Chelsea Haworth is a highly sought after and incredibly talented multi award winning pregnancy, newborn and family portrait photographer and artist based in Swanson, West Auckland. Accredited Associate NZIPP member and trained in safety, Chelsea specialises in maternity, newborn and family portraits. You can see with her work the passion she has for beautiful maternity portraits, how much she adores newborn babies, and how well she interacts with families. We spoke to Chelsea to learn more about how she got started.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I have always been a creative person, in all forms, and I have always loved photography. As a baby my mother was a wedding photographer who developed her own prints in her very own darkroom at her home. The smells of a darkroom still bring back wonderful memories for me!
Although I painted throughout most of my childhood and school life, it was photography that really inspired me, and I was determined to get into the two-year course at my high school when I was 13 (which wasn’t available until the last two years of high school, but I had a long-term plan!). After high school I went on to study Business Marketing and Health Psychology at university, where I obtained an award in marketing for creativity and had a passion for understanding people.
A few years into my study, my husband and I got married and decided to start our family, which brought us our first beautiful boy Levi – who is the reason I got into my current genre of photography. He inspired me every day to learn photography and I fell in love with pregnancy and newborn photography very quickly. I have now been in business for more than six years, and we have our second gorgeous boy Reuben who is turning four soon. My clients and family inspire me everyday, and they push me to always learn more and develop my skill set further.
Working for myself was always my goal, so that I could have more freedom at home and to be with my family. Creating this business meant not only that I could be home with my children, but my husband could also work with me and be around too! We love being creative and we love working together. I couldn’t think of a better dream job for myself, and it has given us the freedom to pursue other goals we have in our personal lives as well.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
In the beginning I photographed my then-newborn son Levi, and a few friends’ children/babies, as well as a few new friends’ pregnant bellies. Through photographing them I discovered how much I loved photographing people and creating beautiful memories for myself and them. I pushed myself hard to learn as much as I could and fast, I am constantly attempting to be better than I was yesterday and to improve myself. Starting a new business with a newborn is hard work, and can really take a toll on you physically and mentally, but I am so proud of what we have achieved so far and what we plan to achieve in the future.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough for me was probably doing maternity photography and using fabric. Although I quickly moved on to using gowns, in the beginning I used fabric to create the looks I love to create. The movement of the fabric was inspiring and so beautiful to me and it created the emotions that you can’t always see physically in an image, and made them visible. In the early days I designed my own gowns, and called the business Bambinibabe, but it proved difficult to run both a photography business and gown business at the same time and was taking up too much of my time. So I had to choose, and I chose my passion which was photography. I love gowns, and I have so many ideas that I share with my designers and create new looks, but photography is my passion because of the memories I get to create and the art that is forever immortalized in each portrait. Some of my inspirations come from ancient painting, and I would love to have my own art viewed in that same light, where the audience appreciated the form and emotions captured in that portrait and what it communicates with the world.