In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Lilly

I love the tousled hair look, and Ms Lilly worked some model wind at her session in our studio. Here’s what she had to say about her mellBella Boudoir Experience.

mellbella messy hair boudoir

BEFORE Her mellBella Boudoir Session— “How I felt before- I’m excited and nervous. I have always wanted to do this, but never had the nerve. I can’t wait to do this, to feel strong and confident, but also show my fiance how much I love him!”

booty shot over the bed at mellBella Photography

AFTER Her Photoshoot—  “IT WAS AMAZING!!! They act like you’ve been BFFs forever. They make you laugh, feel comfortable, beautiful, confident, and overal AMAZING! They really made me feel strong and confident. I would do this again in a heartbeat. They truly make you love yourself.”

black and red teddy boudoir

AFTER Her Photo Reveal“The experience gave me confidence in my image and my self-confidence is where it should have been all along.  I am proud of myself and my beauty.”

natural light skimming across the body boudoir

 

christopher robin quote

Transitions and Changes

2020…what a year!!! I don’t think any of us could have imagined what this year would look like.  I think we’ve all become familiar with having to figure out new ways of working, schooling, living, and dealing with everything in our daily lives.

Today, I want to share with you a big transition in mellBella Photography. About 10 years ago, Wanda and I dreamed, planned, and officially founded the mellBella Brand. We were two best friends with big ideas and tenacious attitudes to create a one-of-a-kind, empowering photography experience.

mell bell and wanda are up to something
Each year we would imagine and create new ways to elevate the mellBella Experience. Our families have grown together and even at times vacationed together. Wanda was at the births of both my children, and I (Mell) helped photograph two of Wanda’s daughter’s weddings. Also all of Wanda’s daughters have helped out at mellBella through the years too, especially Cecilee (Wanda’s eldest daughter).

Since 2012, Cecilee has worn many different hats as a part of the mellBella team. She started helping us with our boudoir marathons, and her assignments grew from there. You may have met her as the Welcome Committee when you arrived at our studio. Or maybe it was at one of the many wedding shows/Rockabillaque. Or in your actual photo shoot when she helped out with posing and photography.

Mell Bell, Cecilee, and Wanda

But things at mellBella are changing and adapting like we do every year. This year, we have the biggest change yet. The pandemic has hit our industry hard causing a difficult yet necessary shift among our mellBella team. Therefore, with lots of love, friendship, and support, we want to announce that Wanda and Cecilee are now small business owners. They have launched a new business, like none other, in the Charleston area. Introducing Mamasita’s Cloth Diaper Service.

mamasita's cloth diaper service
It is their goal to make cloth diapering an easy eco-friendly experience.  They even offer cloth wipes, diaper balm, wipe solution, and more. Let me just say that as one of their first clients,  I LOVE my products and so does my little one. Seriously, the diaper balm and wipes solution smell soooooo good. Be sure to check them out at: mamasitasclothdiaperservice.com

Please show your love and support to Wanda and Cecilee and their business. And if you or someone you know is having a baby/thinking about cloth diapering, please share their website, Facebook, or Instagram. They even offer classes on cloth diapering or you can check them out at the  Sea Island Farmer’s Market.

Wanda and Cecilee-I love you both so much, and I look forward to seeing your business grow. Thank you for all the time, the hard work, the behind the scenes, your friendship, support, and everything inbetween!  Our friendship is not something that comes along every day, and it’s not something that’s going away.

mellBella Photography isn’t going anywhere either. Things may be changing, but we’re adaptable. You can still expect  a one-of-a-kind, empowering photography experience. That’s one thing that will never change. And in true mellBella fashion, I want to share some of my favorite mellBella moments with Wanda over the years.

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Allison

boudoir through the archway

Ms Allison wanted to celebrate her birthday, and why not? She wanted to come out of her shell and feel confident. She chose something glamorous and something comfy to wear for her shoot. Here’s how her session went in her own words…

boudoir lounging on our antique sofa

BEFORE Her mellBella Boudoir Session— “Super Excited for my photoshoot. What a way to bring in my 25th. I am looking forward to the pictures. Surprisingly I am not worried. 🙂 Let the fun begin.”

black and blue color scheme for our boudoir bed

AFTER Her Photoshoot—  “Best photoshoot ever! These ladies surely know how to make you feel comfortable. I was so relaxed, and the previews phenomenal. I will be back :)”

Comfy tank top boudoir

 

 

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Kim

It’s time for another real story from our Bellas. Ms Kim was SOoooo ready for this shoot and here’s what she had to say about it.

statement necklace in black and white

Before Her mellBella Boudoir Session– “I wanted to give my husband a different kind of birthday present this year. I know he will absolutely LOVE this! I am a little nervous yet excited at the same time. I can’t wait to see the photos! It’s going to be so fun!”

red and black color scheme over the bed boudoir

After Her Photoshoot– “It was an amazing experience! The girls showed me exactly how to pose to make me feel sexy! Even from the few pictures they showed me during the shoot were amazing and made me feel so confident. I am almost positive I will be doing another shoot in the future. Thank you!”

moody boudoir lighting

After Her Photo Reveal– “I feel that this experience positively transformed me. I genuinely enjoyed every moment during the shoot, which I did not expect. I was anxious and excited all at the same time for this experience. I’m so glad that I choose to do this because it made me feel empowered and proud of the woman that I am. So thank you both for that!”

boudoir headshot with messy hair
What To Wear Favorite Color

One Image Wednesday- Wear Your Favorite Color

don't be afraid to wear color at your boudoir session

For boudoir, most people think you have to limit your color options to black, white, or red. But who doesn’t love wearing their favorite color? Don’t be afraid to wear something in yours–whether it be lingerie, a dress, shoes, or maybe even a flower. We love playing with colors to enhance your look. What’s your favorite color?

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Rachel

Ms Rachel brought a gorgeous cozy sweater,  lacey teal bodysuit, and this WOW bra for her session. But we’ll let her tell you a little more about her mellBella Boudoir Experience.

all those lovely curves on the boudoir bed

Before Her mellBella Boudoir Session– “It is hard to put my feelings into words with how I’m feeling/thinking. I’m a mix of anxious, excited, a little nervous because this is out of my comfort zone. Despite the fact that I feel like I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m excited for this experience and can’t wait for what unfolds.”

relaxing and cozy boudoir

After Her Photoshoot– “Nervous at first, but felt so comfortable by the second pose. The amount of confidence I felt was surreal. Any insecurities I had, didn’t exist. I’m walking out of the studio a stronger woman that has gained self-love. I’ll forever cherish this experience.”

pink couch and that boudoir look

After Her Photo Reveal– “My self confidence has improved tremendously. I can be beautiful without being a pre-pregnancy size 4. I’ve learned how to embrace what other “gifts” motherhood has given me in addition to my daughter.”

boudoir power pose in a teal bodysuit

 

Help Support Change Together

Where To Begin

I don’t know where to start, but here it goes… As you know, the world is battling the pandemic known as COVID-19. AND every state in the USA and several countries around the world are protesting police brutality and standing together to declare that Black Lives Matter. Wow! In my whole life, I have never seen such unity around the world. As some of you, I was in quarantine for several weeks, and in some ways, it’s been a bit of a reset… a time to rethink, listen, learn, and focus.

In Charleston, we’ve also had protests, acts of rebellion, walks against hate,  one night of people getting tear gassed by the police, arrests of protesters violating curfew, defacing of Confederate and/or monuments of slave owners or supports of slavery, mask wearing optional, some social distancing, and a lot of what should we do/where do we go from here.

For the last several years, I’ve been researching, reading, listening, and learning about racism, systemic racism, and White Privilege.  I’m not an expert. I’m still learning, but I just want to be a part of making the world a better place. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania until I was 11, and I never met a person of a different race until I moved to South Carolina. And I grew up very white– meaning that my neighborhood, church, school, my mom’s work, and almost all of my friends were white. My family never talked about racism, and for a long time,  I literally had no clue there was racism because I was in my little bubble. I thought that the Civil War and slavery had ended, so why is racism a problem? I don’t treat POC any differently. According to our Constitution, everyone is equal, right? Racism solved (NOPE). My history classes in school glazed over the Trail of Tears, slavery, and the Civil Rights Movement.

So what is racism? Being racist isn’t simply not saying the N word and just treating everyone kindly. We have to be more than that simplistic view of racism… we have to be actively against racism in all its forms… antiracist. But what does that mean? “Racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas. Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” –Ibram X. Kendi from How to Be an Antiracist

A dear friend allowed me to share some of her writing, and here’s a quote from her that I’ve been thinking about: “Meditate on how this saturation in whiteness has shaped your thoughts, your beliefs, and the lens through which you see the world. Let go of your belief in white innocence and your need to be *seen* as a good person; become that person instead … This is mostly an inward journey where your mind and beliefs and actions will be challenged and ideally transformed.” –Jada Elata

Basically stop trying to prove you’re a good person and just go become one. Embrace the discomfort, listen, and learn before you speak. You don’t have to do it alone. You will still make mistakes but keep learning and trying. Talking about race can be really intimidating, but not talking about it hasn’t helped at all. But what can we do? Thankfully, there are many different ways we can learn, be an ally, and show support. As a White person, I will never know nor fully understand everything that a Black person deals with every day of their lives. But there is hope, and I can be an ally and do something. You can too! And hopefully with everything that is going on in the world, together we can be a part of the change to make the world a better, more just place. Because lives truly do depend on it.

So what can we do…..This link has petitions to sign, resources for education, places to text/call, links to voter registration, and more: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Another great way to help is to support Black-Owned businesses. Here’s some just to get started, but I’ll list some local ones first. I tried to list a variety of businesses from food to art–

Fresh Future Farm
Kasada Beauty Supply
Motherland Essentials

Dellz
Swank Desserts
Anaris Photography
DNA Sweetgrass Baskets
Turning Page Bookshop
Kiddie U North Charleston
Marcus Amaker
Ment Nelson
The HoneyPot
SC Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification
Black-Owned Beauty Businesses

 

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Coco

I’ve been thinking… you know I could tell you 1,000 reasons why you should do a boudoir photoshoot with mellBella Photography, but why not let our clients tell you about their experience instead. So, we’ll be sharing actual client images and what they had to say about their mellBella Experience. All clients that we share with you have given us permission, and we never share your images without permission. So, let’s start off this series with Ms Coco, and see what she has to say.

moody lighting boudoir


BEFORE Her mellBella Boudoir Session
“How to describe what I feel before this photoshoot? Scared, anxious, and excited! The ladies have been welcoming which has helped with the nerves. We’ll see how this goes! At the end of the day, it’s about feeling confident and beautiful in the body I have, and I know he will appreciate any gift that shows my confidence!”

boudoir silhouette by mellBella

 

AFTER Her Photoshoot ” 🙂 If I could match the smiley to reflect these flase lashes I would. Never in my mind did I think I could handle being photographed, let alone in boudoir, but this was so much fun. I was also able to stay out of my own head with their directions. I owned my sexuality in this for sure!”

details statement necklace

 

AFTER Her Photo Reveal “This experience helped me develop a confidence in not just my sexuality as a woman but in being the subject of photography in general. It also showed me that taking a little risk may have big rewards. I’m a badass! :)”

black and white striped stockings boudoir
mellbella virtual session art

Now Offering Virtual Photoshoots

It’s official… we’re NOW offering Virtual Mini Sessions. All you need is your phone, a strong WIFI or Cell connection, an outfit, and a great attitude! A Virtual Photoshoot is a beautiful way to create one-of-a-kind fine art portraits AND practice social distancing. Each image is crafted to create a custom work of art. All images in this post were inspired and built from a mellBella Virtual Photo Session.

mellbella virtual session fine art


Our Virtual Art Package is $300 and includes:

  • 30 min virtual session
  • Three 4×6 Torchon Fine Art Prints (including these three digital files)
  • 30 min online photo reveal and ordering session

It’s so hard to convey digitally how these look in person as seen below. OMG they are gorgeous!!! They are printed on Torchon by Hahnemühle, which is a watercolor paper with a distinct textured surface. It’s one of the highest quality of fine art paper.

fine art torchon portraits

At your photo reveal appointment, you’ll have 10-15 portraits to review and pick your favorites. Additional products or fine art prints are available for purchase. Again, each of these images will be personally photographed and edited by Mell Bell (me!) Results will vary.

Click HERE to Book your virtual session NOW!

how to prepare for your boudoir session with mellBella

How To Prepare For Your Boudoir Session

Figuring out how to prepare for your boudoir session may seem overwhelming, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

At mellBella Photography, boudoir prep is EASY! All you have to do is take a deep breath and check out the following tips…

Determine Your Desired Look

Do you want your shoot to be full-on sexy or sort of sweet? Do you want to go Over the-top glamorous or more natural? Do you want to go nude, partially nude, wear lingerie, a favorite t-shirt, or pjs?   Your desired look for the session will help us pick the best sets/lighting. details, wardrobe, and props for your photo shoot. And it’s totally fine if you don’t know. Just pick one outfit you like, and we’ll take it from there.

boudoir details in black and white by mellbella

Find a Specialist

Boudoir portraiture is a niche art form, so you must be very discerning when choosing a photographer. It’s crucial to do your research—browse their portfolios and read client testimonials. Since boudoir is such an intimate and vulnerable experience, it’s essential you find someone whom you trust and feel comfortable around. We’ve been boudoir photographers since 2010 and have photographed hundreds of clients, and we love giving our Bellas the best experience! But don’t just take our word for it… check out our reviews on Google and The Knot.   We’re currently in the process of updating our website, but be sure to check out our Instagram and Facebook pages and stories to see what we’re up to now.

 Wardrobe

Start by shopping your closet for the items you instinctively select when you want to feel (and look) your absolute best. Don’t stress over this. If you feel lost, just bring one bra/panty set, one bodysuit, and one wildcard (like something from our mellBella Closet or your birthday suit). Have fun with it! Be sure to check out our What to Wear section on our website. And if you still have questions, please contact us. We’ll help style you.

just be natural set by mellbella boudoir photography

Prep Mind, Body, and Skin

Drink LOTS of water. Lower your salt intake and abstain from alcohol for a few days before your shoot to avoid water retention. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi, if you like. Bathe, shower, and moisturize. Enjoy a quiet evening and get a full night’s sleep before the day of your session. (Or at least try to!) It’s a good idea to do some stretches the day before as well.

Relax

Take a deep breath and relax. It’s completely normal to feel nervous before your shoot. We promise, it will be a fun, stress-free day that’s all about YOU. We’ll guide you through every step, and you won’t have to worry about what to do with your hands. Trust us, you’ll be coming back for more!

If you would like more information on booking a session with mellBella Photography for the best boudoir experience,  CONTACT US.

boudoir booty shot by mellBella