Meet Kellē Sauer, a poetic story teller with an insatiable desire to delve deeper into the scenes that surround us, the objects that intrigue us, and the moments that define us.
Her work embodies a dynamic dance of light, texture and raw emotion. Displaying a humbling yet boldly nostalgic account of the often overlooked and almost always forgotten.
Kellē’s recent collaboration with Stylist Lacy Geary and fellow creative Silk & Willow, a brand responsible for unearthing organic weaves constructed with plant-dyed methods, has uncovered a newfound synergy of creative energy. Their distinctly different backgrounds of photography, styling and decor, came together in unequivocal harmony by their love of poetic details.
Tell us more about the shoot, how did it come about?
I fell in love with Silk & Willow pretty much from the day they launched their brand. I had been looking for a few years to find an intentional way to think about my detail photos for weddings and editorial work, and Silk & Willow’s thoughtful, sustainable approach to everything they did not only filled that bill, it gave me a new dream of getting to know the people behind the beautiful things I photographed.
Describe your experience with Silk & Willow? Had you worked with the brand previously?
I had purchased Silk & Willow ribbon before for my own work, and to be honest, I have never worked with more beautiful ribbon. The product pushed me to new levels every time I photographed it. The texture and movement of the ribbon sang my soul out, the softness of it, and the colors…
I could use it for bouquets, for draping, even for clothing (I often used it in my hair and for some accents in my lingerie), on my table, in my personal décor. The quality was phenomenal, and the uses were endless.
You have an incredible eye for detail, what is it that draws you in, what do you look for and what captures your attention?
Fifteen years ago, I was forced to drop out of college and enter a wheelchair because of a neurological diagnosis that stripped me of the ability to think in a straight line.
As I recovered, I discovered that if I could feel something, I could remember it. I could be in a moment and hold onto my life as long as I could react to it in some way. So I am always shooting for the feeling of a thing (or a person) I am photographing. I want to tell a story about it.
Usually I am drawn in by the color of a thing (if it’s a wrong color I don’t give it a second glance), and after that, I’m like a little kid again, touching, turning it over in the light, asking questions, playing with it.
I want to know where it began and what makes it mean so much to me, and then I want to make it mean that much to everybody else.
What are you inspired by creatively? Do you have creative outlets/hobbies outside of photography?
I am most inspired by story, stories triggering feeling for me. The wind and the sky and the sunrise and the sea, beautiful art and beautiful lives lived around the art – these all spark my creativity. I also pay attention to my own story and surroundings. I believe that real life is fine art, and I never want to be “inspired” so far out of reality that I don’t honor it in some way. I want to bring beauty into the world, not separate myself from it with my art.
As for creative outlets, I am also a pianist (music has colors, did you know?!), and I have a goal of reconditioning my voice again and maybe joining a local chorale.
I bake bread weekly when the weather isn’t too hot, and I have a garden’s worth of potted plants that bring me life on the daily.
With regards to wedding photography, how would you describe your style? What do you look for and how do you approach covering the day?
I think I would describe my style as “lifestyle-meets-documentary,” with a few timeless fine art portraits thrown in when I can pull it off.
On a wedding day, my first priority is how my bride feels about her day. I follow her pretty closely, always trying to shoot a little bit through her eyes. I love getting to know couples before the wedding so that I can walk in with a sense about what is most important to them.
I look for texture and emotion, for intentionality and intimacy, and for romance that is both fun and sensual. I want to create space for my couple to be the only two people in the world on their wedding day, leaving room for their wedding story to unfold authentically. It is not just as an event that must be recorded, but one of the most meaningful memories they will hold for the rest of their lives together.
Photography / Kellē Sauer
Fabrics, Papers & Ribbon / Silk & Willow
Styling / Lacy Geary
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