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Meet Chelsea Gibson of Sweet Stills Photo + Film

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Gibson. 

Hi Chelsea, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Most of my adult life, I was unsure of a career path that suited me. I am definitely right-brained and have always been very artistic, into singing, drawing, painting, but never really expected to make a career in the field. I have worked in the restaurant industry, at auto parts stores, in the cosmetology field, but nothing ever really stuck or kept my interest. 

After I had my children, my daughter in 2015, and son in 2017, my interest peaked in photography. I enjoyed taking photos of my kids, and found a $60 DSLR camera for sale online, and started learning everything that I could through YouTube videos. I loved how much you could change your image with the different functions. I took to Facebook to find more subjects, and after a few months started charging about $40 per hour. I started photographing professionally in 2018 while working as a server. I enjoyed photography but knew that I had to have something viable to help support my family. I found myself at a salaried position at an insurance company, but it pained me to leave my babies. I continued with photography on the side. 

I captured my first wedding (for free!) in September of 2018. This bride is still one of my biggest fans and I am forever thankful for letting her give me the opportunity to leverage my business into what would become my full-time job and passion, wedding photography. I was still working at the insurance company while I did 5 weddings in 2019 and 8 in 2020. After Covid, we were stuck working at home for months, and I was miserable. In early 2021, after much crying, debating, doubting myself, and a lot of prayer, I decided to take the leap of faith to quit my job and pursue wedding photography full time. I did 26 in 2021 and ended up surpassing what my salary would have been. This year, after being full-time for a little over a year, I have closed my books for 2022 at 38 weddings! I am currently booking into 2024, offer videography, and have a team of shooters that I have trained and employ. I am so thankful to God for opening the right doors at the right time, and my husband for always allowing me to follow my dreams. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all! I was always too scared to leave my comfort zone in order to be able to focus the time needed to be truly successful. 

When I had my daughter in 2015, I almost died of postpartum eclampsia and heart failure. I just truly believe that God didn’t bring me through that to not be able to spend time with my number one passion, my children, and to be miserable at a job. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Sweet Stills Photo + Film?
My photography and videography business specializes in weddings. I believe that our work is set apart because we aren’t just about beautiful, artistic and timeless images, but customer experience. This is also a standard that my team (comprising of 2 shooters trained by me, one lead shooting capable of leading video on her own) upholds as well. 

My goal is to make each couples day the best day ever. If there is an area of opportunity to seize a chance to improve their overall experience, we jump at it. I have bustled so many dresses that I now keep a crochet hook in my bag. I have served food to a couple because the DJ announced dinner before they could get in line, I have completely redone a bride’s makeup because it was ruined by a cake smash. I also not keep extra lashes in my bag, because you just never know! I’ve been the mediator in arguments, and a confidant. Anything that I can do to make the day just a little better, I will do. 

While the focus is definitely weddings, now expecting to average 40-50 per year, I still love to make time for my long-time clients. I accept a couple of private sessions per month, including family and boudoir, and offer several seasonal mini sessions per year. 

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
There is always something to improve upon and learn! 

Pricing:

  • My private sessions are $250 per hour
  • Wedding packages range from $1200-$3200

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Chelsea Gibson

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