Tell us about your favorite spot in your home. Why is it your favorite spot?

My favorite spot in my home is my office space. It sits in the corner of the second “bedroom”—which is really just a glorified closet. The desk is from Amazon; the chair, an $18 find from Facebook Marketplace. The decorations are mismatched, and the lighting is horrible. So, it’s far from perfect or “Instagrammable.” Thankfully, what makes something special isn’t how Instagrammable it is; it’s the meaning it holds.

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This space means a lot to me. It’s the physical manifestation of months and months of practice, growth, fear-facing, tears, and big decisions. It’s the icon that reminds me that I am able to do a lot more than my limiting beliefs tell me I can. A little over two years ago I worked in a corporate job that I loathed. I had a love for photographing couples and a dream of doing it full time. But I didn’t think I could actually do it.

An invitation suite photographed by Chelsea

An invitation suite photographed by Chelsea

On nights and weekends after the corporate day was done, I worked on the business. Not from a desk, but from my couch or my kitchen table (or on really lazy days, my bed!). After a year of that, I decided it was time to take the plunge. I quit the corporate job to pursue my dream full-time. It was terrifying and exhausting and exciting all at once. But I still didn’t have an office space to call my own.

Two months ago my husband and I moved into a new home, one that had a perfect little corner in a tiny, little bedroom that fit a desk perfectly. I purchased the furniture, set it up, and sat down. “Finally,” I thought, “my dream has a space in this world.”

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Is there a particular story about how this spot came to be arranged/decorated the way it is? 

The items I’ve placed on and above my desk all hold meaning and are intentionally placed. The photo of my husband and me from our engagement photo session in front of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds me of his love for me and her love for us. The handmade beaded bracelets I sold for the non-profit Project Bead remind me that women can come together from different parts of the world and bring about real and impactful change. The woven baskets from my trip to Uganda remind me to be like the Ugandan people, who smile, laugh, and exude joy despite real hardship. The embroidered cat, a gift from my lifelong best friend, reminds me of all the goofy and hard times we’ve had together. The bridal portrait of my grandmother reminds me why family heirlooms matter, why marriage matters, and why I am a wedding photographer in the first place—to showcase the beauty of marriage. Each piece holds within it a part of my story as a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a business owner.

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Have there been particularly inspiring or moving moments in this corner of your home? Or, is there a particular feeling you get when you are in this space in your house?

When I sit in this space each day to work, it feels surreal. If anyone would have told me two years ago that I would quit my stable job and own my own business, I would have laughed in their face. Some days aren’t pretty, and some days are just euphoric. But the highs and the lows don’t negate the fact that I chose my dream rather than succumbing to the doubt and fear I felt. I chose my why—showcasing and strengthening relationships through photography—over a safe place. Now, my humble little desk both represents the risk I took and is my safe place.

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Editor’s Note: At Home With Her is a Readers Write column. We want to see these corners of your home, and let them inspire our own homes! Submit yours here