Mar 30-15


Right now, I am currently sharing my heart with dozens of other women and men at Making Things Happen. This conference is so unique and different than any other I've been a part of, and every time I get so excited because I know I'll get something new out of it. When I spoke last fall, I had just found out I was pregnant. Now that I've had a few months to simmer on that, I'm excited to dive in and see what this Making Things Happen will hold for me this time around, just a few months from being a Mama!

This conferences is all about being intentional with your life - creating a life of balance and priorities. It's all about making the right, most important decisions, rather than being driven by the urgency of day to day life. It's about kicking clutter and meaningless things out, and welcoming memories and meaningful people in.

MTH, I'm ready for you. Let's do this!






Photos by Glessner Photography and Robyn Van Dyke

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Mar 29-15

Callie in Italy!

NRP Team ~ by Callie Davis ~ no comments


I am so excited to be spending the next 11 days in the beautiful country of Italy! Although I spent some time there last summer with my very best friends (see my blogposts here, here and here), I am thrilled to be heading back to this amazing place with Jamie and his family! While our trip last year was centered around seeing everything that we possibly could, this trip will be more about rest and experiencing the Italian culture.

Some things that we will be doing:
Market Tours
Cooking Classes (so excited about this!)
Wine, Castle and Vineyard Tours
Eat a lot of delicious food (Gelato at least once a day!)
Attend an Easter Sunday Church service
Hike Cinque Terre
Spend a day in Florence
Visit the Portofino Lighthouse
Hike to San Frugguoso and Camogli
Spend a night in London (on our way home)

Be sure to follow along with our trip on my instagram!

If you have questions while I am away, please contact She will be in the studio answering emails Mondays - Thursdays while I am gone. 
I will be back in the studio returning emails on Tuesday, April 14th.  Thank you for your patience, as I plan to disconnect and not look at emails while I am on vacation!

As they say in Italy, Arrivederci!


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Mar 27-15

My sweet friend Perry (a very gifted photographer!) just had her little baby Ireland. I went to visit them one afternoon to talk about life as a new mom, and I snapped some sweet images of the two of them together. Her home studio lighting was swoon worthy - I adore these giant windows! Thank you Perry and Ireland for letting me come visit for the afternoon!

Film processing : Indie Film Lab









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Mar 24-15

Hi friends! Nancy here - I'm chiming in on Callie's Wedding Advice series to give some advice of my own: how to be a bridesmaid and a photographer! I'm letting you into how I planned to photograph this beautiful wedding, as well as encourage, love, and support Callie on her big day.

I'll never forget the conversation that Callie and I had the day after Jamie proposed. While driving home from a bridal session together on the coast of North Carolina, she said that she was torn because she wanted me standing by her side as a bridesmaid, and she wanted me to shoot her wedding! I was so honored at the thought of doing either one, but both? I couldn't believe it!

Then I began thinking - how could I do that? Being a bridesmaid is a big responsibility all by itself, and I wanted to make sure I did that well. I wanted to be there to pray with her, to encourage her, and to stand by her when she said her vows. But who would shoot the ceremony, if I was holding a bouquet up front? Of course, being the lead wedding photographer is also a tremendous responsibility! Thinking of capturing every detail, moment, and portrait necessary to deliver the high standard of wedding photography that I do seemed a bit overwhelming. But I was determined. I went home and began to think of the steps I needed to take in order to make this happen.

Here are 5 ways you can be a wonderful bridesmaid and wedding photographer - all on the same day.


Create a dream team

The first thing I did after agreeing to being Callie's bridesmaid and photographer was get my dream team in place! I imagined the day happening without me : who could shoot this wedding beautifully, without me having to worry about a thing, if I were to be whisked away for an important bridesmaid duty? I had planned on Will (my husband), Elizabeth (our associate photographer), and Elizabeth's husband Robert to come as well to carry equipment and assist us. That made 4 of us, and I felt really great about it.

Sometimes things happen as you plan it, and other times they don't. Would you believe that Elizabeth and Robert both got the Norovirus the week of Callie's wedding? I was frantically calling my closest photography friends, when our dear friends Geoff and Cheyenne Schultz dropped everything to help us shoot Callie and Jamie's wedding. Even though it wasn't our original team, it ended up being an incredible dream team that I was so thankful for. Goodness it is such a blessing to have friends that are wedding photographers! I don't know what I would have done without those two.

Prioritize your bridesmaid moments
There were certain moments of the Callie's day that I knew I had to be 100% bridesmaid, which meant I had to set down my camera. The 3 most important moments :

1. Praying with Callie and the other bridesmaids prior to the ceremony
2. Being an active part of the ceremony. You know, normal bridesmaids duties: carrying the bouquet down the aisle, standing in the front as they say their vows, and walking back down the aisle.
3. Dancing with Will at the reception! Callie made sure that last one happened - she wanted to be sure we also had fun.

That meant that for those 3 moments, I had to make sure that the other photographers were ready and in place to photograph them. We communicate this ahead of time, so they knew exactly where to be when.

Prioritize your photographer moments
Just as I made sure that I was 100% bridesmaid for certain moments of the day, I also knew that I had to be 100% photographer for other parts of the day. Yes, I was still wearing my bridesmaid dress, but I was in the photography zone. Those 3 moments included:

1. Shooting the details. I arrive almost 3 hours early to photograph all the details. I made sure I had invitations on hand, her accessories, the boutonnieres.... everything I could possibly think of. I knew Callie and I shared the dream of getting her wedding published in Southern Weddings Magazine, and details is an important part of that! I knew that no one could shoot the details in film exactly how I wanted to except for me. I missed out on some of the getting ready time with the girls, but for me, it was worth it.
2. The Portraits. After the ceremony, I photographed all the family portraits, as well as the portraits of Callie and Jamie. I also photographed the gentlemen, but I have to give proper credit! : Cheyenne and Will photographed all the ladies portraits - the only ones I couldn't photograph myself.
3. The big reception moments. You know, the first dances, the cake cutting, the toasts, and the exit. All the other photographers were of course shooting with me, but I made sure I got the shots I wanted, since it was my responsibility as lead photographer.


Make a detailed schedule
I planned out every moment of that weekend. Then, I printed the timeline for Friday and Saturday and kept it on me at all times. I had my details list, my family portraits list, and every photographer's responsibilities printed and ready to go. I was constantly referring to this detailed schedule to keep me on task, so I could easily switch from "bridesmaid mode" to "photographer mode" and back again! I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have that list. Also, every one of the photographers had their copy of the same list, so we were all on the same page at the same time.

Have fun
I have to admit - this was the hardest one for me! I had placed such importance on doing my very best job at both roles, it was difficult for me to relax. But I made the conscious decision to enjoy every moment of that day, no matter how focused I got on the job in front of me. I'll never forget - when I finally decided to set my camera down and let the Schultzes take over the dance floor, I had fun. Will and I finally cut loose and danced together, and it was such a wonderful memory from their wedding! However, it did take me until 3:30am to unwind and settle down to where I could finally fall asleep! My mind was racing so fast from the entire checklist and schedule from the day, it was hard to slow down. The next day I was more exhausted then I had ever been after a wedding, but it was such a good feeling to know I gave it my all!


I wouldn't have traded that day and my two very special roles for the world. Callie, thank you for asking me to be involved in two of the most important ways I could imagine. You made a beautiful bride, and you make and even more beautiful wife. Jamie is quite the lucky man to have you!

Comments: 1

  1. Cheyenne Schultz March 24, 2015 3:04 pm

    Loved reading this. We were so blessed by this whole day…thank you for having us, Nancy, Will, Callie and Jamie..wish we could do it all over again. xoxo.

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Mar 18-15


I have been waiting so long to share these images and today is finally the day! Michelle is my second cousin and it was the biggest honor to have been able to capture her unforgettable wedding day. Michelle and Matthew moved to California after they graduated from the University of Virginia and believe it or not, I met Matthew for the first time at their rehearsal dinner. He was everything that I hoped he would be - kind, confident, funny, and within a matter of minutes, I felt as if I had known him my whole life. But most importantly, I know he loves Michelle with his whole heart.

For as long as I can remember, Michelle has always loved farms, horses and barns. Verulam Farm was the perfect venue for their wedding. The autumn leaves, green grass and white picket fences lead to the most beautiful decorated barn where their guests enjoyed playing corn hole, sipping on their signature cocktail and dancing the night away. Their wedding was a perfect representation of their relationship. With the farm to table decor and details, surprise horse and carriage ride into the reception, and lovely gluten-free carrot cake, it was an incredible celebration of love.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Aronson! I am so happy for you!

I could not have captured this day without the help of Meredith Sledge! Thank you for all your hard work and second shooting!

A huge thank you to Style Me Pretty for featuring this lovely wedding. See the full feature here!

Officiant: Bob Humphrey at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church
Design & Coordination: Mallory Joyce
Ceremony Venue: The Haven
Reception Venue: Verulam Farm
Catering: A Pimento
Cake Artist: Bake Love Bakery
Florist: Nature Composed
Ceremony Music: Plum Blossom String Quartet
Reception Music: C. Barnes Project
Lighting & Draping: MS Events
Rentals: Festive Fare
Videography: Tom Daly
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab
Hair & Makeup Artist: Bella Boutique
Paper Goods: Danielle Darin
Transportation: Albemarle Limousine

Comments: 2

  1. Meredith Sledge March 18, 2015 1:55 pm

    Loooove! So beautiful!!! So glad I got to second shoot for you Callie!!!

  2. Michelle Aronson March 18, 2015 2:25 pm

    Thank you, Callie (and Meredith!) for capturing our day so perfectly and with such grace! Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude, as we will cherish these photos for a lifetime.

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Mar 17-15


Photographing a bride and groom's final exit is one of my favorite moments of a wedding day, and I knew I wanted to make mine unforgettable! So how did I accomplish those stunning photos?

Ways to make your exit unforgettable

Plan more than one opportunity
We had confetti canons on the dance floor during our last song, sparklers for our guests to hold, a getaway boat, and fireworks! Usually couples have only 1 opportunity for fun exit photos. But who's to say that has to be the rule? It's your wedding day, so make up your own rules! You can have as many exit photo opportunities as you choose.

Plan for an exit Line
This is the most popular way to get a fun shot, and I can't think of a better way to leave your reception that through a screaming tunnel of your guests! It's exhilarating. Whether you decide to do sparklers, confetti, ribbons or rose petals, you will want to RUN because it's exciting, but I can not tell you enough, please don't run. Hold hands, walk slow and take it all in. Your photographer will have more time to get more shots and to be creative if you move slower. Ask your planner to make the tunnel as long as possible, depending on how many guests you have at your wedding. This will also give you more time and a longer cat walk.

Think about your transportation
Because Jamie and I were married on the water, and because Jamie loves boats, I knew it would be so fun and make for some awesome pictures if we left on a beautiful sport fishing boat. Whether you leave in a vintage car, boat, pedicab, or your own car that has been decorated by your bridal party, think about what makes most sense and communicate your decision with your photographer. They will need to plan for the lighting depending on the situation.


If you are not able to have your photographer stay throughout the end of your wedding, there are alternative ways to create an exit shot without ending your reception early. We've worked with several brides and grooms who want to dance until 1am, but are okay with us leaving at 10pm. Here are some options for couples who want that fun exit shot but don't need their photographer to stay late into the evening.

Ways to implement a fun exit when your photographer doesn't stay until the end

Stage your exit early
Create a exit tunnel and do your exit as you would at the end of the night, but instead of leaving, go back into your reception and finish the night. This will allow for you to get those exit shots without paying for your photographer to stay for additional hours of endless dancing. This is an especially good option for brides and grooms who really love to party!

Create a fun "exit" on the dance floor
I purchased four confetti canons and had our wedding planners shoot them on the dance floor during the last song of the night. It surprised our guests and made for some awesome pictures. If you can't have your photographer stay until the end and don't want to stage your exit, this is a great alternative. Check out this snowy exit on the dance floor; one of my favorites! Don't be afraid to be creative and keep your guests in mind because who doesn't love a fun surprise?

Create an "exit" photo at the end of your ceremony aisle
We photograph countless couples who have all of their guests throw birdseed or confetti as they walk down the aisle of the church after they kiss! Or rose petals or lavender as they leave the front doors of their wedding chapel! This is another opportunity to get that fun photo you are hoping for.


What is the most creative exit shot you have ever seen?

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Mar 16-15


If you ask me, I am so ready for spring - colorful blooms, the warm sun, and late evening walks are calling my name! I'm inspired by the way that Kelly Perry and Kaitlin Holland worked together to incorporated this china blue vase with lovely yellow blooms. It's the perfect decor to transition from the cold winter into the bright spring.

A few thoughts from Kaitlin Holland:
I love the freshness and newness of this season. Something about spring is good for the soul. This month, Kelly Perry and I teamed up to bring a bright, fresh, and simple floral design. Grab a cup of tea and take a minute out of your busy day to peruse these images. I promised you’ll leave feeling inspired to snips some blooms out of your front yard to bring inside!

Click here to see the lovely feature!

Styling: Kaitlin Holland of The School of Styling
Florals: Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab







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Mar 12-15


Ally and Bobby's wedding day was one that I will never forget. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to capture so many dear friends' weddings in 2014, with Ally and Bobby's being one of those. Some of you might recognize Ally and Bobby, as they are great friends with Will and Nancy. Ally is a wedding photographer and we have gotten to know each other during many long late night drives, as she works alongside me quite often as my second shooter. She has the sweetest, most gentle heart. She is kind, compassionate, and so tender towards others. The more I learned about Bobby, the more I began to realize that is her perfect compliment: a strong leader, confident, and firmly rooted in the Lord.

While they compliment one another so well, what I love most about this couple is that they know that they don't complete each other. They know that they will let each other down, and instead of getting wrapped up in the imperfections of their relationship, they firmly push each other towards the One who will never let us down. "We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19 It didn't surprise me when Bobby cried praying around the door and when he saw Ally for the first time, as his love for her is deep. He loves her fiercely, that that is evident simply in the way he looks at her. (How can he not? She looked absolutely radiant!) Every single moment - from getting ready to running through the sparkler exit - was so special. It will forever have a piece of my heart. It was filled with prayer, laughter and joy, as Bobby and Ally promised their lives to one another.

Ally and Bobby, I am so thankful to know you!

PS. Can I just say how crazy impressive Bobby is? He addressed every envelope with his own calligraphy lettering! I think this might be the only time we ever see that from a groom!

A big thanks to Trendy Bride Magazine for featuring Ally and Bobby's wedding! Be sure to pick up the upcoming Summer edition to be released in a few months to see more of this lovely event.

Venue: Merrimon-Wynne
Officiant: Pastor Lynton Turkington
Cake Artist: Blue Moon Bakery
Caterer: Square Rabbit
Florist: Simply Elegant
Reception DJ: All Events DJs
Hair & Makeup Artist: Adonia by Jen
Invitations: Pretty in the Details
Programs: Paper Daisies
Save the Dates: Minted
Rentals: Party Reflections
Garter: BHLDN
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff at Bella Bridesmaid
Wedding Dress: Wtoo at Bridal Boutique of Cary
Bride's Shoes: Becca Louise
Wedding Bands: Debblazer and Tiny Sparkle Studio
Groom & Groomsmen Socks: Happy Socks
Groomsmen Suits: Jos A. Banks
Groom's Tuxedo: Tommy Hilfiger
















































Comments: 2

  1. Faith March 12, 2015 3:47 pm

    Ahhh so beautiful!! You are such a radiant bride, Ally! xoxo

  2. Trent March 13, 2015 3:32 pm

    Groomsmen’s socks made me spill my coffee :)

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Mar 10-15


A good photographer will be able to capture beautiful images in any lighting circumstance: dark or bright, tight or open space, indoor or outdoor.  That being said, there are a few things you should consider when planning your reception.

As the sun sets and your reception begins, you will notice that your photographer will begin to add more objects their cameras to work with less natural light. When planning the location and details of your reception location, look at the ceiling. I know it might sound funny, but photographers love to use the surrounding ceiling and walls to "bounce" light from their external flash to create bright, even lighting on the subject. A white tent or white ballroom ceiling are the dream reception lighting options.

But as I've said before, don't choose your venue based on the lighting situation; choose your venue based on what is going to be meaningful for you. However, if you do have the opportunity to make these decisions freely, a tent is always my favorite reception lighting scenario.

As seen below, adding string lighting to your reception will create a gorgeous bokeh backdrop in your images. My favorite! It also provides additional helpful light for your guests, photographers, and other vendors.

While these are all helpful things to consider, a skilled photographer will be able to capture beautiful images at whatever beautiful venue you choose to hold your reception!


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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
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