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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.

Wear your off the shoulder sweater

One Image Wednesday- Off the Shoulder Sweater

This One Image Wednesday — Grab that off the shoulder sweater and SHOW OFF those shoulders! OR take a sweater that is a few sizes too big for a similar look. Neutral colors like gray are great, but don’t be afraid of a pop of color. Plus, you’ll be so comfy too. Just wear it.

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.

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!

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!
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!

Naughty and Nice Christmas Boudoir Minis 2018

We’ve never done a special like this one! Santa checked his list, and he checked it twice. You were as both Naughty and Nice! Get your Christmas shopping done EARLY with a gift your special someone would never expect. You could even surprise yourself!

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 a session, it’s a great way to get some updated photos and a little extra surprise this Christmas. Plus, we will be offering a few 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 that night. Here’s the special deal for this boudoir mini event:

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 27 & 28th

Our Naughty List Package is $300 ($324 with tax) and includes:

– 20 minute mini photo session with our expert boudoir photographers
– You Rocking Your Fav Outfit
– Chic Box with 5 of your favorite images (add more for ONLY $30 each)
– Private viewing and ordering session of your images THAT NIGHT

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 one week before your session So, what are you waiting for?

What is the Chic Box? It is a unique way to display your sexy photos but still keep it secret in a keepsake box. You get to choose the fabric to reflect your personality from subtle sexy to bright and bold. Each 5×7 image is professionally printed and mounted to a black styrene, so it’s not your average photo print. 

Ready to book? Contact us for available times and more info:

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BoudiorPinupFeminine

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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.

She’s My Hero- December

As we come to the end of the calendar introductions, we couldn’t imagine a nicer person than Jennifer to end the year with. Meet Jennifer. She will be December in the She’s My Hero Calendar. Jennifer succeeds at two demanding jobs. She is a hardworking RN AND an incredible wedding coordinator. She has been married to her sweet husband, Brian for 4 years. They absolutely love and spoil their awesome dogs! Jennifer’s hero is someone she’s know her whole life and is very close to her heart. Thank you again to Paperdolls Wedding Hair & Makeup for creating the final hair and makeup look in our calendar. It was perfect!

When Mell Bell and Wanda created the She’s My Hero Project back in January, we wanted to raise awareness and funds for the Center for Women, meet and team up with fellow businesses (especially women-owned ones), and tell the stories of local women to bring together, inspire, and celebrate women. We got to meet so many new people and work together to take our BIG idea from a dream to a reality through this year long project. The journey has been difficult but worth every minute. We hope you will join us at the celebration and reveal on Wednesday, October 10th from 6-9pm at Boone Hall.

She's My Hero Ticket Link

 

 

She’s My Hero- November

Meet Mell Bell. She is 39 year old Mom of a 7 year old daughter. Mell meet her husband in college at USC. She is the Co-Founder of mellBella and has been with Richard Bell Photography for 13 years and a professional photographer for 10 of them. Mell Bell is very passionate about Humans Rights and Equality. Just wait until you see who her hero is, think way back for this one! Thank you again to Sarah Pearson Artistry for going back to the 1800s for the hair and makeup styling.

The She’s My Hero Calendar Launch Party to benefit the Center for Women is next week! We’ve been keeping the calendar TOP SECRET, and on Wednesday, October 10th the BIG reveal will happen at Boone Hall  from 6-9pm. However, we did give exclusive information to Skirt Magazine. Be sure to check out their October issue in print or online for some sneak peeks.