How I Became a Wedding Photographer and Videographer

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Welcome to the White Quill Blog—your one stop shop for wedding planning tips + inspiration. Because, as a 6w5 with over 100 weddings under my belt, my number one goal is to make sure you're prepared in advance so you can live your wedding day to its fullest.

Hey, I’m Chelsea

Chelsea, owner of White Quill Creative, taking a photo

My #1 tip for newly engaged couples: hire a wedding photographer/videographer you feel comfortable around.

We’ll be the people you see most on your wedding day. Yes, even more than your family and friends. So you want to make sure you can be yourself around us.

The first step in building that connection? Chatting about how you two met and fell in love on a discovery call.

But, if I’m going to ask you a million questions about your history, it’s only fair to tell you all about mine. In this case, how I became a wedding photographer and videographer.


Thanks to rom-com gems like “The Wedding Planner”, it’s easy to assume that wedding vendors spend their lives dreaming of weddings.

Spoiler alert: that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Growing up, I knew I’d do something creative with my life. But if you would have told me I’d be running my own wedding business at 30, I never would have believed you. 

As someone who *literally* grew up with my nose in a book (see above), I always thought I’d be a bestselling author.

In fact, I took out my first student loan *literally* banking on it. 

I went off to college with big dreams of being a Young Adult author. I had a laptop full of half-written novels and a schedule full of creative writing courses. 

But one of those courses, a seminar called Screenwriting Adaptations, completely changed my life. 

Fueled by Ian’s Pizza (IYKYK), I would page through a dog-eared copy of Catcher in the Rye (^^ that exact copy), figuring out how to bring it to life on screen.

That’s when the age-old saying really sunk in—a picture is worth a thousand words. And a single glance or gesture on camera could say more than anything I’d ever write.

That was the day I traded in my pen and paper for a camera.

But that still doesn’t explain how on earth this self-proclaimed third wheel ended up being a wedding photographer and videographer.


After I graduated from UW Madison with a fancy film degree in 2014, I realized that I had no clue what to do next.

So, I did what any Millennial in a quarter-life crisis would do—utilize my obsession with social media and get a job in marketing. I spent the next year filming promotional videos, creating social media graphics, and photographing corporate events.

Then, in June 2015, I accepted a position at a Market Research firm in Chicago.

The group that introduced me to the world of weddings (check out my baby face, sorority squat, and bright green bag on the left)

In an effort to make friends in a new city, I attended a Tuesdays Together meeting. It was a place where creatives could gather together to grow their businesses and make friends.

That’s how I found myself in a room with 37 other wedding vendors—people from all aspects of the wedding industry. I swapped numbers and met up with them over coffee. Over time, those coffee dates developed into friendships. And through those friendships, I was able to:

  • Assist wedding planners and observe how to keep weddings running on time.
  • Help florists deliver personal flowers and learn the most efficient way to pin boutonnieres.
  • Work with other photographers and videographers, soaking up their tricks of the trade.

Without that group photo and all the knowledge those people instilled in me, White Quill Creative wouldn’t be half of what it is today.

But enough of my story, I want to hear all about yours.

Hey, I’m Chelsea

Growing up, I had big dreams of being a writer—but one screenwriting seminar over mac and cheese pizza changed everything. Now, with a film degree and over 100 weddings under my belt, I get to tell your real-life stories (and, trust me, they put my made-up ones to shame). 

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