Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dear Friends and Potential Clients...

I am aware that many of you have been or may have been trying to contact me via email and telephone, but I have been unavailable for quite some time. While I am not usually one to air dirty laundry in such a public forum, this has already been in the Herald-Dispatch and on the local news, plus I feel those of you who have not heard what has happened recently deserve an explanation for my sudden absence, so here it goes:

On August 17, 2009, my husband, whom I had been separated from for only a short time, came to my home and took his own life in my living room. I am leaving out many, many details, of course, including events that lead up to this, but the bottom line is that I have not been in my home or had access to my computer for a very long time. I have also not checked my voice mails because I know there are messages from him on there that I'm not sure I am ready to listen to yet.

I am simply being as honest as possible by telling you that, yes, I am EXTREMELY behind in my photo editing, to the point where I cannot even begin to tell you what my turn-around time is currently. I have had many wonderful, thoughful offers from other local photographers to try to help get me caught up in that regard, but I feel that the editing process is creatively just as important as the shooting process and, therefore, I still prefer to do all of my editing myself. They just would not feel like "my" photographs otherwise. I am also adamant about continuing to take my time while editing and not rushing through the process simply to try to get myself caught up as quickly as possible.

Most of my existing clients have been extremely patient and understanding with me about this and I honestly cannot thank you enough. For those of you upset about having to wait for such a long time to see your photos, I cannot blame you. I would be upset as well. All I can tell you is that I am struggling daily just to re-establish a normal routine and get through each day, let alone get caught up with editing without compromising the quality of my work. If there is a compromise you would like to try to reach in order to receive your photos sooner, even if it means they are not completely edited, I am open to any suggestions you may have. The best way to reach me right now is at the following email address: My computer was recently recovered from my home and I am now able to access my email account.

Again, thank you all for being so very patient with me during this extremely difficult time. For those of you who have sent me cards and well wishes, I want you to know that your love and support are really what has helped get me through this. I am confident that I will eventually be completely back into the swing of things and able to put all of this behind me. Until then, I cannot apologize enough for the extended delays you have all had to endure. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your photos.


Courtney Bell

Monday, July 6, 2009

Help Make Bombshell Sarah a COVER GIRL!

A few months ago I posted a blog asking for your help in voting for Bombshell Sarah, who is a good friend that I grew up with, to become Miss July in the 2010 Kitten Koffin Zombies pin-up calendar. We were so thrilled when Sarah won and gave all the credit to those of you who were so supportive and voted each day.

Well, it looks like we need your help and support one more time. Sarah is now in the running to be on the COVER of next year's calendar, but she is running against the eleven other GORGEOUS pin-up girls who were chosen to represent their respective months. So she REALLY needs you to vote at least once every 24 hours per registered email account (more registered email accounts = more votes per day!). The more people you encourage to vote for her, of course, the better, so please tell all your friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, and even random strangers to VOTE FOR BOMBSHELL SARAH!!!!!!

To register to vote (if you haven't already), click here. After you have entered an email address and password, you then have to confirm your registration by clicking on a link sent to that email address. Once you've done that, you're good to go!

This is already proving to be a very difficult race, so Sarah really needs all the help she can get! Please remember to vote every day between now and July 18th, and don't forget to spread the word!

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FREE Bridal Fair at Huntington's Newest Venue!

Courtney Bell Photography is pleased to be participating in a FREE Bridal Fair this Sunday, June 28, 2009, at The Huntington House on the corner of 6th Avenue and 14th Street.

The Huntington House is an exciting new wedding/party venue in downtown Huntington. This beautiful historic Victorian home was built in 1888 by Delos Emmons for Collis P. Huntington and the Central Land Company. The Stafford Family recently purchased this home with the intention to share its beauty as an elegant party location.

If you are currently looking for a beautiful venue for an upcoming party or event, or if you are currently engaged (or plan to be in the near future), this will be the perfect opportunity for you to come check out The Huntington House and also meet with me to discuss your photography needs.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Announcing the Premiere of "Boudoir Day"!!!

I have been working on this for a loooong time, ladies, and now Courtney Bell Photography is finally pleased to announce the premiere of "Boudoir Day"!!! This is a very special event that will be taking place on Saturday, July 25, 2009, which gives you girls plenty of time to plan for this unique, ultra-deluxe boudoir session. Also, because this is the premiere event, "Boudoir Day" is being offered at a VERY low introductory rate (see below). So, if you have ever considered having boudoir photos done as a gift for a loved one or even as a gift to yourself, NOW is the time!

"Boudoir Day" is going to be a day full of boudoir sessions shot entirely on location and will even include professional makeup and hairstyling services! Your total appointment time will be around 3 hours, which includes 1-1/2 hours for hair and makeup and another 1-1/2 hours for your completely private photo session with myself (although you may bring a friend for moral support if you'd like). See below for full details.

Your professional hairstylist for the day will be Miss Sarah Nenni. Sarah lives in the Huntington area and has been doing hair professionally for seven years. She has trained in Columbus, Indiana, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Miami. Sarah also spent four years working for Sexy Hair Concepts as an educator and platform artist. She has taught in-salon classes and stage seminars/shows all over the tri-state, Indiana, and Virginia. In addition to being an expert hair colorist (she is responsible for my own magically delicious red hair!), Sarah has also been doing Great Lengths Extensions for five years. She currently works at Karma Salon in Barboursville and has been there for approximately 5-1/2 years. Sarah is also an aspiring pin-up/retro-style model herself and will be featured in the 2010 Kitten Koffin Zombies pin-up calendar as Miss July!

Your professional makeup artist for the day will be Mrs. Nori Duffee. Nori will be traveling from Bexley, Ohio, which is just outside of Columbus, where she lives with her husband of six years and her two beautiful daughters, ages 2 and 1. Nori has been working as a professional makeup artist for eight years. She works with the prestigious brands Estee Lauder, Stila and Yves Saint Laurent. She has worked and trained with nationally renowned makeup artists for all of these lines. Nori specializes in creating gorgeous looks for weddings, proms and portraits. For your boudoir session, Nori will be using the highest quality, professional makeup palettes available from (Enter the code CBPHOTO to receive a 10% discount off purchases of $20 or more!)

As mentioned above, to celebrate the premiere of "Boudoir Day" this all-inclusive, ultra-deluxe photo session is being offered at the very low introductory rate of only $300.00*!!!! Your session fee includes:
  • 1-1/2 hour private photo session with Courtney Bell shot on-location.
  • Professional hairstyling services by Sarah Nenni.
  • Professional makeup services by Nori Duffee.
  • Three outfit changes.
  • You are also 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 that you may preview your proofs privately.
  • Thirty (30) 4x6 prints presented in a discreet black photo box that are yours to keep!

*A $100.00, non-refundable deposit is required upon scheduling your appointment time for Saturday, July 25, 2009. I also have ONE appointment time available on the morning of Sunday, July 26. (Deposit refunds will ONLY be given in the event that "Boudoir Day" has to be cancelled for any reason by Courtney Bell herself.) The remaining balance of $200.00 will be due at the time of your session.

You may also choose to order a lovely, custom-designed Boudoir Book. These unique coffee table-style books make an excellent gift and are a fantastic way to display your favorite images. A Boudoir Book may be added to your session for only $250.00. (If you prefer, a non-refundable 50% deposit can be made upon ordering, with the remaining balance due upon receipt of the book.)

Session times for "Boudoir Day" are limited and will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, so please be sure to book your session as soon as possible! Deposits can be made by check, cash, or credit card by phone or in the studio.

Remember, the "Boudoir Day" ultra-deluxe photo session will never again be offered at this special introductory rate. So don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity to do something special for your loved one, or even just to feel good about yourself! Call to book your session today! (304) 522-7747

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For All You Facebook Fans

For those of you who are on Facebook, I just found this groovy little application that allows you to follow my blog! Click here to add the application, or simply click on the "widget" in the right hand column of this page. You may want to stay tuned to the blog, too, because I have a pretty exciting announcement/offer to make very soon!

There is also a Courtney Bell Photography group on Facebook, which I update pretty regularly with new photographs and information. Click here to join the CBP group.

And I want to say a quick "thank you", again, to all my Facebook friends who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday yesterday. You guys made my day. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Maternity/Newborn Packages AND Birth Announcements!

* 1-1/2 hour session
* Three outfits
* Twenty 4x6 prints that are yours to keep


* 1-1/2 hour session done in your home
* 30 miles travel
* Three outfits
* Twenty 4x6 prints that are yours to keep

Because they will never be this tiny again, capture your baby's first precious days with a Newborn Portrait session. This includes:
* 1-1/2 hours of photography either at the hospital (within 30 miles of Huntington) or in your own home.
* Your choice of twenty 4x6 prints or a "Baby Parts Collage", which is four 8x10 prints (see sample).


* 1-1/2 hour studio or outdoor maternity sess
ion (add $25.00 for In-Home session) with twenty 4x6 prints that are yours to keep.
* A Newborn photo session either at a local hospital (within 30 miles of Huntington) or in your home with your choice of twenty 4x6 prints OR a "Baby Parts Collage" (four 8x10 prints).
* One pack of original, custom designed, 5x7 folded birth announcements (24 per pack) with envelopes included.

All birth announcements are custom-designed featuring photos from your baby's Newborn portrait session. You will be able to view an online preview of your design for approval before they are printed. All prices include envelopes.
ONE PACK (24 CARDS) - $62.00
TWO PACKS - $110.00
THREE PACKS - $160.00 ($45.00 EA. ADD'L PACK)

(Sample of front and inside of birth announcement.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bombshell Sarah is Miss July, 2010!

A BIG thank you to all of you who voted diligently over the last two weeks to help Bombshell Sarah become Miss July in the 2010 Kitten Koffin Zombies pin-up calendar! I am very excited for her, if you couldn't already tell. HaHa!

Now that she has been chosen to appear in the calendar, Sarah is also in the running to be on the calendar's COVER! How great would that be?!?!? I believe the cover girl voting is in June, but you can rest assured that I will let everyone know for certain when it is time to vote. :)

Thanks, again, for all your support!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

I just wanted to share some of the adorable Easter Bunnies I've had the pleasure of photographing this Spring.

Happy Easter to you and your families!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Your Vote is Needed (and Rewarded)!!!

Some of you may recall a blog I posted not too long ago about a fun pin-up shoot I did at a local tattoo parlor with my good friend, Sarah. Well, after another recent studio session with her I decided to submit some of her photos to the 2010 Kitten Koffin Zombies pin-up calendar contest, and I am pleased to announce that Bombshell Sarah is now in the running to be Miss July!

Sarah is competing against five other pin-up girls and the winner is chosen purely by popular vote. That is why I am asking for your help. Every vote counts!!! The contest starts today, March 30th, and you can vote once every 24 hours until midnight, April 11, 2009.

The KKZ website requires you to register with your email address and a password before you can vote, which we all know is kind of a pain in the butt. So, to make up for the inconvenience, this week I am offering a 10% discount off ANY photo session (excluding Wedding packages) if you mention that you voted for Bombshell Sarah when you schedule your appointment and tell me the name of her closest competition (you are shown the total of votes for each girl after you place your vote)! This offer is only good until April 11, 2009.

So, remember to vote every day, tell your friends, and don't forget to mention you voted for Bombshell Sarah to receive your 10% photo session discount! Your help is much needed and MUCH appreciated.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Introducing Madilyn!

I have been sort of "on call" this week awaiting the arrival of Miss Madilyn Kate, the beautiful new daughter of two awesome former maternity clients, Michelle and Craig. I had mentioned to them during Michelle's maternity session a few months ago that I offer newborn portrait sessions, which can be done either at the hospital or in their home when the baby is only a few days old. Michelle and Craig loved the idea, so when Michelle was scheduled to be induced last Sunday, I got The Call. Finally, Monday night Madilyn Kate was born weighing in at a very healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces!

I couldn't wait to photograph this gorgeous 2 day-old this afternoon. She was simply...amazing. I have never photographed such a young newborn who was so alert and made so much eye contact with me. Some of Michelle and Craig's family members were there during the session and they were not only extremely nice people, but also proved to be a great help with posing and even props!

Thank you Michelle, Craig, Madilyn, and families for this memorable photo session. Madilyn took my breath away, so I can only imagine how you all must be feeling about her. :)

Oh! And p.s., thank you, also, for the delicious cake!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast...

Recently, my friend, Shana, brought her children to the studio for what seems to have become their annual photo session with me. I have known Shana for about seven years (give or take) and so I have watched Auburn and Austin grow from being giggly little kids (as seen in the first photo) to now much cooler teenagers, all through the lens of my camera. I hold a special place in my heart for Auburn and Austin because of the very close relationship I have with my own brother. Like me and Zach, I can tell that these two are not just caring siblings, but even when they were younger they have always been really good friends as well, which is a special bond that only strengthens with time.

I could hardly believe it last December when I found myself photographing Miss Auburn's Sweet 16 party! That little girl I once helped campaign for Miss Sweetheart (or something like that) at her elementary school is now driving!

What really blew me away, though, was how tall Austin has gotten just over the past year. That scrappy little kid whom I used to photograph pitching for his Little League team now TOWERS over his big sister!

Thanks to these two, I now have a much greater appreciation of the old saying, "They grow up too fast." You can be sure that whenever I finally decide to have a child of my own, I am probably going to photograph every minute of that poor baby's life!

Thanks, Shana, Auburn and Austin for another really fun photo session. See you guys next year!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Introducing the Huntington Holgas Gallery!

Photography is not only my profession, it is still very much my hobby. A couple years ago while in Seattle I discovered a wonderful little plastic camera, called a Holga, and fell instantly in love. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of camera, it is basically an inexpensive toy camera that uses medium format 120 film. Holga cameras are quickly growing in popularity, however, as photo fanatics like myself have grown to love and appreciate the old-fashioned appearing, imperfect, analog quality images that it produces. When you look at a Holga photograph, sometimes it is hard to determine whether the image was captured yesterday or fifty years ago!

It is for this very reason that I began photographing different parts of Huntington with my Holga about a year ago. When I saw the nostalic, almost authentically classic quality of the images, I became convinced that this is the only camera that can do justice to images of our beautiful, historic city.

I am now very excited and pleased to be able to share with you some of the images I have captured over the last year in my new Huntington Holgas gallery! (Password: huntingtonholgas.) Prints are available for purchase, if you wish, and I am even offering a 10% discount on the purchase of three or more photographs. (See details in gallery.)

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I have enjoyed taking them. The gallery is a work in progress as I continue to photograph Huntington in my spare time, so please check back often as new images are added. Also, feel free to contact me if you would like to request a photograph of a specific part of Huntington. (304) 522-7747.


Monday, February 2, 2009

February Featured Wedding: Alana and Brian Williams

This month's Featured Wedding is one that I previously blogged about a few months ago - the wedding of Alana and Brian Williams. However, with their permission I am now happy to have the opportunity to share with you their entire wedding day, plus Alana's gorgeous bridal session.

As you may recall from my previous blog, Alana and Brian are my brother's best friends and he was Brian's Best Man, so I was especially excited to photograph their wedding. The ceremony was held in my home town of Cross Lanes on October 25, 2008, with the reception immediately following at Scarlett Oaks. The highlight of the ceremony had to be when the Maid of Honor, Sheila, forgot to bring the Groom's ring and one of the Bridesmaids made a mad dash back to their dressing room immediately after walking up the aisle to retrieve it! (Nice save, Kedron!)

The reception was highlighted by Alana and Brian's first dance, which was a choreographed waltz to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters." Imagine, someday they will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they waltzed to Metallica at their wedding! Awesome!

To view their photos, click here and enter the password: alanabrian. Enjoy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Bridal Expo Special!

I had a fantastic time at the WKEE Bridal Extravaganza yesterday, which was held at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. I met so many wonderful people! My only regret is that I never had an opportunity to walk around and say hello to some of the other photographers at the expo. My friends and fellow photographers, Holly Bond-Farrell and Amanda Nagy, stopped by my booth for a nice chat, as well as a few new photographers to the area, whom I really enjoyed meeting.

Now, as promised, I am offering a special discount on wedding packages this week! If you book your wedding between January 18 and January 25, 2009 you will receive a 20% discount off the Divine and Exquisite packages!!! That is equal to $420 in savings off the Exquisite package, and $700 in savings off the Divine package! And don't forget, if your wedding is scheduled on a non-Saturday you will still receive the regular 10% Non-Saturday Discount, for a total of 30% savings! (These offers do not apply to the Lovely package.)

This discount is being offered ONLY during the week of the 2009 Bridal Expo and, again, ends on January 25th, so don't miss out! Call today to schedule your free wedding photography consultation and/or book Courtney Bell Photography to photograph your special day. (304) 522-7747

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun Pin-Up Shoot!

Yesterday I had a blast shooting a pin-up session with my friend, Sarah, while she was getting a tattoo! I have been friends with Sarah ever since junior high and now she is an AMAZING hairstylist at Karma Salon in Bourboursville. She did her own hair and make-up for the shoot and looked absolutely fabulous.

The session took place at Tat-Nice Tattoos, located at 1327 4th Avenue in Huntington, with the persmission of Matt Hays, her incredibly talented tattoo artist. I also need to thank Saka, who is a tattoo artist and also a photo enthusiast, for being such a great assistant during the shoot!

All I can say is that Tat-Nice really does live up to its name because everyone there was extremely nice and accommodating. Sarah's photos turned out even better than I had hoped. It's nice being a photographer and having super hot babes as friends. :)
Thanks, Sarah!