Hi! My name is Sarah Kehl. That's Kehl as in Kellogg's cereal, it's German, from my husband's side. I am a portrait photographer based in Burlington, North Carolina, serving the Piedmont Triad, the Research Triangle and beyond. I’m a girl who loves her dogs and her husband, who appreciates beauty and nature, who finds spirituality in running and loves to geek out about athletic things, who loves TEA, my goodness, I am a girl who LOVES tea (but let’s be specific: earl grey varieties!). I’m a girl who gets giddy at museums and will devour all the placards, who reads non-fiction history books for fun, and who wants to understand the human condition and every tiny detail (even the ungly ones) that created our society as we know it. I’m a girl who believes in GRACE and humanity and goodness and service and the power of kindness. I’m the woman my husband loves. And I’m a girl who wants to tell stories about people through photographs, so they can see their part of the human tapestry and how beautiful and important they are - at this specific moment in time - captured forever in a picture.
Sarah Kehl Photography is about making beautiful photographs of and for others. I believe that portraits belong on the walls of our homes and not stuck in drawers on CDs or flash drives, and I believe in portraiture as a necessity of our life stories and family history. My favorite photograph of all time is a portrait of my grandmother at the age of 18. It's a classic, soft, feminine portrait, from a studio; a simple headshot with her delicate arms and hands resting comfortably on a table in front of her. She's hopeful and bright and looking towards the future, and she and my family can know her that way forever, no matter how many years pass, because of that portrait. It's beautiful. Every time I see that photograph, I wonder, "Do I have a portrait like that for my future grandchildren to see?" And then I think, "I want to make that portrait for others." That's where my heart truly is, and so I specialize in elegant, vibrant high school Senior portraits that speak to the soul of the individual and commomorate the time in a person's life when they are on the brink of sallying forth into this big world! It only happens once and we need to remember it, always. That's where I can help!
My work also encompasses weddings, family portraits, and pet portraits. When I work with any individual, a family, a bride and groom, or a sweet pup, I feel I am given an intimate look at someone else's life and offered a glimpse into a world different and unique from my own. That is something to treasure and be thankful for. And it's something to nurture. Sarah Kehl Photography is a boutique, client-centered studio, meaning everything I do is custom work. Every portrait session, every wedding, every photography request, is personalized and focused on relationships, because your story matters to me, more than I can express. My hope is that the images we create together will be treasured by you and your family for years to come, and will spark memories of a time in your life that was so very special!
Thank you for visiting Sarah Kehl Photography!
Photography is my second career! I hold a degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon and spent eight years as a public school music teacher: three as a middle school band director in southern California and five as a general elementary music teacher in Albuquerque, NM and Columbia, SC. I'm a classically trained pianist and originally went to college for Piano Performance before joining the marching band my sophomore year and realizing I wanted to be a band director! Game Day at a school with a big football program is indescribable. Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR is the loudest, funnest stadium in the country (they've done studies) and my time with the Oregon Marching Band (OMB) was unforgettable! I have four seasons with the OMB under my belt, my last two as a Drum Major. GO DUCKS!!!!
I'm from a small town in southern Arizona. When I decided to go so far away for college, all the way to Oregon, my parents had one fear: "She's going to meet SOME BOY and we'll never see her again!" And that's exactly what happened! I met my husband, Adam, at the UO, where he was also a Music Ed. major. He was two years ahead of me though, so when he finished his degree and moved to CA for his first teaching job, I still had two years left at Oregon. We'd only been dating for five months when he moved away, but we decided to give the long-distance thing a shot! We were married two and a half years later, so I'd say it worked out! Oh, and though we live far away, we visit our families as often as we can!
We got our first dog, Alex, five months into our marriage. I'd never had a dog before so it was a HUGE adjustment for me! Plus, Alex is a special-needs dog, who came from a rescue and had some pretty serious issues fresh out of the gate, which made life with him the first few months even harder! But we stuck with him and now he's our baby! He's almost 11 years old and we've had him for 9 1/2. He is Adam's best buddy in the whole wide world. And he loves his mamma, too. :) We've had our second dog, George, for about three years. He is just a sweet, goofy guy, who has a lot of silly mishaps, but there isn't a mean bone in his body, dear boy, and we love him so much. I am now a complete "Dog Person". My training is over, I've been inducted, it's official, I am a Dog Person. Pet photography is probably the most joyous work that I do; I love meeting new pups and capturing their sweet souls with my camera! Working with dogs (and cats!) is always an adventure that I look forward to!
Since turning 30 (a few years ago) I've been on a quest for personal health and wellness. I was a Cross Country and Track distance runner in high school, a decent one I might add, and I've recently begun to reawaken that skill in my body and that part of my soul. Many of my high school teammates were my best friends and we are still friends today. We share the unbreakable bonds of blood, sweat and tears, and I think of them every time I go running. Our motto was "Hold the Rope", and it means: if you were dangling off the edge of a cliff, holding onto a rope for dear life, who would you want on the other end of that rope, pulling you up? We'd choose each other. Running is very spiritual for me, and through it I find a connection to the earth and a connection to God. It also gives me self-awareness, emotional therapy, and of course, good health! I'm always going on about nutrition and some kind of athletic gear/gadget/shoes. I ran my first half marathon in May, 2016 in Boone, NC. It was awesome and beautiful and fun, and I want to do another one!
I am a tea NUT! I have a large collection of delicious teas from all over the world and country. Most of my favorites are black/earl grey varieties from Oregon (Savoure, which is sadly out of business, but I used to go there for afternoon tea all the time in college with my dear friend Kelly, and I even dragged Adam there a few times), New Mexico (NM Tea Company), Washington (Cup and Kettle in Leavenworth), London (Twinings, which you can get in the US, but it's just better in England), Vancouver, B.C. (TWG, a gift from Kelly!), and Paris (Mariage Frere - FOR THE WIN!!!). I take morning or afternoon tea (depending on my schedule) every day, and I love to make tea sandwiches, scones, and homemade clotted cream. Come over to my house for a tea party!!
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