2015 Year-End Review | Upstate SC Photographer

I have always been a big fan of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…I mean, what’s not to love? Confetti and horns, champagne (my favorite!), the countdown and kisses….the Rose Parade (it amazes me how they turn flowers and seeds into such amazing floats!), black-eyed peas and greens for a prosperous year, and just a lazy day with family. I also love New Year’s for the reflection and the sentiment. I always get a little sappy and nostalgic on the 31st of December, thinking back on the year that’s passed: the fun times we’ve had, the new things we’ve experienced, the celebrations, the losses, the days that passed so quickly from the previous New Year’s Eve. When I was younger, I never believed my Grandmother when she would tell me how fast time flies, but boy do I get it now!

2015 was a busy year, both personally and professionally. Tony and I bought our first home together–and realized just how much STUFF we own. (Whoa. We still have unpacked boxes.) He changed careers and went from food sales to being back in the kitchen as Executive Chef at Northampton Wines and Wine Cafe. I was accepted into Leadership Greer Class 36, where I’m spending a year learning more and more about this sweet city that we love.

For Amy Clifton Keely Photography, 2015 was a year of expectant mommies, newborn babies, special events, extended families, vow renewals and elopements, corporate head shots, and one of the most fun and love-filled farm weddings you’ve ever seen. I am so incredibly fortunate to have the support of my clients year after year, and I don’t take it lightly that you trust me with your most special moments and memories. See, “time flies” for you and your families as well, and it is so important to capture not only what you LOOK LIKE in 2015,  but mostly how you FELT and how you LOVED each other in 2015. When you scroll through my Year-End Review below, I hope you can feel the love and see the personalities–not just the fashions of the year. That is always my goal.

In no particular order….Amy Clifton Keely Photography, 2015

My last baby photographed was precious little Carter, born on Dec 22. His brother Tanner is the most-famous toddler in Downtown Greer SC, and I’m sure he’ll show his baby brother around town in no time!

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Sweet baby Carolyn was actually my first baby of 2015. This beautiful girl made quite an early appearance, so having a healthy baby to photograph was incredibly special. (And look at that cute little button nose–LOVE!)

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Levi and his parents are so special to me and Tony. Tony grew up with Levi’s daddy, and they were in each others’ weddings. We love this boy! Their family portrait is one of my favorites of all time.

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Our friends Marc and Ashley’s maternity session at Poinsett Bridge was one of the most meaningful portrait sessions I photographed all year. They are so filled with love and expectation for Baby M, but a family tragedy earlier this year made the session bittersweet. Their vulnerability was incredibly beautiful.

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Talk about JOY! It was so much fun to photograph my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as they found out that their baby is going to be a GIRL!! Family and friends gathered in early December around a tree with strands of pink and blue lights. When it was time to reveal Baby Reaves’ gender, only the pink strand lit up….and so did Alicia’s face! This image is priceless, and I hope Baby Reaves feels so loved when she sees this picture one day.

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Another love- and emotion-filled maternity session was with my precious friend Morgan and her hubby Robert. After a long journey, they found out they were going to be parents of TWINS!!! Their joy and happiness was so much fun to photograph up at Bald Rock in Northern Greenville County SC. (And Morgan was one of my very favorite kiddos to babysit long long ago, so this was especially special for me. Um, did I mention that time flies??)

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My sweet friend Andrea also had a year of tragedy and triumphs. At the time of our portrait session, they were still praying for their “Massey Miracle,” which eventually came in the form of a successful bone marrow transplant. This family is tender and strong all at the same time, and I hoped to capture that in their portraits.

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This wedding. Y’all, this wedding. It rained ALL DAY at Lindsey Plantation in Taylors SC, but it didn’t dampen Josh and LaRhonda’s spirits one bit. Their incredible friends and family rallied around them, celebrated for them, and took pictures in the chilly rain without one single complaint. All because that’s what they wanted. Isn’t that how friendship should be? It was such a beautiful day, and I am SO glad they chose me to be there as their wedding photographer.

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And this “champagne shower” with the bridesmaids?? Hello, it was SO FUN!! Future brides, take note!!

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LaRhonda is one of the most radiant, passionate people I’ve ever met. Her laugh is infectious, and her bridal portrait session was tons of fun!

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Jane and Frank had a perfect, intimate wedding on their rooftop in Downtown Greenville SC. Just her parents and their kids and a dear friend to perform the ceremony; it was a perfect celebration of their love.

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Hollie and Jason’s was another wedding that made my heart and camera happy. After 17 years of marriage, these two chose a Vow Renewal at Pretty Place in the Greenville SC mountains to recommit themselves to God, to one another, and to their children. It was beautiful in every way. Jason’s face after Hollie came down the aisle says it all.

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The Martins were completely cute together and loved laughing as a family. Their Furman University fall portraits were just perfect!

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In 2015, I photographed quite a few extended families. I love working with “generations.” Family is most important, and in today’s world, people just seem to get spread out across the country and spread thin with their time. It is a special thing to document the times we come together, and I love photographing these extended family relationships.

 

The Short-Hartley-Hackworth-Funai families converged in the Greer City Park from NC, SC, Jersey, and Virginia. They are a fun bunch, and the Shorts are like a second family to me. I loved capturing all their family fun!

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The Marks family had 3 new babes born in 2015, in NC, San Francisco, and Maine, and they all gathered during Thanksgiving at the Asheville NC Botanical Gardens for family portraits to celebrate their Grandma Mary’s birthday. This family makes gorgeous children!!

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The Grimshaws are another family who gathered over Thanksgiving from all across the country. There were 21 family members in all in Seneca SC, ranging from 2 months old to 80!

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The Lewises live in each others’ back yard, but after a year that really reminded them of what it most important, they wanted to document their precious family bonds. I loved all of the emotion they were willing to share during their family portraits. And HOW CUTE is their great-grandpa???

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During 2015, I photographed lots of Special Events and Corporate Head Shots. I love this aspect of photography! I was able to photograph head shots for Greer’s incredibly Mayor, lots of employees for the Greer State Bank website, and outstanding teenaged “unsung heroes” for the Coaches 4 Character ACE Awards. Some of my events during 2015 included the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Celebration and Family Fest, private parties, and The Assembly debutante ball in Spartanburg.

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I am so grateful to those of you who invited Amy Clifton Keely Photography into your life during 2015, and I am equally grateful to everyone who took a peek at my work over the past year. I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store!! Don’t miss anything–click the “like” button to follow me on facebook, and always check the blog for updates as well. I wish each of you a new year filled with love, laughter, and special moments captured!

All my best,

Amy

Extended Family Portraits at Greer City Park

In a day and age when extended families often are spread out all over the country, time spent all together is so important! I love it when families contact me to document extended family portrait sessions, and I appreciate it even more when I’ve known them most of my life. The Short-Hartley-Hackworth-Funai Families converged on Greer City Park late this summer, coming from New Jersey, Virginia, the mountains of North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina to celebrate their family ties. It was a fun–and often funny–session, and I’m excited to show these guys their portraits!

Introducing…The Shorts, Hartleys, Hackworths, and Funais | Summer 2015

One whole side of the family…Hartleys, Shorts, and Hackworths…

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A little bit of sisterly love. 😉

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Noah, the kid-genius behind Hackworth Vacuums

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More family! Hackworths and Funais, having fun!

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Shorts, Hartleys, Hackworths and Funais: Thank you so much for choosing me to document your family moments. I love that you all came together–in-laws, aunts, uncle, nephew, grands, parents, grown-up kids–for a fun weekend of time spent together. I love being a “third daughter” in the Short family, too. 😉  I hope that you will enjoy your family portraits!

To view the entire SHHF Family Gallery, please CLICK HERE.

As always, you can connect this post to your facebook page by clicking “like” below, and it’s always special when you leave a comment below! Thanks friends!

Massey’s Miracle: Take That, Cancer! | Greer SC Family Portraits

I think we can all agree that cancer is a terrible, scary, confusing thing. But the Masseys’ family portrait session at a farm in Greer SC wasn’t about cancer. Their portraits were about love, and hope, and overcoming, and faith, and family, and miracles, and making each day count. Their session was about having fun and loving on each other and leaving cancer behind for a while. It was about their “Massey Miracle,” which is still unfolding every day. It was about telling cancer to “Take THAT” and not letting it rob them of life. At the end of our portrait session, the whole family kept talking about how much fun they had. Among my prayers for healing, I also pray that during the tough days, these photos will remind Andrea, Randy, and Makenna that fun days DO still come.

I originally planned to publish these photos on Sunday, February 1st, because the family has asked their community to come together and lift Andrea up in prayer, all on the same day. I know, however, that the family is in the midst of waiting today…for tests, for test results, for answers…so I thought that today might be an even better day to be reminded of the fun times. Blog readers, please pray for the “Massey’s Miracle.” Please pray today, and please join together on February 1st.

Introducing, the Massey Family…

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Take that, cancer. The Masseys are strong!!!

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Andrea and I used to work on the same hall–she taught 4th grade and I was in charge of the after school program–and I remember the day she got the phone call that her beautiful Guatemalan daughter was born. What a special day! Makenna is beautiful, sweet, and FUNNY!!

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I just can’t decide…color or b&w??

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Massey’s Miracle!

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Andrea, you are beautiful! Inside and out, this lady just radiates God’s love.

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Take THAT, cancer. Love always wins.

The French Family’s Christmas Lifestyle Portraits | Greenville SC Documentary Photography

I love when families choose a lifestyle portrait session to document their real family moments. There is something so beautiful about a family playing and relaxing together in their own home. It reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s quote “Remember the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” The French Family has just moved into a new home in Greenville SC, and they wanted to me to document this new phase in their life. During our lifestyle session, they snuggled on the couch by their ginormous Christmas tree, decorated the kids’ tree together and reminisced over their sweet hand-made ornaments, jumped on the bed in their Christmas jammies, and played outside on a sunny winter day. This family truly savors their time together, and they really seem to “get” that life is made up of these sweet little moments. It was a pleasure capturing them just being them, and I have waaaaay too many favorites for you to see!

Introducing…The French Family, Greenville SC Lifestyle Family Portraits 

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A friend and I were just talking about how dreary it is after all the Christmas decorations come down. These sweet photos of little M and J decorating their kids-sized tree will have us all wishing again for the magic of the holidays!

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Miss J’s excitement over hanging an ornament is just too cute!

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One of my many favorites from their session: cute Mr. M hanging his ornaments just so.

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Another few favorites…

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One of the family’s favorite things to do together is pile in the bed for jumping, stories, and giggles. These photos were too fun to capture!

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Like I said…too many favorites! I saved this set from outdoors for last….I think you’ll see why. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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Those lashes!!

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Sometimes, the instant I push my shutter to freeze a moment, I just know that I’ve captured something special. This portrait of J and her daddy was one of those times.

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To the Frenches: I can’t thank you enough for letting me capture this little slice of your life. I hope that these portraits will remind of this new phase in your family’s life and this sweet season of excitement and wonder. I also hope that it will give you lots of photos to help make your new house a home!

To view the family’s complete gallery, CLICK HERE. If you know the family, you can contact mom for the password!

As always, you can scroll over a photo to “Pin It” to Pinterest, click “like” below to link this to your Facebook page, and leave a comment to show us some love!

Many thanks!

–Amy

The Hartleys’ Extended Family Portraits | Greenville SC Family Photography

If you’re a regular blog reader, you know that I LOVE photographing extended families when they are together. These days, our families are so spread out that it’s a big deal to capture a portrait when all the generations are together in one place. The Hartley Family came together in Greenville SC recently for a weekend of football (both Auburn and Alabama), corn hole tournaments, tons of laughter, and an afternoon portrait session with Amy Clifton Keely Photography at Furman University. My BFF Rebecca married into this crazy-fun family, so it’s been fun to keep tabs on the Hartleys over the years. I love their sassiness, their laughter, and their love.

Introducing…The Hartleys from Alabama, in Greenville SC

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Happy 10 Year Anniversary to my BFF and her Hubby! I was honored to be Rebecca’s Maid of Honor 10 short years ago, and she returned the favor in mine and Tony’s wedding as my Matron of Honor. Love y’all!!

As you see, Rebecca is no shorty….

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…so the step-ladder that I used for the kids came in handy with Marshall. 😉

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Patrick, April, and their beautiful and SWEET family

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Most little boys aren’t super excited to be in pictures, but Wyatt was AWESOME. He is so stinking cute, too!

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How precious is he???

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Libby is a beautiful girl, inside and out.

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She’s got a fabulous smile, but I am crazy about this B&W of her serious face. Mama and Daddy better watch out!! 😉

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Love this one!

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Melissa has got the greatest eyelashes. So jealous, LOL!

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I had the hardest time narrowing down Aunt Jane and Uncle Robert’s photos. They are SO cute together. You can see their love for each other in every single portrait.

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The Hartley Siblings…

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All three of these guys bear the name “Marshall.” I love this cute idea and their happy faces (thanks to Wyatt’s hilarious comments)!

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Uh oh–House Divided. (And Wyatt hasn’t picked a team yet….there was a bit of family tug-o-war going on to sway his decision. For now, though, he’s Switzerland.) But it’s all in good fun, right? Right?

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Hmmmm, maybe not. 😉

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Hartley Family, I loved spending the afternoon with you guys and I’m so glad you got to be together in Greenville as a family. I hope you love your photos and that they bring lots of happy memories of special family times together!

–Amy

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