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In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Lilly

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.

mellbella messy hair boudoir

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!”

booty shot over the bed at mellBella Photography

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.”

black and red teddy boudoir

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.”

natural light skimming across the body boudoir

 

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Allison

boudoir through the archway

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…

boudoir lounging on our antique sofa

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.”

black and blue color scheme for our boudoir bed

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 :)”

Comfy tank top boudoir

 

 

In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Kim

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.

statement necklace in black and white

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!”

red and black color scheme over the bed boudoir

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!”

moody boudoir lighting

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!”

boudoir headshot with messy hair
In Her Own Words mellBella

In Her Own Words- Ms Coco

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.

moody lighting boudoir


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!”

boudoir silhouette by mellBella

 

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!”

details statement necklace

 

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! :)”

black and white striped stockings boudoir

Faces of mellBella

Who are the women that we photograph at mellBella? They are women just like you. 

Women with kids. Women without kids. Women battling infertility or miscarriages. Women in a great relationship. Women who got out of an abusive relationship. Women not in a relationship. Women about to get married. Women celebrating an anniversary. Women no longer married. Women who have never been married. Women celebrating goals or their birthdays. Women who need a break. Women who need to feel beautiful inside and out. Women who volunteer. Women who don’t take care of themselves because they are too busy taking care of others. Women caring for sick or dying family members.  Women who have lost weight. Women who have gained weight. Women whose bodies have changed with health or life in general. Women fighting or have fought depression, post partum, eating disorders, diabetes, cancer, and so many more difficulties.

Women with stretch marks, cellulite, age spots, wrinkles, big breasts, small or no breasts, tall, short,  thick hair, thinning hair, and everything inbetween. Women of different ages, races, sizes, and shapes.  Stay-at-home moms. Working mothers. Professional women. Military. First Responders. Strong women.  Strong women who feel weak. Awkward women. Silly women. Women who want to feel valued. Women who want to feel good about themselves. Women who come to our studio just as they are with the hopes of liking 1 or 2 photos of themselves for the first time in their lives. Women who generally like photos of themselves. Women who give and give and give some more. Women who want to show that they’ve still got it.

But one of the things that connects them all is that ALL women are beautiful. Women who are beautiful but don’t know it. Women who are beautiful inside and out. Women who want to see the beauty that others see in them. These women are just like you.

So, here’s to you, Bella. Thank you for everything that you are despite the struggles you are facing. Thank you for your trust in us. We love you! 

 

mellbella boudoir over the bed camera with a red corset

Stacey’s Boudoir Story

 “I am still waking up, but I am very excited! I am nervous that I’ll give in to all those self confidence issues, so I am forcing myself to be positive!”

Stacey wanted us to take her bridal boudoir photos to create an extra special gift for her husband-to-be. The quotes are from Stacey before and after her boudoir photo session with us. She choose our Lusso Package which is a full session that includes a two hour photo session with us. A full session gave her plenty of time for a few different outfits, sets, and props. She brought his jacket and hat, a purple lace nighty, a white teddy, a gorgeous pink mask, and a few other lingerie pieces. She borrowed some shoes, necklaces, and the red corset from our mellBella closet. During the week of her photo shoot, we also got to incorporate a 20 ft piece of greenery garland for a natural, sexy look. Below are just a few of her photos that she has graciously allowed us to share with our mellBella followers. Truly, she gave her  husband the Sexiest. Groom’s. Gift. Ever! Thank you, Stacey.

 “I had a blast! The ladies make you feel beautiful and fabulous. I ended up doing full nudes, which will shock my fiancé in the best way. Thanks ladies! Much love.”

guitar boudoir photography

Lauren’s Boudoir Story

Every woman has a story. We’re thankful that Lauren has agreed to share her Boudoir Story with you. In the video, you’ll see the actual images from her mellBella Boudoir Session.  She brought comic books, roller skates, and guitars with her to showcase her personality as well as her sexy side. What will your story be?

Special thanks to Sarah Pearson for the awesome hair and makeup styling for Lauren’s shoot. And, thank you Lauren for trusting us and rocking out your boudoir shoot.

Leap Into A New Look Winner from Lowcountry Live

Back on Leap Day, we had the pleasure of photographing Ashley, the winner of Lowcountry Live’s Leap Into a New Look Contest. Here’s just a few from the first part of her session with some behind the scenes. We’ll be sharing a few more from the rest of her session later 🙂 Special thanks to Sarah Pearson- Hair and Makeup Artistry for add the final touches to her hair/makeup look.

 

 

simply sweet boudoir

Caroline’s Boudoir Story

Every woman has a story. We’re thankful to share Caroline’s Boudoir Journey in her own words with the photos we created together. We hope she will inspire you on your journey.
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“Princess. Diva. Super-model. I’ve been them all, if only for a few hours.

Here’s my story: I’m an overweight, thirty-something (coughcough) mother of two, and a boudoir photography session has been my goal for years. I told myself that I was going to get skinny, so that I could take some rockin’ photos for my husband—and myself!—to look back on. Barring reaching my goal weight (which hasn’t happened), I promised myself that I would do it for my ten-year wedding anniversary. I blinked, and here it is; we’re planning our anniversary celebration. So even though I’m not ideal (at all), I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and make an appointment with MellBella, the sister company of Richard Bell Photography, one of the premier wedding photography companies in the southeast.

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Here’s their story: Five years ago, two best friends conceived of this company in order to honor women. I’m going to paraphrase Mell herself here (and when she explained their motivations, she was so impassioned that she was tearing up a little): Women are under intense emotional strain. We’re often the primary caregivers. We’re often the primary house-keepers. We’re often working a job inside or outside the house. We’re expected to stay strong for our families while being told by social constructs and media images that we’re not good enough. Many of us have issues with the way we look, and know that we’re not the ideal.
 

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I know that I’m not the ideal; any photo that I share with my public not only represents an hour of hair, make-up, and wardrobe prep, but has probably been edited a bit too. In other words, at my very best, I’m still not ideal. MellBella took my not-ideal body and (yes, there was an hour of hair/make-up prep) made me feel ideal. That’s an incredibly empowering talent. I am still walking tall, knowing that I might be lounging in yoga pants and a ratty t-shirt today, but I can look like a magazine model with a little help.

 
One very efficient strategy Mell employed was flipping the camera around early on, to show me just one of the shots she’d taken of me. If the lady in the viewfinder of that camera hadn’t been wearing my birthmark on my arm, I wouldn’t have believed it was me. I looked… gorgeous. Sexy. Beautiful. Like I belonged in a magazine… and from that moment on, I was confident instead of awkward in my poses, because I’d seen how I could look.

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Boudoir photography is ostentatiously for men—we do it for our husbands and lovers, and MellBella offers discounts to wives of deployed military husbands—but that’s not the complete truth. We tell ourselves that, in order to justify the experience—justify the chance to feel like a princess for a few hours—but the experience is really for us. We don’t have to be scantily clad in these photos; I took several that are perfectly normal and I plan on hanging on my wall. Because while I plan on giving most of these photos to my husband, I’m also keeping some for myself. Thanks to this session, I not only feel better about myself, but I have a series of incredible photos that I can look back on in the years to come. Mell even told me that many women carry copies of these photos with them, to peek at when they need a pick-me-up. One glance at these, and I know that I would walk taller, prouder.

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Consider booking your session with MellBella—or any other women’s photographer—today, so that you can have this natural high I’m still feeling; the high of feeling like super model for an afternoon, and looking at photos of yourself and knowing that you’re a beautiful, sensual, confident woman, no matter what you feel like society is telling you about being good enough. I promise you that you won’t regret it.  MellBella Photography: Beauty at Every Age and Every Stage.”  ~Caroline ralesept1615-0113 ralesept1615-0090

just a tshirt

Mell Bell’s Boudoir Journey

Hey Everyone,

Wanda inspired me to share my boudoir journey with you. I was a tomboy growing up… proud of being a girl and showing that I could do anything a boy could. There’s even a newspaper article from when I was five stating that I wanted to be a “craft girl” instead of a craftsman. I’m the shortie in the front with the huge cheesey grin.

 

5 year old Mell Bell

 

I wanted to be so many different things growing up– from being a flower picker to the first woman president. Vote for Mell Bell 2016!  I loved playing dress up, pretending, acting, and making people laugh. I would make faces, dance, and have imaginary conversations with myself in the mirror. Growing up, I struggled for years under verbal abuse in my home. Nothing was good enough.  I never really thought of myself as pretty or beautiful. I thought of myself as goofy, quirky, different, and at times, worthless.

In high school, I choose to go against the grain.  I chose to fight gender inequality at my small private school by gathering a group of girls to play in the male dominated chess tournament. I pleaded with the principal to upgrade the girls’ sports uniform from old faded t-shirts (the same for every sport) to jerseys like the boys that varied according to the sport. I bugged the principal to allow the girls to play one sport against another school at least once a year. The boys got to do this twice a year all ready. I was the only female in the computer programming class despite my male teacher trying to talk me out of it simply because I was a girl and that it was going to be difficult. Let the record show that the only girl in that “difficult” computer class got a high B for her grade.

For college, I started off at a local technical college and joined the co-ed soccer team. We didn’t have enough females, so we ended up playing in the men’s league. I was the only girl at most games. I then transferred to USC… Go Gamecocks! I became a Resident Advisor (RA) and worked with Freshman girls to help them with their first year of college. I met my husband, Nathan, at USC (and that’s a whole other story).

In my college years and soon after,  my jobs consisted of assisting young adult women struggling with weight, anorexia, abusive boyfriends, drugs, jealousy, depression, school, cleanliness,  etc. It’s hard being a girl, and so many people and things tell us we aren’t enough.

Fast forward to a few years later… I feel fat, tired, anxious, nervous, and not pretty at all. I get my hair and makeup done, and I start to relax. I change into some lingerie, and for the first time, Wanda photographs boudoir photos of me. I felt safe. I felt like I finally found something that was missing for a long time. I felt feminine, lovely, and beautiful. I was doing something special for my husband, BUT I was also doing something for myself. Now at least once or more every 2 years, I schedule another boudoir session to remind myself that there is true beauty at every age and every stage of life. If this girl can do it, any woman can.

Stay Sexy,

Mell Bell