2006 Artistic Guild Photographer of the Year - Chenin Boutwell

Chenin Boutwell, Southern California

About 10 years ago when she was a second-year law student and part-time wedding photographer, Chenin Boutwell of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., was offered a position as a public defender, her dream job. But her heart was in photography. So after finishing law school Boutwell launched her business as a wedding photojournalist, never once regretting it.

Personable and talented, Boutwell keeps a full schedule photographing about 25 weddings a year and teaching workshops to other photographers. Her contemporary style is fun, detailed and emotional, earning her a loyal following, awards and lots of media exposure. Several magazines and two recent wedding books have published her images. In 2006 Boutwell was named AG|WPJA Photographer of the Year and two years later The Knotnamed Boutwell Studio one of the top Southern California wedding studios.

“I am brutal when it comes to editing my own work,” says Boutwell about her continued success. “I am constantly trying to improve and grow as a photographer. I think that desire to always get better keeps me fresh and excited to work.”

Her photographic excellence is also due in part to focus. When photographing a wedding, she says, “I am totally engulfed in the moment.” Boutwell has a knack for simultaneously feeling emotions while translating them into images that can be breathtakingly honest. Afterward she enhances her playful and touching photographs by using a proprietary blend of photo editing techniques she has developed over the years that help set the right tone in every distinct photograph.

– Lorna Gentry / For the Wedding Photojournalist Association