My Photo Reveal with Sarissa Marissa Photography & #SpreadTheKindness Link Up #31

This story begins with my post on May 18, 2017, Shelbee Got Her Groove Back. You may remember that post. It was a good one. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should probably read it. Anyway, at the end of that post, I shared a link to another post written by a fabulously inspiring woman named Celia. Celia actually writes two separate blogs, Resilientista Musings and The High Heeled Life. She had written a wonderful post How a Professional Photo Shoot Changed My Life and Why You Should Book One, Too. At the time I shared her inspiring post, I did not know that Celia also had recently launched a online magazine, Resilientista Magazine, which focuses on helping women learn how to live their best lives.

*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I found out about Celia’s newly launched magazine because she contacted me directly to invite me to contribute to the Fall issue. While I was telling everyone how inspired I was by her post, she, in turn, was inspired by mine. So I have written an article for the upcoming issue of Resilientista Magazine. But you will have to stay tuned for its release to see what it’s all about!

So a published magazine article is kind of a big deal. And I really wanted to make it count. So I followed Celia’s advice and booked myself a professional photo shoot for the pictures that will be accompanying my article. Now here’s where the story gets really fun. And super inspiring. And so empowering. And exciting and exhilarating. And even better than you can imagine.

Meet Melissa of Sarissa Melissa Photography

On June 1, 2017, I had participated in a Fashion Show with EyeCrave Optics, Strut Boutique, and Solitary Consignment. A local photographer was enlisted to take photos of the fashion show and at first meeting, she and I connected like polka dots on a vintage dress. And I knew immediately that Melissa of Sarisssa Melissa Photography was the girl for the job! A few weeks after meeting her, I booked my session. Melissa offers a specific photo experience that is meant to show women how truly incredible they are. These sessions are called Truly You: Fierce, Authentic, Empowered. From my personal experience, the session lives up to its name and more!

The beautiful and amazingly talented photographer, Melissa of Sarissa Melissa Photography

On the day of my photo shoot, I arrived at Melissa’s studio with 5 bags of shoes, 12 outfits, and 2 bags of accessories. I thought she was going to think I was an insane person. But as I hauled everything in from my car, her eyes lit up like Carrie Bradshaw’s at a Christian Louboutin sale. She was quite literally jumping for joy! And when I gave her free reign to style me up, I think she may have shed a few joyful tears. I cannot even tell you how happy this made me!

A peek inside the Sarissa Melissa Studio

Once I had all of my things inside, then I could truly appreciate what Melissa does. She has a little chalkboard outside her studio door. On it, she had perfectly scrolled “Shelbee on the Edge Photo Session.” (I seem to have lost the photo of that.) She had drinks and snacks and music and a makeup artist and a hair stylist. All for little ole me. Talk about feeling glamorous. Chantel of Hair by Chantel and Anna of Anna’s Chop Shop Hair Studio were amazing and skilled as they primped and readied me for my session. I am not going to share all the details with you simply because this post is already getting too long. You will have to book a session for yourself to really get the idea of what an amazing experience a Truly You session is. Multiple locations, 3 hairstyles, 8 outfits, and 5 hours later, we were exhausted, excited, energized, and feeling really fabulous! Looking forward to my photo reveal, we hugged and parted ways.

A look at the many sides of Melissa of Sarissa Melissa Photography

When it was time for my photo reveal, again Melissa treated me like I was the most famous girl on the planet! I met her at her studio and she had a big banner on display with my photo and “Shelbee on the Edge Photo Reveal.” Complete with a slide show and a brilliantly chosen musical score, how could I not feel important?! And then the best part of all of this is the results! Oh. My. God. The results. I went to bed that night feeling like a Hollywood superstar! And now a few weeks later, I am still kind of feeling like a Hollywood superstar. And it seems that these photos will continue to make me feel this way. So I would say that Melissa has very successfully accomplished her goals!

My Photo Reveal
This is how Melissa presented me with the flash drive containing the digital photos from my session.
Isn’t it so creative and thoughtful?
Melissa really knows how to make a girl feel special!

So I want to say thank you to Celia for inspiring me to book this photo shoot. And I want to say thank you to Melissa for making me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. She will surely be changing the world, one fabulous woman at a time. So if you need a little uplifting of your female spirit or if you need to rediscover your authentic, beautiful self or if you need to feel empowered or if just want to have a fabulous day of pampering, book your Truly You session now! You will not regret it!

Be sure to check back for the release date of the Fall issue of Resilientista Magazine. And Melissa may possibly be contributing something special to a future edition as well!  You will have to stay tuned!

Now for the big reveal…

So tell me, have you ever done a professional shoot like this before? If not, is it on your bucket list?

You can find Melissa online at Sarissa Melissa Photography, on Facebook, and on Instagram. Also, send lots of joyful energy her way as she will be walking down the aisle with her soul mate in less than two weeks! I do hope Melissa has the most magical day!

Outfit Details
Dress: Black Lace V-Neck Maxi Dress purchased at Torrid Salmon Run Mall.
Shoes: Chinese Laundry Sweetness Metallic Sandal from DSW.
Necklace: Walmart (No link available).
Eyewear: Etnia Barcelona from EyeCrave Optics.
Photos by Sarissa Melissa Photography.
Makeup by Anna’s Chop Shop Hair Studio.
Hair by Hair by Chantel.
Nails by Andy of Pro Spa Nails.

If you are still reading, it is link up time! And time to spread more kindness. Here are your favorite posts from last week.

Liz of Lizzie in Lace is featured again as a reader favorite with her post 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Me. I love these posts especially considering I just wrote one myself here! And how adorable is Liz in this lace skirt and striped ruffle top?!

Liz of Lizzie in Lace

And Trina of Tipsy Heelz is beach ready and looking fabulous in her Bohemian Beach Maxi Dress + Handbag.

Trina of Tipsy Heelz

Thank you all for your continued support and keeping kindness alive! I hope you have enjoyed this post!

Feeling glamorous on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

78 Responses

  1. I have never done something like this Shelbee, but now you’ve made me think I need to!! Because really, we all need to feel important and what a fabulous experience!!

    • Jodie, thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, you definitely need to do this now that both Celia and I have said how amazing it is! I really hope you do get the opportunity. I would love to hear about your experience and see the results!


  2. WOW!!! Shelbee you look absolutely incredible. Like a true Hollywood glamour girl. I LOVE that black lace dress on you – it looks like it was designed for you. Such a true beauty, my friend <3 <3
    Suzy Turner

  3. Love your photos!!! I am professional photographer and I need to start offering these types of sessions to women!

    • Thanks so much, Pam! Yes, you should totally offer sessions like these! Check out Melissa’s page for exactly what she offers. Her Truly You sessions began when a friend of hers sought her help to make her feel beautiful again after getting out of an abusive relationship. And she was inspired to do this for all women. She will most likely be sharing her story in a future issue of Resilientista Magazine. And perhaps I will have write a guest post for my blog, too!


  4. Stunning photos Shelbee! You look amazing xx

  5. What an amazing experience…every woman should do this! XO Susan

    • Susan, it definitely was! And every woman really should do this! I was thinking of you and your mission actually when talking to Melissa about why she does these sessions…she may be someone you could connect with for special sessions at Uncommon Threads! Her Truly You sessions began when a friend of hers who was a victim of domestic abuse had come to her to “make her feel beautiful again” after getting out of the abusive relationship. And Truly You: Fierce, Authentic, Empowering sessions were born!


  6. What an amazing photographer! I love how she presented you with the photos. Your look is stunning! They are sophisticated and sexy. My photographer for the blog is a professional but I did do a boudoir shoot which was so fun. Thanks for sharing this experience and this link up!

    • Kathrine, thanks so much! Melissa is very creative and so talented! She has such an eye for fashion, too. Wait until you see the photos that we did for the magazine article! Talk about sexy!


  7. I’m in awe of you! You are so spirited and assertive in getting the best photos. You look adorable–it’s infectious, that smile of yours!!!

  8. So much fun!!!! You look amazing!!

  9. Shelbee! Melissa captured your ISTA!! So happy to have inspired you treated yourself to this amazing experienced! and I know by sharing it you will be inspiring other women to book a session with a photographer in their area. A professional photo shoot really captures us for who we are – too often we forget- !! Your upcoming article in Resilientista is going to make a difference in the lives of so many women!! Thank you for being a woman who believes in helping other women live their best life by sharing her own journey! Thank you for all you do and share through your blog!! <3

    • Celia, thank you so much for everything you do! For inspiring me, for sharing your story and your journey, for empowering other women to be the best versions of themselves! I had shared some sneak peek photos from this shoot in one of the over 40 Facebook groups and one woman did book a session for herself that she had been contemplating for a while. And it was sharing my experience that pushed her to take the next step and schedule the session! That made me feel fabulous. And I only did the session because I was inspired by you…it amazes me how far our actions and words reach! Keep being fabulous! And I can’t wait to see the Fall issue of Resilientista Magazine.


  10. These are amazing pictures Shelbee! You will cherish them forever! I have never had professional pictures done. I think it would be fun though! Thanks for the great resources! Peace!

  11. What a gorgeous black dress! I love the sheerness of the skirt!


  12. I’ve never done a professional photo shoot but it sounds so fun! Love the photos!

  13. Wow! You look amazing my friend! You always do, but you can tell from the photos that you were feeling like the superstar that you are. xo

  14. You look soooo great Shelbee! These pictures are stunning! ♥️
    XO Tina

  15. Nice photos. Looks like you had a blast.

    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful rest of the week.

  16. I love love your dress Shelbee, and thanks for hosting!!

  17. Stunning photos! I love your black lace dress. I’ve never had a professional photo shoot done, except for many years ago when I modelled for my hairdresser and the makeup artist made me look half dead!

    Emma xxx

    • Emma, thank you so much! And your photo shoot experience does not sound nearly as great as mine! Perhaps you should book one now and have it done right! Nobody wants to look half dead!


  18. How fabulous for you all the way around, Shelbee! Very cool about the magazine article. Your photos are beautiful and I like the way Melissa styled you for the shoot. I have done a couple of pinup girl photo sessions and it was so fun to have my hair and makeup done by professionals and I loved the photos.

    • Thank you so much, Jennie! We did some pin up style photos as well which I will be sharing soon! So stay tuned! I am so excited to share all of the beautiful images Melissa created for me. She is so talented. And the magazine article….GAH….I am beyond excited for that! I would love to see your pin up photos. Are they on your blog?


  19. Ahh thank you so much for the feature! You look absolutely stunning in this!probsbly one of my favorite outfits of yours yet!


  20. Wonderful Shelbee! I love the photography and your lace dress looks tailored to you, very pretty! I bet you felt great! I have done a professional shoot once before a long time ago and it was great fun
    Have a wonderful week!
    jess xx

    • Jess, thanks so much for stopping by and thank you for the lovely compliment. This dress is so comfortable, too. Now I just need somewhere to wear it…and not just a photo shoot! A photo shoot about yourself really is great fun, isn’t it?


  21. That lace maxi LBD is gorgeous and I love the statement necklace, also. The closeup photos turned out great Shelbee. You are so photogenic babe.

    Happy Tuesday and Happy August!

    • Thank you so much, Ada! I never considered myself photogenic at all…ever! So imagine my surprise when these photos were revealed to me! I couldn’t be happier with the results.


  22. There is something to be said about using a photographer who reflects back the energy you need to feel relaxed and confident during a shoot. It looks like you’ve found that with Marissa. These are fabulous photos and I’m looking forward to seeing more as well as your article. You go girl!


  23. Oh yes! You look so beautiful girl! Love how the camera catches your beauty. Love that dress! needs to check it out lol! What a talented photographer and love how she presented you with that box, so pretty and creative inside, I want to get more into photography myself, I just love taking photos of nature and things. I just need to get out of my comfort zone and do photography as a business. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the feature too! You’re so awesome honey! 🙂

    • Trina, thank you so much for this wonderful comment! If you are passionate about photography, then definitely you should jump right into it…great things happen outside of your comfort zone! I forward to seeing some of your photography! As always, it was my pleasure to feature you. You rock!


  24. Shelbee this dress becomes more awesome the more times I see it. And you look wonderful in those pictures, I’m notoriously camera shy, and I’m super critical with every photo I take. However, you look like you are having a wonderful time

    • Gigi, thank you so much! I think the best way to become less camera shy is have a professional shoot! It will seriously change your life! It was so much. And I am not super comfortable in front of the camera either, but the more pictures you take or have taken of yourself, the more comfortable you become.


  25. I had a dress like this and I loved it. You look stunning. Thanks for joining the Ageless Style Linkup party.

  26. Shelbee,
    Wow! What a beautiful experience. You look amazing!

  27. Beautiful shots Shelbee !!!!! WOW – I think she captured your essence perfectly. The black and white picture are mu faves. You should frame one of those!

    • Lorena, thank you so much! I haven’t ordered any prints yet because I can’t decide which I would want! But, I agree, the black and white ones are some of my faves!


  28. You look wonderful and she did an excellent job taking your photos! You are also photogenic and it really shows in your pictures. Plus that dress is stunning.

  29. A professional photo shoot is absolutely on my bucket list! I came close to scheduling one last year but once I found out how much it cost I couldn’t do it, bummer. One day I will! Your pictures are beautiful but so are YOU!!!

    • Thanks so much, Kellyann! It was definitely a pricey venture, but well worth it to me in the end! Hopefully, you will get the chance soon to do a professional photo shoot!


  30. Love the lace look!!

  31. I’ve never had a professional photo shoot but it looks like so much fun! Your photos are beautiful! That black dress is stunning on you!

    Doused in Pink

  32. Get it Shelbee!! These pics are beautiful! I would frame them throughout the house.
    Thanks for hosting


  33. This is such a great post. Your photo shoot was amazing, and how great was Melissa’s presentation?! You look absolutely amazing in these photos. Love the black lace dress and those shoes!!! So gorgeous Shelbee!

    xx, Elise

  34. Looks like a fun day and a great connection you have made with these ladies!

  35. What an amazing experience and your photos came out great! How exciting! And congrats on the magazine article – can’t wait to see it when it comes out! Much like some of the ladies above, I’m soooo uncomfortable in front of the camera. Am trying to force myself but just feel so awkward and then start laughing inappropriately! ;0 Thanks for joining in again on this week’s Friendship Friday blog hop!

    Elizabeth |

    • Elizabeth, thanks so much! I am totally uncomfortable in front of the camera, too. And that is what this experience even more fun! You should definitely try it sometime. It is worth it! I was trying to comment on your post today, but I couldn’t load your page for some reason. But I will keep trying! Thanks for stopping by and taking the comment to comment. I hope you have a fabulous weekend.


  36. Oh my goodness this is so fun! I love everything she put into that shoot! (Isn’t it great when someone treats you so fabulously?!) And I love the results. You always pull off dramatic pieces so well, Shelbee. 🙂


    • Mary, thank you so very much for this lovely comment! I do like to add a little dramatic flair here and there! This experience was like no other and was just simply fabulous! Have a wonderful weekend.


  37. The pictures are gorgeous. This is definitely something I need to do myself.

  38. This lace dress is so cool! I once had one similar to this and I loved it! Thanks for joining the Top of the World Style party.

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