We feel so blessed that Chelsea Peterson, owner of Chelsea Photography, recently took the stunning photos at our Divinely Designed launch party! If you haven’t read Divinely Designed yet, I candidly share how my faith led me through some equally amazing, chaotic and difficult times. So when I learned that Chelsea leads with faith in her own business, it truly felt like she was meant to capture our memories from this day. ✨ The way she lets God inspire and lead her is such a beautiful example for business owners everywhere!
Below, Chelsea and I shared how we keep faith at the core of our own businesses. 💖 We pray that this conversation inspires you to lead with faith in your own life, whether you’re a small business owner, a teacher, a mother or a friend.
How did your faith lead you to start your business?
Chelsea Peterson: I’ve always always loved photography, I remember getting my first digital camera for my 12th birthday. All my sleepovers with friends included a photoshoot! Shortly after high school close friends and family encouraged me to pursue photography. As with most things in this life, I struggled with doubts and fear and ultimately was too timid and ended up going to school for a graphic design degree. I assumed the market was too saturated, or that no one would be interested in my photography with so many other talented people out there in the world. Shortly after college my photography business started blossoming almost entirely on its own. The Lord kept providing over and over again and I finally decided to make the leap and turn it into an official business! I said okay, Lord! We’re doing this. Not my will but Yours. Do what you’ll do with it! 2020 marks seven years of being a photographer.
Sarah Martin: I’ve always felt that creative gifts and talents are meant to be shared—used to serve one another with great love. I feel that creativity is God’s way of showcasing His beauty in His creation—us. As an interior designer, creative talents are essential, and for me, drawn from my relationship with Him. From the time I was a little girl, I dreamt of leaving beauty marks on this world, evidence of His love. I prayed for gifts and talents that would reach the hearts of others. Step by step, I was led to start Beautiful Chaos, where I could use my talents to serve others in beautifying their homes & in that process, remind them—that they are precious, they are loved and they are held 💞
How does your faith inspire your “why.”
CP: What’s interesting is I know a ton of Christians who are also photographers. I sincerely believe Christians are drawn to photography because they have a heart after God’s own heart. I desire to capture God’s creation. God loves people so deeply. More than the mountains, or the birds, more than anything on this Earth. He made each of us in His own image. Which means each person is an image bearer of God himself! Which is just so incredible to me. Each face that steps in-front of my lens is a new face of God himself. It’ll forever be my goal to capture a person’s soul with my photography. To see people in their truest light. To see them the way their Creator sees them. I believe I have a God-given gift to see beauty in every single person and I can’t wait to show them what I see, too.
SM: The name Beautiful Chaos was inspired by my own precious family. It was a moment on my living room sofa, in the midst of complete mayhem, that I realized my home looked most beautiful when my family was living its real, everyday life. My “why” is definitely centered around curating beautiful homes for other families to enjoy, but even more so, in the hope that beautiful moments will be created in the chaos of real, everyday life. What’s more, I am captivated with how the Lord is faithful to bring beauty out of chaos in our hearts—chaos that I know could not wrangle on my own. The silhouette of His love for our hearts, in our business name, well—that defines my why 💘
How does faith keep you passionate when “the going gets tough”?
CP: Right now, I’m working a full time job in corporate America with my design degree while pursuing this photography dream of mine. During this season I’m newly married, raising a toddler, and just trying to keep my house clean and my family fed. The “tough” for me right now, is definitely the balance of it all. I’ve learned to set boundaries. Perhaps I’m still learning. This requires a lot of grace and making sure I stay grounded in the Word. To check my heart and make sure I’m following His will instead of my own. It’s a delicate balance! I’m leaning into what gives me energy, trying to do things in the right order as defined by the Word and just make sure my heart is receptive to God’s voice amongst the sometimes louder voices of this world.
SM: Owning a business—being a mompreneuer has been a journey that has brought my heart through many highs and many lows. Being a hopeless romantic, and full of passion, I honestly did not anticipate all of the lows. I did not anticipate serving others with my whole heart, to at times, be treated coldly & be unappreciated. I did not anticipate being hurt by other women on my team that I genuinely poured my heart into, wanting to see succeed. And, I certainly did not anticipate working until my body just gave out one day. Honestly, all of these things have threatened my passion and admittedly, assaulted my desire to keep going. However, if we allow our lows to extinguish the bright light of our highs (the beautiful and exciting reels like the clients that appreciate, the tribe that loves your brand hard, and the vacations that hard earned paychecks can buy—the things that ignite our passion), we allow darkness to win. We allow darkness to overwhelm our hearts and steal the beauty we can leave in this world. With that, this hopeless romantic refuses to give up on the notion that light always outshines darkness and LOVE always wins. So, every time the going gets tough, this heart of mine vows to shine even brighter for the winning love of Christ✨
What part of your faith defines unique destiny in your business?
CP: I believe that I’m not here to tell my own story. I’m just a small part of the story God’s telling. I’m His to use. He leads me and I will follow. Anything I do should only be a reflection of Him and His love. So if He gives me an opportunity or a voice, I do my best to make sure He is known, or at the very least, to spread His love.
SM: This is what I love about gifts and talents, they are given uniquely to each one of us, to be used without rival. Though others may share similar gifts & talents, there is no other one destiny that can compare to the unique destiny each of us have been given. Just like no two of my children are destined for the same exact thing, no two of God’s children are destined for the same exact thing. Therefore, it is with excitement and freedom that we are able to chase after the unique destiny God has planned for each one of us. What a relief to my heart that there is no actual competition—only what He has just for me 💖
How do you hope your faith impacts your clients and those you work with?
CP: I’m in the business of serving others and this is how I can do it best. On the drive to every single one of my photography sessions I specifically pray for my time with people I’m about to photograph. I pray that I could be a blessing to them, I pray that I could reflect the love and light of Christ, I pray that they feel loved, free and full of joy. Sometimes people can be nervous in front of the camera, or perhaps they had an argument on the way to their session, regardless, however they feel when they arrive, I want them to leave feeling refreshed, joyful, and loved. I just show up and hope to be a blessing to people and ask the Lord to equip me to do good work and love people well.
SM: To me, faith is wrapped up in the belief that God is good, He is love, and His ways bring about promise. My hope, is that through interacting with me and our team, our clients are gifted with an exchange of these three beautiful things ✨
Do you have a favorite bible verse that you come back to? Why?
CP: Ah, to pick only one! Too hard. I will say this. The entire story of the Gospel is what I come back to. Trusting and knowing that no matter what, I have a peace with me that the world doesn’t offer. Knowing I will likely fail again and again but I am loved and forgiven. Reckless faith. Releasing my hands of their grip and submitting to Him and His will. Most likely failing at that, too.
“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalms 143:10“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
SM: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17 CSB). It is Him who has gifted me and Him who has strengthened me—the beauty and the glory in this chaos, goes to Him.
Chelsea took all the photos in this blog as well as the beautiful photos at our launch party! Read more about her and her business below!