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

 

 

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.

Boudoir FAQ

Boudoir Q & A Podcast

Mell Bell and Wanda and I were recently on a Podcast. And not just any old Podcast but it was Weddings from the Pros!!! A local and amazing Podcast filled with lots of great info for wedding planning, but of course, we put on our spin on it. On the pod, we chatted with Nathan Whitworth of Angled Light Photography and Kendall Kapanzhi of Wedding Festivals.

While we did talk about boudoir photography as it relates to a wedding gift, there’s soooo much more about one core beliefs, our process, our experience, and lots of answers to common boudoir questions. Like, why do a boudoir session? And, how do you choose a boudoir photographer? So check it out and let us know what you think.

Listen on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bridal-boudoir-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/id1486145197?i=1000463421261

Or Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/episode/5SlXzHwuqonUl6ArBtWUwR

Let’s do this!

Name (required)

Email (required)

Phone #

Best time to call

How did you hear about us?

What are you interested in?
BoudiorPinupFeminine

Why is doing this important to you, and what draws you to our studio?

If you have any questions, great! If you are ready to book, even better.

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?

 

Don’t Miss Out

NEWS FLASH… We have some big changes coming to mellBella Photography. We are focused on creating the best experience and service (new sets, more outfits, etc.) for our Bellas, and the time has come to change our prices to keep up with and expand the experience you know and love from mellBella. But the new pricing won’t take effect until June 9, 2019. So, if you’ve thought about booking your first session or another session with us this year,

NOW IS THE TIME! Our current pricing will be good through June 8 for ANY 2019 Boudoir session booked by June 8th.

We’ll be announcing the new session fees and pricing in the coming weeks, but for now, you can still book a 2019 boudoir session with us on available weekdays Monday-Friday for $300 for a two hour photo shoot or $200 for a one hour. Both sessions include professional hair and makeup styling.

The session fee does not include any prints or products. You make your purchasing decisions at your photo reveal appointment 1 – 2 weeks after your shoot. Our albums and the investment starts at $500. That is a for a 5×5 petite book with 10 pages and it goes up from there.

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

Deadline for this special has passed.

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

What To Wear 25 Under $25

mellBella’s Top 25 Lingerie Picks on Amazon Under $25

The age old question… What To Wear? We at mellBella are going to bring you a series of some of our favorite picks at varying price points. Sometimes you want fine lingerie, something unique, or sometimes you just need the easiest thing available. Keep in mind some items are way more comfortable to wear, and this post is just a place to get started. The most important thing is to be yourself or find something in that color you love. Each image is even linked to the Amazon Page, just for you. Keep in mind prices on Amazon may change frequently, and the images are from the companies that made these products. Without further ado, here are our Top 25 Picks Under $25 on Amazon.

Off the shoulder sweaters are cozy, and go great with our Just Be Natural set.
Don’t forget about your back, especially if you have a back tattoo.
This high necked body suit emphasizes your top half and minimizes your lower half. Plus, it comes in this beautiful wine color.
Lace or Chiffon Swimwear Cover Up… choose your length and color
Over the Knee Thigh High Socks… because sometimes the stocking sdon’t fit right
This plunging neckline with a thong back is for the more daring. Do you dare to wear?
Not a fan of heels? Try some sparkly sandals instead.
Mary Janes are classic and timeless. Just choose your favorite color.
This lace robe is romantic and sexy. Pair with your fav panties not the little piece of cloth that comes with it.
A strappy tank is always in season.
This Semi Sheer Maxi Dress is for when you want more coverage, but the peel-a-boo panels fall in just the right places.
We love the corset back on this high waist panty set.
We say yes to anything lace.This high to low ruffle hem is sexy and sweet.
This body suit comes in fun colors and features a cheeky booty.
This floral lace babydoll looks amazing on all shapes and sizes.
This faux leather corset comes in several sizes and features lace details.
Don’t forget your special ring or make a statement with this one.
This corset is a shaper too!
This cold shoulder babydoll is as comfy as your pajamas.
Who wears short shorts? You can!
A bustier in fun colors and a zipper back? Yes, please.
Can’t or don’t want to wear heels? Try these flats instead.
What’s not to love about these comfy yoga pants with a slit?!?
Pair this classic low cut tee with some cute panties for the win!
Never underestimate the power of a cute sundress.

Introducing ‘Just Be Natural’

mellBella Photography Set- Just Be Natural

Each and EVERY year, we look for ways to improve the mellBella experience and bring something new to our clients. We decided to renovate parts of the studio to add a bigger variety of looks or moods for your sessions. We know that sometimes you want to feel a little more natural, relaxed, and cozy. Plus, once we found this unique egg chair, we HAD to have it. We had to do some internet sleuthing , visit multiple stores, and take it out of its HUGE box just for it to fit inside the car.

Below are just a images we took so you can some ideas for your session with us. AND all the outfits and jewelry are pieces from our mellBella Closet, which are available to borrow at your session. Like a great girl friend, you can ALWAYS borrow something from our closet. 2019 is here, and we’re ready! Are YOU?!?

She's My Hero project highlights

She’s My Hero Event Highlights

What a whirlwind! On Wednesday night at Boone Hall, we had our BIG reveal at the She’s My Hero Calendar Launch Party to benefit the Center for Women. The weather threatened rain(and lots of it) earlier in the day, but we said RAIN or SHINE… it’s on! It turned out to be a warm evening with a cool breeze outside where guests enjoyed the marsh view on the Cotton Dock and the delicious paella, tacos, and noodle dishes from the Dashi Food Truck.  Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the music and the magical lighting from Lowcountry Entertainment.  Lovely flower arrangements in purple and white from Petaloso decorated the tables, and Justin Wham Weddings and Events helped coordinate, set up, provided the cozy seating area near the fireplace, and made sure the stage and the whole space was beautiful along with the rentals from Eventworks. And who doesn’t love something sweet?  Sweet Lulu‘s Bakery, Cocktail Caravan & Pedal Pub brought the wine, sangria, and a mouth watering selection of mini desserts.

Here’s just a quick look at some of the highlights:

It was only fitting that our Emcee was Erin Keinzle of Lowcountry Live, as she helped announced the contest that started it all back in February.  At the event after welcoming everyone, Erin introduced Lisa Dabney, Executive Director of the Center for Women, who talked more about what the Center does for women in business and their upcoming conference in November. Then, we (Wanda and Mell Bell) shared some personal stories and the WHY behind this whole event– to celebrate women, of course and tell their struggles and their stories. We also thanked several of the sponsors, such as Skirt Charleston whose mission is to celebrate and empower women with attitude.

And finally, it was the time we have been waiting for ALL YEAR LONG… revealing the hero photos to the women in the calendar and the whole world. Their reactions were heartfelt and priceless as they saw themselves as their heroes for the first time! The calendar sales opened, and the silent auction continued NOW with the canvas portraits of the Heroes as part of it.

100%… yes all of the proceeds of the silent auction and calendar went directly to the Center for Women. And at the end of the night, we raised almost $5,000, and it’s still climbing!

 

The fund raising continues as The She’s My Hero Calendars will be on sale for $20 each through the Center for Women. Get your calendar at their conference at Trident Technical College on Nov 15 and 16th or contact them for more info.

News Flash Friday– August 2018

It’s that time again for a  short, sweet, sassy, informative, and fun way to keep you up to date with everything that is going on at mellBella Photography.

mellbella photography information

Come say hi!

Please join us at Charleston Wedding Festivals Bridal Show on Sunday, September 9th at the North Charleston Convention Center. Drop in from Noon to 4PM. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 online. It’s a great way to meet vendors, get ideas, and help with wedding planning. You will even meet Mell Bell and Wanda,  our expert boudoir & pinup photographers.  We will have a special ONLY available to those ladies who visit our booth, and there you can register for a chance to win a FREE photo session with us, including professional hair and makeup! ALL Ladies 21 and up are eligible to participate. We’ll help you create the Best. Gift. Ever! Can’t wait to see you there!

 

She's My Hero Project

She’s My Hero Calendar Launch Party

It’s time to celebrate! Get your tickets NOW for our BIG event to raise funds and awareness for the Center for Women.   The She’s My Hero Calendar will be revealed at the Launch Party on Wednesday, October 10th from 6-9pm at Boone Hall Plantation. For updates, information, and  tickets visit our Facebook event page. We are still looking for sponsors for the big calendar reveal and silent auction donations. Contact us to be a part of the She’s My Hero Project.

Follow Us on Instagram

wanda with long hair and mell bell with blue hair

mellBella Fun Fact

mellBella is constantly evolving and working to become better artists, photographers, and community members. We started in 2010 by doing a few boudoir sessions under our brother company, Richard Bell Photography.  We decided to form our own feminine brand and launched  mellBella Photography in January 2011. Since then we’ve moved locations, added space & sets, photographed hundreds of women,  partnered and supported local businesses and non profits, and so much more. This year, we even drastically changed our hair from the above photo… Wanda cut it all off  and went super short and funky. But Mell Bell changed from blue to purply pink or “aggressive fuchsia.”

Even though some things change, our goal is still the same. To coach and cheer on our clients on a journey from from self conscious to confident, from embarrassed to empowered. To create art specifically for the eyes of only a few people. To fight pornography with images that celebrate and honor the subject.

 

 

 

 

mell bell and wanda News flash friday faces

News Flash Friday– July 2018

The mellBella team is always up to something, which can make it hard to keep track. Welcome to News Flash Friday… a short, sweet, sassy, informative, and fun way to keep you up to date.

wedding show booth mellbella

We want to meet you!

This Sunday, July 29th from 12-4pm… come see us at The Charleston Bridal Show at the Gaillard downtown. It’s a great way to meet vendors, get ideas, and help with wedding planning. BUT even better… we have a BIG Announcement, a chance to win a FREE photoshoot with us, and a special ONLY available for those ladies who visit our booth. For this show, our booth will be teals, black, silvers, and grays. Hope to see you there!

She's My Hero Project

We need your help!

The She’s My Hero Project continues… we need your help. We are still looking for sponsors for the big calendar reveal and silent auction donations for this fundraiser for the Center for Women. Contact us ASAP to get involved. We’re having the calendar launch party on October 10th at Boone Hall. More details coming soon. Share the love, and help us raise more funds for Charleston Area women to learn, thrive, and succeed.

 

mellbella boudoir couch in moody light

What are you waiting for?

Saturday and Sunday, August 18 & 19th at the mellBella Studio, we are hosting our annual summer boudoir marathon Turn Up the Heat.  Whether you’re a bride and want to give your future spouse something they’ll never forget. Or maybe you have a birthday or anniversary that you want to celebrate with something they would never expect. Maybe you just want to celebrate your age, strength, your survival, your femininity, or reaching your goals. OR maybe because you take care of everyone else, you need to something for you. Check out available times and reserve your session at: Turn Up the Heat 2018

mellbella prima bella ladies only

mellBella Fun Fact

We love our Bellas (our clients), and we created a special group called the Prima Bellas just for the ladies. Through our work and this group, we want to chat with, get to know, and share with ladies who are interested in The mellBella Experience. The mellBella Experience goes beyond a regular photo shoot and brings it to the next level of classy, beautiful, and creative photography. Plus, we have super fun monthly giveaways and at least 4 chances a year to win a FREE photo shoot with us. Here’s how you join:

  • Sign up for our Prima Bella newsletter by texting PRIMABELLA to 22828.
  • Request access to our Private Facebook Group: mellBella Prima Bellas