The East Side Showroom in Austin Texas is an amazing place to take pictures. From classic shots to vintage looks, we love taking photographs at this spot.
Bull Creek Park in Austin Texas is a great place to take photos with nature in the background from tranquil waterfalls to beautiful vistas. The team at J. Bell Photography knows how to capture the best locations at this park.
These two kids have been tied up with working, planning a wedding, and buying their first home. In the middle of this, their wedding photographer bailed on their engagement session at the last minute under a save-the-date deadline. We were able to step in and got to spend some time with these two at the location of their upcoming wedding, Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock. Their loss was our gain. Jordan and Shane are so much fun and a joy to be around. I love being close to young love. It’s infectious and these two are chock full of it. Without it, they’d never spend an hour outside in mid-July with some guy telling them to get closer to each other. Enjoy!
We’ve spent a lot of time with Christina and Manny and my wife and I have actually had arguments about who the lucky one is in that relationship. That’s a pretty good sign. They’re crazy about each other and individually they’re fantastic people. Being there when they were wed was the highlight of our June. Both families were thrilled to see them finally be joined and the celebration that followed was a blast.
This was our first visit to The Vista on Seward Hill. The venue itself is gorgeous. The wedding grounds separate the dining and reception halls and they have absolutely everything a wedding party will ever need right there. The most valuable part of the entire place is Anthony, the gentleman that runs the operation. He anticipated ever need and move and made the entire day run flawlessly. Very impressive.
We shoot about 80% of our sessions on location. Of that number, about half are clients that I’ve never met before in person and have rarely spoken with them on the phone. This has happened hundreds of times over the years and there has never been a single issue of mistaken identity where one or both of us approached the wrong person. That record doesn’t sound impressive until you learn that more often than not, their first remark to me is “I didn’t know if you were going to be a guy or a girl!”.
My first name is legally J. The period you see behind that letter there is actually on my birth certificate. I try not to end sentences with it like that because I’m still unsure if there is supposed to be a second period denoting it’s end. I’ve never gotten a great answer from my parents but there’s a minor understanding that J. was intended to be in the thread of the great southern tradition of names like F. Scott Fitzgerald, where the first letter is just a warm up for the main event. We’ve had our ups and downs. I even went J-a-y for a year in 5th grade to blend in. It’s a nightmare when signing up for anything online because there’s only so many times you can hear “name does not contain enough characters”. I once tried to leave the period in there when signing up for my bank online and 4 branches closed.
I’ve grown to like my name and the fact that it’s often misunderstood, discounted entirely, and flat out denied. It’s a great conversation starter. I even get pretty defensive of it these days. There are two other J. Bell Photography’s out there, neither of which is owned by an individual with the first name J. I wish Jennifer and Jerry would use their own boring names and step off. See? Defensive. I used to answer the constantly asked “what does J. stand for?” with “nothing”. I don’t like to think of it like that anymore. It stands for J.(end of sentence)
Seriously, can someone tell me how to end that sentence!?
We have had the great pleasure of watching a lot of families grow and this is one that has become very dear to our hearts. We met mom and baby Elin in 2010 when she was only a few months old, we were there when sweet little Dresden came home and have shared numerous holiday and birthday parties along the way. We’re so excited to meet the new addition and we invited everyone out for a shoot before she shows up. I say it a lot on here but the best part of this job is watching families and their love grow. We get to watch it start with engagements and weddings. We get to be there when a family’s first newborn arrives. We get to be a part of a family’s annual traditions and often, we meet fantastic friends along the way. Thanks to the Whiteheads and to all of you that allow us to be a part of your lives!
We were honored to be a part of Danielle and Ryan’s wedding day at the gorgeous Vista West Ranch in Dripping Springs. They bridal party stayed on the grounds the night before so we got an opportunity to hang out early and capture the groomsmen playing disc golf and the girls taking turns getting hair and makeup done. Everything went beautifully and we got to witness another loving couple tying the knot. It’s my favorite part of the job. As always, the real fun is to be had at the reception. Check it out for yourself!
It was love at first sight for these two and it’s an honor to be given the opportunity to capture Parker and Ashley’s fun and endearing relationship. We went all the way out to their future wedding venue, the historic Kendalia Halle just south of Johnson City, for a relaxed engagement shoot and to get to know each other and the venue. It was a hot afternoon but they did great and came away with a ton of gorgeous images. The wedding should fall on a gorgeous Fall day when the grounds will be changing color and giving us even more photo opportunities. We had a little extra, fun shoot at the end to play a prank on the in-laws-to-be with cut off shirts and talk tops. I’m going to leave those images to the bride and groom to post. Thanks for looking!
I was thrilled during the initial meeting with these two when they told me a little about their style. Their wedding is going to be a gorgeous 20’s themed affair and we wanted to reflect that in their engagement photos. Brittany has a fantastic eye for style and made my job easy. I suggested the East Side Showroom on East 6th. The place worked perfectly and the staff were very accommodating to our antics. This was so much fun, I love it when clients have a great idea in mind and we get to find a way to make it happen. We’re counting the days until their amazing wedding!
It deserves mentioning that Brittany’s gorgeous makeup was done by Deborah Lira who can be found at DeboraLira.com.
We’ve come of age with a few other professional photographers in Austin and it’s been fun to watch their styles evolve and businesses grow with ours. Although almost all of them either started out with or began shooting newborns at some point in their career and every one of them has explained to us that as soon as they no longer needed infants to fill their schedule, they stopped booking them entirely. We started out photographing them and after 10 years are having a better time than ever doing so. I don’t know if the hectic schedule or delicate balance of keeping a baby asleep while getting your lighting right is too much for them or if it just doesn’t make economic sense. Either way, we’re glad as can be to still be Austin’s best newborn photographer and we are not going anywhere.
I understand the idea that babies are traditionally the least consistent models alive. They puke, poop, and cry with no warning and scream if the temperature gets above 92 degrees or so. You’re trying to include mom’s favorite props, get an ill-fitting hat to stay on, and not ruin baby’s important sleep patterns- all within the first 10 days or so of their existence. All of that is what makes it fun. It’s the same reason we love shooting weddings, it’s a problem solver’s dream. Juggling those things and pulling off a shot that only you can get is tremendously satisfying. Newborns require a delicate hand, a little shushing, a lot of heat, and a decent amount of luck. That’s a big part of the reason I’ll never stop photographing them. I love the feeling of pulling up to a new family’s home and not knowing how we’re going to get where we need to be but assures that we have the tools to get me there and fast. Also, newborns are fantastic. They’re just perfect. Other photographers are crazy.