photo credit Kimberlin Dawn

photo credit Kimberlin Dawn

It all started when...

My baby boy arrived 10 weeks early. He would spend his first 2 1/2 years in a hospital. I was a designer when he was born, but soon realized my normal would become morning rounds with doctors and learning to pronounce things I had never heard of. My new normal became Carter. 

When our hospital stays became shorter, my desire to be creative again began to grow. We had been 2000 miles away from our family for a long time and taking pictures of my son and posting them on a simple blog was the only way to keep everyone up to date... there was no facebook, no instagram back then. gosh, the "world wide web" was still new! 

We had hard days and I quickly realized those snapshots of my baby might someday be my only memory of him. Photography as a whole took on a whole new meaning. How could I capture him, his days, his disease. How could I make those days last forever. with a camera, that's how. 

When carter and I returned to dallas, I knew God had begun to grow a new talent in me. A talent I could use to create treasures for other families. A talent that could help me contribute to my family. 

and so... chelle cates photography was born. 

And now years into this adventure, I can't imagine not being a photographer... it's my new normal. 

A few more personal tidbits... I grew up in Longview. beautiful East Texas, the piney woods. I graduated from Baylor University in 1998 with a degree in psychology and engaged to my college sweetheart. Sean and I moved to Chicago to pursue his career, then on to Park City, Utah and back to our beloved Dallas. Sean and I were married at the Robert & Elizabeth Barrett Browning Museum on the Baylor campus in 2000. It holds the largest collection of their poetry in the world. My one and only baby boy was born in 2007. My little miracle, Carter had a 5 organ transplant when he was nine months old. A new stomach, spleen, liver, pancreas and small intestine were his gift of life. 

Not a day shall ever pass without my appreciation for all the Lord has given me. Giving my gifts back to my community is a driving force behind my brand. My husband and I are active volunteers for Donate Life Texas, Make a Wish North Texas, Special Olympics, Best Buddies International, Boston Children's Hospital, Tiny Sparrow Foundation and Now i lay me down to sleep

If i can use my talent to give back, I will. 

I tend to write like I talk... drives my husband crazy! But it's my heart and I hope I haven't lost ya, but instead hope I get to meet you and your family very soon!

for these are your moments... 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Chelle Cates Photography is a Dallas newborn photographer located in Garland, TX. Chelle creates quality timeless images of your children, family portraits, newborn moments and all the days in between. Serving Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Mesquite, Rockwall, Farmers Branch and surrounding communities.