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Category Archives: Photographers

Photographers: April PUG Meetup!

Every month I put together a special meetup for professional photographers in the Las Vegas area called the PUG (Pictage User Group)! It’s been my labor of love over the last few years – and the PUG’s grown and developed into an amazing group of photographers (and good friends) that have helped elevate the local professional photographer community.

In addition to sharing stories and catching up over drinks, every month we have a different guest speaker or topic of the month. A couple years back I put together a special meeting on “Learning from a Coordinator’s Perspective” where I led a panel featuring local Las Vegas coordination talent. It was a huge learning experience for everyone involved – both on the coordination and photographer side of things – and has been one of the top requests for a repeat talk. This month we’re bringing the topic back which a special new presentation put together by the talented coordination team at Scheme Events on what wedding coordinators (and their brides) really want from photographers. Scheme will be speaking about what they like and dislike while working with photographers before, during and after the wedding planning process. And the presentation will end with a panel of some Vegas’s best local coordinators.

If you’re a photographer in the Vegas area, we’d love to have you! Join us for this meeting and on a monthly basis where we discuss the latest photography and business topics, host guest speakers, and simply have good time with a group of like-minded, awesome people. The meetings are always free, and professional (or aspiring pro) photographers at all levels are welcome! Here’s the deets for our April meeting:

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 – 6:00 P.M. for socializing; 7:00P.M. getting started! (Click here to RSVP)

Meet the panel coordinators:

Scheme Events Team: Traci, Tara, Jacqueline & Rissa


Juliet Douglas of Green Orchid Events


Andrea Eppolito Events


Erica Pauley of Simply Weddings

 Photo credits: Artistic Imaging (Scheme), Adam Trujillo (Andrea Eppolito)

Join the Vegas PUG facebook page, to learn more about the Vegas PUG, get updates and information on upcoming monthly meetups!

April 29, 2012 - 10:54 pm Andrea Eppolito - Thank you so much for including me in the PUG Panel! Such an honor and so much fun...You do so much wonderful work and I cannot tell you how appreciated it is

April 25, 2012 - 8:19 pm Julie Cook - I just wanted to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to our Vegas PUG group. Your work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thanks again and looking forward to meeting you sometime in the future. Julie Cook

Marie Antoinette Themed Shoot

Every year I put together an annual group photo-shoot for the Vegas PUG (a local meetup group I lead for super-cool professional photographers). It’s a chance for everyone to get out on location, have fun shooting with others in the community and hopefully come away inspired and having picked up a new tip or two.  This year I wanted to do something a little different, so I surprised everyone with a styled shoot filled with eye-candy just begging to be photographed!

For for theme, I took inspiration from the unique style of Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a must!). I’ve always wanted to do my own take on it for a wedding-shoot and love how it turned out. Huge props go to my incredible team that pulled the vision together and made the shoot-out a huge success: AMAZING floral by Layers of Lovely, the epic cake and treats by Gimme Some Sugar, killer hair and makeup by Your Beauty Call, decor from The Pottery Shop, inspiring off-camera lighting demo by Steve Fogarty, an awesome behind-the-scenes video by Lighten Films, my girls Kristin Wilson and Liz Le for all their help bringing everything together and last but not least, our models: Carrie, Sarah and Lindsey – (all real and completely FABULOUS brides). Tons of love goes out to you all!

Here’s some of my images from the shoot:

Admittedly I always go a little crazy over Catherine at Layers of Lovely’s floral designs. Here’s Carrie modeling the pearl and peonies bouquet:

Lindsey’s rockin’ the macaroons – one thing a Marie Antoinette themed shoot would be incomplete without!

Towards the end of the shoot we topped things off with a surprise cake fight! While it was a bit sad seeing Gimme Some Sugar’s masterpiece getting torn apart, it was so much fun (and delicious too)! I couldn’t resist digging my fingers in for a little cake action – YUM!

Below is a fantastic behind the scenes video by one of my fave videographers, Terrence of Lighten Films!
You may notice that I sound like a complete dork at the beginning. I’m going to blame it on the cold, lol. It was freezing! Props go to the brides for rockin’ it out in the crazy weather we had that day.

**Click here to check out more images from this shoot in the feature on The Wedding Chicks!**

May 29, 2012 - 6:25 pm Rachel - Whoa - these are magical - really stunning work! The video is great too!

May 10, 2012 - 8:02 pm EN - These are simply WOW. In CAPS.

February 10, 2012 - 9:47 am J. Lemmer - Amazing work! Your photographs are brilliant! Can I ask for the designer or vendors of the gowns used in these photos? The off-the-shoulder gown is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images.

January 31, 2012 - 8:24 pm Dennise - Chelsea, your skills and talent just keep growing with every go girl!

January 19, 2012 - 3:31 am Kat Forsyth - Yeah, um, this BLOWS MY MIND. I want to frame these on my wall! You rock!

PartnerCon Shooting Workshop

As this year comes to a close, I’ve started to look back on my 2010 goals. One huge check off that pretty audacious list was teaching at Pictage‘s Partner Conference 2010. I was chosen to lead a shooting workshop in New Orleans. PartnerCon is a photography conference that I attribute as one of the biggest parts of my growth since the start of my business, so it was a huge honor to be on the other end this year. I was also blown away at  how quick my class sold out. Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who attended and allowed me to give a piece of myself back to the photography community. I hope you came away with some solid tips and inspirations to make your own photography and connections stronger.

We had such an awesome group! Big thanks goes to my good friend Rueben Poon of Celebration Packages for helping out on the shoot and capturing these behind-the-scenes images for me to share.

Sometimes you have to get a bit dirty to get ‘the shot.’Also, thanks must go to our fantastic newlywed couple, Tiffany & Patrick! The workshop was the first day we met in person, but we instantly became great friends. These two are such awesome people and their love totally shines through — even in the chaos of 18 photographers, which I’m sure must be a bit awkward! They totally rocked it!

Here’s a few of my images from the shoot:

Tiffany’s dress was successfully trashed:Last, I want to share the other blog posts of some of the awesome photographers who attended! Everyone got completely unique and fantastic images! Click below to take a look and be sure to leave them some blog-love:

Aubrey Greene

Danielle Fuller

Reuben Poon

Sarah Deshaw

Stacy Conner

And if anybody else has images blogged, please send them my way. I’d love to share your link!

March 19, 2011 - 9:12 am Dawn - I think the thing that impressed me most about our shoot with you in '07 was how you would do anything (hang upside down, lay in the dirt, freeze your tush off in the pool) to get the right shot. Other photographers I've worked with just don't have that sort of dedication. Your pictures definitely show the effort you put into it.

January 1, 2011 - 9:24 pm Jessica B - Congrats! How awesome!

December 29, 2010 - 1:39 pm Monty Jessop - Thanks for sharing Chelsea, It's fun to look back to our time in NOLA. Seems like it was just yesterday. WPPI is coming soon...Whoot Whoot!!

December 24, 2010 - 2:30 pm Stacy Conner - Chelsea those are fabulous, but then again I knew they would be. :) It was such a wonderful workshop that you led. Thank you again for sharing with us. Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2010 - 10:48 pm Andy Stetter - Very nice work - would love to attend any future workshops you have coming up. Please let me know.

December 23, 2010 - 10:06 pm Lindy Nguyen - Chelsea is just the best.

December 23, 2010 - 12:57 pm Kelsey Anderson - Congrats on completing a fab goal on your list!! The images are amazing and only meeting you once at PUG there is no doubt you would be an amazing teacher for this event. Oh and how cute is your BF for his comment :)

December 23, 2010 - 12:40 pm Michelle Zuniga - Congratulations Chelsea-That is awesome! Wish I could've been there. As usual beautiful work!

December 23, 2010 - 11:31 am jayse - I just gotta say: I think my girlfriend is amazing. :-)

December 23, 2010 - 11:29 am Nancy and Sean - That dress is TRASHED! I love the pic with all the photographers around you while you're on the ground getting the shot!

December 23, 2010 - 11:08 am Annette - Congrats Chelsea! You have such beautiful work I'm sure the workshop was great!

December 23, 2010 - 10:50 am E.N. - These are fabulous. I've been photographing for over 10 years - but I'd like to learn some of your magic too. ;-) Any plans for a Vegas workshop?

Shooting Workshop in NOLA!

This post is for all the photographers out there!

I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been chosen to lead a shooting workshop at this year’s Pictage PartnerCon 2010 in New Orleans happening November 9-11th. PartnerCon is what I consider to be the one ‘MUST GO TO’ event of the year if you’re interested in taking your photography to the next level. I am very honored to be teaching alongside some of the best photographers in the industry including Mike Colon, David Beckstead, Jared PlattThe Youngrens, Justin & Mary Marantz and so many more (click here to see the full line-up). The shooting workshops are your chance to get away from the office, away from the classroom and onto the streets of NOLA to see how other photographers rock their stuff.

To keep them structured and intimate they will be limited to 15 people so I highly recommend not waiting. Last year there were many people that didn’t get to go to the workshops due to not jumping in early. (And you don’t even have to be a Pictage member to attend! The conference is open to all.)

So what will I be covering?
Something I’m very passionate about: a different kind of shooting style that I like to call ‘Connective Photography’. It’s not photojournalism, it’s not fine-art, it’s not editorial or fashion – it’s connecting with couples.

Here’s a bit about my workshop titled “Connective Photography: Allowing Your Cleint’s Personalities to Fuel Your Creative Fire”

Strip away location, budgets, etc. and what you’re left with is two people who are very unique and have a story to tell. Rather than defining shoots by location (or even technique), attendees will be encouraged to focus more on connecting with their couples to create something more distinctive, more personal and more meaningful.

I’ll be going over the process of how I shoot and interact with my couples, focusing on:

- what to say before the shoot begins to prepare couples for what to expect
– warming up: tips to get shy couples to start to loving you and your camera
– tips to encourage couples to play and flirt in front of your camera
– how to best utilize natural lighting and video light in your images
– lens choices to complement the look you want to achieve, whether it’s sexy, playful, intimate or dramatic

Restration for PartnerCon is limited to 500 photographers and is bound to sell out SOON, so if you haven’t yet click here to sign up!

Hope to catch ya’ll in NOLA! :-)


October 15, 2010 - 1:09 am Elena Menz - This is an amazing opportunity - I stalk your blog continually and of all the photographers I love - your work just stands out the most to me. You definitely know how to bring out your couples love for each other and I always wondered how you do it. I've thought about asking to assist you - but this will be the next best thing! Thanks for doing this! So excited!

October 14, 2010 - 11:19 am Marlie - I'm very proud of you, Chels. I know you will do a great job...have fun with it!!

October 14, 2010 - 10:00 am Jessie Emeric - Chelsea, congrats!  that's such an honor to be teaching at PartnerCon! wish i was going! You're going to be great! xoxo

October 13, 2010 - 9:58 pm Autumn Cutaia - I'd give anything to be at one of your workshops Chelsea. You're definitely my biggest inspiration and that's what made me want to work with you! Unfortunately I won't be able to go as being a stay at home mom doesn't help in the travel department. I hope one day I'll be able to learn from you.. maybe you could do a workshop in Denver or something.

October 13, 2010 - 7:39 pm jayse! - Super sweet comment Dennise!  (Dennise is pictured with Harvey and the leaves above!) And I'm super excited about this too - it's been Chels' dream to teach and share what she's learned so far, and this is an amazing honor to do it in such a huge way! I'll be there too - watching - or maybe video taping... or maybe even doing something useful. Hope to see you all there!  

October 13, 2010 - 6:49 pm Dennise - What a WONDERFUL opportunity you have been given Chelsea!  [Then again, you are awesome ;-P ] It is a beautiful thing to have the ability to share your gift.  I wish you nothing but the best!  Have a blast at NOLA!  =o)

Photographers: August PUG with Jared Platt!

As professional photographers, it’s funny that we tend to spend the majority of our time glued to our computer chair. We spend countless hours, many times way into the night, poring over our little boxes editing away. If you can relate to this, you can’t miss the free photographer meetup at our place next Wednesday. Lightroom guru, Jared Platt will be joining us to talk about optimizing your workflow and getting better results during post-production. Whether a beginner or a pro, you’ll be sure to walk away with invaluable information on how to streamline this part of your business, leaving you with more time and energy to put other places.

Here’s the details:

When: Wednesday, August 25th 6:30 – 9:00PM

What to bring: Your favorite dish to share and good vibes!

Agenda: Jared Platt will be speaking on “Work Faster with Better Results.” Take your photography portfolio and your individual events from good to great and save time in the process.  Come and learn the how to tap into the power of perception through positive selection.

- Learn the power of positive selection to speed your workflow and improve your photography.
– Learn how to become a better photographer during post-production.
– Learn how to elevate your brand by controlling public perception.
– Learn some tips and tricks for increasing productivity inside of  Lightroom 3.0.
– Question and Answer Period – (bring your toughest post production dilemmas to discuss)
– Door Prizes

If you feel bogged down in post-production or just need to boost your photography to the next level but don’t know where to start, then you need this time with Jared Platt.  And you will learn the latest and greatest in Adobe Lightroom 3.0 at the same time.

Click here for more info and to RSVP!


Jared will also be hosting his full-day Lightroom Workflow Workshop the following day. The Lightroom Workflow Workshop is normally $300.  But by using the coupon code “pictage” at checkout, you will receive a 50% discount, making the workshop the incredible price of only $150. Here’s a video on what is covered:

For more information about Jared and his lecture schedule, go to

Last, here’s some pictures from the last two PUG meets! As you can see, it’s a fun-loving group that always welcomes new people.

Here are the brave souls from our photo critique session which was amazing. We also had some post-it fun!

For more info and to RSVP for the meeting, visit our Vegas PUG’s FB page here! It’s free and new faces are always welcome. :-)

Can’t wait to see all my Vegas peeps soon!


August 16, 2010 - 7:07 am JamieY - Im  so excited, Can't wait!!

August 15, 2010 - 10:09 pm Jared Platt - Looking forward to meeting everyone soon.  See you in Vegas.

August 15, 2010 - 5:56 pm Jessi - I'm excited!  I just learned something new today about lightroom 3, so to have an hour of it would be nice!  I know I could utilize it a little better!

August 15, 2010 - 10:55 am jayse - Really looking forward to this one! Hopefully Jared will teach Chels so much that she can spend more time with me and Bella rather than slaving away at her computer for days and days on edits! ;-)   I kid, I kid! I'm looking forward to learning a lot too - especially since lightroom will be supporting Video! yay!  

Photographers: Las Vegas PUG Meetup!

As the last Wednesday of each month rolls around, our home is filled with a wonderful group of fellow photographers! It’s always bound to be a great time – with the exchange of big hugs, hanging out over drinks and yummy munchies and catching up on things. And the best part: Everyone is welcome! The PUG is  totally free, non ‘click-ish’, and  is all about community and sharing and growing together. :-)

Also, aside from hangin’ with a phenomenal group of people, there’s great topics, open discussions, group shoots, fun studio spotlights and incredible speakers (at past meets we’ve had our great friends Justin & Mary Marantz, the uber talented Mike Larson and the wonderful Michael & Anna Costa to name a few).

The next PUG meeting (coming this week) should be just awesome as I’ve been planning something really fun for everyone! Interested in joining? Here’s the scoop:

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 – 6:30 P.M. for socializing; 7:00P.M. getting started!

TOPIC: “Learning from a Coordinator’s Perspective”I’ve invited a panel of some of Vegas’s top wedding coordinators to speak and constructively share their thoughts on the various things each of them has and hasn’t liked about working with photographers throughout their coordination process – before, during and after the wedding day. It should be a really great learning experience and discussion, and is one PUG meeting not to miss!

Meet the coordinators:

Juliet of Green Orchid EventsJuliet of Green Orchid Events | Las Vegas Wedding Coordinator


Stephanie Smith Events
Stephanie Smith | Las Vegas Wedding and Event Coordinator


Tracey of Your Las Vegas Wedding ConciergeTracey of Your Las Vegas Wedding Conceirge

For directions and more details check out the PUG Page: To RSVP, comment below or shoot me a quick email! New faces are always welcome. :-)

March 22, 2011 - 9:43 pm Sarah - I will be there but I see that there is a meetup at your house on the 30th??? Just wondering if these are 2 different meetups or the same one?

April 27, 2010 - 6:29 pm Rudy Ortega - I will be there. This will be my first time. I'm looking forward to meeting other photographers!

March 31, 2010 - 3:24 pm Jessi - I will be there! May have a friend coming with me too if she can get off early.

March 31, 2010 - 2:28 pm Steve Fogarty - I'll be there a little late, but I can't wait to see ya'll. Thanks for hosting this Chels & Jayse! You guys are so generous!

March 31, 2010 - 8:45 am Dott Photography - I would LOVE to come and meet you all creative photogs in Las Vegas! It all depends on the babysitter availability (aka daddy :)).  I will try though :)

March 30, 2010 - 8:19 pm Stephanie Smith - Very excited to be invited to this meetup! Can't wait to share and learn with fellow industry leaders!

March 30, 2010 - 5:20 pm Natasha Chornesky - I am looking forward to tomorrow's meetings!

March 30, 2010 - 9:43 am Cherie Hogan - Hopefully I'll be able to make it!!

March 30, 2010 - 9:30 am Jessie - i plan on being there tomorrow. thanks!

March 29, 2010 - 7:09 pm Jessica B - I'll be there.  Glad it's not in Timbuktu this time!  :)

March 28, 2010 - 1:42 pm Mindy Miller - I really want to come to one of these meetups but I've always had a conflict... and of course this time I'll be in Texas! Hopefully next month will be a different story... ;)

March 28, 2010 - 1:22 pm Juliet Douglas - I'm looking forward to it!  Thanks for having me. :)