Sarah + Chad’s Greenville SC Wedding

Sarah and Chad’s  Greenville SC wedding was the perfect mix of them: bright and vibrant, caring and attuned to others, fun yet serious. Sarah and her bridesmaids danced in the bridal suite to her wedding day playlist while Chad adjusted his pinstripe suit and visited with family and friends. She was a pop of color with her red lipstick, giving air-kisses to all, and he listened closely to the marriage advice given by his 10 year old soon-to-be nephew. During their wedding ceremony, they served their friends and family communion, symbolizing Jesus’ sacrifice and service to us. He beamed at her after they were pronounced husband and wife, and she held him as they swayed to music only they heard.  It was such a pleasure to get to know this couple, who, like my own husband and I, took their time in life finding one another…and their love and their connection is made all the more sweet because of the wait.

Introducing Sarah + Chad, Just Married!

Sarah’s dress from Bravura Bridal Salon was the perfect amounts of sparkle and lace. It was beautiful to photograph, and I just love this verse that’s engraved on the beams of their church.

Weddings are such a special time to incorporate meaningful heirlooms to honor beloved family members. Sarah wore her late Grandmother’s ring and carried the “something blue” handkerchief that her Grandfather purchased from the commissary during WWII and gave to her Grandmother. I love these special details. I also love just how delicate and timeless Sarah’s engagement ring and wedding band are. Just beautiful! (Good job, Chad!!)

All of the ladies’ wedding day jewelry was custom designed. I’m a girl who loves a bit of sparkle, and these iridescent colors were PERFECT with all of the color that Sarah chose for her bridesmaids’ dresses.

Barrett’s Flowers in Taylors SC created bouquets and boutonnieres that were full of sunshine and bright colors. I loved them! Sarah also incorporated more sweet memories of her Grandmother into her bouquet, but having Barrett’s tuck her Grandmother’s sparkly earrings into the flowers.

“Getting Ready” photos have become one of my favorite times to be artistic during the wedding day. I love the way the light and shadows highlight the anticipation and energy as a woman transforms into a bride It’s a beautiful thing to capture.

There’s something about the veil that makes it all real and complete. (And if a bride ever asks me “Should I wear my veil??” the answer is always, always YES!!! I looooove a veil!)

So this image may not be technically “perfect,” but I love it so much anyway. THIS is Sarah. She is confident and joyous, and she was READY to get married!!

A little hallway dancing with her sweet flower girl and ring bearer. How cute are they??

Chad describes becoming smitten with Sarah on their first date: “When I first met Sarah, I was confronted with a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, and caring woman. Long flowing locks and bright eyes looked across the table as we talked for hours…closing down the PF Chang’s where we dined. Everything clicked right away and it felt as if I was reuniting with a long lost companion.”

I think this sequence with Sarah and her Dad is just so cute! Because Sarah and Chad live out of state, her parents were responsible for lots of the wedding planning. Her Dad was so sweet and involved and helpful. He also [reluctantly] admits that he got really good at saying “How much do I write the check for?” and “Whatever you want, dear.” 😉

Sarah knew exactly what she wanted when it came to her bridesmaids’ dresses: COLOR! This group of ladies was so fun and vibrant, and their dresses and flowers were the perfect fit. I cannot get over how beautifully their colors pop on camera! I love that Sarah was bold and unapologetic in her choices for their wedding. Taking design risks pays off big time!

Now let’s be clear: the bold design and fashion sense doesn’t end with the girls! Chad and his groomsmen were super sharp in their gray suits and purple accents, and I seriously love Chad’s pinstripes and pops of red.

Chad and some of his Groomsmen. My favorite is totally the middle image of nephew Jackson, who was very serious when I asked if he had any marriage advice for Chad. I would love to know what was being said here!

Chad and his beautiful Moms. I love these looks of pride on their faces.

Sweet, sweet, sweet Mama’s love.

When Sarah was describing Chad to me, she said that she mosts loves his “patience, kindness, and thoughtfulness and strong sense of caring for those around him.”  I love how these portraits reflect that peace abut him.

I always ask my second photographer to go on into the sanctuary to capture the bride and her dad coming into the church, and that’s because *I* want to stick around for those final sweet moments between the bride and her dad.

Sarah grew up in the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, and her parents also got married here! I loved the beautiful architecture and bold stained glass windows.

Another of my favorite times on a couple’s wedding is what I call “Glow Time.” If a couple doesn’t do a First Look before their ceremony, those few minutes after they walk up the aisle are the FIRST time of the day that they are together without being in front of the whole church. These moments are when they can get lost in their own little world and let it sink in that they’re actually, finally married! I ask all of my couples to carve out a few minutes just for them to celebrate in their own way. The next few images are from Sarah and Chad’s Glow Time, and I just love how in tune to each other they are.

Although every couple celebrates their Glow Time a little differently, it’s nearly universal for them to take a peek at their hands and new bling!

Another hallmark of my approach to weddings is capturing “real moments and true emotions.” I will always, always get that smiling-at-the-camera Christmas card shot, but I love to give folks a space to laugh and giggle and snuggle in ways that are fun and relaxed. This shot of Sarah and Chad’s wedding party is such a fun moment!

These colors and sweet family/friends are just gorgeous!!

I crack up every time I see this photo. 🙂 I love all the variety of expressions in the background!!


It warms my heart to see the way that in-love couples look at each other.

“I feel that I am my most balanced and best self [with him]. I don’t change to be what he wants as he accepts me for who I am, flaws and all!….I am always ‘home’ with him.” –Sarah

“Sarah has all the perfect attributes and we fit together in such a beautiful way….I’ve never felt so loved nor felt so much love for another.” –Chad

I always have a “super-favorite” from every wedding, I think this is it from Sarah and Chad’s!

Sarah and Chad’s reception was at Thornblade Country Club, and the ballroom was filled with so many loved ones, many who had traveled long distances to help celebrate.

The Boomers from East Coast Entertainment kept the dance floor hopping for this Greenville SC wedding reception. Live bands are so fun!

Paul Hoke from Heirloom Entertainment was the MC for the evening, and he brought several special touches that I just loved.  One was special introductions as each of the wedding party were introduced. It was neat for guests to get to know more about these important members of the wedding day. Another was retelling Sarah and Chad’s love story, seen below.

My favorite part of the reception, something that Heirloom Entertainment arranged, was for Sarah and Chad to have a “last Last Dance.” After the band played their final song, Megan from Thornblade guided the guests downstairs to line up for the rose petal exit. Sarah and Chad (and of course me and my camera) stayed in the ballroom so they could have one final dance on their wedding day…a few minutes alone in a day that is hectic and hurried yet all about them…some time to reflect on their day, in their reception space, and soak in the last moments of this incredible day that was filled with amazing moments.

Sarah and Chad, I am so glad to know you through your wedding. Watching you love each other and love your friends and family so well was a beautiful thing. I wish you a lifetime of love and joy together.


Remember friends, it’s awesome when you leave a comment below to “show us some love!!” You can also share this post to Facebook by clicking the “like” button below, and you can pin any image to Pinterest by hovering over it and clicking “Pin It.” Thanks y’all!


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Reaves’ Rock Quarry First Birthday | Greenville Family Photographer

Sometimes I’m a little bit biased when I photograph families and their little ones, and Reaves’ first birthday is definitely one of those times! This gal is mine and Tony’s sweet niece, and she is the cutest, spunkiest little thing. I was photographing a wedding on the day of her birthday party, but I was OK with that because we had planned for me to photograph her on her actual first birthday….but remember those crazy tornadoes that Greenville SC had in April? Yeah, those came on her birthday. We had to wait a couple of extra weeks to reschedule her one-year portraits and cake smash session, but it was worth the wait. The light and flowers in the Rock Quarry Garden were just perfect, and Reaves was SO cute in her little Southern bonnet.  It has been so fun watching Nick and Alicia settle into their role as parents over the past year; they are patient, caring, and fun with their baby girl. I’m excited to show off how sweet they all are together!

Introducing….Reaves’ One Year Portraits

Love love LOVE this cutie!

Oh my goodness, I just love this series of Nick and Reaves together!

Time for some sweet mama-love with Alicia.

How adorable is this little smirk?? Reaves’ expressions just crack me up!

Classic sweetness!

Some random people were walking through the Rock Quarry Garden while we were taking these portraits, and Reaves totally hammed it up for them, giggling and blowing kisses! Too cute, right??

Those big blue eyes, y’all!!

We ended the session with a little bit of cake smashing and icing-eating. Happy First Birthday, Reaves!!

As always, you can click “like” below to share this to Facebook, scroll over any photo to “Pin It” to Pinterest, and leave a comment below to show us some love! Thanks for stopping by!


2 Responses

  1. LaVonne Bailey says:

    These are absolutely wonderful!! Amy, you are so talented…you captured Reaves’ little personality so beautifully! Excellence!

  2. Celeste Keely says:

    These pictures are absolutely precious! You certainly captured Reaves’ spunkiness and sweet personality.

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Ella Jane’s Snow Day Portraits | Greenville Children’s Photography

Snow in the South is such a rarity; when it comes, it isn’t “business as usual.” We slow down, hunker in, and live life a bit more intentionally. After Greenville South Carolina experienced a beautiful fluffy snowstorm in January, I couldn’t wait to photograph some magical children’s snow day photography sessions! Miss Ella Jane was excited to get dressed up and brave the cold to become a bit of a Snow Princess for the afternoon. We had so much fun twirling her beautiful dress through the snowy yard…and even her snowman pal Olaf got in on the portraits! Snow is magical…childhood is magical…and the golden sun beaming through the trees created a winter wonderland that, too, was filled with a bit of magic. I hope you will enjoy Ella Jane’s snowy portrait session.

Introducing…Ella Jane in the Snow!

This portrait is definitely one of my favorites of this sweet girl!

And as sweet and happy as EJ is, she can also give the camera one heck of a sassy, serious model face too!

Color or Black and White..which do you prefer? I couldn’t decide! As soon as I think I’ve picked a favorite, I change my mind again! And how cute are Ella Jane’s fuzzy American Girl Doll ear muffs??

Love the intensity of her eyes…paired with a hint of sweet freckles.

Ella Jane’s portrait session was right before the Clemson National Championship game, so she had to include a Clemson photo in the session!

In spite of goofy Olaf’s best efforts, this pretty snowstorm was powdery and wasn’t the greatest for building snowmen. Sorry, Olaf!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the magic of this southern snow day portrait session! As always, it’s awesome when you leave a comment below to show us some love! You can also “like” this post to share it on your facebook page if you’d like.


3 Responses

  1. Gail Clifton says:

    Definitely Magical!!!

  2. Shirley McLain says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the magic of a child (Ella Jane) in the snow!

  3. Bonnie Bishop says:

    My sweet snow princess! Love all of these!!!! I may have to order a few of these!
    Love! Love! Love!

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Best of 2016 | Greenville SC Photographer

I’ve always been a thinker and one who reflects. (Some, like my husband, might *possibly* say that I’m an over-thinker, but that’s a whole different blog post!) As 2016 came to an end–and as these years seem to end more and more quickly the older and busier we become–it is always bittersweet to think back over the past year. The challenges, the successes, the love and lovely moments that we enjoyed. 2016 was a wonderful year for Amy Clifton Keely Photography, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the clients who trusted me with their life’s most treasured moments, who bared their hearts in front of my camera, and who filled their homes with portraits…memories…emotions.

One of my goals for 2016 was to deepen my connection with my clients and to create a more meaningful for experience for them. The logic is simple: the more comfortable my clients feel with me, the more likely they will be to let their guards down in front of my camera. The more you let your guard down, the more you will enjoy your portrait session, and the more you enjoy your session, the more you will FEEL when you view your portraits. You can go to any photography studio–or use your iPhone–to capture that cute outfit your kids are wearing, but not every photographer will be able to convey energy and emotions through your portraits. I hope that as you look through these images–some of my favorites from 2016–you will see a heightened sense of emotion, and you will FEEL something about these families, whether or not they are your own.

Amy Clifton Keely Photography’s Best of 2016…

As beautiful as formal, posed portraits are, photographs that show families living and loving will always be my favorites!

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Daniel is one of the sweetest Big Brothers I’ve ever seen.


Beckett had the best faces during his family’s session at Mystic Tree Farm in Greenville SC.

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I have photographed the Majors since Emily, the younger sister, was a baby. It means so much that they make family portraits a priority and that they have chosen ME as their true family photographer. I love watching their family grow and change in front of my camera, year after year.

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I absolutely adore this black and white series of the siblings. So beautiful and such special personalities! greenville_sc_family_portraits_campbells_covered_bridge_amy_clifton_keely_photography-003

This photo on the right, taken at beautiful Campbell’s Covered Bridge north of Greer SC, is one of my favorites from the entire year of 2016! Even though you can’t see Graham’s face, there is NO doubt that it is full of joy and child-like freedom.


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It was so special to help Lauren and Collier announce their little one who is on the way in 2017! I’ve known these two forever, and I can’t wait to watch them become parents.


2016 was a wonderful year for Amy Clifton Keely Photography babies! We welcomed some super sweet newborns into the world this year, and it was so special to capture their quickly-changing features and to watch these bonds between new parents and their babes. Of everyone who “lets me in” with their cameras, I think new parents have some of the most raw and beautiful emotions to capture. Thank you to each of you who asked me to capture this love and tenderness.

Baby Thaiden is the sweetest little boy, and I just loved the series I captured with his proud daddy. And the words that his mama writes on social media about being his mommy are just so heartfelt and precious. Sweet, sweet family.

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Ava and Baby Erin were so cute, figuring each other out. newborn_baby_portrait_greenville_sc_amy_clifton_keely_photography-001 newborn_baby_portrait_greenville_sc_amy_clifton_keely_photography-002

Watching our dear friends Ashley and Marc become parents this year was one of the most amazing treasures. Samuel is ridiculously cute, and their love for each other is so deep.

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I could have photographed baby Jackson and his family all day, but I could not bring my camera away from him and his mama. This is one of my most emotional images from 2016.


My sweet college friend Laura also became a Mama in 2016, and I just love this happy little “eskimo kiss” between her and Andrew.


Smiley Miss Grace was pretty in pink for her session!

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You might remember baby Asher from my last post…the Christmas baby? Well, in 2016 he became a Big Brother to sweet little Felicity. I just love this family’s portraits, and the photo of Felicity and mama, below, may be one of my favorite images I’ve EVER taken.

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I am absolutely biased, but the sweetest, most perfect baby of 2016 is my niece, Reaves. Tony’s brother and his wife became parents to this precious girl, and she was a DREAM to photograph.

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Some families come together at the hospital, and some at the airport. It was so special to be part of Tucker’s late-night Homecoming when he parents brought him home from China to meet his three siblings, grandparents, and loving friends. So much love and prayers going into 2017 for this awesome family!


2016 brought a continued relationship with Greer State Bank, which is filled with amazing people who truly care about the community of Greer. I have loved getting to know them through head shots, corporate events, and my own banking relationships.


Another aspect of “banking locally” is that I get to photograph several featured businesses each year for the Greer State Bank calendar! Each of these awesome local businesses tells their story in the 2017 calendar, print ads, teller envelopes, and other marketing materials.


Photographing Greer Family Fest, a featured event of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, is another highlight each year! The Anne Helton Creation Station is so much fun to watch the kids’ crafts, the Veteran’s Walk of Honor is always a tear-jerker, and this year I got to photograph Greenville native Edwin McCain as the headliner! I also enjoy photographing the Chamber’s Annual Celebration each winter, and this year I also got to enjoy the eye-candy–and the amazing food–at the first-ever Eat Like a Local dinner on Trade Street!


While the bulk of my business these days is families and babies, I am absolutely still in the wedding business! This year, I had the privilege of photographing my cousin Emily and her love, Franklin. They are such an example of Godly love , and I cannot wait to see their marriage take shape. I photographed their engagement session at North Greenville University, where they met, Emily’s bridals at the Duncan Estate in Spartanburg, and their wedding at Pelham First Baptist Church, where our grandparents grew up.

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Last but not least is Jennifer and Mike’s “Love Story” session. (You’ll be hearing more about this type of session in 2017!) People often ask me, “Amy, what’s your favorite thing to photograph?” I think they expect me to choose a genre…maternity? weddings? babies? events? But always, my answer is simple: my favorite thing to photograph is love. Whatever relationship I’m capturing, whether it’s a head shot or a portrait of a debutante or a family or a wedding day, I want to show love. I want my clients to look back at their portraits and remember that day, not because someone dragged them into a field and made them smile at the camera, but because they had fun with the people they care about the most, and they were given a chance to celebrate those relationships. I hope that my 2016 clients feel that sense of celebration when they look back at their portraits, and I hope that more and more people who value memories and who understand the beauty of small moments will find me in 2017 and allow me to capture this love for them. Thank you to my clients for an amazing 2016. I wish you the best life has to offer in 2017! –Amy

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As always, I love it when you leave a comment to “show me some love” and let me know you were here!

One Response

  1. Susi Smith says:

    These pictures are amazing. You really do capture the love & joy on people’s faces. Such a reflection of the wonderful person you are too!

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Asher’s Christmas Newborn Portraits | Greenville SC Photographer

Anticipation. Christmas is the season of anticipation, and for new families, little can compare to the anticipation of the birth of their first baby. I’m continuing my “throwback” blog posts with another Christmas Newborn Portrait session! Little Asher has just turned TWO, but his in-home newborn portraits were some of my favorites. The lights, the Christmas jammies, the snuggly baby boy celebrating his first days home with his family and his first Christmas. There’s so much to love about this portrait session; I hope you’ll enjoy!

Asher…Christmas Newborn Portraits

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Seriously, how perfectly squishy is this little face?? I can’t get over Asher’s little bow lips and smushy cheeks!


Sweet, snuggly family time. I’m asleep….just kidding!


Brianna is such a sweet spirit, and she was such happy new mommy!

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Of course, Sophie the Pup had to be part of the family portraits!


Without a doubt, this candid portrait is one of my favorites from Asher’s newborn session. I just love this quiet moment and all that it stands for during the crazy rush of the holiday season. Friends, I wish for you all to create moments filled with peace, reflection, snuggles, and joy this season.


As always, please click the “like” button below to share this post on facebook. I would also love it if you’d leave a comment below to share some holiday love!

Merry Christmas!


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