Sunday, December 23, 2012

Meet the "Boudoir Team!"

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am not only pleased to announce that Courtney Bell Photography will now be holding bi-monthly Boudoir Day events, but I am also excited to introduce to you my professional hair and makeup artists, Miss Sarah Nenni and Miss Stacy Lee Elwood!

Miss Sarah Nenni
In addition to being a fantastic hair stylist, colorist, and extensionista, Sarah Nenni and I have been good friends for about 20 years (yeesh!).  Sarah lives in the Huntington area and has been doing hair professionally for over eleven years. She has trained in Columbus, Indiana, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Miami, and she currently works at Mirror, Mirror Salon in Barboursville.   Sarah has been the official hair stylist for Courtney Bell Photography ever since my first Boudoir Day event in 2009.  Not only does she consistently give my clients gorgeous, sexy hair, but she has the uncanny ability to put even the most nervous clients at ease with her crazy sense of humor.  Sarah is also no stranger to modeling, herself, and has utilized her experience to assist me on several boudoir shoots.

Miss Stacy Lee Elwood
The newest member of my "Boudoir Team" is makeup artist, Stacy Lee Elwood.  At a young age, Stacy became interested in makeup as a natural extension of her love of drawing and painting.  Stacy worked as a professional makeup artist for MAC for three years, where she trained with some of the best and most well-known artists.  She has also done makeup for runway shows, weddings, proms, and other special events for over six years.  Stacy currently works as a nurse at St. Mary's, but her passion for transforming women and making them feel beautiful through makeup continues, and she is very excited to be able to provide her professional makeup services for Courtney Bell Photography.

Yesterday, Sarah and Stacy worked their magic for two Boudoir models.  One of the models is my friend and next door neighbor, and the other is a new friend and newlywed, who's wedding I photographed back in June.  I asked these girls to model for me so I could test out a couple of new backdrops, which I recently purchased specifically for boudoir, to have some new boudoir photos to display on my website, which I am currently redesigning (coming soon!), and to showcase their photos at the upcoming Bridal Expo (January 27, 2013).

I felt the best way to illustrate Sarah and Stacy's amazing hair and makeup skills was to shoot "Before and After" photos.  Therefore, I photographed the models as soon as they arrived at my studio yesterday, wearing their hair and makeup just as they typically do on a day-to-day basis.  As you can see in their "After" photos, both girls transformed beautifully and easily into sweet and sexy sirens!

Sassy, vamped-up "Before and After"

Sweet and sexy, bridal "Before and After"

I had SUCH a great time photographing these girls and working with Sarah and Stacy yesterday!  There were a lot of laughs, and both models sent me nice "thank you" texts last night telling me how excited they are about their photos.

As mentioned above, I am currently redesigning my website, which will feature a Boudoir gallery with complete pricing information.  The website will hopefully go live before the end of the year.  In the meantime, be sure to check out my Facebook page to see more photos from these girls' photo sessions, as well as several other examples of my style of boudoir photography.

Also, don't forget that Courtney Bell Photography will now be holding Boudoir Day events on the first and third Sunday of every month!  There are only five appointment times available for each event, and the first official Boudoir Day of 2013 is going to be held on January 6.  So, be sure to schedule your appointment as early as possible!  You can either email me at or call (304) 522-7747.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Big Boudoir Announcement!

As 2012 officially comes to a close, I have to say that I am really looking forward to 2013 because I’ve got a couple of big announcements to make! Unfortunately, one of those announcements will have to wait until after the beginning of the year (sorry!), but I am very excited to be able to make the other announcement today.

Beginning January 6, 2013, I will be holding regular bi-monthly Boudoir Day events on the first and third Sunday of EVERY month! This means that I will be dedicating these particular Sundays exclusively to photographing Boudoir sessions, AND these are the only two days per month that on-site professional hair and makeup services will be available at my studio for your convenience. If you are not able to schedule your appointment on the first or third Sunday of any month, or if you do not wish to have professional hair and makeup services, never fear! You may still book a private Boudoir session on any day of the week or on a different weekend, as long as my schedule permits.

I am also pleased to announce that the professional hair and makeup artists who will be working with me next year are Sarah Nenni and Stacy Lee Elwood! I will be introducing these lovely ladies more formally in the near future, complete with “Before” and “After” photos from a couple of Boudoir sessions that I am shooting this weekend. So, be sure to stay tuned to learn more about Sarah and Stacy and to see actual examples of their fabulous work in a future blog.

In the meantime, as mentioned above, the first Boudoir Day event of the year is going to be on January 6, 2012, followed by another on January 20, 2012. The sitting fee is $200 and includes the following:
  • Private studio photo session with Courtney Bell (up to 2 hours of photography )
  • Up to 3 different outfits
  • Bring any props you’d like to give your photos that extra personal touch, or choose from a selection of props and/or furniture at the studio
  • All images professionally edited and re-touched, according to YOUR specifications, exclusively by Courtney Bell (no one else will see your images)
  • Your 20 final images will be posted in a password-protected online gallery, from which you may order prints directly
  • Seven of your favorite, full-resolution images will be given to you on a disc or emailed directly to you ($20 for each additional image. Copyright release available for an additional $100.)
There will only be five appointment times available for each Boudoir Day, so please try to book your appointment as early as possible. In order to reserve your appointment time, a non-refundable deposit of $50 will need to be made at the time of booking. The balance of $150 will be due on the day of your photo session.

*Please note that professional hair and makeup services ARE NOT INCLUDED in your sitting fee, and you will need to pay Sarah and Stacy for their services separately ($25 each) on the day of your session.

I also offer Boudoir Parties at a discounted rate if you are able to bring 3 or more of your girlfriends with you on any day of the week other than one of the regularly scheduled Boudoir Days. (Please click here for details.) If you and your girlfriends would also like on-site professional hair and makeup services for your Boudoir Party, please try to schedule least three weeks in advance in order to allow Sarah and Stacy time to adjust their schedules accordingly.

Call or email today to reserve your appointment time for Boudoir Day, 1/6/12! The best way to reach me is by email at, but you may also call (304) 522-7747 (Monday through Friday after 7:00 p.m., or on the weekends is best).

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Very Important Piece of Advice for Those Who are Shopping for a Wedding Photographer

Wow! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve updated this blog. Well, just to fill everyone in, I have had a really rough summer due to the traumatic losses of two of my beloved canine daughters, Lexie and Jocie. (Here is Lexie’s Story.) However, as usual, life continues to go on, and I’m trying to stay positive by focusing on my 11 year-old hound dog, Sam, and my new Doberman puppy, Margot.  I am also very much looking forward to the year ahead in terms of my photography business, as I’ve already started booking weddings for 2013, and which brings me to the main purpose of this blog entry today.

It is very common for engaged couples to meet with several wedding photographers before making their final decision, which is very smart! After all, choosing your wedding photographer is a BIG decision, and the only way to be certain that you’ve chosen the right one for you is to compare the work of several different photographers.  So, for those of you who are currently shopping around for a wedding photographer, I would like to offer a very wise piece of advice: When interviewing a photographer and looking through his/her work, ALWAYS ASK IF YOU CAN SEE A FULL WEDDING THAT THEY HAVE SHOT RECENTLY!

The reason why I say this is because all wedding photographers, including myself, have an album full of our “greatest hits,” which showcases some of our favorite wedding photographs from various weddings we’ve shot over the years. While this album is very helpful for showing potential clients what we are capable of as photographers, you cannot really gain a full understanding of a photographer’s “vision” unless you see a full wedding that they have shot from beginning to end. For example, while looking through a photographer’s sample album, you may see a beautiful close-up shot of a bride and groom during their wedding ceremony and think, “Wow! This photographer is really good!” However, because you were only able to see that one photo, you may be completely unaware that all of the photos from that particular ceremony were actually shot from the same spot and with the same close-up lens, with very little to no variety.

In addition to making sure that 100% of your wedding photographer’s photos are just as impressive as the ones they choose to display in their sample album, another reason for asking to see a full wedding is because I feel that it is very important for clients and wedding photographers to be on the same page from the very beginning, in terms of what types of photos are expected of that photographer. This is why I always volunteer to show my potential clients a complete wedding that I’ve shot recently, and why I’ve also decided to share one such wedding with you right here on this blog (with my clients’ permission, of course!).

To view the complete wedding of Gregory and Teah House, please click here, and then enter the password “teahgreg.” I hope you enjoy looking through all of the photos from this gorgeous wedding day as much as I enjoyed taking them! And thank you, Teah and Greg, for allowing me to share your online photo gallery with others. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Birthday Offering to You!

I will be turning 35 this month, so I've decided to offset the depression (kidding) by being a little generous. In fact, this is the BIGGEST discount I've ever offered on any of my wedding packages! During the month of April, you may:

take 35% off the Divine Wedding Package


add a disc with copyright release to the Lovely or Exquisite Packages for

This discount only applies to weddings booked before April 30, 2012, so call today to take advantage of this VERY special offer! 304-522-7747 (Best time to call is weekdays after 7:00 PM.)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Announcing Boudoir Day, 4/29/12!

Okay, ladies. If you've been thinking about booking a boudoir session, but waiting for just the "right" time to do it, this is the moment you've been waiting for!

Courtney Bell Photography is excited to announce
Boudoir Day, 04/29/12!

This is going to be a day dedicated exclusively to deluxe, all-inclusive, studio boudoir sessions, but at the VERY special price of only $250! Boudoir Day photo sessions will include the following:
  • Professional, on-site hairstyling services
  • Professional, on-site makeup services
  • One hour, PRIVATE photo session in the Courtney Bell Photography studio
  • Up to three different outfits of your choice
  • You are welcome to bring any props you wish in order to give your photos that extra-special, personal touch
  • A password-protected, online photo gallery so you can view your proofs and order prints discretely
  • A disc of full-resolution images and a copyright release statement!!!! ($100 value)
There will be five appointments available on Sunday, April 29, 2012. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to reserve your time slot, with the balance of $150 due the day of your shoot. You should allow yourself up to three hours for hair, makeup, and photography.

This is the first time a Boudoir Day special has been offered since 2009, so you definitely don't want to miss out on this rare opportunity! Call today to reserve your Boudoir Day appointment while they last!

Courtney Bell Photography
(304) 522-7747
(The best time to call is weekdays after 7:00 PM.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

For a Limited Time Only: 20% off Divine and Exquisite Packages!

The 2012 WKEE Bridal Expo is taking place today, January 22, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. I'm sad that I'm unable to attend, as I have participated in this fun event for the last several years, but I have decided to carry on my tradition of offering a special on the Divine and Exquisite wedding packages during the week of the Expo!
That's right, beginning today, if you book either the Divine or Exquisite wedding package during the month of January, 2012, you will receive 20% off the package price. That's up to $500 in savings! This offer ends on January 31, 2012, so don't miss this opportunity to save! (Offer excludes the Lovely package.)

Full wedding package details can be found here, and don't forget to read my recent blog for details regarding my new payment policy. Call today to schedule a consultation and/or book your wedding with Courtney Bell Photography! (304) 522-7747 (Weekdays after 7PM is the best time to call.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Wedding Packages

Dear Newlyweds-To-Be:

After listening to my clients' concerns, wants, and needs, and also learning from my own experiences as a professional wedding photographer over the past eight years, I am very excited to announce that I am implementing some new policies in order to better serve my clients in 2012!

Customer satisfaction has always been my top priority. However, because I am a "one-woman show" and handle every aspect of this business myself (photography, editing, scheduling appointments, processing orders, etc.), I have learned the hard way that it is possible to spread myself too thin. It is for this reason that I recently made the decision to dedicate my business exclusively to wedding and boudoir photography. Furthermore, beginning in 2012, I have decided to limit the number of weddings booked to only two or three per month, depending upon the month. This will allow for more editing time between weddings and, hopefully, improved turn-around time for my clients.

Unfortunately, not all problems have such obvious solutions. Perhaps the biggest threat to maintaining customer satisfaction for me is the sheer unpredictability of life, which is, unfortunately, a factor that is impossible to eliminate or control. Although rare, there have been a few instances over the past eight years when personal circumstances have regrettably caused delays in my ability to deliver to my clients their purchased items in a more timely manner. However, because I am unable to predict when or if other such circumstances may occur in the future, I am also unable to guarantee a certain date by which my clients will receive all of their wedding package items (wedding albums, prints, CD-Rom, etc.). It is for this reason I am implementing a new payment policy for my 2012 wedding photography packages, which I believe will give my clients better peace of mind in this regard, as well as make the wedding packages more affordable. The new payment policy is as follows:

In order to book your wedding date, a non-refundable deposit of 30% of the wedding package price is due at the time of booking. However, I am now only requiring 40% of the package price be due one week before your wedding date, as opposed to the entire balance paid in full. The final remaining balance of 30% will then be due upon the receipt of your purchased wedding package items (wedding albums, prints, CD-Rom, etc.).*

Furthermore, if after six months you have not yet received the above-mentioned wedding photography package items, your balance due upon receipt of the items will be reduced from 30% to 20%. If after nine months you still have not received your purchased items, the balance due upon receipt will be reduced to only 10%. Finally, if you have not received your purchased wedding package items one year after your wedding date, the balance due upon receipt will be completely eliminated.*

*These new policies are not retroactive and apply ONLY to wedding packages booked during 2012. If you are getting married in 2012, but booked your wedding in 2011, then these policies do not apply, unless otherwise specified.

Please remember that such extended delays are not typical. Typically, clients will be able to see all of their fully edited wedding photos in a password-protected online gallery within 4-6 weeks from their wedding date. At that point, the wedding prints, album, etc. will be ordered and then prepared by me for final delivery to the clients. Final delivery times vary depending upon the printing time at the photo lab, supply and printing time with the wedding album supplier (for personalized album covers), as well as the shipping time for those items. However, it is uncommon for the final delivery of all items to take longer than six months from the wedding date.

I am very excited to begin the 2012 wedding season, as several weddings have already been booked! (Full wedding package details can be found here.) As mentioned above, wedding date availability is more limited this year, so don't put off booking your wedding with Courtney Bell Photography until it's too late! You can reach me either at my new email address,, or at (304) 522-7747 (weekdays after 7:00 PM is the best time to reach me).