Author Archive Shannon Michelle Studios
Nov 11, 2016
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Charleston Wedding Belle Rev Officiant

1] What was it about Shannon’s work that made you want to hire her?

I saw her website.  I kept returning to her website.  I was in need of new headshots, but not boudoir photos.  Shannon’s Beauty Portraits were stunning.  There was something ethereal, fabulous, real, spiritual and gorgeous about each photo.  “That,” I thought, “that is what I want people to see.”  These were real women looking absolutely real and beautiful…. something compelling from within.

2] What was your biggest fear or concern going into the shoot?

I’m a dork.  A huge dork.  I’ve done photoshoots in the past and have been pleasantly surprised now and then.  But I really have NO idea what to do, how to stand, where to look.  So any success in the past has been sheer luck and will power on the part of the photographer.  I was fearful that I’d drive Shannon crazy because I wouldn’t know what to do.  I was also fearful that I wouldn’t be able to articulate to Shannon what kind of look I was hoping for, ultimately, at the end of the day: professional, welcoming, joyful, thoughtful, smart, etc.   Shannon and I talked about all of that and she understood immediately.  Her intuition is pretty stunning.  As far as direction, she assured me I’d be “directed from nose to toes.”  And by golly, I was!  The process was really fun and fascinating!


3] What was your favorite part of the experience of working with Shannon and her team?

Michelle and her team made me feel so comfortable.  There was nothing awkward about it.  I worry a little about not wanting to disappoint or being too difficult.  By the end of the shoot, I felt like I was simply hanging out with some girlfriends and I got to witness this highly talented professional woman do her craft.  Oh, and I got to be the subject matter!  I love watching people do what they love and do it well.

4] What did you gain from the experience that you weren’t expecting.

Besides gorgeous photos that gave me pause to catch my breath and say, “Wow!  Who knew??” ?  I think I learned a few tips on how to take a good photo.  🙂  And, more importantly, I gained a new friend.


5] Why did you need a photographer?

I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and I have a ministry/business in Charleston, SC.  We are the destination wedding capital of the country.  Because we are a destination location, much of my business is driven via website and internet.  An image of me on my website is the very first impression most people receive; before we ever have a conversation.  It is the first step in introducing myself to a newly engaged couple.  After fumbling around with several different websites, a new and improved version will be launched this year.  I wanted new headshots for that.  As a woman in ministry, my experience is one of needing to shatter the stained glass ceiling over and over again… esp. in the South.  🙂  More than once a bride’s uncle or a groom’s father will challenge me, “So you’re a woman.”  “Yes,” I tell them.  “Yes, I am.  Thank you for noticing.  Now please take a seat.”  It’s important to me that I not only am identified as a woman, but that I am identified as someone who is called into ministry and that I happen to be highly educated, highly skilled, and that I love what I do.  My hope for the photos is that I can be recognized not only as a woman, but as someone qualified who cares very much about you, your wedding, and your marriage.  You can find me at Wedding Belle Rev, LLC at

Watch behind-the-scenes video with Rev. Kristen Barner.

Hair and makeup by Gianna Gregory of Ulta Beauty Mt. Pleasant.
Behind the scenes photo by Charlie Nicole.

Oct 25, 2016
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The truth is, not everyone has the budget for a perfect smile. Or maybe you don’t have time for Invisalign before your next photo shoot. Many of my clients tell me they don’t like the way their teeth look on camera when they smile big. This leaves them smiling with their mouths closed or not at all. And while you know I love a serious look, it would be nice for you to have a few photos where you’re actually smiling!

QUICKEST FIX: Smile with your teeth closed.  

You ofter hear smile with your lips together or mouth closed but I bet you rarely hear smile with your teeth closed. It feels silly while you’re doing it, but it works. It won’t replace your busted grill but it will improve the look of it on camera.


When you have gaps, crooked or crowded teeth of any sort, your teeth have grown together in a way that “works” for your mouth. When you smile big, your teeth generally separate and you can see between the teeth, showing off all that glorious imperfection.



Charleston photographer bad teeth


The light that hits your face is not lighting the inside of your mouth. That makes darker areas appear in your mouth and once again, contrasts against the crooked white parts of your teeth. Ever looked at a photo of yourself and it looked like you were missing teeth? It’s just that enough light didn’t hit that part of your mouth.


Smiling with your teeth closed gets even light to all your teeth, blocks “dark spots” from inside your mouth and because your teeth have grown together in that way [as imperfect as it is], they look together when closed. Let’s make one thing clear….this will feel ridiculously “cheesy” and like you’re grinning like a fool. But if doing what was comfortable was working for you, you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now, right? Give it a try. You don’t have anything to lose.


Sep 30, 2016
posted in PRODUCTS with 0 Comments

“I used Shannon for some boudoir pics before the wedding for my fiance. I was so nervous going in. I am a plus size woman and wasn’t sure if I would look sexy. Shannon made me look and feel AMAZING! Honestly never felt sexier. My fiance LOVED the pics. Said he was marrying a model. Everyone deserves to feel this awesome about themselves. Thank so much Shannon!!!” – Ashley

A new location in charming Charleston means new and charming products!!! We are thrilled to be adding this adorable perfume drive, complete with your favorite retouched, high-resolution digital files. Perfume drives are included in all curated collections, completing the perfect gift for your loved ones. Click [HERE] for pricing and info.

Charleston Perfume Drive

Sep 16, 2016
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Go behind the scenes with Stacey as she shares what it means to her to be photographed by Charleston fashion photographer, Shannon Michelle.



How do you pick your polish color? Do you find yourself wanting to try a new color but then going back to the same three or four colors? You’re not alone. I do that all the time. I stick to reds and dark [almost black] purples in the fall | winter and pale or hot pinks in the summer. But yesterday, I found myself at the nail salon…again…with the same dilemma. I wanted something fun and new but would it work for me? Could I take the polish plunge?! I found myslef drawn to this coral color. And I don’t know why I didn’t think about this before but I started to think about what colors I was wearing that week. I asked myself, “What colors am I typically wearing right now?” We all lean towards certain color pallets, depending on the season. I’m loving deep blues, hot pinks, light pinks and golds right now. I occasionally wear a summer green and I often wear black. Then I realized, the coral goes with all of those colors! I’m in!! Let’s do this…new color here we come!

[I admit that as a creative, I did see the color wheel in my head…lol]

Once the choice was made, I was enjoying my coffee and pedicure and realized, maybe the polish is like the pillows on a sofa. It’s an accessory color. It can be changed regularly. Typically you’re encouraged to buy a more neutral colored sofa and then change things that are easy to swap out, like curtains, rugs, pillows etc….even polish 🙂

So the next time you’re at the salon, try something new. Change those “pillows” and give your weekly wardrobe a pop of color. I’m loving mine!!

Nail Polish Color by Shannon Michelle Charleston, SC

[Purse by Kate Spade]


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Shana’s Makeover | Beauty Story

Jun 02, 2016
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Our very own lead makeup artist, Shana shares her beauty story.
Watch the behind the scenes video with fashion and beauty photographer Shannon Michelle.

Makeup: Shana Christoforo
Photo | Video: Shannon Michelle Studios
Hair Extensions: Bellami Hair [260g | Chocolate Brown | 20 inches in length]
Brows: Anastacia Beverly Hills [Brow Definer | Chocolate]
Lipstick: Anastacia Beverly Hills [Liquid Lipstick | Blush] [Sunset Strip Gloss]
Lashes: Amy June Lashes [Elsa]
Foundation: Ashley Sievert Beauty [Mineral Velvet Creme Foundation]
Pro Contour Palett: Laurac Cosmetics
Tanner: Vita Liberata [Luxury Tan Rapid 4-7 Day Tan Mousse.]

As I’m waiting for the laundry to dry, I sit here in a nearby Panera Bread on this chilly May morning. Sipping my piping hot latte always makes thing better…even laundry.

While I relax, I think about my afternoon yesterday and how I got to see my bestie on the big screen. I’ve watched her grow as a person long before the idea of acting ever entered her mind. We’ve cried together, screamed together, worked together and she stood by my side as I married the man I now call my husband.

I remember running off to the movie theater together years ago, just to catch a glimpse of her on screen as an extra; and I do mean a glimpse. It was less than 20 seconds and she screamed, “There I am!” Of course, I was looking so hard that I missed it all together. “Where?” I said. “Behind that person over there” as she’d point herself out in the crowded nightclub scene.

I hate to admit it but I still didn’t see her. It happened too fast. Next time, I thought. And there would be next time. The movie Star Trek Into Darkness was the first time I heard her speak on screen and just yesterday I watched her as she had a role in the celebrity-packed movie Mother’s Day. 

Here’s a little sneak peak of her work on the movie, directed by film legend, Garry Marshall.

[Can I just note….thank God she’s making romantic comedies now, they are much more my pace.]

Anyway, back to my latte. Fine, I admit it; I also splurged on a pumpkin muffin! Don’t judge me. Pumpkin in May? Pumpkin anytime of year…who can resist?

Speaking of out of season things…have you ever watched a Christmas movie in June? Or a Halloween movie just because you wanted to be scared? Or a love story outside of February? Of course, you have! Well, I hope you have.

So between Actors and out of season pumpkin muffins, you must think I’m losing my mind. But as I drifted my thoughts from the movie I had just watched to the actors I photograph, to the industry as a whole; I thought about the age old question…are Actors overpaid? And because I’m a business person, I thought, “maybe not.” After all, they are just businesses. And really, what is a good business person trying to do? Most businesses are looking for that golden ticket…scaleability. Actors are paid to entertain us; to tell untold stories and give us a much-needed break from the stress of life. If you don’t agree, don’t watch any movies. It’s that simple. You vote with your dollars.

Whether they realize it or not, Actors have just figured out the ultimate business dream. To do what they do on a global level. Think about it, it’s the ultimate scalable business! They make one movie and get paid residuals based on the number of people who see that movie. It just so happens that for big stars and big movies, a shit ton of people buy what they do! In fact, if you’ve ever bought a movie so that you can watch it out of season [just like my pumpkin muffin], the scalability is even greater!

So instead of focusing on how much money a group of people has the potential to make, why don’t you ask yourself “How can I make my business more scalable? How can I grow my business to reach billions of people?” Because I’ll let you on a little secret… Actors are not the only people who have the capability to make millions. After all, someone has to finance those movies 🙂

And it’s like the old saying goes “Easy reading is hard writing.” Their job may look easy but take it from someone who’s seen firsthand, it takes a ton of hard work, patience, commitment, drive, passion, talent and even a little bit of luck. Absolutely no one is an overnight success and not all Actors will make it big.

And a great, big congrats to my friend Gianna Simone who is on Vogue’s best-dressed list at the 2016 Canne’s Film Festival in a stunning Naeem Khan gown. You rocked it!!! And check another creative genius friend, Holly Nichols’ fashion illustration of that exact moment!

Actor Gianna Simone in Mother's Day movie, Vogue, Cannes Film Festival

Watch behind the scenes boudoir video with Zumba instructor, Shannon Keane. Her story is an inspiring one about [at one point] being overweight and unhappy with what’s in the mirror. If you liked Shannon’s story, please leave her an encouraging message in the comments section below!

Behind the scenes video

Thank you, Paula, for sharing your story. Paula is a wife, a mother, and an equine chiropractor. But Paula is so much more than that; she is a woman. A strong woman who is passionate about her family and has been taking care of everyone else for such a long time that she almost forgot what it’s like to take care of herself. Shana and I just adored meeting Paula. She is honest, caring, kind and let us go on and on about our own pets when she was in the hair and makeup chair 🙂

I just adore how she lights up after her shoot. You can visibly see how much happier and confident she is after our time together. Watch her interview and leave an encouraging comment for Paula below.



P028b  paula_bw



Dress: Rent the Runway
Hair | Makeup: Shana Christoforo
Photo | Video: Shannon Michelle