Greenville Mountains Engagement | Brandon + Andrew


Today is Brandon + Andrew’s wedding day, and I am SO EXCITED! Their Greenville mountains engagement session last fall was ahhhhhh-mazing, and I can only imagine how special their wedding will be. These two sweethearts, who go back as far as middle school, are filled with love and compassion for each other and for those around them. They support and push one another, and they are so intentional about their love. During their session, Brandon + Andrew showed not one bit of hesitation as they allowed themselves to be vulnerable in front of my camera. That trust, that vulnerability, that joy of being in the moment makes for beautiful portraits, but mostly, it makes for a beautiful life together.

Introducing…Brandon + Andrew, Engaged

We started their Greenville mountains engagement session at Wildcat Falls in northern Greenville county. I love this area because it is beautiful yet so easy to access!

Andrew was a good listener, and he bought the perfect ring for Brandon. Gorgeous, right??

After leaving Wildcat Falls, we headed up the mountain to what may be my *favorite* photography spot–Bald Rock. We had incredible afternoon light and some gorgeous fall color. Looooove!

In their pre-session questionnaire, Andrew was telling me that he knew Brandon was “The One” when they were seniors in high school and planning to go away for college. He said, “I didn’t think I could ever live my life without her, and it turns out I was right.”

May you two spend the rest of your lives looking at each other with this much admiration and love.  

So. I am 100% a crazy cat lady. When little Piper, their mini-Aussie, made her debut, however, I was smitten. How stinking cute is she??? This baby pup nearly stole the show from her mama and dad!

Oh my heart! She is so cute.

To really make their session meaningful, I asked Brandon + Andrew to write each other a love letter. They traded letters and took a few minutes to soak in this special time. Brandon so perfectly summed up the engagement experience: “There is something that changes in your relationship when you get engaged. The change from wanting to be with someone forever to knowing that you will be with them forever is an incredible feeling.”



Greenville mountain engagement photos at Bald Rock

Brandon + Andrew, may you always dance like no one is watching, fall in love over and over again, and put each other before yourself. I am grateful to capture your love with my camera–it is truly a special thing. Happy Wedding Day today! –ACK


Greenville mountain engagement photos at Bald Rock

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Emily + Franklin | North Greenville University Engagement Portraits


Emily + Franklin met while they were students at North Greenville University, so it was only natural that we would photograph their engagement portraits on the campus that means so much to them. Their love for each other is strong, but their love for the Lord is even stronger. Our very first stop during the portrait session was in the Prayer Chapel at NGU, where Franklin prayed over their relationship. It was so special to him leading their relationship in this way. These two have such a relaxed, sweet, fun spirit about them, and you can just tell that they are the perfect fit. Emily is my cousin, and I am so happy that she has found such a wonderful guy for her. Patient, kind, respectful, and full of smiles for one another…Franklin + Emily were so easy to photograph, and I can’t wait for their wedding TODAY!!

Introducing….Emily + Franklin’s Engagement Portraits

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So much happy! I just love these two!

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I love what this image says about their relationship. Safety, comfort, and just being at home in each other’s arms.

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How cute are they???

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When I photograph couples, I love to play some silly games to get them to loosen up, to create some fun memories, and to capture real expressions. It also gives me a chance to step back and just let them be in the moment, like this shot…

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We stuck around North Greenville’s campus until the sun began to set over the NC mountains in the background. I’m SO glad that we waited–these next few shots are some of my favorites!

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Love love LOVE. We don’t just play silly games during portrait sessions…I also like to ask my couples questions that get them to dig deep and think about their relationship. This real emotion is the result. No fake smiles, no “act like you love each other” commands…these are true moments, y’all.

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(I can’t decide…color or B&W. What do you think??)

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There’s always a point during a portrait session where I make a fool of myself when I see something special on my side of the lens. Pretty sure (because they told me) that Emily and Franklin didn’t know where I was going with this shot…but I’m glad they trusted my vision, even if they didn’t know what that vision was!

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Emily and Franklin, your love is something special. I’m so touched that you wanted me to capture your story through my photographs. My prayer for your wedding day and every day that follows is to see the best in each other, to laugh so deeply that your eyes crinkle up 😉 , and to always lift up the other in prayer. Thank you, truly, for choosing me as your photographer!

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Terri + Neal on the Mountaintop | Greenville SC Engagement Portraits


It was an incredible day photographing Terri and Neal’s engagement portraits on the mountaintops of northern Greenville SC! This beautiful couple share a connection that was worth the wait, worth the valleys, and worthy of the mountaintop they are enjoying thanks to God’s graces. Terri and Neal’s story began with a long-distance relationship, and Greenville was their halfway point, where they fell in love with each other and the area’s outdoor spaces. For their engagement session, we trekked through woodland trails at Wildcat Falls and climbed the huge rocky expanse of Bald Rock, both places that I’ve been dying to do a session! These two–who claimed to have almost no photos of themselves because they “aren’t photogenic”–were AMAZING for my camera!! Seriously, some couples just have this chemistry that the camera LOVES, and Terri and Neal are for sure in that category. I’m incredibly honored and excited to photograph their wedding in just a few more days.

Introducing….Terri and Neal, Engaged.

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These are two of the first times I pressed my shutter–not comfortable in front of the camera? Whatever!! Terri and Neal were perfect from the start of our session! (And Terri’s hair and makeup were perfect thanks to the always fabulous Katie Cotton of Cotton Rouge Hair and Makeup!)

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Love this sweet moment….

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Y’all know I love a reflection photo!

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After rambling around Wildcat Falls, we headed up the mountain to Bald Rock, where we were met by a nice cool breeze, beautiful views, and the most gorgeous light to wash over Terri and Neal. I cannot say enough about how much I love every one of these images!

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I know it feels funny when I ask couples to look at each other, but there is just something incredible about “that look” when people in love stare into each other’s eyes and giggle!

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See? That’s love right there, folks.

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*Sigh* How amazing is this place and these two??

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Some of my favorites are in this next set…

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We had a beautiful sunset at the end of our session. It was so pretty, that my mom called me on the way home to say that she and my dad were driving around trying to catch the last glimpses of it!

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I had to save my favorites for last. I just love all of the emotion and pure joy in these portraits.

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Terri and Neal–I am so happy that you guys found each other AND (selfishly) I’m also happy that you found me as your photographer! Your engagement portraits were so special to photograph, and I can hardly wait for all of the beautiful moments that I know will be found Friday at your wedding.

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Nina + Nick, Down on the Farm | Greenville SC Fall Engagement Portraits


Let me tell you how much I loved photographing Nina and Nick’s low-key yet magical engagement portraits on their farm near Greenville SC this fall!! There was a field….there were fall leaves….there was a cute little rustic red barn…there were HORSES…there was gorgeous light and magical sunflare. (Did I mention that there were horses???) But none of those things compared to photographing Nina and Nick themselves. These two love with a quiet, calm, sweetness…they care for one another and their animals with such honesty and tenderness….they are quick to laugh together, they are genuine and giving, they love nature and peacefulness. They just make you feel at home when you are with them, and they are the kind of people who love their simple country life, but you know that they are truly “at home” wherever they are together. I cannot wait to photograph their wedding next spring, on this very same property. I know it will be filled with love and magic as well!

Introducing: Nina + Nick, Engaged!

Have I mentioned how excited I was that THEY HAVE HORSES???? This whole series is so gorgeous, I can hardly even stand it. Nina and Nick–y’all are the best!!

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Um, and then, their horses nuzzled each other!! Loooove.

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Gorgeous, magical sunflare love!

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Really, Nick + Nina, you two are completely adorable together!!


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Nina’s beautiful engagement ring

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Now that I’ve gotten embarrassingly excited over photos of beautiful people with HORSES, let’s just see how completely sweet these two are together…

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So incredibly sweet, this couple!

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Moving on to the adorable little barn, AKA “The Zombie Shed.” 😉

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One word that Nina used when describing her goals for this engagement session was “magical.” I think we nailed it…

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And finally, two of my very favorites from the whole session.

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Nina and Nick, I just can’t say enough how much of a treat it is to know you two and to have the pleasure of photographing your love.  What you have is truly special.


To view Nina + Nick’s entire Proof Gallery, CLICK HERE. Password is Nina’s last name. And as always–we love it when you click “Comments” below to leave us some love!

We’re Engaged! Month #5….and 6 Months to Go!


OK, so I am waaaaaaay late on our monthly engagement update. To accurately celebrate our “engagement anniversary” I am supposed to blog on the 16th of the month. Where the heck does the time go?? Instead, I’m updating today on the 27th…..exactly SIX MONTHS until our wedding day!! I can’t believe that 6 months from now I will be Mrs. Keely….and I know that the time will fly between then and now. Time to catch you up on wedding plans and fun happenings during Month #5!


–We got three gorgeous and creative proofs from our invitation designer, Kara with Izzy Designs. She is AWESOME and has done a fantastic job with our samples thus far. Highly, highly recommend her!! I can’t wait to send these out….assuming we can EVER finalize our guest list. Ugh.

–I got to try on my wedding dress again! I invited my mom, Tony’s mom and step-mom, and Tony’s sister to come see The Dress and have lunch together. It was special to be with all of the ladies in my family and my “new” family. And of course, I love any excuse to wear The Dress!!

–WE HAD OUR ENGAGEMENT PORTRAITS DONE!!!!! It was so much fun and a little sentimental to take a whole afternoon to just be “us”….cozy and giggly and sassy and maybe even a little bit sexy. 🙂 One of the things I enjoy seeing when I am on the “photographer” side of the lens is how a portrait session forces a couple or a family to just focus on themselves and their relationships. It was really neat to be on the other side of the lens and feel how true this is. We are so, so happy with our images, and I cannot thank our dear friends Craig and Lindsey enough for capturing all of the things that make us “us.” I want to do a whole blog post with just our portraits, but here are a few favorites.




–We celebrated Tony’s dad’s 60th birthday (twice!). It was fun to be with his family and also to include my family in the celebrating. It is pretty cool to see that our parents are becoming friends!

(Tony with two of his sweet Grandmas, and who knows what my parents and his parents are cooking up in the bottom photos. 🙂 )

–Tony finally got his chance to dress as a pirate (since I refuse to let him do that for the wedding)….Halloween! We had a fun night listening to bands and dancing at Gottrocks.

Not sure why I look so happy, considering how intent Pirate Tony looks on slitting my throat…



–I shot a million fall portrait sessions (YAY!!!), and Tony actually helped me 2nd Shoot for two of them. He’s got a great eye, and it’s been fun to teach him about lighting, camera settings, and such. I love learning from him about food and football, and it’s pretty cool that he enjoys picking up the camera and learning my craft too!

–We are enjoying a few simple little traditions…me cooking dinner on Wednesdays when Tony gets home early from class (thank you Pinterest for all the recipes!) and Top Chef Texas afterwards, dinner and The Next Iron Chef Allstars on Sundays, and Chopped and House Hunters pretty much every time they are on!

–We spent a couple of days up in the mountains just hanging out and having fun! We went on a Zipline tour of the Nantahala Forest (got an awesome deal on Groupon), I took Tony to see the Western Carolina campus for the first time (Go Catamounts!!!), we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Frog’s Leap Public House, we toured Biltmore House, and we just puttered around Asheville, shopping and eating. (We tried veal brains at Table. Definitely the most adventurous thing I’ve ever eaten.) We have such a good time being together, and it is just SO EASY. Nice.


Ziplining was so much fun!!


I *heart* Western Carolina!!


Tony with me at the WCU Alumni Belltower


–We met with another potential caterer and received a custom sample menu from them. We’re making some progress!!

–We had a ridiculously delicious Italian feast with about 16 of our friends, who are all amazing cooks. Tony (and I) prepared a Timpano, which is a 40-pound pot of deliciousness. We prepped for about 4 hours, cooked it for 2, and ate it for days. 🙂 Tony made the fresh pasta sheets, which line the pot and hold everything in, and we filled it up with homemade meatballs, cooked penne, pasta sauce, olives, salami and onions, and two cheeses. It was so good, and I’m craving it again after putting together the photos below!



–We enjoyed our own little “Snow Day.” I took a day off from working, shooting, editing, and Tony skipped class. We had been so busy that we just needed a rainy day to sleep super late, bum around, fix dinner, and destress. It was nice, and just like a real Snow Day it was tough to go back to real life the next day!

I say it every month, but we truly love and appreciate each of you for following our journey and for being a part of our journey. Thank you!!