekly project to improve on my skills and continue to document my personal life. What better way to do that than to take photos of my son each week! Since starting the project, I've only posted a few photos of him each week on my photography page. Now, I want to share all the never-before-seen photos from each week so far. Once I'm caught up, I'll continue to blog the photos that I didn't post, along with a short recap and letter to my son. I'm really glad I started this project and I'm so thankful I have the ability to capture my son's life and preserve those little (and big) moments beautifully and artistically.

 

This week: January 1st - January 7th, 2013

Dear Kale,
This is the first week of a new year and I've decided to embark on the journey of documenting your life more in depth. You have basically grown up with a camera in your face, so I think you're used to it by now. You may hate it sometimes, but I hope you learn to appreciate all the photos I take of you as you grow older. An endless amount of love goes into each photo I take. You are currently 2 years old (about 2 years and 3 months to be specific) I, your mother, am currently 20 years old (about 20 years and 8 months to be specific) And you continually astound me with your unique personality each and every day. Sometimes I just sit back and admire everything about you. You're my greatest creation and my most beautiful work of art.

It's right after the Holidays now, so our Christmas tree is still up, there is still snow on the ground, and you've been busy playing with all your new presents! (including your favorite Black & Decker tool bench that Santa brought you) This week, you also came along with me to the Devil's Backbone trail that's just a short 10 minute drive away from the apartment where we live in Loveland, Colorado. Mommy wanted to do a little photoshoot, just the two of us, to try shooting in RAW for the first time. (This is one of my photographic New Year's Resolutions) So we bundled up, and drove to The Backbone where I let you explore and we took some very meaningful photos together...

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Kale Never Before Seen Weekly http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/kale-weekly-week-1 Fri, 16 Aug 2013 03:29:36 GMT
CS6 - The Beginning http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/cs6---the-beginning So I purchased Photoshop CS6 as a Christmas gift to myself and I have yet to really set aside time for figuring it out. I wanted to focus on learning how to shoot and edit in RAW before I took the time to learn Photoshop. I have edited all my photos in Lightroom 4 since April of 2012 and I have never used a Photoshop program in my life! So it's really foreign to me and it will be a slow processes, but I am super excited to progress my editing skills even further!

I edited my very first photo in CS6 just this week! Of course the most recent photo of my son had the honors ;]

 

This is the RAW image that I took of my son. Settings were f/1.8 (50mm), ISO: 100, Shutter: 1/160s

 

I then brought the RAW file into Lightroom 4 for basic editing...

The editing done to this photo is a custom levels adjustment, softening of skin around the areas where he had dried snot (toddler problems. haha), and some iris enhancing and contrast. It's almost impossible to capture the true hazel of his eyes when he is facing away from the sun.

 

So I brought the file into CS6, watched a YouTube tutorial, and did my very first edit in Photoshop...

The editing done to this photo is eye recoloring/enhancement and another custom levels adjustment done in Photoshop CS6.
And viola! This is the final product!

I've had my first taste of Photoshop and now I'm hungry to learn more! You can expect some more blog posts in the future!

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) Lightroom 4 Photoshop CS6 RAW The Beginning http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/cs6---the-beginning Sun, 27 Jan 2013 04:37:24 GMT
2012 Never Before Seen http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/2012-never-before-seen I took so many photos in 2012 it was impossible to share them all! So here are some never before seen photos from last year... Some are silly and some are sweet... Enjoy!

 


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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) 2012 Never Before Seen http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/2012-never-before-seen Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:00:40 GMT
RAW - The First Time http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/raw-the-first-time I've been doing photography for about a year and a half and I shot in RAW for the first time the other day... *GASP* Yes, yes... I know! Despite the many pokings and proddings that I received from other photographers, I waited until I was ready to make this decision. Only YOU can make the decision to switch, if you so choose. I had my own reasons for waiting until now to take that leap. I've shot in JPEG since the day I started photography, took the time to master it, and now I'm at a point where I'm able to take the time to master RAW. The whole JPEG vs. RAW debate has circulated through the photography community a million times over. I'm not here as an expert, but I would just like to say shooting in one format or another does not make you a better photographer; and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise! I'm also not here to explain to you the difference between the two and all the complex technical mumbo jumbo... Both formats have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you want to learn more, do your own research! Setting 'transitioning from JPEG to RAW' as one of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions and reading THIS article were what finally convinced me to put my big girl panties on and take the next step towards progressing my photography!

Now that I have shot in RAW for the first time, I've come to realize the *PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS* it possesses! (I hope you read that in the Genie's voice from Aladdin) Now join me as I recount my first experience shooting in RAW...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the purposes of experimentation and comparison, I set my camera's settings to take photos in both JPEG and RAW format. Both photos are SOOC (straight out of the camera) but the photo on the left is JPEG and the photo on the right is RAW. You can clearly see the difference! As you can see, the RAW file is more dull and has less contrast, this is because the file was not compressed in camera like the JPEG. Want to learn some neat tips about shooting in RAW? Check out THIS post; it really helped me!


When editing in RAW, I was truly blown away by what I was able to do...

This photo is after exclusive hand editing in Lightroom 4. A RAW file has more dynamic range, thus, giving you more editing capabilities with contrast, highlights, shadows, and colors. I'll admit, I was in love after the first photo! This is a self-portrait and I also had my son with me, so of course I had to take some snapshots of him!

 

Isn't he just the sweetest little toddler you've ever seen!? Both smaller photos are SOOC, but the photo on the left is JPEG and the photo on the right is RAW. The large photo is after exclusively hand editing the RAW file in Lightroom 4.

I am so glad I finally am making the transition from JPEG to RAW and I am thoroughly impressed with it so far! Although, the files are HUGE and I fly through memory cards like no one's business, I can already see that shooting and editing in RAW brings out the best in my photos!

 

*All photos in this blog post were shot on the same day using my Canon EOS Rebel T2i and 50mm 1.8 lens. My settings for all the photos were -- ISO:100, f/stop:1.8, Shutter:1/320s*

*All photos in this blog post are the sole copyright of 'Chelsea Marie Photography' and may not be downloaded, altered or used in any way, shape, or form*

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) JPEG Lightroom 4 RAW SOOC The First Time http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/raw-the-first-time Wed, 09 Jan 2013 04:29:18 GMT
How-To :: Long Exposure Light Painting http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/how-to--long-exposure-light-painting If you're a fan of my Facebook page, you have probably seen the last photo of my '366 Days' Project that I did in 2012. If not, please visit my Facebook page HERE. I wanted to do something REALLY special for my final photo of the year! So of course *sparklers* was my first thought! You can't have a grand finale without some flare... It's only obvious right!? ;) Planning, several attempts, and group effort went into the making of this photo, but it's actually pretty easy to do. So I'm going to tell you just how I did it!

 


Things You'll Need

  • DSLR camera & some knowledge on how to use it
  • Tripod or hard, flat surface if you're improvising
  • Wireless remote shutter release or self-timer setting
  • Sparklers, flashlights, cell phones, or anything else that emits light
  • The photographer and at least one other person
  • Safe location (please do not set anything on fire)
  • Non reflective clothing

 

The Set-Up

Night! You need darkness in order to imitate this image. Find a large, safe, open area for the set-up of this photo. In this case, we were in the middle of a culd-de-sac. Pay close attention to the surrounding area; whether there are houses, street lights, or nothing. The background depends on personal preference, but keep in mind that your camera will be set to pick up on any light source. Also, pay close attention to the type of clothing everyone is wearing. Make sure you wear clothing that is non-reflective so that the light source isn't reflecting off your outfits. (It is not necessary to wear black, but you can if you want to feel like a badass light ninja). Proceed to set up your camera and tripod an appropriate distance from where your subject will be. We don't want to risk any stray sparks hitting the camera! Usually when I'm doing long exposure shots, I just use my 18-55mm kit lens. But in this case, I used my 50mm 1.8 so I could have my camera farther away from where we were positioned with the sparklers, without having to zoom in to get the correct composition that I wanted. Once you have everything in place, you are ready to adjust the settings on your camera...

 

Your Camera Settings

You will need to be using 'M' (Manual Mode) on your camera. Once you're in Manual, you will have full control over the settings. First, set your ISO to 100. You will not need your ISO any higher than that because we will be using other settings to capture the light. High ISO will also cause a lot of grain and noise in the photos, which we don't want. Next, set your aperture (f/stop) to about 3.2. This seems to be a good median... You do not need your f/stop very large because you will be using a long exposure time to soak up any light. But you also do not want you f/stop small because you don't want to have a suuuupppperrrrr long exposure time to compensate. Finally, set your shutter speed to around 10 seconds. Your settings may vary depending on the light source you're using and the lights in the surrounding area. When doing this specific photo, we determined that it took around 10 seconds to make a complete spiral around us with the sparkler.

 

What I Did

Now, depending on whether or not you (the photographer) plan on being in this photo, the following may or may not apply to you...

I had myself (the photographer), my fiance, and his dad with me, in order to create this photo. His dad is the one running around us with the sparkler and deserves a BIG pat on the back for being such a good sport and putting up with his future daughter-in-law/crazy-obsessive photographer! Since I had no idea where to find sparklers when it was nowhere near the 4th of July, I went ahead and ordered them online a week before I took this photo. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I was planning for this photo ahead of time. Once I had gathered all my supplies, found a good location, and adjusted my camera settings... We were ready to start shooting!

I did a few test shots with just my fiance and his dad waving around their lit sparklers, so I could make sure I had the correct settings and could focus where I wanted us to stand in the photo. After I felt comfortable with the set-up and my settings, I asked Steve (my fiance's dad) to light his sparkler, I set the self-timer to take 5 photos, each with an exposure of 10 seconds. (We determined that the sparklers we had lasted about 1 minute). I then ran over to where my fiance was standing and kissed him for a minute straight while Steve ran around us with his lit sparkler, starting low and moving up in a spiral formation as he went around (then vice versa and repeating until the sparkler went out). We managed to keep a safe distance between us and the sparkler, while still having it close enough to achieve the look I wanted. My fiance and I had to stand VERY still! When doing long exposure photos, the camera will only capture stationary objects and light. Any small movement, and the subject will be blurry or not show up at all. This is why you can't see Steve in the photo; just his sparkler trail. Cool huh!? It took us all about 5 attempts (25 total photos) in order to get everything perfect! After we got the perfect shot, we packed up and went home (making sure to take our used sparklers with us). I did a little editing in Lightroom 4 and viola! You have a finished product! All the planning and effort was totally worth it!

 

Good luck! And happy light painting! :)

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) How-To Light Painting Long Exposure New Years Kiss Photo 366 http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/how-to--long-exposure-light-painting Sat, 05 Jan 2013 17:50:46 GMT
2012 - A Look Back http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/2012---a-look-back Please bare with me, as this is my very first blog post and I have no idea what I'm doing. haha

 

2012 was AWESOME! Having the most amazing clients ever made it even better! Thank you all so much for your continued love and support of my growing business. Here is a collage that consists of one photo from every client session I had in 2012! Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for me :)

 

 

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chelsea.marie.photo@gmail.com (Chelsea Marie Photography) 2012 A look back Clients Collage Review http://chelseamariephotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/2012---a-look-back Thu, 03 Jan 2013 02:47:38 GMT