anthropology – an experiment

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

anthropology – the study of humankind, in particular.

As I have been shooting for the sake of shooting and uncovering more about myself and the direction I want to go with my art, I have discovered that not everything I want to shoot is clean, clear, innocent, and hopeful. For instance, my Black Dress Diaries said something different than I have said before (there are still a few installments to come there, stay tuned!), and similarly, this little set within a shoot I did last week stepped out of my normal photo zone into something quite different and almost daring.

I almost never shoot in direct light, as I prefer more filtered, softer lighting for my portraits, but when you try something and it does something fascinating, it’s sometimes better to say yes and see where it takes you. And then when processing something fascinating takes a different turn, it’s okay to go with the mood and let it express things that you didn’t know you wanted to say. These looked incredible in color, but when the black and white hit the images, I couldn’t turn back.

As a person, I have BIG feelings, and I am finding that photography is one of the best tools I have to help me not fear my feelings. The more I dare with my photography, the more okay I find that I am with my feelings in my real life. So I study others’ feelings through a filter of my own, and I am learning so much more about what it means to be human as I experiment. It is really so very fun!

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory
photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory
photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory
photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

photography by kelly sauer | patchouli gown by claire pettibone romantique | dress source  The Dress Theory

CREDITS:

Photography: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Gown: “Patchouli,” by Claire Pettibone
Gown Source: The Dress Theory
Location: Charleston, S.C.
Model: Ashley Cox

Preview – English Garden Bridal Fashion

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | bridal

So my blog has been AWOL for a week or so because of some issues on the back end, but it was probably okay, because I had two shoots and a wedding last week, so it’s not like I’ve had time to blog anyway. And I have some really pretty stuff to share this week while I get myself back together before the next round.

Shooting is so GOOD for me. I have finally been shooting what I have been wanting to shoot, and I’m starting to uncover creativity that has been in hiding for much too long. It makes me happy, and I’m loving what I am seeing, loving that I’m coming to the end of each shoot with the sense that “I have more to give” and “next time, I can push a little more and a little harder and a little farther.”

I can’t wait to show you more from this shoot, but for now, I’m just giving you this glimpse with one of my favorite pictures ever. Here’s to doing what you love, taking chances, and giving yourself time to grow.

CREDITS:

Photography: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Gown: “Patchouli,” by Claire Pettibone
Gown Source: The Dress Theory
Location: Charleston, S.C.
Model: Savanah H.

Breathe Deep – A Bridal Moment

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On the morning of her wedding, she needed the sea. She thought she might sail away on it, disappear into the distant horizon lit by the sunrise bringing her joy. She stole away for a quiet moment, a simple girl in a simple gown with a simple need – just to be.

She strolled barefoot where the waves met the sand, and she gathered her wedding bouquet as she went, leaving a few blooms behind for the mermaids. The morning birthed a breeze that played with the wisps of her hair, that reminded her how breathing felt as it tangled the sun up with the golden strands.

She would be married today. She would be a wife. She would finally be one with the one her heart loved.

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since this shoot. It was a collaboration that began as an opportunity to photograph some of Kelly Lenard’s beautiful work with florals, and then it blossomed into one of the most enchanting bridal stories I’d seen after we discovered the simple silk lining on the gown we intended to photograph.

We took this shoot to the sea, and we paired larkspur and gold in the model’s hair (her name was Vera – she is one of the sweetest, loveliest people I have ever met!) and Kelly paired barefoot sandals with her foraged, windblown florals at the shore to create a simple, inspired morning moment that only needed sunrise and a beautiful girl to carry it off. We shot through the cold of the morning (40 degrees for this early morning set!) but when the photos came back, we never would have believed it was as cold as it was.

Wedding Sparrow published this shoot last year when I was on maternity leave, and I am only just now getting it up here at my blog, but I am sooooo happy to finally have it here! It is one of the loveliest things I have ever photographed!

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CREDITS

Photographer: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab
Florals and Styling: Intertwine by Kelly Lenard
Gown: Aire Barcelona from Ebrada Atelier
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Model: Vera of Millie Lewis Models and Talent
Blanket wrap: Kohls

WANTED | Models, Intern, Stylist

kelly sauer photography | help wanted - stylist, intern, models

 

Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co. is GROWING, and it is time to bring a few new faces make up a very small team. We are moving forward with some big ideas, and these ideas require a bit more energy and investment than I can bring to the thing myself. We have a few positions opening for some talented creatives to help take this business to the next level. Following are descriptions of what Pete and I are seeking as we move forward with our business.

 

MODEL CALL

In spite of a fantastic response to my recent call for couples, am still searching for real people in the Charleston area (or willing to come to the Charleston area) who are willing to model for me – male, female, and/or couples – and help me create a portfolio that will push the Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co. and Exquisitrie imagery out of my habitual defaults into a fresh, authentic approach to things I’ve been shooting on auto-pilot for a while. All models will receive photos/headshots in return for sitting, standing, laughing, or playing under my camera. If interested, please email a head shot or portrait of you or you as a couple to kelly@kellysauer.com for potential shoot dates.

INTERN/ASSISTANT WANTED
(unpaid position)

I need a reliable someone (local or non-local) for about 12 hours per week to help support me on the back end of the business.

Qualifications: Must be at least 16 years of age, must have an interest in and passion for photography and design, must use an active Instagram or Flickr stream, must possess strong writing/storytelling skills, natural people skills, and good fashion sense. Interest in set-styling and design a bonus.

Duties: Will include (local or non-local) post layout, email sorting/correspondence, industry research, submission creation, album design, conversation. May also include (local only) shoot assistance, coffee dates, and set creation/assistance.

Benefits: Intern will receive monthly mentor sessions, basic entrepreneurial inspiration and business tips, one-on-one shooting and training opportunities, and personalized skill-strengthening assignments in collaboration with Kelly Sauer.

If interested, please contact me at info@kellysauer.com. Please include your phone number, a paragraph about why you feel you would be a good fit for Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co., and a paragraph about what you hope to gain through an internship with me.

STYLIST WANTED
(partner position)

All of my strongest work has been done in the company of a fantastic stylist, because it has freed me up to focus on what I do best – SEEING. I am looking for a female stylist to join my team who has a vision and aesthetic that will complement my own aesthetic as I push Exquisitrie and my lifestyle photography further out into the world. I don’t want to do this alone anymore, and with some changes that Pete and I are embracing in our own lives, it has become necessary for me to look at embracing someone else’s vision alongside my own. I have worked with stylists like Ginny Branch, Type A Society, Rebecca Gallop, Blue Eyed Yonder, Alise Taggart, Carlee Sizemore, Mary McLeod, Amy Osaba Events, and Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride to make some really lovely images, and I would like to carry that work forward with an Exquisitrie “dream team” that would both strengthen my photography and give a stylist partner exposure and opportunity to create work that they really want to create on a level that would put Exquisitrie into high demand.

A qualified stylist should possess a knowledge of set and prop styling, fashion styling, and floral design. Exquisitrie will adjust our pricing structure to accommodate stylist on the shoots she works. Stylist should have her own business and a desire to grow it in partnership with a fine art lifestyle photographer, though I am open to someone who does not have a business if her aesthetic and direction matches or complements my own. I need a creative who is good with give-and-take in a team setting, someone who is a bit extraverted and other-centered, someone whose vision is as strong as my own for not only their own work, but mine as well, believing that Exquisitrie is its own thing and willing to give it the wings it is asking to have.

If you are a stylist interested in becoming part of Exquisitrie, please email me at info@exquisitrie.com. Please be sure to include something about your styling vision, a link to an online gallery with your work, and a paragraph about why you think you would be an amazing fit to work with me and why you think I’d be an amazing fit to work with you.

NOTE: I am looking for a real friendship out of this idea, not merely a business relationship. I expect a partnership to be an equal, mutual pairing, and I won’t work with someone who is not bringing themselves to the table to strengthen me as much as I plan to bring myself to strengthen you.

 

P.S. The image above is a preview from my Saturday morning shoot that is trying to decide whether or not it wants to go see a publisher. I’m just beginning to track down lifestyle publication options, so it may just show up at my blog, but it’d be fun to see if it could find a place to live elsewhere!

South Carolina Castle Wedding – Shelbi & Barend

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Barend, our groom, moved to the United States with his family from South Africa over ten years ago. He grew up with his two brothers in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, and after college, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he met Shelbi, the girl who would change his life forever with her ready smile, her sense of humor, and her tender heart. At their wedding, guests told how they had seen him fall in love with her and how much joy she had brought into his life. I have rarely seen a couple who so genuinely adored one another.

Shelbi had wanted to elope, but Barend wanted a wedding, and the location they chose was Atalaya Castle, the one-time winter home of philanthropist Arthur Huntington and his artist wife, Anna. Barend had spent his summers there, first as a teen, then lifeguarding during college, and he could think of no better spot to bring his past and his future together for an intimate wedding that honored both his South African heritage and Shelbi’s American roots.

The wedding, envisioned and styled by one of Shelbi’s best friends, Mary McCleod (who was also a bridesmaid!), brought together elements of the sea and the island, mixing modern and medieval textures together in the almost-exotic coastal setting of South Carolina. The sound of the sea carried on the breeze over the ceremony, and the full moon that rose late over the reception lent a mystical quality to the very down-to-earth celebration of this couple’s love story.

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)
Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)
Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)
Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)
Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)
Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

Shelbi & Barend (Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer)

I’ve shared only a small selection of my very favorite parts of this wedding here, but if you want to see more of the story, please go and visit Snippet and Ink, where we were honored with a publication last Monday. There’s a gallery there with additional details and moments.

This wedding post marks a change in my approach to weddings going forward. Last year, I launched Exquisitrie as the wedding side of my photography brand, to hold all my wedding-elopement-bridal-wedding-editorial related things. In the next few months, I am going to be refining that side of my business and scaling it back to accept only three or four intimate weddings or elopements per year, along with more bridal portraiture and some wedding fashion photography. In the meantime, I am getting ready to launch a new (or not-so-new!) lifestyle branch of Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co., built purely out of my desire to tell stories and ready to be filled up with the fun I’ve been having lately. Stay tuned for updates – I can hardly wait to show you what I’ve been thinking!

CREDITS:

as seen on snippet and ink

Photography: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Venue: Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Event Planning & Design, Floral Design: Mary McLeod for Amy Osaba Events
Officiant: Rev. Benjy Simmons, Simple Wedding Day LLC
Dress: Allure Bridals
Shoes: Nina Shoes
Jewelry: Anthropologie
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit: La Spalla from Suit Supply
Tie: Tie Bar
Groomsmen Attire: Perry Ellis
Stationery: Wildblumen Ink
Calligraphy: Ink & Honey
Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow
Hair, Makeup: Sandy of Beautiful Salon and Spa
Rentals: Eventworks
Ceremony Music: Bren Baily
Reception Music: Michael Sokolik of Myrtle Beach DJs
Catering: Hog Heaven
Wedding Cake: Secret Chef Café of Myrtle Beach
Dessert: Drienie Scholtz (Groom’s Grandmother)

the black dress diaries – vajra

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

 

The “Black Dress Diaries” are a seven-part mini-series born from a magical location shoot I did for a personal project here in Charleston, South Carolina. The shoot began as a simple portrait session with minimal styling and light I’d never used before, but as we shot, it became something more. I broke our 90 minutes together into several different stories to break down the “traveling” nature of the shoot, and I’m sharing these little “diaries” as a “travelogue” for the black dress.

“Vajra” a Sanskrit word meaning “diamond,” was the only name that I could find for this black dress diary. The sparkle of the waves, the contrast between the light and the dark, the stark hard brightness – they came together to portray a balance between beauty and and “indestructability” I’ve never expressed through my lens before. I set this one in black and white to tell a simple story of a girl on her own, soft, yet powerful. I have lived this one, from one side of a broken heart to the other when I found my life again. I never thought I’d be able to tell it so honestly.

 

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

black dress diaries | by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

CREDITS

Photographer – Kelly Sauer
Dress – Urban Outfitters
Model – Haley D.
Location – Charleston, S.C.