Behind the Lens: Chelsea Francis

Chelsea is equally as talented as she is genuine, and it’s truly refreshing to come across someone who has so much passion for what they do. We’re excited to feature local Austin photographer, Chelsea Francis, on the blog. Her Instagram is filled with beautiful photos and bright colors! Read on to discover more about her photography style, tips and how she handles being her own boss.

Please introduce yourself! Why did you decide to start blogging and what do you like to share with your audience?

My name is Chelsea Francis, and I’m a photographer, creative director and people person living in Austin, Texas! I grew up with a persistent curiosity about people and life in general. I became obsessed with National Geographic at a young age. When I began to choose a major in college, I looked for something that would let me interact and document people. I chose Journalism fairly quickly and then learned that it was a dying field. I switched over to Advertising my junior year of college, completely ignoring the fact that photography was my real calling. I loved my advertising degree and it taught me a lot about studying and learning outside of the classroom. About a year after college I was searching again, for something that was my own. My husband suggested that I buy a professional camera, and after much protest I did. I haven’t looked back. I fell in love. I started blogging to share what I was working on, little peeks into my life, the life of a freelancer, and goal setting.

Behind the Lens: Chelsea Francis - Planoly Blog 2
Behind the Lens: Chelsea Francis - Planoly Blog 3

How would you describe your photography style and what kind of clients do you usually work with?

Most people would describe my photography style as cheerful, fun, and I wholeheartedly agree. I cultivated it by looking at a lot of photography I loved and literally making a list of all the things I love about other people’s work. When I sat down to edit my first photo set, I tried to make it bright, fun, vibrant, and clean. I usually work with clients who are branding their websites for the first time, magazines looking to capture editorials or corporate clients who are looking for online assets for social media.

What makes a photo beautiful? What are your top three tips when it comes to photography?

I think what makes a photo beautiful is a combination of purposeful lighting and real genuine moments. My top three tips for taking better photos are:

  1. Lighting is key: Find your light.
  2. Practice makes perfect: Shoot a lot and as much as you can.
  3. Learn from others: Seek out feedback from people who are farther along their journey than you are.

Has Social Media helped you grow your business and how?

It absolutely has. I would say 50% of my clients come from Instagram. I try to share more than just my work on Instagram — I share the good things from my life, what I’m doing, what I’m wearing — and I just try to photograph that well.

“I would say 50% of my clients
come from Instagram.”

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Working for yourself is amazing, but it can be challenging at times. What are your tips for staying inspired and productive?

I give myself permission to rest as often as I’m able to, and sometimes that means I wake up at 6 am to go for a swim because I won’t have time to get in a workout at any other point during the day. I try to keep one day off per week no matter what. I also try out a lot of planners! Currently, I use a Ban.do planner and I’m trying out a productivity planner for my to do lists! I also only answer emails twice a day.

What advice do you have for photographers who are just beginning their career?

Shoot a lot and figure out what you love doing. With luck and practice, you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life 🙂

“Shoot a lot & figure out
what you love doing.
With luck & practice, you’ll be
doing it for the rest of your life.”


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Stay connected:

Website: Chelsea Laine Francis
Instagram: @ohhhchelsea