Hi, I'm Sarah!  I am a Burlington based boutique photographer serving all of North Carolina.  I specialize in vibrant, elegant Senior portraits and also enjoy pet photography, weddings, and family portraits.  When not holding a camera, I can be found running, snuggling my pups, or drinking tea. Learn more...





I met Anthony of Paws on Durham several months ago while promoting my Pooches and People event with Be Pure Beauty.  I’d never heard of a pet sitting service before and didn’t quite know what to expect when I walked into the Paws on Durham office.  The first thing I remember is being so impressed with Anthony’s passion and love for serving animals, his joy for his work, and his absolute professionalism for his business!  Paws on Durham offers so many great services for loving pet parents who need to be away for vacation, work, etc. and can’t take their pets with them.  Their services include pet sitting for any length of time (from one hour while you’re running errands or have to be home late from work, to days and days while you are on vacation), home sitting, and pet taxiing for trips to the vet, groomer, etc.

I was GIDDY when Anthony asked Sarah Kehl Photography to become a partner business!  We got the ball rolling with a photo shoot featuring some real Paws on Durham clients, and these sweet pups below are my new friends from that day – Paco, Hercules, Augie, Bella, and Anthony’s two pugs, Angus and Olive!  I can personally attest to the loving and true care these clients receive from Anthony and his staff – these animals LOVE him!

So what does it mean to be a partner business?  It means all kinds of awesome for our clients!!  Paws on Durham clients will receive special pricing on session fees and products for family and pet portrait sessions by me!  (See information here!)  AND, SKP clients will receive special pricing from Paws on Durham pet sitting services!

As I’m typing this, I’m getting ready for another collaboration with Paws on Durham – we have some exciting things in store!  Stay tuned and meanwhile, meet my new friends!  They sure were champs in the hot summer heat!

Here’s Paco!pawsondurham01Goofy, sweet, lovable Augie!pawsondurham21Here’s Hercules, who is HUGE and an absolute cuddle-bug!!pawsondurham19Meet Olive!pawsondurham18pawsondurham17
pawsondurham15pawsondurham20Here’s the man himself, Anthony Garza, owner of Paws on Durham pet sitting, with his pugs, Olive and Angus!pawsondurham14pawsondurham13pawsondurham12pawsondurham11pawsondurham10pawsondurham09pawsondurham08pawsondurham07pawsondurham06pawsondurham05pawsondurham04pawsondurham03pawsondurham02More Paws on Durham love to come!


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I had a BLAST with Cody at his Senior portrait session in July!  Cody is my nephew on Adam’s side, and because Adam and I live so far away from family, we often have to rely on the experiences of others to fill us in on how everyone is doing and how everyone is growing up and changing.  Whenever we visit family we’re shocked at how much bigger and older all of our nieces and nephews have gotten!  My fondest memory of Cody is from my and Adam’s wedding nearly 10 years ago, when he was a funny, jolly little kid with a buzz cut, whip smart, who had to tuck in the sleeves of his little tuxedo because they were too long!  Today he’s still funny and jolly and whip smart, but TALL, and no more buzz cut!  He’s also such a conscientious guy, a great family man (I am always so impressed with his devotion to his grandparents – my parents-in-law), incredibly gifted, and just so cool.

We visited our Kehl family in Washington for the 4th of July, and while there we took the opportunity to knock out some KILLER portraits to celebrate Cody’s SENIOR STATUS – yeah!  Because of scheduling and weather, we headed out at 7:30 in the morning (WAY too early for me, but you do what you gotta do for great photography!) and hit up three different amazing locations, including Cody’s high school baseball field.  Cody is an insanely talented baseball player and has plans for playing in college, so we HAD to get some cool shots at the field!  We started the day at Cody’s house, where there are so many beautiful, natural spots for photos, then drove to the baseball field, and then ended the session at Cody’s dad’s company warehouse/packing plant (THIS place, holy smokes, so much portrait potential – and we tapped it for sure!)  The whole session was finished by 9:30 AM and we were like, “Okay, let’s go eat breakfast!”  I am NOT a morning person, but after this I’d love to do a lot more super early sessions!  Here are some of my favorite portraits!

Does this smile look like it’s only 7:30 in the morning?  I don’t think so – he’s ready to rock it!cody-fb01cody-fb02Such a fine young man with a great smile!cody-fb03cody-fb04cody-fb05Baseball field love…cody-fb06I really enjoyed the light in this dugout!cody-fb07cody-fb08I have to give a shout-out to Adam, who drove us around in the truck, carried my equipment, held my reflector, and turned into my Off Camera Flash assistant for this next set!cody-fb09cody-fb10

cody-fb11I love the mix of purple and turquoise in Cody’s dugout!  GREAT color combo!  Couldn’t have planned it better!cody-fb12cody-fb13This might be my FAVORITE from the whole session!  Those eyes on that background are awesome!cody-fb14cody-fb15cody-fb16cody-fb17Here we are at the packing plant – it’s amazing what you can do with a stack of crates!  Cody made the BEST clothing choices throughout the session – those blues really compliment his eyes and skin tone!  And we seemed find backdrops at the packing plant that matched perfectly!  Check out that hint of blue on some of the crate edges!cody-fb18cody-fb19cody-fb20Wall of yellow bins…for the win!
cody-fb21cody-fb22We walked over to these HUGE aluminum grain storage bins – the wind was blowing through them – the light was perfect – so suddenly it was like we were “on location” for some country album cover.  Cody certainly fits the bill though, don’t you think?  He can totally pull off the country star thing!cody-fb23cody-fb24Here comes the smolder…cody-fb25Just kidding – look at that smile!cody-fb26cody-fb27cody-fb28

I had Cody step back just a little bit to stand at the juncture of the three bins, and the light we discovered there was phenomenal.  These are some of my favorites!  I love the contrast of light and dark, and the way it plays across his face!cody-fb29cody-fb30I’m sure Adam just said something hilarious!cody-fb31cody-fb32cody-fb33Another favorite!  Cody, you could seriously be a model!cody-fb34cody-fb35cody-fb36Cody, thanks for getting up super early and indulging me in all my posing requests!  We knocked it out of the park!  (Baseball pun intended!)  I’m so glad we could find the time for your session during this fun trip to visit family!  Have a GREAT Senior year!!  Love ya!cody-fb37


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One of the funnest memberships I maintain as a business owner is with The Rising Tide Society.  The Rising Tide Society (or RTS) is an organization of small business owners in the creative fields who focus on business education and fellowship, with the hallmark tenet of Community over Competition and the notion that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”  I look forward to seeing and conversing with my fellow local creatives at our meetings each month; I always come away with fresh ideas and perspectives for my business!  This past April we focused on collaboration and I had the privilege of organizing another Senior-inspired styled shoot.  The theme of our shoot was “Sparkle Prom”, and from cahoots with a slew of other RTS photographers and creatives, we knocked it out of the park!

The inspiration for this shoot was glamorous Hollywood, vintage Gatsby, and a gold-sequined PARTY!  Our models were charged with providing their own wardrobe based on specific guidelines (the main one being that the dress had to be “COVERED in sequins!”), and they all nailed it!  Each of our five models wore something that not only fit the theme, but also fit her personality perfectly!  Dresses were rented by the models from Rent the Runway, then we accessorized with jewelry from Gemma Jewels and Prom corsages from Christa Ledford of Simply Elegant Florals.  Hair accessories were purchased from our local Michaels craft store.

We rocked two separate venues for this shoot: The Diamond Room at Wade’s Jewelers and The Burke Manor Inn & Pavillion, both in downtown Gibsonville, NC, plus a third location: a cool patch of sidewalk!  We were so grateful for the kind and generous hospitality of the lovely ladies of The Diamond Room and The Burke Manor!  Both locations are so stunning and we’re delighted we got to enjoy them and show them off in our photographs!

This shoot was the effort of so many RTS members.  My co-host for planning and organization was fellow photographer Alex Reagon of Eaglet Photography.  Other photographers included Kristin LeAnn Page (who also designed our sparkly mock Prom invitation!) and Arika Jordan.  Arika also did our hair styling, and I must say, she should have a side business because WOW, the girls’ hair styles were amazing!  Completing the girls’ looks was makeup by Tiffany Peck of Tansformations and Perfection by Patricia.  Tiffany’s work was absolutely FLAWLESS!!  I loved the girls’ bright, fresh makeup applications!

Rounding out the entourage of RTS collaborators was April Murray of Main Street Cake Shoppe, who provided super cute cake pops AND cupcakes for our styled table.  They were delicious and, once we were finished photographing the food table, were quickly devoured!  And finally, our gorgeous gold sequin backdrop was provided by 341 Rental Boutique.

So let’s get to some pictures!  We set up our gold sequin backdrop in The Diamond Room for some fun with studio lighting.  I didn’t get as much time with it as I wanted, but I’m still pleased with some of the results!  I love this first photo, which was actually an outtake! The girls just had a BLAST all day, and you can see it through photos like this!

prom2prom3prom4prom5prom6prom7prom8prom9prom10prom11prom12prom13prom14prom15prom16The balcony at The Diamond Room has the most DELICIOUS light!!  We were all in photographer’s Heaven out there!  Look at these beautiful girls!prom17prom18prom19prom20prom21prom22I’ve said it a thousand times to everyone I know, THIS photo, below, is my FAVORITE from the entire shoot!  The expression on Katelyn’ face and just everything about her, the natural reflectors from the columns and the cement floor brightening her up, the tiniest rim lighting…oh my gosh, she’s so stunning.  prom23prom24Jenna is the SWEETEST girl on the planet, but when she needs to look killer for a photo shoot, she gets the job done!!prom25prom26prom27prom28prom29prom30prom31.bShowing off our corsages.  Christa did such a beautiful job with these!prom31The food table!  Table coverings, white plates, bead garlands (from my wedding!), fruit cups, candy bowls, and glitter candles by moi!  Cupcakes and cake pops by Main Street Cake Shoppe.  Paper flag toothpicks from our local Hobby Lobby.  prom32prom33prom34prom35prom36These girls had so much fun together!!  None of them knew each other before the shoot, and by the end of the day they were total BFF’s!!  I loved this little patch of sidewalk!  What you can’t see is all of us photographers standing in the street taking these photos, running out of the way whenever a car came by!  We were like Mike Meyers in Wayne’s World (“game off!…game on!”), hahaha!prom37prom38The was the middle of the shoot and we were all starting to get a little goofy!prom39prom40prom41prom42prom43prom44prom45prom46prom47prom48prom49prom50prom51prom52prom53Our final location was The Burke Manor.  The grounds there are so lush.  I love some of these romantic, serious photos.prom54prom55prom56Couch from Alex Reagon, faux fur blanket from me.  prom57prom58prom59prom60prom61prom62Had to include this one!  Sayer’s hair was so beautiful, and also prone to windy mishaps like this ALL DAY!  Haha!  This pretty much sums up Sayer’s day – but she’s so cool and just rolled with it!prom63prom64These next ones of Katelyn are favorites for sure!  I’m usually *scared* to shoot in full sun, but I shouldn’t be because I love these!prom65prom66prom67Cornelia is HILARIOUS.  Such a gorgeous model…and had us all rolling on the floor all day!  You can see that hint of mischief in her eyes… :D prom68prom69We ended the day at the pool of The Burke Manor.  I’m not sure we were strictly allowed to be in there, but it was a fun way for these girls to let loose and just giggle about whatever.  And we had some giggly girls that day!  It was SO fun!!!!  They all did such a super job for us, and made a long day of modeling in hot weather look easy, and enjoyable!  Katelyn, Cornelia, Mikaela, Jenna, and Sayer, I can’t thank you enough for jumping on board with us for this styled shoot!  You all totally rocked it!!prom70prom71prom72And here’s the official list of all Rising Tide Society members and other professionals involved in this sparkly styled shoot!

Shoot organizers: Alex Reagon of Eaglet Photography and me (Sarah Kehl Photography)

Makeup: Tiffany Peck of Tansformations and Perfection by Patricia

Hair styling: Arika Jordan

Participating photographers: Alex Reagon, Arika Jordan, Kristin LeAnn Page, and myself

Dresses: Rent the Runway

Jewelry: Gemma Jewels

Corsages: Simply Elegant Florals

Hair accessories: Michaels

Invitation design: Kristin LeAnn Page

Cupcakes and cake pops: Main Street Cake Shoppe

Paper flag toothpicks: Hobby Lobby

Gold sequin backdrop: 341 Rental Boutique

Venue #1: The Diamond Room at Wade’s Jewelers

Venue #2: The Burke Manor Inn & Pavillion


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This past Saturday I ran my first half marathon at the New River Marathon event in Boone, North Carolina!  I must say, the road to 13.1 miles was pretty bumpy, full of rocks and gravel and steep hills and twists and turns everywhere (figuratively and literally) but the destination was smooth and satisfying!  I want to share how I got there!

Last summer I took a vacation to my hometown in Southern Arizona.  I love it there!  I love the childhood and adolescent memories I have there, I love the clean, dry air, I love the smell of the air, I love the immensity of the sky, its marvelous clouds during the summer monsoon season and its endless stars on a clear night.  And I love “My Mountains” (as I call them) just South of the town, through which I ran many joyful miles with my former teammates (a.k.a. best friends).  I have been all over the country since leaving for college years ago, so whenever I make it back to my parents’ house and the town I used to call Home, I’m filled with sweet nostalgia for times past, notably those times I spent as a high school runner on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams.

During my visit, I ran a 5K nearly every day with my dad in the early morning.  Early mornings in Arizona are the best!  They are the epitome of fresh.  Cool, clean, dry air.  Sun just coming up.  Local wildlife enjoying their morning routines.  Winding our way through the neighborhood, I saw more rabbits and jackrabbits than I’ve ever seen in my entire life, tons of lizards and birds, and the occasional gang of javelinas (keep your distance around those guys!).  You’d think we were way out in the country somewhere, with all the wildlife we saw every day, but nope, just your typical Southwestern neighborhood.  And there were usually other runners and cyclists sharing the roads with us, which made it all very pleasant.  What did NOT make it pleasant, in fact what made the first few days rather unpleasant, was the difference in elevation.  My hometown is at a much higher elevation than where I live in North Carolina, and with the lack of humidity in the Southwestern air, my lungs HURT the first few times we went running.  It’s a pain that feels like your lungs are burning, like they are on fire, and afterwards you are heaving to get oxygen pumped through and to calm your chest down.  My dad (at 63 years old) also runs much faster than me, so his pace, paired with the changes in air and elevation, turned every simple 5K into what seemed like the hardest 5K race of my life!

But this pain only lasted for a few days, and then my body adjusted and I had a much easier time.  In fact, one morning, a morning that my Dad decided to take off from running, I went out alone, at a much slower pace, and I felt so good that I just kept going.  And going, and going!  Until I found myself at the base of My Mountains!  I ran as far as I could before the road ran out and I had to turn around.  For about a year prior to this vacation I’d been running 2-4 miles a few times a week and feeling really good about my “return to running” after a 15-year hiatus.  But on the run home from My Mountains that morning, I found myself hitting mile 4, then 4.5, then mile 5!  It was the longest I’d ever run since high school, and even in high school we only occasionally had a 5-mile long run.  So here I was at mile 5 and still going strong!  I was close to home but I decided to keep winding through the neighborhood to see if I could do 6.2 miles – a 10K.  Around 5.6 miles I started to feel a little weak in the legs and a little cloudy in the head, but I thought, “Oh it is ON now, I am FINISHING this Mo-Fo!!” (except I said the actual curse words in my head, sorry!)

And I did it!  I hit 6.2 miles in just over an hour and felt ECSTATIC!  I ran into my house and bragged to my parents about what I’d just done.  It was the longest I’d ever run in my entire life.  I was PSYCHED.  I left Arizona thinking:  “If I can run 6 miles, I know I can work up to 10.  And if I can run 10 miles, I know I can run 13…Am I thinking what I think I’m thinking?  Am I thinking about running a HALF MARATHON???”  YES, yes I was.  And thus began my new running adventure!

The story continues in Part 2.  Meanwhile, here are some photos from my trip to Arizona!


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I’m working on a SECOND collaboration with April Manring of Be Pure Beauty in Durham! This one has me tickled pink because it’s all about the fur babies!! We are hosting “Pooches and Their People” on Saturday, May 28 at the Be Pure Beauty Style Bar and Boutique: Come get professional natural makeup and hair styling by April and then join me for a mini session with your pup!! AND, we will be making a donation to the Animal Protection Society of Durham! Here are all the details! It’s gonna be the dog’s pajamas!! Ruff! Ruff! GRAB YOUR TICKET HERE: http://poochesandtheirpeople.eventbrite.com/


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