Samantha Bell Photography: Blog en-us (C) Samantha Bell Photography [email protected] (Samantha Bell Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT Samantha Bell Photography: Blog 102 120 The Two Loves of My Life: Traveling & Photography Hello Amazing People! 


     Traveling & Photography are very near and dear to my heart. Anyone that knows me pretty well will tell you the same. They go hand in hand with each other most of the time since I always have my camera in hand the entire trip to document everything. I grew up traveling so while traveling as an adult is different from being a child I still had some experience navigating airports, knowing what to pack, what to expect, and even what size liquids I could/couldn't bring with me. TSA!! Haha Now my husband on another hand is the opposite he had never flown, never had the privilege of eating complimentary pretzels/cookies and never experienced the mad dash of excitement/terror running through the airport to make your connecting flight.  So I thought I'd share some of our trips over the last few years because having the amazing opportunity of doing what I Love has also allowed us to be able to see some beautiful places.


Mexico 2012

     Our first trip together was my honeymoon to Riviera Maya Mexico In 2012. We flew in a plane roughly 2.5 hours to one of the most beautiful places on Earth, in my opinion. We stayed at a gorgeous resort called Barcelo' at the Grand Palace Deluxe in Puerto Adventuras, Xpu Ha, Mexico. 

      People let me first just say this place from beginning to end was "Heaven on Earth" : The locals, the fabulous staff, the numerous friendly Iguanas, the food, the beach, our room, the view and the fresh fruit were TOP NOTCH! Yes, I did just use Top Notch in 2017 I know I'm an old soul! It's an all inclusive resort and if you haven't been to one before I would say don't because you will be ruined for life. Not really it was awesome wearing a bracelet that allowed you to have almost anything you wanted. You pay for your trip, you show up and almost everything is included (We did pay for in room WIFI to contact family). 


<<<< Look at my handsome hubby and the yummy breakfast we were enjoying in one of the three buffets.

If you are concerned about not being fluent in Spanish fear not there was not anyone we came in contact with the entire trip that did't speak english. Most of the staff spoke English, Spanish and French there were a ton of fellow travelers that were French Canadian.  Now we both know a decent amount of spanish so we predominately tried to speak in Spanish since we had the opportunity to use it and even learn more. 

Speaking of restaurants this particular resort had 5 hotels within the Barcelo' resort. They all had 2 snack bars, 2 buffets & 2-3 5 star restaurants that were open for dinner all of them were awesome! Since we stayed in the Palace we had access to the other 5 star restaurants in the other 5 hotels also. Each one was a different type of cuisine and again the service was outstanding as well as included in the All Inclusive (FREE)!  


Now for some pictures











Grand Palace DeluxeThe back of our resort. One of the 5 hotels in the entire resort.

  Two of the excursions we chose while we were there was going to see the Mayan ruins and also going to XelHa. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the mayan ruins on this computer, but they were really cool! We learned so much from our tour guide way more than they ever taught us in school. It was hot there and the mosquitos were pretty rough. {bring bug repellant} Other than that though it was really interesting and our guide was hilarious! Definitely recommend if you are a history buff like us.

XelHa was an ecopark the was essentially a netted off inlet where you could go snorkeling, zip lining, swimming with an assortment of aquatic life, hold some exotic birds, snuba in underwater Cenote' (caves) and enjoy everything they had to offer. We had the most fun at XelHa got to swim with dolphins and would go back in a heartbeat.  We were there 8 hours and still didn't get to see/do everything. We both would really recommend it!! 













Playa Del Carmen 2015

   Playa was definitely more city than the other resort. We stayed at "The Royal" Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This resort was beautiful as well, was an over 18+ adult only resort, and again staff was awesome. 

    I will say one thing that jumped out at me right away was as soon as we got there a man approached us with champagne & rolled damp wash cloths to help cool us off from the ride over from the airport. It was a small gesture, but it was unique! I lucked out and got to drink both of our champagne since I'm fancier than Adam, he's a"beer" guy.

The resort itself was fine and the food here was better than the Barcelo', but other than that we enjoyed the Barcelo' more.  We are beach people and the it just wasn't as nice here since it was in the city and so close to the ferry to cozumel. It also had more of a party vibe to it than the other since it was adults only. The main pool we steered clear of due to this, as I said before I'm an old soul. Don't get me wrong I like to drink margaritas next to the pool as much as the next person, but it was more like frat party excessive. We just wanted to relax so we utilized a pool closer to our room that was smaller and calmer. We met a lovely couple from Ireland at that pool and got to have some interesting conversation with them.


 Our excursion for this trip we decided to go to Tulum which is another set of Mayan ruins, but this one is right on the ocean. It was beautiful and again very interesting. We also got to swim with sea turtles in the ocean and swim in a cave. The cave was so cool...Literally the water was 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  We both Loved the excursion, but the cave was probably my favorite!



2016 Bahamas Carnival Cruise & Universal Studios

         1st Cruise Ever and won't be our last! We set off on a 4 day cruise to Nassau & Freeport since it was our first cruise that is part of the reason we chose a shorter one to see how we would like it. The whole cruise experience was awesome, there was always something to do, and we really enjoyed the comedy shows onboard. The food lacked a little, but was fine since we went on Carnival it is much cheaper so I'm sure that is one of the areas they have to save money in to keep prices down. 

   Our room was your typical oceanview room I liked being able to look out the window as we were coming in/out of port plus you definitely knew when you could go down below to get off the boat to go exploring.

    Nassau was CITY, CITY, CITY and had a ton of people everywhere. It was a little to fast paced for me personally. We both enjoyed the pace of Freeport more. We had our beach excursion in Freeport that included lunch, beverages and a day at the beach. 

   If you would have asked me when I was in Mexico if I thought the water could ever get any prettier I would have said no, but the bahamas water was even more clear and turquoise! It was breathtaking!!! 


We enjoyed our cruise thoroughly and most definitely will be going again soon! ON to Universal Studios!!!


    We spent three days in Universal Studios, what  can I say other than it was a complete blast! I'm a Harry Potter Nerd so it was so magical to finally see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We spent more time there than in any other part of the park just because my hubby Loves me!! The food was expensive, but thats expected of a theme park of that size. Would definitely go back again!!


Thanks Everybody for checking out my blog! If you have any questions about the trips just comment below and I will gladly answer them!! I'll end this lovely post with 

I'd rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff....So remember Collect moments, not things!!!

[email protected] (Samantha Bell Photography) Tue, 17 Jan 2017 04:45:41 GMT
The Dawn      I wanted to take a moment to talk about how my business got started and my life leading up to now. I am not a professional blogger and I'm sure it's not going to be grammatically correct throughout so I apologize ahead of time. However, my journey is a good example of never giving up, believing in yourself and having people that love you in your life.

     When I was younger had you asked me I would have never thought at this point in my life I would be where I am. Even a few short years ago had you asked me what will you be doing in 5-10 years? Photographer would definitely not be the answer. Not because I wasn't interested, passionate or hoping for that, but merely because it was a "Dream" of mine it wasn't a realistic, rational choice. When you are a child you are surrounded by the idea that you can do whatever you put your mind to.....At least thats what I always heard in school, at home and even in church. I always loved photography even in high school. I even took a few peoples senior pictures as well just candid pictures. They always made it seem so easy, like watching Mary Poppins snap her fingers to clean an entire room. I had to grow up pretty quick and my child hood wasn't always perfect, in high school I started realizing that the older I got the less people really felt the need to be a strong support system in my life for the things that really mattered like school and my future. I'm not trying to bash anyone or make them feel guilty it's just how it was. It's always easy to give advice, but it's a whole different thing to genuinely ask someone how you could help them succeed and follow through with it. Following through with it is the Key not just words, but actions. After high school, college ended up not being an option for myself financially, I moved out of my dad's house and I bounced around from job to job for a few years trying to find something that really spoke to me on top of trying to be an adult. I never really  found my niche at least not whole heartedly.  At this point I was on my own and had just gotten out of a relationship when my life was about to take a turn for the better. 

      I met a guy that is now my husband on a blind date. Again, unexpected especially if you know me pretty well living dangerously is not my cup of tea. We met on New Year's Eve and a few months later on my birthday I woke up to find a gift sitting on the coffee table in the living room. I sincerely thought it was a pair of Tom's I had shown him a few weeks before. So I tore open the wrapping paper to instead find my first Nikon DSLR. Shock isn't even a strong enough word to describe what I was feeling. I cried and cried for hours before I had to get ready to go to work.  I felt undeserving of something this wonderful especially from someone I had barely known for 3 months. I think what got to me the most was just the fact that he believed in me enough to buy it for me. I haven't had someone do something that selfless for me in many, many years. I was astounded, excited, and thankful, he gave me so much more than just a camera that day without even knowing. He believed in me and my silly dream! 

     I started small and even shot a lot of sessions for free just to get experience in the beginning. It's grown every year and I owe most of it to my husband Adam. He took a chance on a girl he barely knew, told me that he would help me in any way he could, and he still does anytime I need him to. Sometimes all it takes is to have one person give you a push towards a silly dream that overtime turned into this crazy, beautiful reality. I also want to thank my clients especially the ones who've stuck with me since the beginning. I also wouldn't be here without your support, kind words and continued business over the years. I can't stress enough that you really have to believe in yourself and don't let society tell you that wanting to do something that you love is a bad thing because you don't clock in-out everyday. Do what makes you happy and what is right for your family. It's been six years since he bought me that first camera and I can't wait to see where I'll be on this journey in another six years. 

~It's always darkest, before the Dawn~


Have a blessed day ya'll!!


Samantha Bell

[email protected] (Samantha Bell Photography) Tue, 03 Jan 2017 03:17:24 GMT