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.

–Amy

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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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

Emily’s Furman University Bridal Portraits | Greenville SC Wedding Photographer

Emily is a Furman grad, and she had always dreamed of having her bridal portraits photographed on the university’s beautiful campus. I tell you, I don’t think it’s possible for me to get tired of shooting portraits at Furman! There are beautiful locations and gorgeous light every where you turn. Having a lovely bride, an elegant gown from Carolina Bride and Groom, and a sweetly Southern bouquet from Twigs sure doesn’t hurt either! Emily was married last Saturday, so I can FINALLY show off her bridal portraits. I hope you enjoy!

Introducing…Emily’s Bridal Portraits

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This is the shot that Emily chose for her portrait to display at her and Andrew’s wedding reception–simply beautiful!

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Emily is one of the happiest, most gracious and laid-back people I’ve met…but this girl can ROCK the serious sassy-face!

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Furman University’s Rose Garden has the prettiest gazebo–I love it! Furman_Bridal_Portrait_Greenville_SC_Outdoors_Twigs_Bouquet_Gazebo_Amy_Clifton_Keely_Photography 09

One of my favorites!

 

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Love love LOVE this one!!

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Such a cute and happy portrait!

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Emily is so timeless and elegant…

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Sweet, sweet mama and daughter

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A few more of my favorites…a happy face, and several more of her killer sassy-face!

 

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Positively regal!

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If you haven’t already, click here or at the bottom of the page to “like” Amy Clifton Keely Photography on facebook so you can be the first to see a Sneak Peek of Emily and Andrew’s wedding photos! And as always, it feels great when you leave a comment to show us some love! Many congrats to the newlyweds!!

~Amy

New Year’s Eve Rustic-Glamorous Elopement | Greenville SC Wedding Photographer

New Year’s Eve–a day to reflect, a day of sparkles and glamour, and for Angela and JB, it was a day to begin their life together as husband and wife. Angela and JB were married in a private elopement at their picture-perfect rustic family farm in Greenville SC, and I was so lucky to be their photographer! Their sweet, intimate wedding reminded of several things:

1) the size of the wedding ceremony isn’t nearly as important as the amount of love in the ceremony

2) a country-boy-at-heart can get along just fine with a gal who likes some sparkle

3) family, friends, love and home–and a phenomenal pair of shoes–what more do you need?

4) I love–I mean really, really love–photographing intimate, outdoor, personal weddings and elopements.

Introducing Angela + JB…Just Married!

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Angela and JB live on his family’s farm, which is a beautiful 100+ acre oasis hidden in the middle of the city. So much Southern history is built on our people’s land, and it was special to watch these two begin their own family history on this special piece of property. For the ceremony, it was just the two of them, their dearest friends who performed as officiant and official bouquet-getter/chauffeur/comic relief, and me. It was a precious time, and I was honored to capture it for Angela and JB.

 

Angela’s late Grandmother’s Bible held their beautiful rings

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I went crazy over this woodpile when I visited their home for the first time, and I couldn’t wait to incorporate it into some photos! One of JB’s favorite things to do around the property is to chop wood; little did he know how it would inspire me. 🙂

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Angela’s gown from The Poinsett Bride was beautiful!

 

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JB proposed during a walk on the beach, searching for shells. He presented Angela’s diamond on this Lettered Olive shell–the state seashell of South Carolina!

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And Angela’s amazing blue velvet shoes?? LOVE!!

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Angela’s bouquet was the perfect blend of traditional Southern sweetness with a bit of rustic evergreens. Bouquet designed by The Embassy Flowers in Greenville.

 

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JB’s face was priceless when Angela made the walk from their house to the barn! He kept saying things like “stunning!” and “gorgeous!” 😉

 

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One of my all-time favorite ceremony photos. I love everything about this moment in their history…

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Angela’s precious friend Frances was their officiant, and it was such a meaningful part of their wedding day. Frances is beautiful inside and out, and she is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. This tough lady had chemo the day before the wedding, but she was completely perky and enthusiastic and shared her heartfelt prayers for her friends during the ceremony.

 

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So aside from how personal an elopement ceremony is, my next favorite part is that I have time to photograph a complete portrait session with the bride and groom!! Normally, we’re scrambling for time after a wedding, so it was a dream come true (well, maybe not JB’s dream 😉 ) to ramble around the property for “Couple Portraits.” Woohoo!

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One of my favorites!!!

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So even though JB is a country boy at heart, he’s quite the professional. My mom saw their Sneak Peek on facebook and said “He looks like a banker.” (Yep!)

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Sassiness!!

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Told y’all I loved this woodpile and shed!!

 

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So, Frances’ husband was chauffeuring Angela around in the gator, and we were joking about the painting “American Gothic.” JB pipes up and said , “Well I’ve got a pitch fork right over there!” Here’s their rendition…

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Another of my favorites!! Angela is a consultant for Stella & Dot, and her necklace is gorgeous!! I can connect you with her if you’d like to see the collection or host a party!

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I always love seeing how couples look at one another. <3

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Finally done with portraits, Angela gives the “parade wave” as we headed back to the house! 😉

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Once we got to the house, JB and Angela’s family/paparazzi were waiting to congratulate them!

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Their cakes were made by Angela’s friend’s mom as a gift, and their yummy food was catered by Mary Frances Brock of Key West Connection. I am obsessed with the old black & white family photos of JB’s family. I want to do a similar wall in our house!!

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The rings! It all feels real now!

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Farm Country Elopement Greenville SC Wedding Photography Amy Clifton Keely 57

Sweet, sweet moment between JB and Angela’s mom. It’s a wonderful thing to love your in-laws!

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Farm Country Elopement Greenville SC Wedding Photography Amy Clifton Keely 62

These two just started slow-dancing in the living room. Love love it!

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And finally, a couple of my favorite wedding portraits of the bride and groom! After wandering throughout the property, JB was about done with pictures, but we convinced him to go to just oooooooone more spot. I knew that the gorgeous pine trees would make a beautiful backdrop. JB–thank you for indulging us!!! Totally paid off!

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Farm Country Elopement Greenville SC Wedding Photography Amy Clifton Keely 16

Angela and JB, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me into your love story. Your wedding–my final wedding of 2013–was absolutely perfect, and I wish you a lifetime of love and laughter!

Friends, if you know someone having a small, personalized wedding or someone who is eloping at home or afar, please put them in touch with me!

As always, it’s great to know you’ve stopped by! Please leave a comment below to show us some love, scroll over an image to “Pin It” to Pinterest, or click “Like” below to link to your facebook page!

–Amy

 

Introducing Amy Clifton Keely Photography | Welcome to the New Site!

I am so incredibly excited to announce the official launch of the new Amy Clifton Keely Photography–a new name, a new logo, a new website, a re-newed sense of joy and excitement for photographing your moments! In the past year+ I have married my sweet Mr. K and gotten myself a new name…so my photography business needed to follow! While I am still that same girl portrayed in my “old” website, I have a new perspective on life as a bride and a wife. I wanted this logo, this website, this BRAND to match who I am now, so I welcome you to Amy Clifton Keely Photography! I hope that you will take the time to explore all the new galleries, the testimonials, the “About” pages of my website. I hope that you will “like” me on facebook–you can click the facebook button at the bottom of any webpage to like my business fb page, and you can “like” any individual blog post as well to share it on your wall. Thank you for your love and support of me, of the Keelys, and of my adventures in photography. I am grateful.

And because, of course, every post needs a photo, I share this one with you from Michelle and Rich’s recent Greenville SC wedding…

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My husband is a happy guy. My favorite photos of us show us laughing together. He makes me happy, and he just has this way about him that makes everyone feel comfortable. On our wedding day, however, he had this different smile, this different glow of happiness. It was so cute, and I even commented to him after our “First Look” that I’d never seen him so smiley! This photo of Rich and Michelle reminds me of that look on Tony’s face–pure, unedited joy. Always–ALWAYS–when I am behind the camera, my most important goal is to capture “you” as you really are and to preserve so much emotion that you feel it all over again when you view your photos.

Again, WELCOME and THANK YOU!

As always, I love it when you leave a comment below to “show us some love!”

–Amy