Here’s a little something new we added to our studio… the Inferno Wings! These gorgeous gray wings can be added on to your session as an additional set. We can set the scene for a moody dark angel or maybe you want something a little more heavenly. What will you be?
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!
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
For this One Image Wednesday, I wanted to share one portrait from our Over-the-Bed camera. We love dressing up the bed with complimentary colors to really set the mood. We love a messy bed! Whether you want go bold or more natural, we customize the look on the bed for you. For the Bella, we used black, gold, pink, and just for fun a rose gold necklace from our mellBella Closet. Her black lace shoes are also available from our mellBella Closet. What are your favorite colors?
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.
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!”
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.”
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.”
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…
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.”
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 :)”
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.
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!”
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!”
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!”
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?
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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!”
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!”
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! :)”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.