you just start talking…

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

Sometimes it is good for me to try things I haven’t tried. I usually avoid shooting in low light, almost never pulling my camera out after the sun goes down. But last night, my friend Shelby asked me if I would take a picture for her, and since my camera was just sitting there, I decided I’d push myself a little. We took about twenty minutes with her in a favorite dress of mine (she was just trying it on, and then we were photographing it – ha!), and I kept turning off the lights to really focus the light. It was nice to create something after the sun went down, and while I am most definitely a child of the day, I kind of love finding that the night can be friendly too.

This little shoot was a special one, with both Shelby and me feeling our way in the dark lately, just exploring our lives in the way that we do. She dances when she aches, and I… well, I don’t know how to say it. It isn’t always pictures for me. I think maybe I dance too, in my way. This one was a deeply sweet release, gentle risk meeting quiet strength neither of us often acknowledge for ourselves.

“On nights like this when the air is so clear, you end up saying things you ordinarily wouldn’t. Without even noticing what you’re doing, you open up your heart and just start talking to the person next to you — you talk as if you have no audience but the glittering stars, far overhead.”
― Banana Yoshimoto

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

She is Seven Now

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

 
 

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.”
– P.C. Cast

 
 
I was going to try to do Piper’s birthday shoot before Noley came, but our little tagalong wanted to keep up with her older siblings and came two weeks before we were officially ready for her. So as it was, we had to move Pip’s yearly birthday shoot up to… whenever we could fit it in. And we fit it in on the spur of the moment, when the new light in the new house and some Elizabeth Messina inspiration tickled my fancy one afternoon.

Noley fussed at us, and Bredon played around us (I had to keep asking him to move!), and I used an eight-by-ten empty space in our not-yet-settled living room to take pictures of my girl-turned-seven, who was only half cooperating. Our shoots together always have that wonderfully authentic “grab it while you can” feeling, have you noticed?

 

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

 
She is amazing. I think that about once a day, when I see how much she has grown and how big she is getting. She carries Noley around (although *that* is not my favorite thing, since the baby is already half her size!), and she talks to her and plays the role of Bredon’s best friend. She is our biggest helper and our biggest mess-maker. She is an artist in the truest, loveliest sense of the word, abandoned to whatever she is doing, and completely lacking in perfectionism.

 

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

 
She is the best of both Pete and me, wonderful with people and deeply passionate about her life. She sings off-key at the top of her lungs, unabashed that she might not be what she ought to be, and I love her for reminding me every day that life is in the living, not in the planning for it. She is my good gift, and she is not like anyone else. She is always able to get a smile out of anyone, just by blowing into the room and being who she is.

 

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

 
Sometimes I imagine what she will be like when she is older, and I wonder what we will talk about, because we are not the closest, she and I. She is touchy-feely, and I have trouble expressing my emotions, except in writing. Everything is a drama to her, and I have learned over the years how to keep one foot firmly planted in reality. But maybe my pragmatism will rub off on her the way her girlhood dreaminess is rubbing off on me. She has always been a hope and a wonder to me.

I wish you could know her – you would love her.

 
exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

P.S. I’m kind of thrilled with these images. I was experimenting with lower light than I have typically chosen this year, and I let the exposure be what it was, allowing the shadows to focus the light instead of blowing everything out. I think you see the light more when you juxtapose it against the dark. It speaks to me of glory just now while I am wading through some rather intense postpartum depression.

art, in real life

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

i have to be able to see what could be in the real life mess of what is. i have to feel the lines and the colors, see the textures and the warmth, and forget how that is all backward from the easy way to live, because there is nothing easy in my world lately, and living simply is a lofty goal when i have three kids now and a bigger house to keep clean. i still have to have a dream, and sometimes now i don’t want to have a dream, because i know now the dream takes work and I don’t have time for more work, even if it is boiling the water to make me tea.

so i do the cleaning when the baby won’t nap, and take lots of cuddling and nursing breaks, and try to make sure that i am taking care of me too when my body is feeling SAD and falling apart with the postpartum hormonal adjustments. i look for the things that are really me, and wait for a little space to be who i am instead of the tired mother-me who is always setting boundaries for little ones and running out of energy before i have thought a beautiful thought in a day.

if i had time (and i am stealing it now while i eat my breakfast in my new little nook), i would tell you how it feels like spring here, how the red leaves on the japanese maple outside my studio window look like blossoms, how pip spotted a camellia in bloom in our back yard – the first of many there, i think. i would tell you how the sun broke through the clouds with silver and gold the other day when i sneaked out after the rain to pick up groceries and nearly cried over the feeling of the fresh, wet air in my lungs. i would take pictures of my littles and of my wonderful new house (oh, you know me, I will do that anyway soon!) and show you the little tree that we found at Walmart who spread out his branches and said “pick me, i am not just a Walmart tree, i am a happy tree, and i want to be yours!” he totally did this. and we named him Herbert. with a french pronunciation. because why not?

but i don’t have time, so i’m giving you a sneak peek at one of my favorite weddings ever, with one of my favorite pictures ever, and going back to work while the baby sleeps because i have other people who need me to make beautiful for them, and i am still living the dream, even though the art isn’t easy to make right now.

even blogging has turned out to be more of a challenge than i thought it would be, but i am looking forward to it, and do you know, i got the feeling the other day that i am so very happy making my blog that i think i could be really content only ever being published at my blog and not in a book of my own (though, I have been published in others’ books before…). because that was a dream once too, and maybe it will be again, when i don’t feel old and spent at thirty-two years and six months and three babies in.

ashley and chappie | a story of her

Mark 00035

Ashley is one of the most incredible women I have met. She is strong and cheerful, and I think she is beautiful. She has a kind heart and a sweet spirit, and each time I have gotten to meet with her, I have had the *best* time, because she is full of life and fun too. I want to introduce you to her, because I think she’s the kind of person who makes an amazing friend, and I hope so much for her.

I have photographed Ashley before, and I loved her pictures, and she loved her pictures too, and she loved them so much that she asked me to photograph her again, and oh, oh, oh, I ran across these the other day and thought “I need to share these,” because she is amazing, and story, and a girl on the beach with her dog in the autumn and the sunset is just too good to resist here, especially when I want you to see how I love to do pictures!

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session specialIn case you missed it, there is a Black Friday Session Event happening at Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co. this week – any session you book with me through Saturday is 30% off!

Want to book something for you or for a loved one? Please just drop me an email at info@kellysauer.com!

Black Friday Session Event

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session event

Christmas is coming, and we have almost all of our Christmas shopping done. After a bad Halloween experience a few years ago, we have begun shopping for Christmas on Halloween, just when the Christmas decorations are all coming out at the store, and when the crowds have… other things to do with themselves. I like to avoid the rush.

So with less busy for me on the shopping front now (and more to do with my life than worry about shopping on Black Friday), today I am early-launching my Black Friday Session Event. If you book a photography session with me any time through this Saturday, I will deduct 30% from the full session cost.

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session event

I will accept FAMILY SESSIONS (still need to get those last-minute photos for your Christmas cards?), HEADSHOT SESSIONS (do you know someone who needs one?), PORTRAIT SESSIONS (I have a wonderful photo story coming for inspiration on this one this week!), BOUDOIR SESSIONS (girls, have you thought of this for him for Christmas?), COUPLE’S SESSIONS (want to have photos that aren’t your wedding photos to hang around the house?), or even BRIDAL SESSIONS (oh come on, you know I had to offer it – girls in white dresses and all that!).

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session event

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session event

I know I might be biased, but photos have been one of the very best gifts I’ve had to give to my family and friends, whether it is taking them so they have their own memories to hold, or sharing them with loved ones who just aren’t close enough to be in our lives every day. I would be so honored if you would let me help you make some unique images to hold and to share.

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | black friday session event

Pre-Christmas session slots are limited and must be scheduled and shot before December 13, 2014. A non-refundable retainer fee covering 50% of the session cost is required to hold your session slot. If you are purchasing a session as a gift for someone else, we will provide you with a tangible gift item to wrap for your loved one.

Discounted session pricing begins at $350 (regular price: $500). Sessions include photography coverage, personalized styling (what do you want your session to feel like?), 35-85 photos (depending on your session type), a set of proof prints, and a downloadable web album with a limited-use license (you can use your photos for whatever personal use you have, so long as you don’t re-sell them).

To book, please just send me an email with your desired session, and we’ll get you on the calendar:
info@kellysauer.com

Astami & Chan

“We are something together. I’m not me without her,
and she’s not her without me. We just work better together.”

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

I love photographing couples. I could say a lot of stuff about that, but I’d bet a lot of it has been said already, and I don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. So what I will say is that I loved photographing this couple, three years married and visiting Charleston, and making memories they wanted to hold onto. Astami, a photographer based in New York City, asked me to help them capture those memories on camera while they were in my town. I pretty much fell in love with their sweet relationship – the way he made her feel beautiful, the way she made him laugh. We had so much fun, in spite of the Charleston rain and humidity and my big baby belly knocking my center of gravity around. These two get what it means to make art our if their real life together, and I hope they get to celebrate many more anniversaries in years to come!

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie
exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

The Wedding RowThis sweet shoot was published this week at The Wedding Row, the official blog of Charleston Weddings Magazine. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place for these pictures (and more!), and I’d love it if you’d stop in over there and leave a comment for this special couple!

CREDITS:

Location: Charleston, S.C.
Photographer & Stylist: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Floral Source & Inspiration: Intertwine by Kelly Lenard
Natural-Dyed Silk Chiffon for Bouquet/Detailing: Silk & Willow
Her Skirt: Madewell
Her Sweater: J Crew
His Outfit: J Crew
Her Shoes: Need Supply

you can have courage

exquisitrie | photography by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

[ Mary Anne Radmacher ]

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the Lord!
[ Psalm 27:14 ]