Hi there! I’m Chantelle! I opened a small in - home studio in north western Iowa a bit over 2 years ago. Although, I’ve been photographing my family for years and years for fun and mostly, for me, I’ve only been a “professional” since then. It was a giant leap of faith - being new to the area after moving from our home, knowing no one, having to learn everything about - well, everything AND building a business... It's been an adventure, for sure. But, one I'm so glad I took! I'm abundantly thankful to get to do something I love. Photography is like therapy to me. Shooting, editing, creating – it all relaxes me into a peaceful, happy place. And it only took me 40+ years to find it! Who knew?! ;)
Although I love all my sessions for different reasons, I’d have to say children – from newborn all the way up to seniors - are my favorites. I get to experience over and over again the innocence of the littlest of us, a mommy, daddy and their new addition's first “family portrait." A 6-months-old's smiles and laughter at just about everything, a one-year-old’s tenacity at finding the toys hidden away for bribes in my studio (they always just KNOW!), watching a shy, introverted 12-year-old emerge into the beauty she is, right in front of the camera. And then, the seniors – sometimes, full of attitude and spunk, sometimes nervous and apprehensive, but always, ALWAYS FUN!
I like to keep things light, relaxed. I laugh A LOT. I grew up in Texas – I adore “laid back”. I think my clients do, too. Candids are my favorite! Emotional moments make me swoon (pretty sure they do that to everyone else, too!). I love catching subtle connections between family members - be it a smirk or a grin :), wonder in a little one’s eyes, pride in giant accomplishments, and oh, sleeping babies - be still my heart.
I love photography for many reasons, but obviously, and mostly, for the preservation of memories. My grandfather passed away this last year. In the days following, while we were all making arrangements, his laughter, his joy, the exuberance in his young life, the pride in his family, his farm and his military days, it could all still be seen and felt in his pictures, bringing US joy and laughter, exuberance and pride. (A little teary just thinking about and writing it.) I'm so thankful for those images, I can't even tell you. They told stories I'd never heard before and reminded me of the days I loved with him. When I look at my boys as infants hanging on my walls (now ages 14 and 22), I can still smell their hair and remember kissing their soft little blonde heads. What a blessing to be able to give the same to others. I LOVE my job. I'm a (thankful, proud, so blessed) photographer. <3
COMPANY: Touched By Grace Photography/Chantelle Heiskell Photography