Life is full of seasons, with each one having a beginning and an end.
I have been working with Nancy Ray Photography for 6.5 wonderful years (Read my full story here!). A couple of months ago, The Lord started gently stirring in me the question: “What’s next?” To be honest with you, I fought with Him for a couple of days because I truly love this job and it’s hard for me to imagine doing something else. But when I finally came to a posture of surrender, I realized that He is so clearly calling me to something new. After much prayer and consideration, I have decided that it is time for me to transition out of my job at NRP as a wedding photographer and the NRP Studio Manager. This decision has been filled with so many emotions because I have grown and learned so much in this job, and it has been one of my greatest joys to serve so many couples during one of the most exciting seasons of their life! I have grown up here and become an adult here. I’ve become a photographer, a fiancé, a wife, a dog mama, a design lover… and so much more.
I recently listened to a sermon from our church and J.D. Greear said “Joyful sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love even more.” I’ve found that It’s a lot easier to talk about having open hands with God, than actually having open hands. If you know me, you know that I always have a plan – a well thought out plan and (usually) most of the answers but right now, I have no idea what’s next for me. What I do know is that God is worth following and trusting in every aspect of my life. So right now I plan to take a much needed season of being still, listening and asking God what’s next for me with open hands. There is so much unknown in the future and for one of the first times in my life, I feel so much peace about that unknown.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
To the NRP Team: Working with you has truly changed my life. Getting the chance to work alongside my best friends is something that I will never take for granted and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity. We’ve laughed, disagreed, cried, and cheered each other on through some incredibly amazing projects and accomplishments. We’ve learned so much personally and professionally, and been with one another for some of the biggest hurdles, changes and celebrations in our life. From weddings to babies to moves to travels, we’ve done it all. Thank you for never failing to be my biggest cheerleader, confidant, prayer warrior and for being willing to help me become more and more like Jesus. I can’t wait to continue to cheer each of you on in all that you do!
To my NRP Couples: Getting to know you over these past years has been life changing for me. The fact that you entrusted me with capturing one of the most memorable days of your life is something that I do not take lightly. Seeing you commit to loving one another for the rest of your lives has forever left an impact on me and the way that I view my own marriage. Thank you for allowing me into the raw, genuine, unforgettable moments of your wedding day. Thank you for becoming more than just clients of mine, but friends. Thank you for allowing me to pray alongside of you, weirdly cry behind my camera as you walked down the aisle and even sneak a little dance on your dance floor when my favorite song came on. Thank you for inviting me in and bringing me to some of your favorite places all over the Southeast.
A couple of logistic things I want y’all to know – I will no longer be working in the studio as I have been for the past 6.5 years. I will finish out the year in the studio with my last day being December 13th and then I will transition into a contractor position where I will shoot a small amount of weddings, but I will not be taking anymore weddings for 2019 or the future. Starting in 2019, Olivia will be taking over my responsibilities as Studio Manager and I am so excited for her!
I am so grateful for all that NRP has done in my life, and I still so greatly believe in our mission and passion in serving our clients. Thank you for making this job one that has been filled with so much JOY. Getting to do this job for the past 6.5 years has been life changing, and I’m looking forward to all that is to come!
A note from Nancy:
I had to sneak in a few words here to honor Callie and all that she means to me. I am so incredibly proud of her bravery, stepping out to completely trust God’s voice when it might not make complete sense and she doesn’t have the full “plan” revealed to her yet. My reaction when she first told me this was of course tears, because she has been an incredible asset to this team, she is an amazing photographer, and she is one of my dearest and best friends. We have been through SO much together within the walls of the #NRPstudio. It’s the end of an era! We have been working together for so long, it’s hard to imagine working without her. BUT, I have been cheering her on every step of the way. Who am I to argue with God’s voice? He’s clearly up to something GOOD, because that’s who He is! So above anything, Callie and I want you to know: this is a step of faith and an act of obedience. Absolutely nothing is wrong within the team, and we all love each other dearly. There are simply times in life when we have to step out and follow Jesus. It might not make sense, and that’s okay. One thing we know and are clinging to: He’s trustworthy!
Callie, I think back to your first few days working alongside me and can’t help but laugh. I had you buy my groceries (including hair gel for Will- HA!), package print orders and take out our trash. I saw something in you that was so special, and over time you have proven your incredible capabilities: now you know how to run this business. You are one of the BEST photographers in the Southeast, you are our graphic designer, our photo editor, our Facebook ads manager, our fearless intern leader, our associate photographer trainer, and you have run this business for 2 maternity leaves completely without me. Every time I’d test you with a new job or new challenge, you’d step into it every time. In my eyes, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do! We’ve had challenges, tears, and fears we’ve overcome together. We’ve had victories, laughter, late nights, more Jubala than should ever be consumed, and celebrations of all we’ve accomplished together. I hid in a bush to photograph your proposal, I made your parents jump into a tree and shake flower petals for your bridals, and had the time of my LIFE photographing your beautiful wedding… not to mention the countless home, team, and Christmas card photos we’ve taken since! Working alongside you has been one of my greatest joys, and I am so thankful that as I was praying through that stack of applications 7 years ago, God answered that prayer and brought me you. He had to be smiling when I was praying, knowing all that was to come in our future.
Thank you for your faithful, hard work for the last 6.5 years. Thank you for loving and serving your couples in a way that makes all of them adore you and our work here at NRP. Thank you for carrying the load as I learned to be a mama. Thank you for being the “voice of reason” in my life – I hope you know that’s not going to change 😉 . Most of all, thank you for being you, and for being obedient to God’s voice. I admire you and am cheering you on! Here’s to the next season!
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