Sep 18-14

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Don't you just love that name... Daphne.

I met the Morales family in their Chapel Hill home just days after they brought their little girl Daphne home. It was such a wonderful time getting to know Sarah and Jason as they were just in the first days of getting to know their sweet Daphne. You know what's one of the coolest things about newborn sessions to me? It's getting to watch new moms and dads absolutely fall in love with their little ones. It's like I get a cool little glimpse into some pretty intimate moments that will really bring tears to your eyes. For example, there was one time in Daphne's session where we laid her down on the ottoman in front of the window, and Jason and Sarah just stepped back and stared at her. Completely in awe. I can't remember exactly what she said, but Sarah got really excited and mentioned that she was seeing something on Daphne for the first time. Ever! How cool is that? Newborn sessions are full of those breathtaking moments and this one in particular seemed to have many of them.

One of my favorite parts of this session was when they asked if they could include their sweet pup Abbey in some shots. "ABSOLUTELY" is always my answer to that question! We joined in the family room, and Jason invited Abbey up on the sofa with them. Abbey jumped up, cuddled right up to Jason, and immediately stretched out and fell asleep in his lap! Serious dog heaven and so hilarious!

Jason and Sarah, I so enjoyed getting to know you guys and photographing your sweet new family. Congratulations on your beautiful little girl!

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Sep 17-14

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THIS newborn session. Goodness. This one means a lot to me.

Katherine (the mama) and I have known each other for 16 years, maybe even longer. We were best of friends in middle school, we sang in choir together, we preformed in high school plays together, we slept over at one another's houses, (eating pizza and cookies every time), we prayed for and dreamt about our future husbands together (who knew they were sitting across from us at the cafeteria table in middle school!), we loved and grew in Jesus together. I remember vividly sitting on the bed at her grandmother's house when we went there for a weekend getaway, studying the Bible and praying for one another when we were just in 9th grade. This friendship is one that will always be so dear to my heart.

And now... she's a Mama! Not only to 1, but 2 beautiful children! Even though Katherine booked Elizabeth for this newborn session, I couldn't help but come and tag-team the photography. First of all, I hadn't met Sadie yet, and secondly, it was a wonderful opportunity for Elizabeth and I to work together on a session, learning from one another and blending our strengths. So, you'll see a mix of our images in the blogpost today! Then of course the session got even more fun when Will showed up, because he wanted to meet her too.

Thank you, Jackson family, for welcoming not 1, but 3 of us into your home. We love y'all!

Film Processing : Indie Film Lab

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A few words from Elizabeth:

Nancy and I knew Katherine and Mark in high school, and it's been so cool to see how their family has grown from highschool sweethearts to busy mom and dad of 2 beautiful kids in what feels like no time at all!

Bringing home a newborn isn't the most restful and rejuvenating thing you'll ever do (so I've heard), but I feel like things *maybe* escalate to a different level when you have another little munchkin at home who's super curious and a little concerned about the newest addition. Katherine may have mentioned that they felt a little frazzled, but she and Mark were definitely champs! Just 4 days into being parents of 2, they absolutely rocked the session with some teamwork and a very skilled "man-to-man defense". They so naturally loved on both of their little ones and it seemed a little to me like they'd been doing it for longer than 4 days. Temporarily frazzled or not... there's lots of joy and love and hugs, kisses, cuddles and tickles in this family!

And Sadie. Just four days old... so adorable. So. Itty. Bitty. She was a little early, so she looked like a doll baby in her mama's arms!

Mark and Katherine - congratulations on the adorable little addition to your beautiful family!

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Sep 16-14

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(Image by Eric Kelley)

Why yes, this is a familiar face! While we haven't added a new member to our team to be our family photographer, we have shifted our roles a bit here at NRP. For several months now, Elizabeth has slowly been shifting her focus from photographing weddings to photographing families. Why? Simply put, it was the perfect fit! Elizabeth adores kids and loves working with families. The relaxed and playful environment of photographing families is the perfect match for Elizabeth's laid back personality.

Elizabeth has been a wonderful wedding photographer with us for the past year, and we will sure miss her beautiful eye capturing weddings. While she won't be booking weddings herself anymore, she will certainly be 2nd shooting for myself and Callie occasionally! Even though she loved photographing weddings as the lead photographer, families truly have her heart. Having known Elizabeth for so many years, I am confident this is the perfect fit for her gifts and personality.

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A few thoughts from Elizabeth (who you will be hearing from on this blog more often!) :

I have learned a ton about growing in my weaknesses while capitalizing on my strengths since I started with NRP two years ago. I could write a whole post, nay! a whole series of posts- about growing in my weaknesses. Emphasis here, though, is capitalizing on my strengths. Why did we decide that family photography was a perfect fit for me?

First of all, because I love it. I love how every single family is unique with their own values and traditions. I love rolling with the chaos that comes most of the time when you involve children under the age of 5, and the realness that's evident in pictures when you adapt to each family and go with their flow. I'm a kid person, and I love that many sessions end up with me literally on the floor playing Geo-trax with my camera in hand (Geo-trax are so cool). I'm flexible, and I love flexibility. I expect spilt milk and goldfish disasters that end up with a last minute wardrobe change, because let's face it, that's real life. And I'm good with that because these little disasters only happen for a season. And I don't actually have my own kids yet, but from what I understand, that little season is way too short, extremely sweet, and perfectly imperfect. How fun is that, to capture all of that in photographs!? That's why I'm thrilled to shift my focus to families!

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Elizabeth will be the official family photography for NRP, offering all types of family photography: Family, Maternity, Newborns, Birthdays, Mini-Sessions, Anniversaries, etc. Her online portfolio will be launching later this month, so keep checking the website. She will also be hosting Fall Mini-sessions on November 1st! More details to come, but if you want to be sure to secure your spot, CLICK HERE. And keep checking the blog or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know!

Interested in booking Elizabeth? Contact the Studio.

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Sep 15-14

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And, we're off! Thank you all for your patience this week as Callie and I will both be out of the studio until Thursday!

We are currently enjoying wonderful company and learning from incredible business women at Amber Housley Inspired in the mountains of Tennessee. I'm honored to be speaking not once, but twice! And Callie will be photographing the entire experience : the speakers, the classes, the beautiful cabin we are staying in, the goodies, the dinners, and surprises that we will only know about once we arrive.

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I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to share about my experiences on two subjects that are close to my heart:

Manage your money, honey! (A lesson on managing business finances)
&
Life Balance with Boundaries (How to implement boundaries in order to create the most fulfilling life)

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We cannot wait to share our experiences when we return! I, for one, am excited to simply spend time with women I admire. I'm reminded of this quote, and I'm most excited about putting it into practice this week :

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Want to follow along? We'd love for you to "join" us on Instagram! :

@nancyray
@calliepittsdavis
@ahinspired
#ahinspired2014

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Stay tuned... Lovely posts are coming to the blog while we are away.

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Sep 12-14

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From the moment that I arrived at the Rand-Bryan House, I knew that this day had been waited for and most importantly, prayed for. With their families and friends close, soft pink accents and beautiful green foliage, Lauren and Jake's wedding day was filled with sweet moments, prayers, a delicious dessert table, and laughter throughout. Their meaningful ceremony took place inside, with a dreamy wall of windows behind them, which made them glow even brighter than they already were while saying "I do". Even though Lauren and Jake decided to do a first look, Jake's face lit up all over again as he watched her walk down the aisle to him. The weather was predicted to be rainy and overcast but thankfully, as we went outside to take all of the portraits, it cleared, and we were able to take advantage of the lovely grounds at the Rand-Bryan House.

Lauren and Jake, congratulations on your beautiful, life-long marriage! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special celebration!

Wedding Venue: Rand-Bryan House
Officiant: Grant Staubs
Caterer: Cateringworks
Florist: Expressions of Love
Event Coordination: Your Special Day Weddings and Events
Wedding Dress: David's Bridal
Rings: DP Jewelry
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Sep 08-14

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Over the last few months I've transitioned from every day at my church office to working from home every day, focusing part of my time on NRP and part on Financial Coaching.  I've learned a few things in that process:

▪ I am a little obnoxious when I work.  Most of my work time at the church was alone in my office, so I didn't have anyone reacting to what I do when I work, which includes whistling, singing, talking to myself, and may even extend to banging on my desk, if the situation warrants.  Thankfully I have a separate office from the studio, so I haven't been bothering Nancy and Callie too much.

▪ Nancy is an email machine - She gets literally hundreds of emails in a week, and does her best to answer each and every one as quickly as she can.

▪ I had wondered what Winston (pictured above, sitting on me) did all day, and why he had so much energy to play when I got home each evening. The answer, as you probably guessed. He sleeps. All. Day. Long. I don't know how it's possible to sleep so much. Charmed life he's got...

▪ Callie, too, is a machine. She arrives on time without variation, and works like a maniac when she's here!  She puts so much effort, focus, and passion in to selecting and perfecting the lovely images that each of our clients receive.

▪ I was under the [false] impression that working from home would result in huge balances of time for work and leisure because I didn't have to go anywhere.  Wrongo.  When we paid off our house, we also wrongly assumed that we'd have more than enough money to do everything we wanted to do.  Not so.  Likewise, there's enough work to keep us busy from 9am-7pm almost every night, whether with NRP or coaching.

▪ We're having to re-learn boundaries.  Might be pulling this book back out.  Since we're at home, working on our own thing, we've been struggling with stopping work at night.  OK in the very short term; unsustainable in the long term.

▪ Since working at home, I've been able to see more of the exciting things coming in the future!  There are a number of projects and ideas in development (like The Nancy Ray News) which launched today (go sign up!) and I'm thrilled that I get to help bring some additional capacity to make those projects happen!  Stay tuned!

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Sep 04-14

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Photos by Callie

We've all heard the saying, "The only thing that's constant is change." Well, that's just as true in business as it is in life! After offering custom DVD's for years, we knew that now was the time to switch to custom USB drives. After much searching, we found the perfect custom wooden USB engraved with our lovely phrase "Your lovely photos" penned by the talented Elizabeth Hardin just for us. I must say, I would be pleased as a peach if one of these lovelies arrived on my doorstep!

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Part of our core purpose here at NRP is to create timeless photographs that will stand as heirlooms, preserving legacies far beyond the seasons of life. We strive to deliver heirlooms in every product we offer, even in our USB drive! We want every product to feel special.

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When choosing to include a USB as part of your collection at Nancy Ray Photography, you receive all of your high resolution images along with the rights to print. It's a wonderful way to preserve your images and have them on hand for life! So far, we have had the sweetest feedback from several of our brides and families after receiving their custom USB's! We are so happy we can stand by each of our products, knowing we are offering a timeless and simple heirloom. Although technology will continue to change, we strive to stay current and timeless!

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Sep 03-14

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Anna and Benjamin were married at a lovely downtown Raleigh home of one of their sweet friends. They restored this historic home into one magnificent place and even though they had never hosted a wedding before, this venue gave their wedding celebration a feeling of comfort that I have never experienced before. There is just something different about having a wedding in someone's home! The feeling of sweet Southern hospitality is greater, the gathering is natural and comfortable in the tight quarters, and you can genuinely feel the love bursting through the walls. To make their wedding even more special, their friends and family contributed their talents in helping with the wedding details. From family member's signature desserts to the roasted pig for delicious barbecue, each decision was made to display their love for one another and the love they have for their family. One of my favorite moments of the night is when they cut Ben's great Aunt Juanita's famous Coconut cake and served her the first piece.  Anna and Benjamin decided on a short engagement and a small wedding celebration only including their family and closest friends. Instead of a traditional reception with dancing, they wanted to devote each minute to spending time with their guests; catching up, laughing and sharing sweet memories that they will remember for many years to come.

While the weather had not gone as planned, Anna and Ben were focused only on one thing; becoming one. Their love is far more beautiful that any perfect August day and I am so excited to watch their marriage grow and flourish as they pursue Jesus above each other. Congratulations! I am so happy for both of you and thankful to know a love as sweet as yours!

Wedding Venue: Heck-Pool House
Officiant: Kenny Jones
Cake Artist: Friends, Family, Hayes Barton Pharmacy
Florist: Petal Pushers 3
Hair Stylist: Debra Goodyear at Glam Lounge
Makeup Artist: Pam Hung
Jewelry: Bailey's Fine Jewelry
Bridesmaid Dresses: H&M
Cups, Koozies & Napkins: Th!nk Promotional Group
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Don't you love the subtle polka dot detailing on Anna's lace gown? Because she loves polka dots, when she tried this dress on, she knew it had to be the one!

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Comments: 2

  1. Anna Hedgepeth September 3, 2014 5:48 pm

    Lovely photos! We could not be more happy with how they turned out. Thank you SO MUCH Callie Davis!!!!

  2. Madi Fehling September 3, 2014 6:43 pm

    These photos are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! (And of course the couple too!) :)

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Sep 02-14

Introducing...

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This has been in the works for some time now, friends! Starting this month, we'll be putting out a monthly newsletter called, "The Nancy Ray News." (It has a ring to it, doesn't it?) In it, you can expect exclusive content including:

• Upcoming news and happenings
• Behind-the-scenes updates from team members
• Our favorite resources
• Advance news of specials and promotions
• Tips for photographers + entrepreneurs
• Favorite products and posts

We will be sending out our newsletter once a month, with an occasional letter filling you in on important news. (You can rest assured, we won't share your name or email with anyone, for any reason.)

If you want to stay up to date with us, you can sign up here!

What's to come in September's newsletter? Announcing our family photographer, the business book we are currently reading as a team, thoughts from Will (husband + CFO) now that he's working from home, and more!!

See you in your inbox!

Comments: 4

  1. Diana September 3, 2014 3:15 pm

    I just love you, Nancy Ray. God bless you! :)

  2. Debbie Nance Miller September 4, 2014 7:07 pm

    I laughed out loud and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT when I subscribed to Nancy Ray News and saw the (Hi Mom!) in your greeting to everybody! I felt honored. Indeed I did! And of course I can’t wait to get my first Nancy Ray Newsletter! I am always impressed with the new things you have to offer. I know it will be just wonderful for us all! I love you, Mom

    • Nancy Ray September 4, 2014 7:29 pm

      I love this, Mom! I was hoping it would bring a smile to your face. I knew you would be one of my first subscribers! I love you and I’m thankful for your constant support!

  3. On Working from Home | Nancy Ray Photography September 8, 2014 2:37 pm

    […] things coming in the future!  There are a number of projects and ideas in development (like The Nancy Ray News) which launched today (go sign up!) and I'm thrilled that I get to help bring some additional […]

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Sep 01-14

September Goals

Goals ~ by Nancy Ray ~ 2 comments

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Cooler air, back to school, the beginning of fall wedding season, de-cluttering, running, and lots of speaking! Yes, September is going to be so, so good. Here are my September Goals! Link up in the comments if you posted yours!

September Goals

Read: The One Thing, Simple Wealth Inevitable Wealth,
Re-read / review Paid to Speak & Disciplines 1 & 2 in The Advantage
Celebrate and send off The Wayfaring Rays! (Will's brother, John, and my bff Sam are heading to missionary training school in Africa for 3 months. Cue the tears: happy and sad!)
Launch the Nancy Ray Newsletter!
Enjoy a no-work fun-filled weekend with my crazy friends
Wipe and reset laptop
Speak at Amber Housley Inspired
Speak at The Influence Conference
Finish compiling all of my personal photos from the past 6 years of marriage on a hard drive (gulp.)
Train for my first triathlon
Order new albums and canvases for the studio
Host an NRP team fun day at the lake!

Comments: 2

  1. Kyla Fetzner September 1, 2014 3:22 pm

    I like your goals Nancy! Here are mine: http://kylamary.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/september-goals/ :)

  2. Rachelle Chase September 13, 2014 8:41 pm

    Just stumbled across your instagram and found your blog. Love reading a little bit about you :)

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Photographer, wife, and worshiper... I am a Southern girl who looks most forward to waking up each morning to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and soak in the beauty that surrounds me. These pages chronicle my work, my life, and the things that I love most. You'll also hear from Callie, Will, and Elizabeth - my amazing team who has so much to offer. Thanks for visiting, I do hope you stay a while!
Nancy Ray