Bridal Fashion Preview – A Lowcountry Sunset

lowcountry sunset preview | by kelly sauer

That time you broke in your new house with a photo shoot because empty houses are amazing shoot locations…

Here’s a teeny peek at the magic we made in my inaugural studio shoot at our new house on Wednesday! Today is moving day, but I couldn’t resist showing you just a little bit of the pretty we made.

Now. On to the rest of the day. This week is going to make *some* story sometime…


Styling: Alise Taggart
Hair and Makeup: Dannon K. Collard
Gown: Alexandra Grecco
Wrap: Silk and Willow
Glass: Anthropologie
Florals (coming soon!): Stephanie Gibbs of Sweetgrass Events
Photography: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer

Behind the Lens – “I Pick You”

la joie, la vie | photo by @christinabrosnan

“I wouldn’t have chosen any of this,” I told him, swallowing tears around the lump in my throat. Not the health issues, not the new baby coming early, not the house hunt and the impending move before my body settled down from the birth enough to really enjoy my baby, not the homeschooling, not any changes at all if I could have chosen anything. In my world, after spending my life on the move, having the solidity of a home to be in and dream in and make room for my family in is a dream come true, and saying goodbye to this house I’ve lived in and worked in and made work for us for four years was not on my to-do list.

But here we are, Pete and I, in one of the craziest, craziest weeks of our lives together (seriously – we are living to the Looney Toons theme right now). For months, I have been walking quietly beside him as he has pursued his dream of owning a home, as we’ve made decisions about staying in Charleston and moving our family into a more permanent home here, as we’ve ruled this house out and offered on that house. I have been honest with my opinions about things, but I have walked with him because I love him, and I want him to have something that he can love coming home to and feel that it is his to decide on and to putter with and to change around and to invest in if he wants.

Finally this morning, as we rose at 4:30 because of the baby, our uninterrupted conversation led to one of the bravest things I have ever done in our marriage, to his offering to stop the move before we close the contract and to my looking him in the eye and telling him that what I really wanted had nothing to do with stopping the move and everything to do with our hearts. Nothing we are living right now is what I want except us being in it together.

We’ve been through a lot in our almost-nine-year marriage. We went through a lot before we got married. I know we’ll get through this, and this time, I don’t want to do it by shutting down and hiding until it is all over. I want to be *here*, and even though every single one of the factors for the high stress levels that shut my body down are present in our world, I want to be willing to live this time instead of shutting out my life. I want to remember my baby’s smiles and Squiggy’s first few weeks of school. I want to rock out the shoot I’m doing on Wednesday like I have never rocked a shoot in my life. I want to be aware of Pip’s needs and to move as one with my husband and to laugh and to not feel guilty because I can’t even lift anything but the baby right now because of my surgery last week.

We are the weak and the fool, and somehow, glory, and our answer for everything this week is going to be what he said to me at the end of our talk today, “I pick you,” and we will be crazy and keep choosing each other, because surviving our own lives without one another is the thing we didn’t want to do anymore when we chose each other in the first place.


Bridal Session Outtake

by kelly sauer

I’ll be posting this bride’s lovely session soon, but I absolutely cannot resist sharing this little peek into my photographic life right now… Noley is most definitely the sweetest part of my team!

P.S. We are still looking for the right model for our amazing styled session with international stylist Alise Taggart on August 27, 2014! Please drop me an email if you’re interested!

MODEL CALL – August 27, 2014

model call | by kelly sauer

Are you interested in being a model for a Charleston shoot with stylist Alise Taggart and a fantastic team? We’re looking for a beautiful face or a beautiful couple who would be willing to be photographed for a day in exchange for some lovely photos.

To be considered for our August 27 shoot, please just drop me an email with a few headshots – I can’t wait to see you and take your picture!

Grey Likes Summer

exquisitrie by kelly sauer |

I was delighted to begin the week with an inspiration post over at Grey Likes Weddings – just a few of the photos we got to make together earlier this spring! Do stop in and see the loveliness styled by Summer Watkins herself with the new Type A Society (formerly Fleurish Events), Claire Pettibone, Blushing Makeup Artistry, Magnolia Bakery, Karilyn Turley, and Jenna Rainey – we had a lot of pretty to play with that day!

Please forgive my sporadic blogging – in addition to my maternity leave, my health has taken quite a turn after Noley’s birth, and I have been having some trouble being online much lately. I have so much to share, I think I shall never catch up!

Once Upon a Morning – Summer

la joie, la vie | iphone photo by kelly sauer

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”

― Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

When I Need Him

la joie, la vie | by kelly sauer

Pencil marks on a wall, I wasn’t always this tall
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed
You watched my team win, You watched my team lose
You watched when my bicycle went down again

And when I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call You by name
And I said, “Elbow Healer, Superhero
Come if You can” and You said, “I Am”

Only sixteen, life is so mean
What kind of curfew is at ten p.m.?
You saw my mistakes, You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I’d never love again

And when I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call You by name
And I said, “Heartache Healer, Secret Keeper
Be my best friend and You said, “I Am”

You saw me wear white by pale candlelight
I said, “Forever to what lies ahead”
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it is two a.m.

And when I am weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Oh, Shepherd, Savior, Pasture Maker
Hold onto my hand, You say, “I Am”

The winds of change and circumstance
Blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that’s familiar
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

When life had begun, I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
And who can say when, but they’ll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home

I will be weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer, Comforter, Healer, my Redeemer
Lord and King, Beginning and the End

I Am
Yes, I Am

- Nichole Nordeman, I Am