Howland House Inn {Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast}

Family trips are the best.
It's hard sometimes to rationalize taking trips that don't involve seeing family (only so much time most of us can get in a year to be away from work/home), but I think there is something you learn from each other being on vacations that are just for each other.

Newport, RI Bed and Breakfast

Craig and the kids and I went to see my grandmother and her magical, magical house in Rhode Island for a week and we were able to travel to Newport for a couple of nights in the most amazing little bed and breakfast right near downtown.

We were delighted to be able to stay in a home that was a physical part of that history. We stayed in The Howland House Inn, otherwise known as The Benjamin B. Howland House, established in 1765.

Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast

Anyone traveling to Newport, Rhode Island MUST. STAY. HERE.

Everything about our stay there was absolutely perfect for our family. We had two of the four suites (the Knotty Suite and the Mayflower Suite) and they were both gorgeous from top to bottom. Each suite had ample sleeping space for everyone with comfortable beds, pull out couches, and plenty of spare blankets and pillows. The bathrooms were clean and spacious and included some amazing natural soaps and shampoos (the mint body wash was AMAZING!). The rooms were delicately curated to include art and furniture that was both practical and suitable for a 250+ year old Inn.

My absolute favorite part about the place was learning about it's history. Benjamin Howland had ancestors from the Mayflower who built the first stick house in America. Karen, the inn-keeper, told us about the efforts that were taken while remodeling to include the original beams and floors in some of the rooms, and even showed me hidden rocks in the basement foundation where people would store valuable treasures or forbidden love notes (be still my heart, I would DIE to find things like that in a house I lived in, I was smitten).

Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast
Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast
Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast

Karen was immensely helpful on our trip. She told us about the local restaurants, beaches, and things to do in Newport with kids (including a fantastic arcade right around the corner from the inn). She made sure we had everything we needed for our beach trip during our stay and is responsible for the amazing breakfasts each morning. The communal kitchen was incredible. Guys, she told me a couple of times about the fresh dairy, and I completely underestimated how much better fresh cow's milk is than what we get at the store, I'd never had it before. It was like heaven in my mouth. The orange juice was a close second, plus farm fresh eggs, pastries, fruit, coffee, and yogurt. In the afternoons we definitely helped ourselves to the cookie dish as well (the cookies were really really tasty...). The space was clean and had plenty of pots and pans for any in-house cooking you could want to do.

Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast
Newport, Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast

We were blocks away from shopping and amazing food. We ate at The Brick Alley Pub our first night and then Craig and I were able to have a night out for some hearty seafood at Benjamin's (and I suddenly realized I had to pretend I knew how to crack and consume a lobster on my own, but I got 'er done...). We also loved every minute of our time at First Beach (or Easton Beach) where we HAD to get some Dell's Lemonade. I may or may not have bought an overpriced bucket of Dell's Lemonade mix to take home with us at the airport in Providence...we've already used some. #worthit

If you are looking for a place to stay in Newport, book here by clicking below!

This whole experience re-iterated to me how much better bed and breakfasts are than hotels. Don't get me wrong, hotels serve their purpose, but places like this alleviate the stresses of traveling with kids and make for a perfect home away from home.

Summer Kickoff Deal and Giveaway!! {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

Heya friends!

 I'm ready for "real" summer, are you?! Blazing heat, cooling off at the pool, camping, baseball, beach, s'mores, the whole bit. I know it gets super crazy and busy, but I can't stress to you how wonderful it is to plan ahead and get family photos done EARLY! Don't get me wrong, I love a good fall photo, but summer family photos are my jam. Let's make it happen.

Summer Giveaway.jpg

SOOO I'm going to offer an amazing deal earlier than I usually do to get this ball rolling. Here's the info:

  • 20-30 minute family shoot in Windsor, Colorado (six people or less)
  • Includes one digital image, one 8x10, and two 5x7s (with options to purchase more, you get a gallery to chose from)
  • $200, book before Tuesday, June 4th
  • For ANY TIME during the month of June (expires after that)

    This is a HUGE steal, the prints and digital image ALONE are a $250 value, and that's not even including the session fee. Not to mention I'm not limiting it to one day/weekend as I usually do with sessions like this, so you have the flexibility to make your summer plans in the month of June around it as needed.
    Email me at to book yours now! I am limiting this to 5 lucky people to start out.  

Giveaway Opportunity!

As a special start of summer BONUS, I will also be giving away one of these shoots! In order to enter, follow the rules below:

  • Follow Chelsea Ellingson Photography on Facebook AND Instagram: (Facebook) (Instagram)
  • Share this post EITHER on facebook OR Instagram (bonus entry if you do both!)
  • Leave a like and a comment on the facebook/instagram post you saw this from that you entered and shared!

    As a recap, people who share on both instagram AND facebook get TWO entries, follow me on both platforms, and leave a like and a comment saying you entered! 

    I am EXTENDING the giveaway will pick a winner on the morning of Monday, June 4th. 


Baby Announcement {Northern Colorado Family Photorapher}

Nothing like getting an inquiry from a stranger here in Windsor who tells you she found you through a mutual friend, then says she thinks we might be neighbors! She was totally right, and the reason she recognized my name was because our mailman keeps mixing up our mail. I now feel a little less irritated that keeps happening. And also super excited they trusted me to help them share their good news!!

Northern Colorado Family Photographer

Thankfully are like the most awesome couple on the planet. Seriously- when I came over before the shoot and started oggling at her GORGEOUS living room she gave me a tour of the whole house (it was like she somehow knew that's like my FAVORITE thing to do...seriously I look at homes for sale all the time just so I can see what they do with their space, and it's fun to see the other houses in my neighborhood). Plus they were SO chill and incredibly easy to work with. It's people like this that make me feel incredibly lucky to do this for a living.

Can't wait to work with them again for maternity and baby photos this year, and excited for their beautiful journey ahead.
If you are in the Ft. Collins, Loveland, Greeley, or Windsor Colorado area, please ask me about availability for your expecting baby photography needs! And I'm open for scheduling through the summer as always for family photos.  

Crystal {Northern Colorado Personal Branding Photographer}

I am ecstatic for you. I follow you. I love you. I'm inspired by you.
I want to HELP you.

Meet Crystal.
She's one of the most talented artists out there I know. She's one of the most talented artists out there period. She's passionate and kind and motivated and an AMAZING wife and mother of five boys and to say that I admire her greatly is an understatement.
Last fall she approached me and asked if I'd be interested in shooting some images for her that she could use for social media. Of course I said yes and I have to say that to date this is one of my favorite shoots ever. Crystal is an amazingly easy-going person, but she also posed so perfectly for me in every shot. She wanted to incorporate her work into the shoot, but mostly just her doing what she loves.

Northern Colorado Personal Brand Photographer

Crystal is an artist and she's dang good at it, but she's also a fellow hustler. She works hard at what she does while juggling family life and all the crazy that brings into her schedule. This shoot was meant to capture all those pieces of her into how they help inspire her and keep her motivated. Here is what she had to say about her journey as a photographer:

I was always pretty good at art growing up and had a lot of support from family members. In high school I remember especially my Mom and Grandma thought that I should be an artist. Naturally I thought a law degree was a better idea. Hind sight its funny- I would have been just awful. I think I just really liked to argue as a teenager. At some point in my senior year I had decided to focus on studio art and went on to get my BA in Painting.

When I graduated with my degree I was due with my second son. Two years later I had twins, so with 4 boys 4 years old and under you can imagine that painting was very much on the back burner for many years.  We also renovated homes and moved probably a dozen times in our first ten years of marriage. I would pick up painting in waves and find that I was never as rusty as I thought I would be. I think I was blessed to be able to grow despite the tenuous juggling act of my family and artistic life. When I wasn't painting it was always this pent up dog in the background that always threatened to make me go mad if I didn't let it out to run. 

When I did paint I struggled a lot with self confidence. I was never convinced that I was "good enough"; whatever that means. My husband helped keep me going and at this point I'm less concerned about it. Some people love my work, some don't. That's just how it will be no matter how good I get.

My main drive is improving my skill in an academic, classical sense. I crave creating something that is spellbinding- that's the vision. For me that spiritual moment viewing art generally comes while looking at a piece that is so masterfully completed that you know the painter was able to move beyond struggling with his basics (drawing, value, color, and edges) and express his intention boldly and delicately without distraction. 

I now have 5 sons, a studio space and a dedicated time each day to paint. Although the balancing act is always real, and my house generally suffers for it, I feel like It's finally a good time to paint.


This got me thinking a lot after the shoot was over. Crystal uses these photos for her instagram, her website, and her social media sharing- these are quality images of her doing what she loves. Who else can I do this for? Who else needs their story shared like this? Who else is fed up trying to get their kids or hubby to take phone pictures of themselves on the job that just don't turn out in a sharable way, and NEED this bad? Heck, I need someone to do this for ME! And if I need it, there's got to be others out there who need it too.
SO I'm thrilled to announce that I will now be offering Personal Branding Sessions. This is something I'm very excited to work on because it means I get to do what I love while helping other people do what they love. It's a win-win and there is a MAJOR need for this for all the dreamers out there making it happen for themselves and their families. If you're an entrepreneur, a business owner, a stay at home hussler like me, an instagram guru, or even (maybe especially!) an artist like Crystal, let me help you put not just your work out there, but your STORY. People buy what they are emotionally invested in, and I want people to be emotionally invested in YOU.

I will be posting more information about this soon, but I will be offering discounts to the first people who sign up, so make sure you're following along.
Cheers to the husslers who are making it happen out there. I really really want to work with you.

Spring Family Photos

I'm totally and completely biased, but I JUST. LOVE. THESE. PEOPLE.
Momma in this family is one of my longest and dearest friends from college. We were in the same dorm room freshman year with two other ladies at The University of Northern Colorado (GO BEARS!). The dorm had two rooms and a living area and we were in opposite rooms- I remember vividly the first time meeting her as I was unpacking my stuff on my side of one of the rooms. We made some small talk until she saw the CDs in my CD rack on my desk (yeah, remember the days before MP3 players??) and excitedly commented that she loved all of the bands I had on there. I think we probably knew at that point we'd be inseparable. At one point during the year months later we also found out that I had actually already met some of her family previously- in fact as a teenager I had actually stayed at her brother's house on a church youth trip and we had no clue about each other. Clearly the universe was pushing our lives together!

Northern Colorado Family Photography

We've lived in different cities apart from each other through the years, but we still manage to try to find time to get together and one of my favorite things to do is take photos of their GORGEOUS family. She and her hubby have the most brilliant blue eyes and all their kids have inherited those other-wordly peepers! This is a throwback session from The Denver Photo Collective's Spring set-up in 2017.

Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer

Spring has got me all twitterpated as I'm watching everything turn green around me, which is why I thought if this epic shoot. I'm scheduling photo sessions through summer already in the Loveland, Ft. Collins, Greeley, and Windsor area- drop me a line if you're ready to book something this season!

Shoot and Share 2018 {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

Once again, this February I participated in the excruciatingly painful waiting game otherwise known as Shoot and Share. It's a completely anonymous photo contest where you submit photos and then the entire month of February, you vote on which photos you think are the best. You can submit in different categories and then within those categories, photos are compared in groups of four and you vote on which one is best.
It's all fun and games until you start to face the fact that for almost two months you don't know how your photos did AT ALL.
It's rough guys. But I survived, and even did better than I did last year despite the fact that I submitted less photos (not on purpose, thought the deadline was later than it actually was, oops...).
The revelation was yesterday and I finally got to see the results!! It was a little Christmas in March.

Northern Colorado Family Photographer

Of the thirty eight photos I submitted, nineteen placed in the top thirty percent or above, and one was a finalist in the Share Joy Category! This was 2017 vs 2018 results.

Here are a spattering of my favorites that won. Many of these pictures were taken in Windsor, Ft. Collins, and Denver, Colorado.  I was honored that so many of my photos made it that far and ALL the amazing photos I got to vote on gave me great inspiration for next year's contest. The waiting is always worth it in the end, I guess.

Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photograpy
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer
Northern Colorado Family Photographer

Family by the Lake {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

Ft. Collins Family Photographer

Four beautiful girls from two amazing parents. These girls were absolutely darling, talented, and did so well during the whole shoot, even though it was late enough in the season to have a nip in the air. I also absolutely loved their outfit choices- the pops of yellow were perfect against the greys, whites, and navys. 


Ft. Collins Family Photographer
Ft. Collins Family Photographer
Ft. Collins Family Photographer
Ft. Collins Family Photographer

This is my go to location for tons of families and seniors in Windsor. I just LOVE the peeling white paint on the side of this shed here and the fun doors and walls around downtown Windsor. Plus it's right by the lake in the best part of town. I've dreamed of someday owning a house right on Windsor lake. In the meantime I'll just keep creating a little bit of "home" for every family I capture there. :-)

Ft .Collins Family Photographer

One of the things I LOVE doing is creating a space for photos to work well within your home. I was able to do some mock ups for this family so they could find the perfect spot to display their beautiful family (and all it took was a couple of phone pics to give the visuals- definitely worth the time to do if you just can't see in your minds eye where the photos should go).

Ft. Collins Family Photographer
Ft. Collins Family Photographer

I offer free in-home consults and let me tell you, they are SO worth it! Your family photos are a part of your home decor- there's no use in spending the money to get them taken if they just sit in a box or on a USB for eternity. Photos that never make it on the wall totally bum me out.

Ft. Collins Family Photographer

I should have taken a better shot that got in the full effect, but the restults were STUNNING! I audibly gasped when I opened up the canvases after they were shipped to me. So worth it.

River Goddess {Northern Colorado Senior Photographer}

Ft. Collins Senior Photographer

This was one of my MOST FAVORITE senior sessions I think I've ever done. This empress was up for anything, including donning her homecoming gown and hopping in the Poudre River for pictures. She was utterly professional and so sweet- I couldn't have asked for a better model for my crazy photography ideas!

Ft. Collins Senior Photographer
Ft. Collins Senior Photographer
Ft. Collins Senior Photographer
Ft. Collins Senior Photographer

Here's a little tip for anyone looking for some beginner girls' senior photography help: with senior girls, prioritize the hair as much as you possibly can. If she's got short hair, pull it out from her ears and brush it away from her face lightly and in layers. If she's got long hair, BRING IT FORWARD!!

Ft. Collins Senior Photographer

These are both SOC. The one on the left will still work because you can see the back of her hair behind her shoulder (meaning it doesn't just disappear altogether), but look how much fuller her hair looks when it's forward and framing her face! I often feel like I'm working with two subjects when I'm working with senior girls photos: the body/face pose, and the hair. Hair is important.

Ft. Collins Senior Photographer
Ft. Collins Senior Photographer
Ft. Collins Senior Photographer

Be sure to check out the rest of my beautiful seniors in my gallery here:


The Murrays {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

This. Family.
I have known them almost since we moved to Windsor and I don't think I could find words to express how amazing each of them are! I did senior photos for the oldest last summer as well and was just blown away by his talents and maturity for a kid his age. Both parents are immensely incredible human beings and I am SO glad they hired me for their family photos in 2017!

Fort Collins Family Photography
Ft. Collins Family Photography
Ft. Collins Family Photography
Ft. Collins Family Photography
Ft. Collins Family Photography


This patch of trees has been a go-to location for photos for me in Windsor, Colorado for years and I just drove by yesterday to see them all plowed down. I wanted to cry, it was such a perfect section of trees in perfect rows with all sorts of fun things to find in it (including a fort and an old couch that I was never brave enough to actually sit on or go in, but were fun nonetheless). I still have a lot of great spots in my gorgeous little town, but may have to branch out and venture for more locations in Ft. Collins, CO for family photos. The mountains have been calling me lately...

Stay tuned as I go through some of my favorite spots and shoots from 2017 in the next few weeks!

And if you're a contractor, STOP CUTTING DOWN ALL THE TREES!!! You're KILLING me, smalls....

Holiday Mini Shoot in Denver {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

Winter Wonderland Holiday Mini Shoot

@The Denver Photo Collective
November 22nd, 2017



  • One half hour shoot at The Denver Photo Collective holiday setup

  • One full resolution digital image of choice

  • Either 25 foil pressed holiday cards or 2 custom wood ornaments

  • Up to six people total per shoot

  • Extra digital images, prints, holiday cards, or ornaments available for purchase


Enter your information below for availability and booking!

Name *

Sunrises and Snakes {Northern Colorado Family Photographer}

It's been a looooong time since I had a family brave enough to schedule a morning session! As soon as we were done, I was asking myself why I don't do these more often, especially at this dreamy fall location. It was chilly, and I was so impressed with how well all of the kids did, and they even just recently moved here from the south. My own kids have lived in CO most of their lives and would not have been that cooperative in the cold.


The little boy apparently was a snake lover. Before we started walking down the trail, Mom and Dad kept reminding him that they might see a snake out in the woods. I pointed out that it was cold and we probably wouldn't see them (mostly to just reassure myself that I wouldn't see any than anyone else ha ha), and they told me they realized that and just noted that they were just saying it to keep the little guy motivated to smile.
On our way out of the woods, we stopped by the river for a few last shots. Mom wanted some of just her and the little guy, so I stepped into the grass near some kind of animal hole and told him to come look, that there might be a snake down in the hole to get him to come over. And then I looked down myself, and what did I see?? An actual snake. I jumped out of the way while the family did the opposite and crowded around it. It was not moving (there was still tons of frost all around, it was likely just frozen), so Dad comes over and actually lifts it up. I was terrified, because I had no idea if it was a rattle snake or not or if they had any idea if it was a rattle snake or not (later discovered Dad hunts, he knew what he was doing). It was a very long bull snake with a large bulge by the neck that was very likely it's last meal making it's way down. I was equal parts terrified and fascinated, as I am with most slithery slimy creatures.


Look at the little man's face!!! He was ecstatic. We actually saw a snake on our shoot after all. He was so thrilled, they actually tossed the thing in his soccer bag in their car and took it home (only later to discover that it was either dead when we found it or nearly there, and I was told that the little guy and Dad decided they wanted to find out what it had eaten and had a little dissection adventure...blarf, ha ha).
I handled myself okay considering my first instinct was to just grab my bag and run back to the car every-man-for-himself style. It would be my worst nightmare to have my clients find, pick up, and then get attacked by any kind of snake. Thankfully it was more of a creature study than a battle, but even despite the snake, I came away wanting to get back out there at sunset ASAP.
Gorgeous family, gorgeous light.