A dreamy engagement on the coast of the Italian Riviera in Cinque Terre, Italy with Lauren & Johnathan.
Kaitlin & Jeff
I met Kaitlin & Jeff at a wedding last year, shot their engagement session in the fall, and got to run around Athens with them this past Saturday for their wedding celebration. There's just something about Athens wedding days that does my heart good, and these two were a perfect pair. Opting for an earlier ceremony, we were able to enjoy the summer evening light well into the reception, making it a full & wonderful day of beautiful moments. Cheers Kaitlin & Jeff!
Planning & Design: Whitewood Events . Flowers: European Floral Design . Cake: Cecilia's Cakes . Caterer: LRG Provisions . Band: Emerald Empire Band . MU&H: Cucumber & Mint . Bride's & Bridesmaids Dresses: Bel Fiore Bridal . Men's Formal: Savvi Formalwear . Rentals: Oconee Events
Taylor & Nick
Taylor is a "co-worker" of sorts. She works for the skincare company I shoot product for, and we've seen each other here and there as I hop in the store to grab more product or drop off a box of just-shot soaps and other natural skincare products.
I remember about 3 months after working everyday with product, the owner asked how I was liking it. It was great, and it definitely pushed me in new ways creatively. But I told him I missed people. There's just something about shooting humans with emotions that does it for me. So to have this longstanding relationship with inanimate objects result in being a part of two people's wedding day just floors me.
Taylor & Nick are literally the sweetest people through and through. During their ceremony, they sang a popular praise song, and I just died watching Nick sing with all of his heart, holding his bride's hands and praising. It made me thankful that God was giving them each other, and it was so inspiring to see two people who just get it.
I loved being along for their summer afternoon wedding. Cheers to the start of something truly good, Taylor & Nick!
Taylor & Alex
AHH They finally tied the knot! I shot Taylor and Alex's engagement last fall and woah, have I been excited for this day to come. They are probably two of the prettiest people I know and so fun to be around. Their love for each other is breathtaking, and I love that I got to be along to capture it! Cheers to you, Taylor & Alex, and SO many blessings to come!
Catie & Justin
Everything I love was wrapped up in sunshine and a part of last week's engagement session with these two. We ran around a beautiful greenhouse for a bit and then headed to the lake, where Catie & Justin have spent many a summer day with her family. This playful, intimate session makes my heart so happy! Justin is a childhood friend, and getting to be a part of his and Catie's engagement was so special. Cheers to this sweet couple and their life together!
Allison & Brandon
Oh my goodness, this was such a good weekend! Allison & Brandon opted for an intimate ceremony tucked away in the North Carolina mountains, accompanied by their parents and two best friends.
When it rains on your wedding day you have two options: to try to accommodate for the weather by moving around your plans OR to go for it. As the steady mist carried on through the morning, we imagined what would mean most to the two looking back for years to come... and we decided our only option was just to go for it! They had envisioned being married on this rock overlook, so that's exactly what we did, floodgates open and all. We trekked up a path and out onto the mountain face and completely embraced the nature of their wedding day. I cannot tell you how much fun it was to be a part of!
I kept telling them God has a thing for marriages, and he tends to show up and do some pretty cool things with the weather. So after taking on the rain all day, the sun burned off all of those clouds and made a final stand, allowing us to jump back up to the spot after dinner and enjoy the sunset on its namesake rock. Low & behold, He did it again!
After some time in the mountains, we all traveled to Atlanta, where friends and family were waiting to celebrate the newlywed couple at a local craft brewery. The party had all the goods: a food truck, picnic tables, good beer, twinkly lights, cornhole, and good people.
Congratulations Allison & Brandon! I am so blessed to have been along for your day & wish you so many blessings!
Camino de Santiago
"Let's Have a Look"
As I walked I wondered what would be waiting for me-- ahead on the trail, in the next town, after the camino. Who or what would I find?
But there was really no other option than to wait and see, to literally step into the time as it came and look at what reality held. It was simple but so contrary to my normal way of thinking.
...To have nothing to do but to take the next step. To take on a day like it was a lifetime. To give way to everything but what I am experiencing in the moment.
To trust, to let go of control and expectation. To enter into the place where fear yells loudest...
On the path I found Jesus waiting.
I saw him answer the seeking heart. I saw him work in process. He gave us a taste of true love, and I saw him beckoning us deeper.
Whether it was the answer we were looking for or not, Jesus met us on the way. And we got to have a look.
Elizabeth & Kane
Elizabeth & Kane attended a football game their senior year between their alma maters, not knowing they'd meet their future that weekend. A mutual friend happened to be in town for the game and connected the two of them while visiting. Not long after, Kane proposed to Elizabeth and they began planning their lives together.
Their wedding took place in Liz's hometown, with a charming, old Southern feel. We used a local manor for their pre-ceremony photos, and the location took my breath away! Kane saw his bride for the first time amidst lush gardens with exotic variety. Though their day was in late February, the unseasonably warm weather brought beautiful blooms to accompany the event, and the grounds hosted a greenhouse with an amazing array of flora.
We then skirted off to the church Liz's family has attended for years for the two to say their vows. Afterward, they enjoyed a breezy walk down the street and past the city square for a night of dancing and reception with all of their guests.
Kane said he wanted to feel like he'd just won the Superbowl, and their exit couldn't have been more perfect. It may have been my favorite part of the whole day, watching the two of them celebrate one final time as confetti rained down all around. SUCH a happy day, and I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate these two. Congratulations Liz & Kane!
Samantha & Ryan met while in college several years ago. They had an eye for one another but remained friends after meeting because both had plans to spend time doing missions work abroad. While Ryan was away for two years and Samantha for one, they were able to communicate by writing letters-- which led to the two falling in love. Upon their return, they quickly found a deeper relationship had begun and were married soon after.
Since then, the two have enjoyed traveling the world together and have created a travel blog to tell the stories they've found in new places.
With homebase still being in Utah, we made plans for this playful winter shoot when I went out to visit my brother for my birthday (26, y'all-- can't even handle it). We met in Wassatch Mountain State Park and climbed into my brother's monster of a truck, heading into the snowy valley in Midway. Here are a few shots from our session together in this winter wonderland of a place:
Chelsea & Jordan
I got to visit my friend Chelsea and her husband recently in their new home in Lower Alabama and made a trip to the beach for a day... who doesn't need a little sunshine & sand in mid-January? We ate great seafood in Seaside and headed over to Grayton for our shoot. I love the simplicity of these images and the story they tell. And most of all, I loved having a chance to see my friend newly MARRIED and spend time with Chelsea & Jordan in their space.
Madison & Lee
I loved shooting this past week with these two in one of my favorite places! With wedding season drawing to a close, I can't think of a better way to have ended the year than this beautiful winter session. North Campus, with its lush greens and clean, white buildings, is about all a girl could want!
I saw Madison & Lee crossing campus to meet me at the arch and was inwardly cheering that I got to shoot them. And that dress... major obsession!
Madison & Lee, I'm so glad I got the opportunity to work with y'all and celebrate your engagement. Thanks for reaching out & weathering the chilly Athens day with me! Congratulations, you two!!
Recently, my friend Danielle Hulsey and I met up at her house to play. In the thick of fall wedding season, we needed a creative outlet... something that we could throw together, spend whatever time we needed on, and work alongside one another in hopes of creating something worthwhile and beautiful.
She was headed to the mountains for a little retreat with her husband and friends for the weekend & needed to bring along a favor, so we opted to shoot the process of making her "mom" cookies. These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are her go-to recipe she hopes will be attached to who she is throughout life; they are the cookies she wants sitting on the counter for family & friends to enjoy & know as hers.
With all of this sentiment & a quick trip to the grocery store, we set out to bake the batches she'd actually take, while keeping the ants away from our golden little globs of goodness that we set up in a makeshift studio in her backyard.
We challenged ourselves with making intentional messes, going darker with our aesthetic, and telling the complete story of making these cookies. I am so pleased with this fun little shoot, and I think it inspired us to continue to create opportunities of self-discovery & creative pursuit.
Cassie & Patrick
Last Saturday I spent the day capturing Cassie & Patrick's wedding celebration. This past year of planning and anticipating has been so special to be a part of, as an old high school buddy and someone whom I can now consider a sweet friend looked forward to spending their life together.
Talking with family & friends at the wedding, it was clear how loved each of them are. All anyone could say is how truly blessed Cassie & Patrick are to have one another-- something I was quick to agree with wholeheartedly. I don't know that any couple has been known to be full of so much joy.
Cassie, you make such a stunning bride. Seriously, I can't get over how beautiful you looked! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know you and to have captured your wedding day. Patrick, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am for you. If anyone deserves this happiness it's you, and you've found someone who will bless you as much as you are a blessing. Congratulations you two; I wish you all the best!
Taylor & Nick
Taylor & Nick met when they were too young to remember the details. Having grown up in church together, they naturally found themselves working side by side later on in life. When Nick finally got up the nerve to ask Taylor on a date, she accepted thinking it was a work meeting, but the two have been together since.
Nick proposed this past summer while on a family beach trip. Getting ready for photos on the beach, Taylor once again was blind to Nick's intentions, as the evening was all for her with family nearby to celebrate.
Meeting these two came through a mutual friend, who's wedding I shot last winter. Also, Taylor works at the skincare store I shoot product for from time to time, so we've probably been in the same building before and didn't know! Finally meeting them for their engagement session, we met in one of my favorite places to take photos. We started out by the preserved white barn sitting in a field with fall colors as a backdrop and headed to the mountain for some sunset shots as we played on the rock faces.
Taylor & Nick are getting married next spring, and I am so thankful to be their photographer for their day! Congratulations you two!!
I am so so excited to be shooting Taylor & Alex's wedding next year. Taylor is part of a treasured childhood friend group of mine. We spent our days playing soccer, dominating 3x3 tournaments, and not having a care in the world. To be a part of this season of her life, after high school and college having taken us different places, is an honor I can't put into words.
Alex met Taylor when she became a part-time coach at the soccer club where he works as director, and the two began their relationship not too long after. For the proposal, Alex planned a day at Chateau Elan this past summer, where Taylor's family surprised her to celebrate.
I might have endless photos for this post, but I can't help it. These two know how to have their photograph taken! If there's anything I love it's when a couple feels comfortable with one another and is able to make a shoot all their own. I could have just followed them around all day with my camera. Congratulation Taylor & Alex! I can't wait for May!
Mary Helen & Fisher
I got to be a part of Mary Helen & Fisher's day while second shooting with Lauren Carnes. Mary Helen & I lived together in Athens this summer, so I got to be on the inside of the planning and watch it all come together. Needless to say, it was so special to be a part of her wedding day!
I was so honored when a friend asked if I'd do a day-after session with her on a mountaintop in Chattanooga, TN as a surprise for her mother, who wished there had been time for a photo in the gorgeous location. I was set to enjoy the night celebrating and occupying prime real estate on the dance floor AND have an opportunity to photograph my beautiful friend; only the next morning carried nothing but rain and bad weather. With our sunset plans turning less than sunny, we decided it best to keep the secret a little longer, providing I make a quick trip back up the following week.
So this past Tuesday I set to the road with sunny skies welcoming me into the mountains. Her husband was able to join us for some couples portraits that make my heart beat a little faster. But those bridals! My friend didn't realize the gift she was giving me in this session. With rebranding on the horizon, I've given serious thought to the direction of my photography and the clients I so desire to work with. I recently told someone, "I'm one of the weird ones who'd like to just go off into the woods and use what's there for a backdrop," and these photos helped me to capture and represent that for my future brides.
Congratulations Mallory + Trey, and thank you for the gift of being a part of your day- in more ways than one!
Southern springtime often brings with it looming clouds and abundant showers, as the earth preps to bloom into life again. Rather than leave a wedding day to chance, people of the south began a tradition of burying the bourbon.
If a couple buries an unopened bottle of bourbon at the location of their wedding on a sunny day sometime before the day, superstition has it weather will be nothing but beautiful the day of. Newlyweds then dig up their artifact at the reception and toast to the weather with guests.
This early spring shoot celebrates the south's tradition, whether true or not. Whitney of Whitewood events and Noi Tran led the vision of this day and invited me along to capture each moment. Working alongside Noi, she allowed me to see her process with a styled shoot and take my own photographs, guiding my eye to see as she sees.
To see her photos from the day (taken in beautiful film, I might add) on Burnett's Boards click HERE.
Photography: Chelsey Dellinger Photography // Planning & Styling: WhiteWood Events // Petit Fours: Petit Fours Y’all // Calligraphy: Lairsey Paper Co. // Hair & Makeup: House of Lux // Dress Designer: Sarah Seven // Bridal Dress Boutique: Ivory & Beau // Models: Christopher and Melody Munn // Bridal Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell // Florist: Gardenia Floral Design // Groom’s Jacket and Vest: The Modern Gent // Bridal Jewelry and Rings: Aurum Studios // Venue: Goodness Grows in Lexington Georgia.
There's nothing like a June garden wedding, and the backdrop offered by Cator Woolford Gardens in Atlanta does not disappoint. Everything was in full bloom for Kristen & John Michael's day, including the beautiful floral arrangements which were a mix of softness with pops of color.
All images by Chelsey Dellinger Photography. Lead photographer for the day: Lauren Carnes
My posts on social media lately have been all about the joy and providence I am seeing God bring to my life, specifically with wrapping my brain around the fact that I am growing a business. As real as that is, I realized if I am sharing that, I want to be able to share the some of the harder things as well.
As turbulent as this time is and as much as I am gaining, I am so terrified of this growth. My big toe is just barely dipping into this ocean of growing up, and it makes me want to shut down altogether sometimes. The reality is, I have no idea what I am doing. And the even more daunting reality is, I have no idea where I am going.
The truth is that I have run from photography for a long time now. For the past couple of years, I have been desperate to find something ELSE to focus on. I settled with the concept that I can just get by with photography until I won't need it anymore.
To be more blunt, I have been running from career. Taking photos is one thing, I could do that; but becoming my own boss? Growing a business that evolves around a skill I possess? Embracing the thought of building toward success and financial freedom and "making it" and all of those things that the world tells me are important? It has all felt, and often still feels, like a lonely dream not really worth dreaming.
But I realized every time I turned away, God kept putting it back in my lap, as if to say, "Chelsey, quit running from this. I have this for you. Trust me here." I wasn't really taking the bait until recently when I more or less became forced to take a more serious look at how photography fits into my life. You see, I don't aspire to be a 20-something entrepreneur who's name people know. That really just sounds nice for someone else. Growing up, dreams of career never entered my brain, and though entrepreneurial goals are very much in trend at the moment it has been a hard thing to DECIDE to start dreaming.
Yet, God works in mysterious ways. Somehow, in a little crevice of my heart, he has birthed a desire to do this. It has had to have time and lots of love to grow, but slowly I am seeing the blossoming of some part of me that will push the rest of my scared little body off of the shore and into the water. I am willing and wanting, but still unsure. This place brings out so many of my insecurities; often I think it's the very reason God thought to have me here in the first place. I have had to BELIEVE I have something to offer here. And I have to be okay with the fact that it won't ever fill this deeper longing within me. And I have come to see that He probably did that on purpose.
So, in my vulnerability I have made a little deal with the Lord. I'm going to dive in and do my best here if he'll shape it. It can look however he wants it to look and be however big or small he cares for it to be, so long as he is in control. It's a place of needing to trust him, because the second we start in on this path, I want to ask a million questions about all the other things I'm longing for that I'm afraid will be suffocated or prolonged.
I am excited but also afraid. I am hopeful but also questioning. This is just what my hands have found to do in this season, so I'm going for it.
I'm here, showing up, because He is showing up here, and I want more of Him. Is that okay? I want to be all in and give my best. Past that, I don't have any answers, and I really struggle because for some reason I don't ever feel like that answer is enough, like I am falling short of a grown up by saying it. But what if it's enough for me?
I'm learning about the beauty of broken places right now. In times of pain and uncertainty I can still be grateful. And I am. But sometimes it's just difficult, and I want that to be okay.