February 4, 2019

my philosophy

A little sneak peek of Gracie Girl and her almost 3rd Birthday Photoshoot! Gracie loves dresses with pockets [she know’s what’s up], Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and has some pretty sweet dance moves. Needless to say, we had a blast! Happy [almost] Birthday Gracie Girl!

June 14, 2018

my philosophy

Margie was in need of a few headshots so she stopped by the studio a while back.  We had such a fun time and took more than headshots.  Some of the best images come about while you play.  No stress, not particularly posed, all natural, relaxed fun. We had a great time and I think she walked out with more than a nice headshot, we made art!

January 9, 2018

my philosophy

Call or Email to book your Boudoir Session today! Limited availability through January 28th.



January 8, 2018

my philosophy

“Be Strong and Courageous” is repeated again and again throughout the book of Joshua (4 times in Joshua 1 alone!). The past year (November 2016 – November 2017) has been full of wonders beyond my greatest expectations and incredibly difficult challenges.  But I keep heart and stand strong with this reminder that is stated over and over again in Joshua, Be Strong and Courageous!  I have felt like Joshua more often than not this past year, which has been a scary yet beautiful experience.  The one thing I have had to continually remind myself of, is that no matter the challenge, God delivered Joshua from tyrannical rulers and gave him the strength and ability to fight when necessary and the courage to do so.  This project is far from over and although I grow weary at times, I am encouraged at the thought of being led by the one who commanded the walls of Jericho to fall and gave Joshua the power to do so.

Quick note about renovations:
-I spent 2 weeks + the trash company’s largest dumpster to clean out the building and all its trash (my dad helped me fill the dumpster after I had gathered all the trash)
-I did all of the demo work (my dad helped on occasion, my mom helped me clean after demo, my dad helped me load it all in a second dumpster)
-I did all tile + grout work, carpet, mudding, taping, & painting
-I sanded, stained, & sealed the wood floors (my mom helped stain and poly)
-I hired a contractor to remove all metal siding and the metal awning since it could not be recognized as a historical building with the metal coverings.
-I hired an electrician rewire the lights like they were in the bank image below + rewire original lights that I found in a wall while in the demo process + add 4plex out lets on
the north and south walls
-I hired a contractor stud and sheetrock the newly ADA compliant bathroom + 4 ft high wall on the south wall
-I hired a plumber fix the leak in the bathroom plumbing and redo the fittings on the main line into the building.
-After 11 months of researching + writing I was approved as a Historical Building in Kansas and will hopefully have a confirmation for the National level soon!

November 10, 2016

my philosophy

we too, seek light in darkness. 
…with light and love, we press on through uncertainties.

February 2, 2016

my philosophy

October 23, 2015

my philosophy

There is still time to book your fall portrait session — just a handful of available dates left.  To schedule your session call 805.722.9920 or email me here –> chelsea at chelseamitchellphoto dot com.

September 27, 2015

my philosophy

Solstice in Santa Barbara is a big deal!  The whole city gets involved and it is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, parades, music, taste-y treats galore!  One of my dear friends opens her home and hosts one of the largest block parties in town where she is literally inundated with people from all over the county.  She bakes, her neighbor Emma makes her famous Jerk Chicken, and there is always a killer line up of great musicians!  If you are in town, its a must!


February 13, 2015

my philosophy

So excited about this feature! It was such a fun collaboration with so many talented people!  See more here –> A Golden Locket

Happy Valentine’s Day Loves!

February 6, 2015

my philosophy

…and getting personal.
I typically do not participate in #tbt (a.k.a. throw back Thursday) but had been toying around with images that reflect progress of my personal journey.  However today I did post my one and only #tbt and have felt an immense amount of healing from this simple act of acknowledgement and acceptance of myself and my journey.  I am working on creating my best self yet and 2015 has a lot in store for me.  That starts with being a better host to my body, cutting negative self talk, and appreciating the myself and the efforts I have made thus far.
All of this came about after a recent conversation I had with my mom.  I was feeling discouraged by some of the recent health issues/challenges* I was facing and upon pouring out my soul I blurted out in cries of utter desperation “I just want to be normal!”.  My mom should win an award, for her response gave me hope and the strength to pick myself up by my boot straps and forge ahead.  She said “Sweetheart, you are anything but normal, you were and are meant to do extraordinary things in this life.  The second you feel “normal” is the time you should be most concerned.”
I have been mulling things over since then and realized I have been trying to cover up and hide my past “the old, unrecognizable, me” for fear of being judged, for fear of disapproval and for fear of not being accepted.  I spent a great deal of my child hood just wanting to be accepted and treated for who I was, not what I looked like.  I realize that first have to start with accepting myself for me and recognize all of my efforts have not been for nothing, and that I have actually already had huge success –before I can continue this journey.  No matter the road blocks, hiccups, or plateaus.  Healing is a journey and like every journey they all start with you.
*challenge no. 1) being incredibly sick for the last 8 months as my body had been in a downward spiral, for what is apparent now, for several years possibly decade(s).  I have a very odd stomach disorder called Gasteroparesis, (I’ll let you research it if you’re interested) caused by nerve damage to my vagus nerve and its corresponding partner in the autonomic nervous system, it’s usually one or the other but through all my testing they cannot find the source as both of my nervous systems that control this are damaged and not working properly/at all. Alas my team of doctors and specialist both here in Santa Barbara and at Stanford have gotten me back on track with exorbitant amounts of medications and vitamins and I am close to functioning at 100%
*challenge no. 2) In the midst of feeling like I was falling apart at the seams I went in for some “routine testing” (more frequent and invasive than the average person due to personal issues and having P.C.O.S.) and they found a tumor on my left ovary.  I had a surgery 5 1/2 years ago to remove two very large cysts and almost walked out the hospital with a hysterectomy at 19.  This is something I am currently facing again and with slightly higher stakes I feel confident that I can navigate this road and be on the other side of it soon as well.  As God delivered me from my previous challenges I feel ever confident that this will be no different. 
*other challenges since I started this journey: 2 broken feet, 2 concussions, 2 surgeries, hormone imbalances, 1 1/2 years of thinking I had cancer, and countless poor bio-mechanics injuries that have since been corrected.

***In the midst of these challenges I have also had great successes and opportunities.  I moved to Santa Barbara, got a puppy, nearly lost 100 lbs, started listening to country…and liked it, ran 5 half marathons, my first full marathon, competed in 6 triathlons and placed in 5 of them, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, graduated with a B of A in a hair under 3 years, started a business, cooked till my hearts content, adopted a puppy, became and auntie, made tons of friends, made lasting friends, interned with and worked for the best of the best in the wedding photography industry, and have been published in magazines, blogs, and the like, all among many more wonderful things.

*disclaimer* I think the most disheartening part of my journey is peoples responses to it with questions like, “what made you finally decide to do something?” or the like. Well folks straight up, this has been an issue since I was little (kindergarten status).  I mean, really!? Why would I want to be over weight and become obese?  It’s not a fun, enjoyable life. My parents took me to nutritionist, dietitians  monitored my calorie intake, put me on specials and “diet” pills/meds/vitamins and I was involved in any and every activity imaginable under the sun until high school where I focussed solely on swimming and swam competitively year round. To slightly address the question in a round about way, a doctor finally figured out what was wrong with me shortly after I moved to Santa Barbara.  Upon treating a severe hormone imbalance all of my efforts of dieting and exercising (that I had been doing for years) finally paid off and I lost the bulk of my weight in a year, making my total transformation a year and half after I moved to SB.  This came after years of research, testing, and unimaginable amounts of prayer by a number of people.  I have since then spent the last almost 6 years trying to”get” the last little bit, and tone what needs to be toned (everything).  Which takes us to present day.