Introducing Mell Bell

Meet Mell Bell

It’s been a while since I introduced myself. I’m Mell Bell… yes THE Mell Bell of mellBella Photography. I’m the photographer, artist, creative, designer, ride or die, never gonna give you up, cheerleader, etc. kind of person. My pronouns are she/her.

I’ve been a photographer with Richard Bell Photography since 2005. So I got my start in wedding and family portrait photography with my husband, Nathan, son of Richard Bell. I’m so thankful to be a part of the family business, but something was missing. In 2010, I photographed my first boudoir session, and after that, I knew THIS was the missing piece. So, with a lot of planning, long hours, and hard work, I founded the mellBella Brand with my dear friend. (Naming the company, Richard Bell Boudoir wasn’t going work. Totally not sexy at all!) Over the years, we’ve added pinup, styled, sets, a client closet, and so many things. Every year, I introduce a few new things that help make the mellBella Experience even better. Always thinking and growing!

many faces of mell bell

Because I feel it’s important to have a great relationship with my clients, we should get to know each other a little bit. So here goes…

  • One of my favorite local organizations is the YWCA Greater Charleston. Their mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is very important to me.
  • I have 2 daughters that are 8 years apart in age. What a BIG surprise indeed!
  • I’m awkward and empathetic, but my super power is embracing the awkward and making people feel comfortable.
  • I love my freckles, and I call them angel kisses.
  • Flip flops are my shoe of choice, but  I’ll rock a pair of heels for the right occasion.
  • I wish I could do hair and makeup, but I leave that to the professionals.
  • I pay homage to Lucille Ball with all my facial expressions.
  • My favorite drinks are Coke Zero, Jack Daniels, Espolòn Tequila, Diet Dr Pepper, and of course water.
  • I can eat ALL the pasta, pizza, and ice cream any time.
  • I celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions with an impromptu dance party.
  • Some of my favorite TV Shows are:  POSE, Grey’s Anatomy, Schitt’s Creek, Supernatural, Queen Sugar, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,  Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Steven Universe, and more!
  • I have too many movies to narrow down, but we’ll start with Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther, Spider Man: Into the Spider-verse, and COCO are my more recent favs.
  • My musical preference depends on the day or mood.

And finally I’ll end with a non Photoshopped boudoir photo of me, taken by me, and quote that is a mantra of mine.

“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.”  — Fred Rogers

professional boudoir selfie by mell bell

 

mellbella what to wear comfy tank

One Image Wednesday- Comfy Tank

It’s time for another What To Wear Wednesday! So what’s good option that you can wear right now and/or for a photo shoot? Comfy tank tops, of course. (Bra optional). I’ve been living in comfy tank tops lately too. They’re convenient, inexpensive, and cool for those warm summers days. Plus, if you’re working from home and you’re not on a video conference, no one knows what you’re wearing anyways.

Wear THAT Dress

One Image Wednesday- THAT Dress

Happy Wednesday! It’s always a struggle to figure out what to wear for your photo shoot. But what about that dress you love?!? It doesn’t have to be a ballgown, but it could be. It doesn’t have to be your wedding dress, but it COULD be. It could even be that dress you wore on your first date, your anniversary, or your birthday. OR maybe it’s just your favorite dress that you wear to the beach. Don’t think I CAN’T WEAR THAT! Bring it to your mellBella session to see that dress in a whole new way.

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!

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    How did you hear about us?

    What are you interested in?
    BoudiorPinupStyled

    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.

    with love from Mell and Wanda

    2020 New Year

    Mell Bell and Wanda the photographers and founders of mellBella Photography

    Happy New Year from mellBella! It’s 2020. It’s a new year and with that it means there fresh excitement for change, hope, and love. For growing, dreaming and achieving, building a better world filled with justice and love, making positive connections, for surviving and getting through, gratitude, and as always kindess.

    We don’t know what all this new year holds. Some people say 2020 is the year of clear vision…haha. But we have some ideas and dreams that we look forward to bringing to you this year.

    Our motto for this year is timeless advice:

    “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else!” RuPaul

    Thank you for your trust, your support, and just being yourself. To 2020!

    mell bell and wanda News flash friday faces

    News Flash Friday- October 2018

    mellbella trick or treat 2018

    Halloween Costume Contest

    What are you going to be for Halloween?  Be sure to enter our online Halloween Costume Contest. You could win a FREE boudoir or pinup session with us or some other fantastic prizes. The rules are simple, and all ladies 21 years old and up are eligible to enter.

    1. Post a photo of yourself in your costume on Facebook or Instagram now through October 31st
    2. Tag mellBella in your post on Facebook- mellBella Boudoir & PinUp Photography or Instagram – mellBella
    3. Add the hashtag #mellbellatrickortreat2018
    4. There are 3 categories and prizes: Overall (wins the FREE session), Scariest, and Sexiest (have other awesome prizes)

    We’ll announce the winner after Halloween! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Miss Rockabillaque 2018

    Rockabillaque 2018

    Are you ready? It’s almost time for the 6th annual Rockabillaque at Park Circle in North Charleston from 11am-6pm on November 10th. Bring your friends, and come check out the vintage car and bike shows, live music, or enter one of the contests: Pinup, Tattoo, Beard & Mustache, and more. mellBella is proudly sponsoring the Pinup Contest again, and this year, we’ll be judging it too! So grab your pearls, wear your best pinup look, and rock on down to Park Circle. We’ll also have a booth there to check out our pinup photography too.

    C4W NEW Conference 2018

    Center for Women NEW Conference

    C4WNEW is the Center for Women’s 2-day event on November 15 & 16th bringing inspiring fresh ideas, relevant and useful knowledge, and innovative thinking to curious and ambitious women in South Carolina. This event will ignite professional growth, personal transformation, and economic development. mellBella will be there as part of their ME TIME Marketplace with specials ONLY available for those attending. AND you can still purchase the She’s My Hero Calendar at this event.

    Get your tickets at: Center for Women

    mellBella Gives Back

    mellBella Fun Fact

    Looking to give back? Some of our favorite local non profits/charities to support are:

    • One Eighty Place ends and prevents homelessness one person at a time, one family at a time.
    • Florence Crittenton Programs of SC provide education, counseling services, medical care, social support, and a safe haven for at-risk,  pregnant and parenting young women in need.
    • People Against Rape (PAR) is a sexual advocacy program offering free support and services for survivors of sexual assault.
    • YWCA Greater Charleston is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

    We’ll be posting some more about them and their Christmas Wish Lists coming soon!

    She's My Hero Calendar Launch Party banner

    She’s My Hero Project Calendar Launch Party

    To celebrate women, their diversity and empowerment, mellBella Photography created the She’s My Hero Project , a project to raise awareness and as a charity fundraiser for the Center for Women.  On October 10th from 6-9pm at Boone Hall, mellBella Photography along with our fabulous sponsors will host the She’s My Hero Calendar Launch Party.  Dress is casual or business casual, but we welcome you to come just as you are. The colors for the event are purples, lavenders, silver, and white, so feel free to dress to match.

    She's My Hero Ticket Link

    We will have Erin Kienzle of Lowcountry Live, as our wonderful emcee, to present each of the winners and their photos during the big reveal. The photos from the She’s My Hero Contest  winners will be in the 2019 She’s My Hero Calendar. It’s going to be so much fun, as the winners of the  haven’t even seen their photos!

    erin of lowcountry live with wanda and mell bell

    Hungry? Enjoy complimentary food, drinks, and desserts from the delicious Asian and Latin cuisine of Dashi and mini sweet treats, wine, and sangria from Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, Cocktail Caravan, and Pedal Pub.

    And who doesn’t love a silent auction? The auction items that have been donated will be on display and up for bidding to support the  Come ready to have fun, purchase a calendar, bid and win at the Silent Auction, and/make a donation. The calendars will be $20 and a suggested donation at the door is $20. Of course, it’s not mandatory, but after all, it is a fundraiser.  All proceeds from  donations, the silent auction, and calendar sales go directly to the Center for Women.

    Did you get your tickets yet? The event is FREE to attend, you just need to:

     Get Your Tickets HERE! 

    A huge thank you to our sponsors! We couldn’t have done this without your supprt. Be sure to check them and show your support for these local businesses– many are women-owned. Can’t wait to see you there!

    Did you get your tickets yet? While the event is FREE to attend, you just need to register at the link below. Get your tickets NOW! Can't wait to see you there.

    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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    She's My Hero Project

    She’s My Hero Sponsors

    To celebrate women, their diversity and empowerment, mellBella Photography created the She’s My Hero Project to raise funds for the Center for Women.

    Back in March for Women’s History Month, we held the She’s My Hero Contest where we asked local women to tell us who their heroes were.  The contest winners received a photoshoot from mellBella styled as their hero. Also, each winner received a gift basket filled with donations from local businesses.

    she's my hero gift basket

    The photos from the contest winners will be in the 2019 She’s My Hero Calendar. ALL sales of the Calendar will benefit the Center for Women directly. To be included in the calendar, all sponsors must have all information submitted by August 31st. Silent Auction donations should be submitted by September 28th.

    On October 10th at Boone Hall, mellBella Photography along with our fabulous sponsors will host the She’s My Hero Calendar Launch Party. Details and tickets coming soon!

    We are looking for sponsors for the calendar & event as well silent auction donations, especially from women-owned businesses. We hope you will partner with us for this event. Contact us to receive more information.

    She's My Hero Project