A Texas native, Courtney Chavanell grew up around a rich culture of music, photography and art. As a youth, she she acquired her love of film, photography and Texas music while assisting her father, who was a professional photographer and drummer. She picked up her own camera at age 15 and landed her first paying gig at 16.
Courtney received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied under portrait photographer Mark Goodman and Guggenheim Fellow Lawrence McFarland. While living in Austin, she became a staple in the music scene whose photography credits include Spoon, The Flaming Lips, Daniel Johnston, Cass McCombs, The Black Angels and many more. At one point, she took time off school to tour the United States and Canada singing and playing tambourine with the band Brothers and Sisters and also worked briefly touring with Spoon.
Over the last six years, her photographs have been published in Popular Photography, Filter, NME, SPIN, Artrocker, Venus, N.E.E.T, Under The Radar, College Music Journal, XLR8R, NYLON & others.
Courtney says that her photographs are "an earnest attempt to document a shared sincerity within a demographic of creative pioneers."