My Hard Hitting Truth

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My Hard Hitting Truth

Last night I had the great fortune of photographing an incredible event put on by Project You. It was an entire event dedicated to the theme of wellness.

Hearing my coach, Samantha Skelly from Hungry for Happiness speak, along with all the other phenomenal women on the panel - Chloe Elgar (Chloe's Countertop), Brooke Yanzi (DANCEPL3Y), Stacy Rae (We Are Lady Alpha), I'm looking at you ladies - was such an honour. Seeing so many women being able to get real, be authentic, and share their stories is what I love and need more of in my life. In order to create more of that in my life, it's important that I take the first step and put myself on the line.

I always strive to have a safe space for my clients to be able to share their truths with me. To open up stories that they've never shared with another soul. Because I have created that, I am able to bring out their beauty in photographs. This isn't simply because they had the time to be pampered with hair and makeup, but because they are comfortable enough to let me show their inner shine in each portrait. But what I need to constantly remind myself is that none of that is possible without me setting the tone first, so set the tone I shall.

From the outside, my life looks pretty darn fantastic. I run a business I love helping women, I have a really cute studio I've made for myself, I'm married to an incredible man, I have amazing friends, I got to travel recently and go to Tony Robbins, I have the cutest bird - ever. The list goes on.

But it's time to get real...

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Day of Love | Vancouver Boudoir Photographer

Day of Love | Vancouver Boudoir Photographer

Ahh, February 14th.

The one day of the year that people shift their focus to love. 

Queue eye roll.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love love. All those feel good feelings that circulate, and get the blood pumping. But the fact of the matter is this:

In order to love another person wholly, we need to first have that for ourself.

Self love is where the real goodness is at. To have compassion, and acceptance of all of our messiness and perceived ‘flaws’. The love we can feel for another person begins and ends with us first. 

So this then begs the question:

What are you doing to love yourself more?

To help out in answering that, I’m really excited to offer this free workbook to you.

I designed the “You Are What You Believe” workbook with the intention of helping set you free from old beliefs that you have. Old beliefs that keep self love at bay. 

So join me and start feeling the love that you really want, by starting inwards first.

Head here to grab your free copy of the workbook!

If you have any questions about anything within it, don’t hesitate even for a second to reach out to me. That’s what I’m here for :) 

XOXO, Chelsey
778-385-2225
info@chelseyluren.com

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Client Testimonial: Alison M - Maternity Glamour Photoshoot Review

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Client Testimonial: Alison M - Maternity Glamour Photoshoot Review

Client Testimonial: Alison M - Maternity Glamour Photoshoot

These new photos bring me to tears because Chelsey has cemented in time an enormously special moment in my life in the most genuine way possible.

I truly can’t say enough about Chelsey but I don’t have to. Let her photograph you, and when you walk out of her studio with a big smile on your face and a newfound confidence, you’ll know for yourself.
— Alison M
Vancouver glamour maternity photoshoot by Chelsey Luren Portraits

Today, I am so grateful, honoured and excited to share with you images from the stunning Alison M's photoshoot.

But rather than explaining in detail how amazing my client Alison and her transformation was, I am going to let her words do that talking instead.

 

Alison M Testimonial:

"I have had the astounding good fortune of being photographed by Chelsey twice now.  Once for boudoir and recently for maternity photos.  Opposite ends of the spectrum but with the same comfort level, ease and fun!  There is truly no comparable experience.

Chelsey is an advocate for body positivity and living her truth and she has this authentic way of bringing out the beauty in you.  As someone who has struggled with weight since high school, it can be a daunting thing to have your photo taken in lingerie while attempting to appear sexy.

When it's Chelsey behind the camera in that situation, any insecurities you may have had when you walked in the door melt away.

Then you get those gorgeous photos to take home and whenever you have a moment of doubt you can look at them and remind yourself "You are beautiful".  

So when I was 7 months pregnant, having dealt with 7 months of "morning" (all day*) sickness and feeling just awful, there was no better person to bring out that beauty in me again.  These new photos bring me to tears because Chelsey has cemented in time an enormously special moment in my life in the most genuine way possible. 

I truly can't say enough about Chelsey but I don't have to.  Let her photograph you, and when you walk out of her studio with a big smile on your face and a newfound confidence, you'll know for yourself."

When it’s Chelsey behind the camera... any insecurities you may have had when you walked in the door melt away.
— Alison M
 

Thank you so much Alison.

For allowing me to capture your beauty.
For allowing me to take you on a journey of transformation into self love.
For sharing your incredibly kind words about your own personal experience.
For straight up being a rockstar. 

 

If you are currently looking to capture your pregnancy in the most beautiful ways possible, I would love to help capture this amazing time in your life through portraiture.

Email me to book your free consultation now. I look forward to hearing from you!

XOXO, Chelsey

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5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence

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5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence

"5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence" by Chelsey Luren Portraits

Over the past few months, I have spent a significant portion of time writing. I set out with the intention of creating amazing and helpful content to aid you in moving further in your journey to self love. 

Many a sleepless night, and countless edits later, and I finally have something to share with you all that I wholeheartedly feel is incredible.

“What is done in love is done well” - Vincent Van Gogh

And so today I bring to you my eBook, “5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence”

By pouring my heart and soul into creating this eBook, I aim to reach those who are still in a state of hating the skin they’re in.

I want to help you heal it because that is a place I lived in for so long.

As a woman who lived in the hell that is an eating disorder, I’m well versed in being at war with myself, and my body. I am so familiar to the cold sweat of guilt after enjoying a meal that “should” be off limits. I understand how it feels to believe I could never possibly measure up to those around me. 

I also know what it’s like to finally leave that place.

It’s from that journey I took myself on that I was able to create this free eBook and extend it to you all today. 

I truly feel is a gift to those who are looking to shift away from self hate and get into body acceptance.

In 5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence you’ll discover:

  • Who I am to have any credibility about body positivity development

  • What having compassion for yourself can do for you and how to get there 

  • How to learn to have acceptance of your body

  • Why comparison is destroying your confidence

  • The reasons why self care is not selfish

  • How these principals can be applied to your portrait photoshoot 

5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence” is not simply a logic based to do list with surface-level advice. I dive deep with you. 

By delving deeper than logic and connecting with your emotions, you can get aligned for transformation, and learn how to be in the state of body confidence you deserve.

Confidence and feeling good in our skin is innate. Every human is born feeling amazing exactly as they are. We have no concept that there could possibly even be something “wrong” with our bodies - that is, until we’re told otherwise.

As we age, there are countless messages; both directly and indirectly, thrown at us that we are inadequate in some fashion.

Let me help you get connected with the body confidence that you lost along the way.  

what is done in love is done well vincent van gogh chelsey luren portraits vancouver photographer

 

I am so excited to be able to share this with all of you today. Sign up to get your free copy here!

Do you know someone who would benefit from this eBook? Please send them here so that they can sign up to download their very own copy.

I would love to hear from you about all what you took away from “5 Ways to Boost Body Confidence”.  Please leave me a comment here or send me an email directly!

XOXO, Chelsey

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Dedicated to Lara - Wife, Mother, Breast Cancer Survivor.

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Dedicated to Lara - Wife, Mother, Breast Cancer Survivor.

Dedicated to Lara - Wife, Mother, Survivor.

Today I write to you all about Lara.

She is a wife, a mother of three boys, and someone that I am grateful to call a near and dear friend.

In the fall of 2014, Lara was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy began without delay and a lumpectomy shortly took place after that.

In the spring that followed, she was scheduled to undergo a double mastectomy. 

Knowing this, one day when we were hanging out I offered, “If you’re interested, I’d love to photograph you”. 

At first she turned me down. But soon before she was scheduled for her surgery, she changed her mind. 

T-minus 3 days to the surgery, we had her photoshoot and I took these beautiful glamour portraits of her. 

Chelsey Luren Portraits | Vancouver Breast Cancer Survivor Portrait Session - Lara D Photoshoot

To see someone who is going through chemo, radiation, surgeries and the overall trauma of a experiencing a life threatening illness; all while maintaining their determination, optimism and sense of humour, is a testament of her strength of character.  

These portraits are ones that her family will cherish for the rest of their lives. I am so honoured to have had the privilege of being able to photograph Lara.

Chelsey Luren Portraits | Vancouver Breast Cancer Survivor Portrait Session - Lara D Photoshoot

To end this post on an even more wonderful note, I am happy to say that after numerous rounds of chemo and radiation later, she is now in remission.

Thank you goes to Lindsay MacLean for doing such a wonderful job on Lara’s makeup and helping her to feel amazing.

Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. If you, or one of your loved ones have been going through similar treatments, I would love to photograph you. 

Email me at info@chelseyluren or phone 778-385-2225 to book your free consultation. 

XOXO, Chelsey

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Eating Disorder Recovery Photoshoot - Lauren Bersaglio of Libero Magazine

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Eating Disorder Recovery Photoshoot - Lauren Bersaglio of Libero Magazine

Eating Disorder Recovery Photoshoot |
Lauren Bersaglio of Libero Magazine Review

Of all mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality

As someone who is a survivor after a decade long struggle, it has become my passion and mission in life to photograph and empower women who have experienced eating disorders.

I know firsthand how much a portrait photoshoot can impact your body image and self esteem while going through the recovery process. It is also through my Recovery Sessions that I am able to help lower the stigma and shame that goes hand in hand with eating disorders

Today actually marks the 6th year of my own recovery from anorexia.

There is no way that is more fitting to celebrate that, than sharing the story of one of the amazing women I have photographed on her own recovery journey. 

I am incredibly honoured to share with you all my interview with the absolutely gorgeous Lauren Bersaglio and a few of her session images.

Lauren is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Libero Magazine, a non-profit organization that is focused on providing resources to men and women who are living with eating disorders and other mental health issues.

Thank you so much Lauren for being so candid and open in sharing with us all a part of your story!


Chelsey Luren Portraits: Can you tell us a bit about your ED history? 

Lauren Bersaglio: I developed an eating disorder in my late high school years. I struggled with a combination of Anorexia, Bulimia, Orthorexia, and exercise addiction. Most people thought my eating disorder spawned from the fact I didn’t like my body; however, this was not the case. There was a much deeper issue at play: I didn’t like myself and obsessing over my body was the best distraction and coping mechanism I could find for my depression and lack of self-worth.

CLP: What was the turning point in your choosing recovery - what made you decide that you wanted recovery?

LB: The longer I waited to get help, the deeper I fell and the more my eating disorder struggles consumed me. It got to the point where I was living but not thriving. I fell deeper into depression and became suicidal. One day I faced a turning point. A mentor of mine called it a crossroads. I had to decide: “To be, or not to be.” I gave it a lot of thought and ultimately decided I wanted to be. I wanted to be alive, to thrive, and to live. I realized then that my eating disorder behaviors were counter-productive to this goal. They were slowly killing me. It was then I decided to get help and enter into recovery. 

 

What Eating Disorder Recovery Means Vancouver portrait photographer Chelsey Luren Portraits and Libero Network

CLP: Is there one word that represents what eating disorder recovery means to you?

LB: FREEDOM! (aka Libero!)

Oh this note, my favorite quote of all time comes from author Anne Lamott: 

“Only freedom from fears, freedom from lies, can make us beautiful, and keep us safe.”

CLP: What are you most proud of in your recovery journey?

LB: I am most proud of my ability to see the path I was headed down and decide I wanted more for myself and for my life. I am also really proud I was able to take something that was so negative in my life (my eating disorder struggles) and turn it into something positive by sharing my story with others, and ultimately starting Libero Magazine so others could also have a voice and experience freedom for themselves.

Eating disorder recovery photo shoots in Vancouver, Canada

Eating disorder recovery photo shoots in Vancouver, Canada

CLP: What is the best recovery advice you have ever received?

LB: “Use reason.” As a reason and logic-driven individual, I’ve found attacking negative thoughts and compulsive, unhealthy behaviors with reason to be highly effective. The concept is closely related to DBT techniques. Whenever my mind is headed in an unhealthy direction, I step back and use reason to steer myself back onto a healthier path. Examples can be: “Will binging really make me feel less lonely? The obvious answer is no, but calling up a friend will, so that’s a better solution.” “If I engage in this activity, I know I am only going to feel worse, not better, and therefore it is not worth allowing my thoughts to even be tempted to go there.” This has worked for me on many occasions and ultimately helped me overcome addictive and compulsive behaviors. 

CLP: Do you have a go-to self care activity?

LB: Pilates, writing, spending time with my furbaby Zoey, and playing Nintendo. 

Celebrate your eating disorder recovery with a Chelsey Luren Portraits photoshoot

Celebrate your eating disorder recovery with a Chelsey Luren Portraits photoshoot

CLP: What made you decide to do a boudoir session?

LB: I spent so many years ashamed of my body and afraid of being in front of the camera. The idea of doing a boudoir session was both frightening and exhilarating. I’ve always loved lingerie from a fashion perspective and boudoir, to me, is about loving and honoring your body and not feeling shame over it. Having a boudoir shoot gave me the opportunity to celebrate not only my recovery, but myself. 

CLP: How did a boudoir session change/shift your body image or perception of self?

LB: I learned a lot through doing this photo shoot. I was able to see how far I’ve come (there was a time where I’d shy away from any cameras) and also to practice positive affirmations. This was the first official photo shoot I’ve ever done, and obviously I was nervous and not very natural. Having someone there with me to coach me through and help me discover the things I love about myself and discover how to interpret those things to the camera was empowering. 

There were also things about the photo shoot that pointed to some wounds that still haven’t healed. This, for me, was a reminder that loving your body (and yourself) is an ongoing process. Rather than being something we “learn” to do; I see loving your body as something you choose to do every single day. 

Lauren Bersaglio Libero Network and Chelsey Luren Portraits Eating Disorder recovery photoshoot

CLP: Would you recommend a boudoir session for anybody else who is recovering from an eating disorder?

LB: Having a boudoir photoshoot is empowering and exciting. However, it also can be triggering. It’s all about knowing where you are at in your recovery and deciding what is best for you at this time. For me, this was the right timing; however, if you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have said the timing was wrong. It’s not simply a matter of “if” a session is right for you, but also a matter of “when” and that’s something only you can know for yourself. 

CLP: Do you have any other thoughts about your boudoir session that you would like to share?

LB: Choose good music that makes you feel empowered and reminds you of your own inner strength. For me this meant Christina Aguilera “Stripped” on a constant loop (sorry, Chelsey! *wink*)


My heart is so full of gratitude for being able to work alongside such amazing women. The stories of others who have gone through their recovery journey is a testament to their strength of character and ability to overcome.

Thank you Lauren for having come forward with your story. I am so honoured to be able to know you and to be able to share it with my audience here.

If you yourself are on your going through your recovery journey, I would love to photograph you. A Recovery Session is the perfect way to celebrate your own accomplishments and hard work. 

Email me (info@chelseyluren.com) or give me a call (778-385-2225) to book your free consultation.

XOXO, Chelsey

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Mothers, Exist in Photographs | Chelsey Luren Portraits

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Mothers, Exist in Photographs | Chelsey Luren Portraits

Mothers, Exist in Photographs | Video Blog

One day, your children will go to look for photographs of you, what will they find?

I recently sat down and came to the realization that I myself had NO portraits of my mother. Sure, there was the odd photo of her here and there over the past 30 years or so. But no portrait that was a true reflection of who she is.

This was distressing, not simply because I am the portrait photographer of Chelsey Luren Portraits, but because she is my mother.

vancouver portrait photographer call to mothers

 

The woman who raised me; who bandaged my skinned knees, helped with my science fair projects, and who helped to shape me into the person I am today, does not exist in photographs. 

Upon realizing this, I gave her a call and (much to her dismay) told her that she could not put it off any longer and booked her in for a portrait photoshoot session at my Vancouver studio.

For as long as I can recall, my mother has been firmly planted in hating every photograph that has ever been taken of herself. The belief that she is not photogenic is one that she deeply engrained upon herself, and one that I grew ever more determined to shift.

As a contemporary portrait photographer, a body positivity activist and her daughter, I felt it was my mission to alter her perspective.

Body positivity celebrates moms - Vancouver glamour and boudoir portrait photographer Chelsey Luren Portraits

Thankfully, I know something with 100% certainty. And that is this: There is no such thing as photogenic. It does not exist. It is not some magical gift you're born with.

Looking good in front of the camera has EVERYTHING to do with how comfortable you are. And that is my job. I coach every single person who steps foot in front of my camera through their entire portrait photo shoot. I direct you every step of the way so that you are comfortable and can have the best photograph you've ever seen of yourself. 

I know this because I have seen it hundreds of times in the women I have photographed.

I am so proud to say that I was able to shift my mom’s belief and she now has beautiful photographs of herself. Images that she and our entire family will love for generations to come.

You deserve to exist in photographs. For yourself, for your children and those you hold dear. I would love to photograph you to not only to capture your beauty but to celebrate your relationships. 

One day, your children will go to look for photographs of you, what will they find?

XOXO, Chelsey

Inquiries and Bookings:
778-385-2225 | info@chelseyluren.com

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