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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Snow Day Family Portraits! | Greenville SC Family Photographer

We don’t see much snow here in Greenville South Carolina, so everyone is making the most of our Snow Day and “Snowpocalypse 2014!” Our neighbors asked me to photograph some family portraits for them during the snow “event”–yay! It made my camera happy to shoot them in this gorgeous snow storm, and it made my heart happy because these are their FIRST family portraits ever. I love being able to document the love and fun between family members, and knowing that this is the first time that’s been captured for a family makes it even more special. Frank, Leigh, and Gracie are such great neighbors. Tony and I may not live in the fanciest house in the most exclusive neighborhood, but our little street sure does look out for one another, and that’s pretty awesome these days!

**Y’all, I loved this session so much that I’m offering mini-sessions for as long as the snow sticks around! Please contact me for this special rate–a rate that I have never offered before!! I will shoot whenever it is safe for you to get to my house and for as long as the snow is pretty. Don’t miss this special opportunity! πŸ™‚ amy@amycliftonkeely.com **

Introducing: The McCalls in the Snow, 2014

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No doubt, this shot of them just loving on each other is one of my favorites of the day!!

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Sweet Daddy’s Girl!

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Another favorite! Gracie is so much fun, and I love this little crooked grin. πŸ™‚

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And her lashes??

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This right here is Miss Gracie all the way…always putting on a show!

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So sweet!

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Love this one too!

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Love, love these next two moments!

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And my favorite of Frank and Leigh. SO good of you guys!!

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Another sweet little family moment…

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Friends, don’t wait until the snow is all gone! Schedule your Snowpocalypse 2014 Session now!! As always, you can hit “like” below for this post to show up in your facebook newsfeed, you can hover over a photo to “Pin It” to Pinterest, and you can leave a comment below to show us some love! Stay warm, y’all and enjoy this beautiful snow!

–Amy

Getting “Wed”ucated | Wedding Workshop

Please, please, please forgive me for my terribly neglected blog! I was doing *so well* updating about mine and Tony’s engagement, and then, well…..I had surgery, we got into the frenzied final month of wedding planning, we got married (yay!!), we relaxed for a few weeks, we went to Italy for two weeks, and then life just took over. I promise that I will work on recapping the wedding and Italy for those of you who faithfully kept up with our engagement journey. But first, I need to share some photography posts!! (After all, this is a photography blog, not just a “Tony + Amy Got Engaged” blog. πŸ˜‰ )

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Just last week I flew to beautiful Salt Lake City for a photography workshop about child and family portraiture, which reminded me that I never posted photos from another fabulous workshop that I attended a whole year+ ago. (See, life got way too busy!) In both my photography life and my non-profit life, I really enjoy workshops, webinars, articles, anything to keep me inspired and learning. There is always more to learn, ways to improve, and just fascinating information out there. For instance, at a recent education conference that I attended for my non-profit job, I learned that the Voyager spacecraft has traveled at 18,000 mph for over 34 years, and it is JUST NOW getting ready to exit our solar system. How vast is our universe??

But I digress.

Last spring I attended the “Walk Through a Wedding” workshop with fabulous CT based photographers Justin & Mary, where I took all of the photos below. At the Walk-Through, I learned a lot about interacting with clients to create a calming presence on their wedding day, posing, and using directional light to tell a beautiful, textured story. Perhaps the most important thing that I walked away with, however, was the importance of examining my “Why.” Why do I love photography? Why do I make the decisions I do when photographing my clients? Why does my work have value? Why do I use a certain prop or go to a certain location to shoot? Why, why, why. Always in the back of my mind.

Again, I digress.

Our theme for the mock wedding (using real-life couples as our models) was “American Honey.” Old barns, a flowy gown, lots of buttery yellows, and yes–honey. Enjoy this sweet feast…

“Getting Ready” details…

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Our beautiful and completely timeless bride and groom, real-life couple (and soon-to-be parents!), photographers Matt & Leslie.

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Seriously??

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Bridesmaids details.

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If I ask you to “Look to the person beside you and laugh,” it always FEELS weird, but I promise that it LOOKS adorable!

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Super sweet details at the “reception”…

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A couple of shots of our adorable wedding party…real-life newlyweds and photogs Samantha and Graham.

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And our fabulous teachers, Justin and Mary.Β Justin uses his ninja skills to get the right shot…

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…while Mary shows us how to pose!

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Thanks for stopping BACK by the blog after a long hiatus. Stay tuned…lots of exciting changes are coming to Amy Clifton Photography this year!!! And as always, I love it when you leave a comment below to “show me some love!”

–Amy

Having a baby? Just breaaaaaathe. | Clemson SC Maternity Portraits

Yesterday, you got to see portraits of cute little ZuZu, who just became a big brother this week. Today, I wanted to give some attention to Mom and Dad, who were so relaxed and loving during our session.

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I love the real emotions and laughter here…

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Caroline, you are glowing!

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ZuZu with Mom and his baby brother…

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I just love families who focus on each other, and these parents really seem to have a fun but calming presence. Maybe it’s the yoga…

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Goasguens, congratulations on Baby B! I’m excited to meet him and the grandparents later on this month. You have such a wonderful family!

As always, please click below to leave a comment and “show us some love!”

Also, if you want to see the family’s entire proof gallery, please CLICK HERE. Password is ZuZu’s real name. πŸ™‚

Wedding Festivals, and Heather & Grant’s “Outdoor Elegance” Wedding

First of all, if you are visiting my site from the Wedding Festivals, WELCOME! Thank you so much for stopping by my booth (yep, I’m the girl with the chandeliers in her booth!) and for taking the time to visit my website and check out more of my work. I know that the Festival can be a little overwhelming…lots to look at, lots of decisions, and lots of people vying for your attention. Your wedding photography is one of the most important decisions–and certainly the most lasting–that you will make regarding your wedding day, and I would love the opportunity to sit down and chat over a coffee or glass of wine…without all the craziness of the crowd! Please call or email if you’d like to get together! (864) 907-4959 or amy@amycliftonphotography.com.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy viewing my work! Since the winter slows down a bit for weddings, you’ll notice that most of my recent blog post are family portraits. I’ll be catching up with some wedding photos that didn’t make it to the blog back in the summer, and you can also go to the “Click Here” tab on the top right of my blog, where you’ll find a drop-down box with categories. Click on any of those wedding-related categories to see engagement sessions, bridal portraits, and weddings.

Alrighty, on to Heather and Grant’s “Outdoor Elegance” wedding! πŸ™‚ I didn’t actually meet Heather or Grant until their wedding day, so all of our “getting-to-know-you” conversations took place over email and the phone. Heather described her and Grant as “living and loving the country life,” which I think is awesome. And then she told me that their wedding was going to take place on a hunting lodge in rural Fort Lawn, SC, and it would have an elegant 1940s vibe. Hmmmmm. I wasn’t so sure what to expect! Glamour out in the woods? Deer heads and damask? Homemade jam and monograms?

I was in for such.a.treat. This wedding was full of DIY, glamourous, picture perfect details. Heather was an absolute beauty, and Grant channeled James Bond. I was in love as soon as I pulled up to the lodge and saw the wispy fabrics and chandelier. See for yourself…

Again, Wedding Festivals brides (and grooms), thank you for visiting! I’m excited to get to know you and to provide you with wedding photography that captures the “real moments, true emotions, and important details of your life.”

As always, please leave a comment below to “show me some love” and let me know you’ve stopped by!
–Amy