Marcelle Raphael is an award-winning professional photographer based in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.  She provides portrait photography services, instruction across the southeast and online training for students around the world.  

Specializing in newborn, maternity, child & family portraiture, Marcelle offers clean, classic and simple images with a focus on black and white images - the color images always being included as an option, as well.  

As a professional photographer, her work appears in national commercial advertising campaigns and many corporate environments; most prominently by a nationally recognized professional printing lab. She has also had her work displayed at WPPI's international expo and conference for photographers and Imaging USA, one of the world's largest photographic conventions.

The most rewarding part of what she does is seeing how her images create joy and happiness. She loves turning every image into a special treasure valued for a lifetime or even generations. These moments only happen once and she is honored you trust her to capture them. 

Columbia Baby Photographer | Unique and Elegant Newborn Photography

April 29, 2015

Columbia's Best Newborn Photographer | Baby {E}

April 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


Here are some of my favorites from this newborn photography session!  Enjoy! ~ Marcelle


Baby {E} Newborn Photography | Columbia SC Newborn Photographer

March 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Congratulations to mommy and daddy of the beautiful baby {E}.  What a beautiful newborn addition!  Enjoy this sneak peek from her very first photography session.



facebook auto enhance for photographers

March 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment



Clients, Friends and Followers. The new FACEBOOK auto-enhance feature MUST be turned off in order to view the works of professional photographers. Most professionals will properly format images for file size, type and color management before adding to facebook so your viewing is optimized for the web. If your images look pixelated, digitized or just plain horrible, this may be the reason.

How To Prepare For A Newborn Session

December 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
You've done it!  You have brought the little life you created into this world! Let the picture taking begin! From now on you will be capturing pictures of absolutely everything they do.  To kick start that tradition, you have chosen to get your baby's first images done by a professional photographer. Now, we need to get you prepared and help you with what you should expect.  
Once you have booked, you will need to start planning for your session.  Here are several tips for a successful newborn session.
  1. Book your session in advance at least several months (around 20-25 weeks of pregnancy) to ensure that I have availability. Usually, my parents book their newborn session at the same time the maternity session is booked (getting the bundle discount) or shortly after. Booking ahead of time will give you priority over anyone who books last minute and guarantees your session. I have had to turn last minute parents away on occasion, but I will certainly try to get everyone in.
  2. Newborns have been in your womb for nine months, but they are ready to stretch out those little arms and legs soon after. To get the best images, I will schedule your infant session for 5-7 days after your due date. This date will be tentative until your beautiful new addition has arrived. As soon as the baby comes home from the hospital, please email me at You can also call or text me at 803.528.0077 so I can confirm your date.  A good rule of thumb is to put me on your call list for the day you come home from the hospital.  I will schedule newborn sessions up to 14 days.  Keep in mind that the longer your wait on the session, the more awake your little one will be. This can limit the kind of poses you will receive.
  3. ALL newborn sessions are done at 9am on weekdays. I know it is hard to get out of the door with a new one in tow (probably the first time) so if you are a little late, do not stress or worry about it.  I'm OK with that! Just get to the studio as close to your appointment time as possible, without rushing or stressing. Having mom, dad or baby feeling tension shows in images, and we do not want that.
  4. Newborn sessions last approximately 3 hours, but the baby is in charge!  I will stop as often as necessary to allow you to feed, change or cuddle your little one.  I only book one newborn per day, so don't worry about me if the session is lasting a bit longer.  The goal is to get beautiful images, and I will take my time to do it.  It is best if you do not plan anything else on this day.  It can be exhausting for both baby and mommy.  Someone other than mommy should drive on this day.
  5. Immediate family members, your spouse/partner and siblings to be included are more than welcome, however, please do not bring friends, extended family or grandparents unless previously agreed or if they are needed to take a sibling elsewhere after their part of the session. Be aware that the real focus is on your newborn so only a few images with others will be in the final results.  If siblings are included, I recommend that we focus on these images first and then have someone leave the studio for a fun little play date while we finish the rest of your session.
  6. Posed sessions work best for newborns as they are still moldable into different fetal positions.  It will take a few moments between set ups to calm and pose your little one, so don't worry if it seems that the baby isn't cooperating. Truly, they usually are perfect models at this age.  I can not guarantee a certain number or type of poses.  I do rely on my best judgment and experience in determining whether your wee one will be able to sustain a certain pose.
  7. If possible, hold off on feeding the baby for two hours before the session and keep the baby as awake as possible. Upon arrival at the studio, you will relax and feed your newborn. The goal is to get them full, sleepy and happy.  Be prepared with lots of extra bottles, diapers, wipes, and pacifiers.  During a session is not the time to be on a rigid schedule.  This is a special day and event so you will need to be flexible so I can capture your images.
  8. Remove any elastic clothing, bracelets or socks that may leave elastic marks at least one hour prior to your session so skin will be naturally smooth.  I recommend a button or zip up sleeper to reduce marks on your baby's skin. Applying a non-greasy lotion before the session reduces the appearance of uneven dry spots or other skin problems.
  9. I have most of the items that you will need for your newborn session, but PLEASE bring things that are special to you.  Baby blankets, clothing, hats, etc.  Whatever it may be, I will do my best to incorporate into your session. Most of the time, the baby will be nude.  Most clothing does not fit properly, so I use blankets, wraps, and other items which will allow the focus to be on the baby.
  10. It will be very warm in my studio.  Since we have a new little one to keep warm, I have extra blankets and a heater to help keep those baby fingers and toes warm.  Be prepared to step into the reception area or just take a break if you get too warm.
  11. I do not wear perfume, makeup or jewelry to newborn sessions due to the delicate nature of their skin and unknown sensitivities or allergies.
  12. Bring an extra set of clothes for baby, mommy, and daddy.  Accidents do happen, and we don't want you having to drive home "accident" covered.  
Relax and enjoy your session!

©Marcelle Raphael / Southern Belle Studios


Baby {L} | Newborn Photography in Columbia SC

December 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Newborn Photography in Columbia, South Carolina

For whatever reason, boys are not into my studio much... until lately.  This little heartbreaker stole my heart right away.  He is SO handsome!  Not surprised.  Mom and Dad are gorgeous, too! Welcome to the world baby {L}

Eli | Child Photography | Columbia SC

November 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


This little guy was so cute exploring the studio.  Love those eyes and curls of his!


Private Santa Mini Sessions | Christmas Photography in Columbia SC

October 09, 2014  •  1 Comment

Requests are already coming in and I have been booking for Christmas sessions already! Check out this SPECIAL Christmas Event.  


(The Santa Pictured is the Visiting Santa!)

No Mall!  No 2-3 Hour Lines for you or your children!  

Book your BY APPOINTMENT mini session for your little ones.

Your child will:

Meet and Greet Santa Claus - Provide Santa with wish list - Check for their name on Santa's Nice List

Receive a Gift from Santa

(My goal is to capture the joy, happiness and excitement with Santa in candid moments)


You will:

Receive 10 digital images available by download (5 color/5 black and white) - Online Gallery

Customized Slideshow - Images prepared for Facebook - Print Release


Book Now!

Sessions will be held on Saturday, Dec 6 from 2pm - 6pm and Dec 7 from 3pm - 6pm will be opened if Saturday fills up first.  When a session is booked and paid in full, you will receive your time slot.  The earlier you book, the earlier in the day you will be.  Because Santa is on a tight schedule, this is the only way to ensure full booking.  Full address and details will be provided, but location is subject to change.

I would love to make this happen for your little ones!  Ages 1-9 is ideal.  Up to two children per session.  

Images would be delivered within one week so you have time to order.

Possible November dates during the week may be available depending on interest. 






Happy Birthday to Riley!

September 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Child Photography | Columbia SC

September 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Sometimes kids really really hate family picture day.  Let's face it, MOST hate family picture day and it takes a little coercion.  Not this little guy. 

Only Three?  Really?  This young man was SO good and polite throughout his family's session that I couldn't believe he is as young as he is. He is a supermodel in the making.  He loved to pose and took direction so incredibly well for almost two hours!  30 minutes is usually tops. Look for his face on a magazine near you... or maybe on the big screen.  He has THAT kind of charm and charisma... and he's super cute too!


January February March April May June (1) July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November (1) December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March (2) April (2) May June July August September October November December