Saint Isabel “Ivy” – A Lowcountry Romance

Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | La Joie, La Vie-26

I remember that she was there, and the breeze, and the light, and the wet sheen of the humid morning on her lip. I tried to get her to smile, wished for more wind, for something to release her from her Mona Lisa composure. I didn’t speak her language – she didn’t speak her own language, I don’t think. But I do think she was waiting for day, for love with the day, like a goddess out of reach, or a serene sort of nymph who had not yet wakened to the passion of the summer that already surrounded her.

Her eyes were limpid, pooled with calm, but I saw a spark. She didn’t know she had it, but there! I had found it, the fire that love would waken, the heat that would not be burned away as the sun absorbed the dew. The light came over the horizon, and she blinked in the day, a new born; she was coming alive now…

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Someone told me last year to find a girl, a gown, and a good location with good light and shoot until I found my voice. So I took a deep breath, and I began a series of shoots to create images for my portfolio that speak my heart and not merely “what is expected of a photographer.” I have held onto these images for a long time while trying to decide about publication (it has felt like breath-holding – I’m a little afraid to exhale now), but I came to a decision after several publication rejections that these images need to be for me, and not for any blogger or other brand out there, except the brands with whom I shot.

I recognize that my work is not industry-standard photography. It has a feeling all its own, and I believe it can be easily overlooked by bloggers who are checking off a “portrait-gown-flowers-venue-details” inspiration post list. I shoot with both film and digital, and I often shoot only with a simple set and a big feeling that I am trying to put into the thousand words a picture affords me.

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I love my images. My clients love my images. I know I am not less because I am not getting published. I know there is a place for my work. Right now, I don’t have the energy to find that place. I want to keep growing. I want to keep pushing myself beyond my defaults to make really amazing images that will eventually take me where I want to go with my camera.

Where do I want to go? I am still creating that picture, still looking at my dreams and my reality and praying about how they come together. I think maybe we will see it emerge as I keep posting here and doing what I love. It’s a risk for me to be quieter. To not clamor for attention and compete with the entire industry for money. To trust that God knows what He is doing as He is bringing me to life through my photography and my very messy life.

I hope you don’t mind walking with me as I take another deep breath and try being me, here with you, sharing my favorite things.

Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | La Joie, La Vie-30

Credits

Photography & Creative Direction: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
Venue: River Oaks Charleston
Gown: “Ivy,” by Saint Isabel Bridal
Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow
Florals: Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co.

Bridal Story – Seaside Morning

Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | la joie, la vie

“The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.”
― Cornelia Funke

I forget how to feel sometimes. It isn’t a good thing, but it is part of my life with lots of people in it. I crave solitude that I don’t get most days, and a little time to do nothing but feel the wind on my face and let it take me somewhere new.

This shoot, published at Hochzeitsguide a few months ago, was my way of capturing that desire and feeling that feeling. The pictures take me back there so I can feel it again, so I can remember what it was like to breathe in the beauty that I got to photograph.

Things are beginning to move again for me (did you see my blog re-design?!). I feel as though I’m coming out from a long silence, as if it has only been preparing me to walk out with faith, believing that I do have something to bring to life with my photography, even if it is only the depth of my own feeling, even if that is all I was ever meant to do – to show you the way I am learning to be alive.

Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | la joie, la vie

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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
Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | la joie, la vie

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | la joie, a 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

CREDITS

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

Publication: Once Wed & Signora Mare

image by kelly sauer | la joie, la vie

Y’all, I got published at Once Wed. At least, my photography did. It was one of my very favorite “headshot” sessions ever, and it was such a cool gift to get to take these photos, and getting this publication was just the icing on the cake for me.

I promise you more images from the shoot here as soon as I can get them together. I am so far behind on blogging, I can’t even think about apologizing. I think it has something to do with doing the work on the back end and keeping the family going on the front end, and I miss it like CRAZY, but for this season (which I hope will be shorter than I feel it will be!), I have had to take a blogging break while I recover my creative energy and rework my brand a bit to accommodate a new direction for my photography business.

I hope to be back soon – I’m getting a more permanent redesign ready to show off, and prepping for a full relaunch with some really, really amazing stuff. So. There I am teasing you again. While you wait, though, go over to Once Wed and see some of my pictures, or hang out with me on Instagram, which is getting the bleed-off from my reviving creativity.

CREDITS

Photography: Kelly Sauer
Venue: River Oaks Charleston
Set & Prop Styling: Ginny Branch
Hair & Makeup: Claudia Mejerle
Hand Lettering, Handmade Paper, Leather Pouch: Signora e Mare
Dress: Elizabeth Suzann “Artist” Dress
Shoes: Bryr Studio

Publication – Provence-Inspired Bridal Shoot

exquisitrie by kelly sauer | provence-inspired bridal shoot

He play’d an ancient ditty long since mute,
In Provence call’d ‘La belle dame sans mercy.’
– John Keats

Honored to be at Hochzeitsguide with Kelly Lenard for a lovely feature today. These images will always be some of my very favorites, in spite of all I know now that I didn’t know then. Here’s to beautiful growth, on a day when I’m feeling the growing pains a bit more than I like. Happy Thursday, friends.

CREDITS

PHOTOGRAPHY: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer
FLORALS AND STYLING: Kelly Lenard
GOWN: Aire Barcelona from Ebrada Atelier
SHOES: Ivanka Trump
WRAP: Kohls
LOCATION: Charleston, Soth Carolina
FILM LAB: Richard Photo Lab
MODEL: Vera of Millie Lewis Models and Talent