Charlottesville Portrait Session: The Ogborne sisters

I can remember when my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary. I had just transferred to UVA from California, and I was terribly homesick and really wondering why I was, yet again, pushing myself entirely out of my comfort zone. I was so absorbed in my own world of doing well in my classes, trying to find a friend and hoping that cute, running boy would notice me that, ashamedly, I don’t even remember what I gave my parents. Make that if I gave them something. Now that I am married, I have much more of an appreciation of twenty five years and the commitment, forgiveness and compassion that marriage asks of us. I hope that when John and I celebrate our 25th anniversary we can look back and be thankful for both the joys and the challenges that marriage offered us.

And speaking of anniversaries, what could be a better 25th anniversary gift for parents than a portrait of their children?! I know. Pretty awesome. I wish I had thought of this idea, but I can’t take credit. It all began when Samantha, Alex and Rebecca contacted me a few weeks back asking if I could get some shots of them as a surprise gift for their parents.

So we decided on Ash Lawn-Highland, braved the crazy Carter’s Mountain traffic, and had an awesome time on this beautiful fall day.

Now for a little hat action. Alex, Rebecca and Samantha were explaining to me that their mom gives them each a hat every Christmas, so they brought some hats along in honor of her. So thoughtful and so cute!

Ladies, I love your choice of colors.

Alex, Rebecca and Samantha: I had such a great time with you all! I know your parents will be so touched by these pictures and your thoughtfulness. They are lucky to have daughters like you three!

Un abrazo,


mom - October 27, 2010 - 12:11 pm

OK, these three are too cute! I love the last one on the fencepost….the hats are adorable. What to choose? Just one? Impossible. Maybe they could create a collage of pictures, PB frames, and there you go.
Could we take our Xmas picture at the beach, or some awesome spot in SD? We have to plan ahead with the family. Let’s talk about.

Love, MOM

Zion Crossroads Wedding: Darcey + Chance (Part II)

Welcome back to Part II of Darcey and Chance’s lovely farm wedding in Zion Crossroads, Virginia. After the ceremony took place overlooking the sweeping fields and hills of beautiful Central Virginia, we snuck off with Darcey and Chance for a few minutes to explore the farm.

Of course we had to go back to this majestic oak tree…

A few minor veil adjustments and then we were off again…

Darcey really wanted some portraits of her and Chance in this field. She even planned ahead and asked them to hold off cutting the grass for a few weeks.

Great choice, Darcey. I love this whole series!

Back at the barn, the guests were enjoying the cocktail hour, the sunset and the beautiful flowers and personal touches of the reception decor…

Seeing all the kids playing and having fun was one of the biggest highlights of this wedding!

One of the flower girls deciding that she just needs a moment with her bag of potato chips….:-)

And now time for some dancing…

These two definitely had some moves to show off!!

The flip!! (One of many!!)

Darcey giving the cake in the face idea some serious thought….:-)


Darcey’s bridesmaids definitely capitalized on JMU’s victory against Virginia Tech a few weeks prior by surprising Darcey and Chance with t-shirts from their alma maters. I’m thinking Chance is not as excited about his t-shirt…

Darcey and her father were so sweet together. I definitely was tearing up behind the camera along with them!

Darcey and Chance: It was so great working with you and being able to document the joy and beauty of this day. May you be blessed with many, many sweet years together!

Un abrazo,


Chris Bopp - October 20, 2010 - 9:26 pm

Mrs. Bell, you are so amazing! Your photography is breath-taking. I’m so impressed. I’d love to do what you’re doing. I’m hoping to do it while I’m in college.

Hope you’re doing well! Please keep up the amazing photography skills!!! Every picture WOWs me.

Chris Bopp

Zion Crossroads Wedding: Darcey + Chance

When Darcey and I sat down together a few months back at C’ville Coffee to discuss her wedding photography, words like “casual”, “fun” and “natural” kept coming up in our conversation. Originally from New Jersey, Darcey  is now a Virginia girl, complete with cowboy boots and Virginia Tech hubby, Chance.

Darcey and Chance were married at a family farm right outside Charlottesville and wanted the photography to reflect the natural beauty of the landscape. Everything about their wedding felt so Darcey and Chance – it was personal, unassuming, fun, and, well,  just plain beautiful. A big ‘ol THANK YOU to Jessica from The Event Company for coordinating the perfect day, the talented and lovely Lora Elaine for making Darcey look fabulous, Belmont BBQ for catering some crazy, good BBQ, and DJ Stroud for keeping the party going all night long!

Darcey, you make such a beautiful bride!

I love how everyone gathered around the front porch before the wedding. Not only did the farm house make the perfect getting ready location, it is now where the newlyweds call home.

Chance lookin’ sharp in his groom suit!

The beautiful Darcey….

Loving this picture of mom and daughter!

If it were possible to bottle light, I would have done it here….can we say more Virginia farm weddings, please!

Quite possibly cutest kiddos ever!!!

Father and daughter…

The rest of Darcey and Chance’s wedding to be featured soon!! Get excited for Chance’s mad dancing skills, some tear-worthy father/daughter moments, a little JMU/Virginia Tech rivalry, and a flat out GORGEOUS sunset!

Un abrazo,


MOM - October 26, 2010 - 12:38 pm

Natalie, natalie. You are just too good for your camera! Wow. Your eye is catching the best of the setting! The children were ADORABLE! really really impressive. I’d hire you:)

love you

Charlottesville Portrait Session: Kelsey

Need I say more than FABULOUS!? Kelsey is just so effortlessly beautiful and so at ease in front of the camera, I felt like I was working with a professional model! When Kelsey’s mom said she wanted her senior portraits taken at her great aunt’s house in Farmington, I was thrilled to explore a new location. Once I arrived, however, I knew I was in for a real treat. I mean, just take a look at this tree….

I still can’t get over the size of these branches! It is very appropriately and lovingly referred to as “the elephant tree”.

Queen Kelsey…

Hangin’ out by the pool. Love this top, Kelsey!

Girl, you are just a bowl full of awesome gorgeousness with a cherry on top!

Here is another great tree, this time in the front yard.

I absolutely LOVE this next series using the siding of this old shed. Such an unassuming location, but mixed with great light and Kelsey’s coloring and beautiful smile, we were in business!

You can’t imagine my excitement when Kelsey showed me this swing….

Back to the shed…STUNNING!

Mom - October 8, 2010 - 4:19 pm

Nat! Wow, you should send these in to the apparel companies to represent their clothes! You really brought out the natural beauty in her; she’s gorgeous but you made her look flawless, naturally. Really, really, picture perfect.

Love you.

Charlottesville Portrait Session: Mi Hae

When Mi Hae came to me a few weeks back and asked if I would take her senior portraits, I was thrilled! You might remember Mi Hae from the Covenant library shoot I did back in the spring at the beautiful Boar’s Head Inn. Well, in the same spirit and ignoring the threats of impending rain showers, we met over at Boar’s Head last weekend and had a great time roaming the picturesque grounds and catching up about life and her senior year.

Before this shoot I had never tried using this wall and red door….I’m so glad we wandered over this way because it makes for the perfect background to complement Mi Hae’s look.

Dear Mi Hae,

You are just as beautiful as beautiful can be. I love how your smile and sweet spirit light up even the greyest of days!

I love this next dress…such a great color!

I hope these pictures helped to brighten up your Monday as much as they did mine! Have a great weekend and check back soon for more senior portraits and an awesome farm wedding!

Un abrazo,


Chris Bopp - October 5, 2010 - 5:57 pm

Wow Mrs. Bell! These pictures are amazing! Mi-Hae, you look great!

Again, your photography, Mrs. Bell, is incredible. You have such a great eye for things!

-Chris Bopp
The Covenant School

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