Something New for 2022

I’ve been working for several weeks on a new logo for mellBella Photography. This will be the third edition of the logo since the mellBella brand was officially founded The name mellBella includes my name, BUT I didn’t want it to be just me. Bella is a nod to the Italian roots of my husband’s family who started Richard Bell Photography who gave me my start in photography. PLUS, Bella means beautiful. The first version of the logo was retro feeling, and of course the B was capitalized. Our colors were hot pink, black, and silver.

original mellBella logo

She was a good logo and the B changed colors to red and purple depending on the photo shoot too. However in 2017, we changed to something more flowy, modern, and sleek. It took some time to find the right fonts and color, but she was professional, curvy, and cute. 2017 mellBella logo

BUT over the last few years, mellBella Photography has grown in so many ways, and this logo didn’t fit the brand anymore. mellBella is so much more than professional, curvy, and cute. Soooooooo much more than where we started…. the logo needed to be more and different. So in February, I emailed my designer, Andy, who is also a Bell, to figure out a new look. It had to FEEL just right.   For the record, it’s really hard to describe something that you can’t picture in your head as the final look but you have lots of ideas, feelings, and an instinct that go into it. I’m so thankful to Andy for helping me through this process, listening, and translating it ALL into an actual design.

bisexual lighting with anonymous feeling tossing hair

This portrait was the INSPIRATION behind our new logo.  For her most recent shoot in December 2021, she asked if we could do some images with bisexual lighting. This lighting incorporates a blue gel and a magenta gel and where they meet creates purple lighting. The colors are on the bisexual flag, give an 80s retrowave vibe,  the three main hair colors I’ve had in recent years, AND are used throughout tv shows and movies as well. And if you know me, you know I love to PLAY with LIGHTING and COLOR.

This lovely woman has trusted me to photograph her and embrace who she is. She gave me permission to share this image without her face and a few details about her story. She was my very first trans client, and she even used the photos we created from her first portrait session to come out to her mother. Wow, just wow. I’m so grateful to her because trans people face high levels of discrimination and violence,  AND she’s not alone. To be clear, trans rights are human rights.  She is inspiring…  watching her confidence and comfort in herself grow over the years is indescribably beautiful.  Of course, there’s SO MUCH MORE to it all… so much more detail, history, struggle, growth, and most importantly, LOVE. SHE is the phenomenal muse behind the new logo.

The new logo is dedicated to-

  • The FANTASTIC woman in the above photo, of course.
  • ALL of my clients (past, present, and future) whose trust I value immensely.
  • The awkward, the in-between, those who have been told they’re less than, those who have been told they’re too much, those who feel out-of-place, and those who are still figuring it out.
  • Creating, Collaborating, and Caring.
  • Being a Whole Ass Person.

Check out the NEW look in the video below-

I wanted a logo that would be….

  • Slightly more modern but not stiff; still curvaceous
  • Upscale, high end but still relatable and friendly with some whimsy
  • NOT perfect
  • Vibrant, Bold, Fun
  • Androgynous, Feminine, and Masculine
  • A gradient of colors
  • Enchanting, Welcoming, and Balance
  • Something that feels like me
  • Something that when you look at it doesn’t look nor feel like every other photographer out there

I was finally diagnosed with ADHD later in life, so I lived most of my life feeling Out-of-Place without understanding who I am. I felt Awkward, Too Loud, Too Random, Out-of-Place, Weird and Clumsy in my Brain and Body, Forgetful, Lazy, and Not Good Enough. BUT as a child, I would watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and I always knew that Mr. Rogers liked me exactly as I am. No qualifications… no buts…. just how I am. Growing up, I wondered so many times– IF I was loved by my mother, IF I was unlovable, IF I could do anything right, IF I could ever decide what I wanted to do with my life, IF I was good enough, IF I can change myself enough to fit in, IF… IF… IF!!! I think that’s why the following quote is a huge part of my values:

“You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There’s never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again. Only you. And people can like you exactly as you are.” -Mr. Fred Rogers

This new logo feels right… it feels fitting… it feels like it reflects the changes and growth in mellBella Photography. It feels retro and modern. It feels masculine, feminine, and androgynous. It feels welcoming and fun but serious and professional. It’s a balance and whimsical. 

mellBella Logo 2022

My goal is for the art I create with my clients to show:

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”  -Mr. Fred Rogers

So….. what’s next? The website. It’s a process, but it will be worth it.

 

2020 End of the Updates and Events

2020 End of the Year Events and Updates

Our Community Care Event is going on through Saturday, December 12th. Here’s how to enter to help the community and enter for a chance to WIN prizes from Local Small Businesses.

Step 1- Donate $10 or more to one or all of the organizations listed below:
Lowcountry Food Bank⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Fresh Future Farm⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
YWCA Greater Charleston⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Community Resource Center Summerville  and North Charleston (Cash app tag $NCCRC)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Step 2- Email us at info@mellbella.com with the screenshot with your donation. We’ll reply with how many entries you have in the contest. You have until Saturday, Dec 12th at 11:59pm to enter. More details on the blog
Miss Rockabillaque 2020 contest

Even though Rockabillaque 2020 was cancelled. The 2020 Miss Rockabillaque Pin-Up Contest happening as part of this year’s CODfather Christmas Celebration on Saturday, December 19th. The Pin-Up Contest will be a Holiday/Winter theme. Register to compete in the 2020 Pin-Up Contest here: https://www.rockabillaque.com/contests   As usual, we are sponsoring the Pin-Up Contest, AND the winner will receive a FREE pinup photography session with us including hair/makeup styling and access to the mellBella Closet. ($400 value).

The event will also include live rockabilly music, over 20 vendors, a giant Christmas tree, falling snow, Santa, kids activities, a bonfire, and more!! The Pin-Up Contest will be at 3pm on the Outdoor Stage at the restaurant. Miss Rockabillaque 2019, Ashley Kramer will be crowning the 2020 winner!

AND finally, we’re making some fine adjustments and planning for 2021, and we want to hear from you… what you want to see, hear, experience AND as always sooooo much more! Be sure to keep checking the blog and our social media for what’s coming next. Have a Happy Holidays, stay healthy, wear your mask, and look out for each other!

MBCommunityCare

Community Care Event

It’s the time of year … time for our last big fundraiser/giveaway/drawing event of 2020. Community Care is about showing care and support for our neighbors, small businesses, and our local community.

We have chosen the organizations listed below as part of this event. Each organization has been working in the community for several years to do things like fighting racism, empowering women, helping those struggling with food insecurity and/living in a food desert, and so much more.

Please donate and show your support to:

(Your donations will reach both the Community Resource Centers faster through Cash app with the tag: $NCCRC)


Here’s how to enter:

  • Donate $10 or more to one of the organizations listed above. For every $10 donated, you will receive 1 entry into the giveaway.
  • Just email a screenshot of your donation to info@mellbella.com to enter the contest.  All donations must be made from 10/23/2020-12/12/2020 to be included in the contest.
  • Additional ways to enter the contest will be announced on mellBella’s social media accounts between 10/23/2020-12/12/2020. Be sure to LIKE or FOLLOW us on: Facebook, Instagram, and/or Google Business.
  • Additional prizes will be introduced on mellBella’s social media accounts listed above.
  • Winners will be notified by 12/14/2020.

ALL prizes are from local small businesses. The more donations we raise, the more prizes will be released. Here’s just the start of the prizes available:

  • FREE Boudoir Photography Session including professional hair/makeup styling from mellBella Photography ($400 value)
  • $100 Gift Basket from Mamasita’s Cloth Diaper Service. Perfect for if you’re expecting or if you want to give as a gift for new mothers and fathers. Mamasita's Cloth Diaper Service Gift Basket
  • 45 mins visit to the Salt Room at Under the Stars Massage Therapy.  Unlike table salt, pure mineral salt is naturally moisturizing and brings many benefits to our lungs, skin, and bodily health.
  • Massage from Under the Stars Massage Therapy Their signature massage is designed to improve circulation, relieve muscle tension, and reduce stress.
Caring for the community is all year long, but maybe we can do a little extra right now. We all know that this year has been filled with extra difficulty, but joy can also be a form of resistance and hope for making the world a better place. Not just for a few but for everyone.

#MBCommunityCare

Support Small Business Contest by mellBella

Support Small Business Contest

Like many other small businesses, this time has been rough and scary … so we wanted to bring you something happy and make some lemonade out of these lemons.

So, welcome to our Support Small Business Contest! We’re teaming up with 
Bits of Lace and Sipango Restaurant to bring you some awesome prizes.
Winners will be chosen on May 1st!

You can enter on Instagram or Facebook. Here’s how to enter….⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

1. Post a photo on your profile that we’ve taken or you OR a selfie ⠀⠀⠀
2. Follow and tag each of us
On Instagram,
  @mellbella @bitsoflacefinelingerie @sipangochs
On Facebook,
mellBella Boudoir & Pinup Photography, Bits of Lace, and Sipango Restaurant
3. Be sure to include these hashtags on your post for your entry. #supportsmallbusiness and #socialdistancingissexy⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
***Note if your profile/posts are set to private, we won’t be able to see your entry. You may post up to two times a day which will give you 2 entries per day.

You could win one of these prizes…

1. A FREE session with us, including professional hair & makeup styling
2. A $50 gift card to Bits of Lace
3. A $50 gift card to Sipango Restaurant

And because we have the BEST clients ever, we have a special prized just for our previous Bellas who could win our gorgeous new product, the Legacy Box (pictured below), with 10 matted images from your last photo shoot with us.

what to do corona virus

COVID-19

It’s a scary time to be a human. As we face the uncertain future of how great the effects of COVID-19 will be on our lives, the planet, and every aspect of it. We all feel helpless, overwhelmed, and scared. We are all affected by this pandemic… literally every single person.

My 2020 favorite quotes come from Frozen 2. Right after they had to leave the town, Olaf says, “We’re calling this ‘controlling what you can when things feel out of control.” Later on, when Anna is alone in the cave, she sings ‘The Next Right Thing’– ”

“So I’ll walk through this night

Stumbling blindly toward the light

And do the next right thing “

So, what can you control? What is the next right thing? What can you do?

Of course, there’s the standard practices recommend by the WHO and the CDC like washing your hands thoroughly/often AND practicing social distancing.

A fantastic local blogger, Holy City Sinner, recently posted a great blog full of ways to help. From donations, virtual tip jars, volunteering, to petitions, there is something for every one to help.

You could also try starting/joining your neighborhood pod.

  • Get to know and share contact info with your neighbors from the recommended distance, of course.
  • Create a Facebook Group or something similar to stay in communication.
  • Share needs and/or supplies. The only way we get through this is by looking out for each other.

Keep in touch with family and friends.

  • Check in frequently during the week, especially with grandparents and the front line workers like health care employees, grocery and gas station employees, sanitation staff, etc.
  • You can Text, Call, Video Chat, Email, etc. My personal favorite is sending images of babies, animals, or gifs.
  • Support local businesses.

Remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

  • Follow Changes Counseling Center on Facebook for some helpful tools for yourself and families.
  • Try to go outside at least once a day. Take a walk, ride your bike, stretch, read a book, just breathe, etc.
  • Try not to eat all those emergency cookies at one time.
  • Sometimes just surviving is all you need to do.

Hang in there everyone! Sending much love, prayers, healing vibes, peace, and hope to you. Do what you can.

Be Bold mellbella

2020 Be Bold Boudoir Experience

mellbella corset BW window light

2020 marks the beginning of our 10th year photographing boudoir in Charleston. Plus it’s a leap year, so what better way to celebrate than with taking some time to see yourself from a different perspective… embracing your body exactly as it is right now?

Plus, if you have a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming, you can use that as the final push to believe in yourself enough to finally do it! It’s 2020, and it’s time to BE BOLD.

Are you ready to…
LOVE YOUR BODY?
Celebrate your femininity?
Create a gift just for yourself or maybe share it with something special?

Our Be Bold Package is $250 and includes:

– An hour pampering by our expert hair and makeup artist from Sarah Pearson- Hair and Makeup Artistry
– An hour Private photoshoot in the mellBella Studio
– Personal Reveal Session
– Champagne and sweet treats

Albums and products are available for purchase separately. Limited space available!

Ask about our specials for military, our Richard Bell Photography brides, and returning Bellas.

messy hair don't care mellbella boudoir
mellbella boudoir minis

Naughty and Nice Christmas Boudoir Minis 2019

Make this holiday a little extra Naughty AND Nice with a Christmas Boudoir Mini Session by mellBella Photography. It’s perfect for ladies who have never done a boudoir session and want to see what it’s all about. And, for all our Bellas who have done already done a session or two, it’s a great way to get some updated photos and a little extra surprise this Christmas.

mellbella bw pearls

Plus, we will be offering a some special albums and products that are ONLY available at the event. You’ll get to come to our studio, enjoy some sips and sweets, rock your 20 minute mini session, hang out for a little bit enjoying the view from our riverside studio, and FINALLY, see and order your photos THE SAME DAY! Here’s the special deal for this boudoir mini event:

Our Stocking Stuffer Package is $200 ($216 with tax) and includes:

  • Professional makeup styling by Sarah Pearson Artistry
  • 20 minute mini photo session with our expert boudoir photographers
  • You Rocking Your Fav Outfit
  • 1 5×7 Standout Portrait ($100 value)
  • Viewing & Ordering session of your images THAT DAY
  • Sips & Sweets

Select products will be available to purchase in time for Christmas. After your shoot, you’ll get to see and order your products before you leave. Orders must be placed that night. Half the session fee is required in order to secure your time slot! The remaining balance is due by December 4th. So, what are you waiting for?

 

Summer 2019 Boudoir Marathon

ONE DAY ONLY… this summer! Is it your time to shine? The weather is FINALLY getting warmer, and what better way to celebrate than with a boudoir photo shoot of your very own. Let’s be honest, you’ve been wanting to do this for years, and THIS IS OUR ONLY WEEKEND DATE for Summer 2019.
Are you ready to…
LOVE YOUR BODY?
Celebrate your femininity?
Create a gift just for yourself or maybe share it with something special?
Details below.

mellbella gray and red bed

Saturday, June 8th- $200

– An hour pampering by our expert hair and makeup artist from Sarah Pearson Artistry
– An hour Private photoshoot in the mellBella Studio
– Private consultation and viewing session
– Champagne and sweets

Albums and products are available for purchase separately. Limited sessions available!

Ask about our specials for military, first responder, our Richard Bell Photography brides, and returning Bellas.

News Flash Friday- April 2019

mellbella legs

Summer Boudoir Marathon

Announcing the one the ONLY mellBella Summer Boudoir Marathon will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Mark your calendars now and make your plans to book your session before they run out.

When will it be announced?

We will be giving away 1 session to our June 8th Boudoir Marathon. Details and how to enter for your chance to win will be announced on our Facebook Page on April 8th. You will have until TAX DAY April 15th to enter, and the winner will be announced by April 18th.

bridal boudoir by mellBella

Wedding Festivals Fall 2019

Our next scheduled wedding show is on Sunday, September 8th at the Charleston Area Convention Center. So, if you or your friend is getting married, bring the whole crew to our booth. We ALWAYS have something extra special at our booth ONLY available for those who attend. As always, Ladies ONLY!

mellBella Fun Facts

mellbella laughter

What’s new in 2019 at mellBella…

  • We’ve added a new album and some gorgeous wall portraits for you to proudly display some of your photos in your home.
  • We’ve renovated the studio and added new sets/furniture. There’s always something new at mellBella. Next up, we will be updating our website too!  
  • Mell Bell and Wanda and dreaming up something special for this fall. Stay tuned for details!

Spring 2019 Boudoir Marathon

Sexiest. Gift. Ever! Let our expert team help you create the perfect gift, for yourself, for your fiancé,  your anniversary, to celebrate reaching your goals or birthday, or just because you WANT to!  It may be cold outside, but it’s always hot inside our studio. Perfect for your spring wedding or anniversary!

mellbella boudoir silhouette window light

Saturday, March 9th & Saturday, April 13th- $200

– An hour pampering by our expert hair and makeup artist from Sarah Pearson Artistry
– An hour Private photoshoot in the mellBella Studio
– Private consultation and viewing session
– Champagne and sweets

Albums and products are available for purchase separately. Limited sessions available!

Ask about our specials for military, first responder, our Richard Bell Photography brides, and returning Bellas.