Chris approached me about year ago with the idea that we should become Chris + Rachel Photography. I’d say that to most people that may sound like a simple name change, but to me, that was probably the biggest honor I could get from someone I consider my partner in every sense of the word. Chris and I have been partners for the last decade— in marriage, in parenting, and in business, but Christopher Bell Photography was truly his creation. If you’ll allow me to reminisce for a bit, I’ll explain to you why this change is such a big deal to us.
Chris is the adventurer of the two of us. He’s the one that sees all the possibility in a situation. He doesn’t mind being told “no” and can usually find a way to eventually get a “yes.” I am the exact opposite. Adventure to me is having to pick only one sauce to go on my fries. I jump to the immediate WORST CASE scenario in everything, and I’m usually terrified to be turned down for anything. I can now see how we were made for each other because we fill in each other’s weaknesses nearly perfectly. It is this balance between the two of us that helps Christopher Bell Photography run.
It was Chris’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to see endless possibilities that led him to begin his design business which eventually led to creating Christopher Bell Photography. He started with a camera, a lot of technical knowledge, and a few people willing to let him take their photo. I can honestly say that I would have never had the guts to start a business from nothing, but I am grateful to have been his partner through this and to have had a little of his gumption rub off on me in the process.
After starting the business, he continued to work full-time, and I continued to teach as we were taking on more and more weddings each year. We carried on like that for about 6 years, shooting nearly every wedding together with Chris doing most of the editing, social media, and everything in between.
After Avery was born two and a half years ago, I quit my job teaching and took over several things from him like editing and day-to-day office work. It was a natural progression because I was the one with a little more time on their hands and could take care of several tasks while he was at work. Like most things in life, our business evolved as our lives evolved.
Full disclosure is that we have been equals since the beginning. We may have different roles to fill and different talents, but we’ve always been equal partners so calling ourselves Christopher Bell Photography didn’t affect the day-to-day operation of our business. However, I know how much work he has poured into this business and truly, it couldn’t have started or continued to run without him so it was really just a natural thing that it would be named Christopher Bell Photography after him. I also don’t think we truly anticipated how big of a role this business would play into BOTH of our lives over the past decade or so. So, in February of this year when Chris brought up the idea of a name change to me I was deeply honored because I know how much it means to him and how much he has poured into it. I’ll say it again—this business couldn’t run without him.
However, this year, we’ve come to realize that this business can’t run without US. Every part of the client experience or attention to small details on a wedding day is reliant upon us working as team, and we both want our name to reflect that. When a couple chooses us to photograph their wedding day, they are getting US. Literally. They aren’t hiring someone from a franchise. They are truly choosing Chris and I to both be present on their wedding day, and to be with them during one of the most important days of their lives, and they are letting us be with them on a nearly year-long journey to arrive at their wedding day. We feel like our business is deeply personal and want our brand to reflect that.
We’ve been so grateful to have grown as Christopher Bell Photography, but we’re excited to continue growing as Chris + Rachel Photography, and I’m deeply honored to join my name with Chris as we continue our adventure.