Nov 11-13


When I met Joel and Jordan in the early morning for their engagement session, I was absolutely giddy. The ground was wet with dew, the sun was rising, and they had picked the most beautiful location - family property that had a beautiful field, a big barn (where Joel proposed), and a sweet pond with a bridge. Does it get any better than that? What I loved about these two is how comfortable they were. They were 100% themselves - relaxed, authentic and true.

Not only do I love this couple, but I can already tell I'm going to love their families. Joel's Mom sent me home with fresh flowers from her rose garden after she welcomed me into their living room for a chat. Southern hospitality at its finest! I cannot wait for their wedding celebration. I'm sure it will be full of sweet friends and family and love this couple to pieces, as I already do!








Comments: 2

  1. Jordan November 11, 2013 5:27 pm

    Love these Nancy! It was so fun to shoot with you and Joel and I are just so excited about our wedding day. THANK YOU!

  2. Carolyn November 13, 2013 10:35 pm

    Love these! They turned out so great! :)

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Nov 08-13


This wedding. Oh this wedding. I shot more film than I ever have for this wedding because the light, the colors, the setting - it was all so perfect. The groom's light grey suit, the lush bridal bouquet, the stone architecture and the adorable favors... I would shoot this wedding all over again if I could.

Liz and Ray were a joy to work with! Not only was there wedding a stunning event, but it is always such a joy to work with such calm, genuine, laid back couples. Liz and Ray did not do a first look, and because of travel circumstances we didn't do an engagement session either. So I had never seen the two of them interact together until after she walked down the aisle to him. What a sweet thing to watch unfold! I felt like they came alive when they were together. They smiled and laughed more than I saw either of them do by themselves. They were comfortable, loving, and they walked with a spring in their step. It happened with each of them, and I loved watching them, together, throughout their wedding day.

Congratulations, Liz and Ray! What a beautiful marriage you already have.

Venue: The Graylyn Estate
Event Designer: Rebecca Rose Events
Florist : Amy Lynne Originals
Cake: Cakes by Chloe
Caterer: The Graylyn Estate
Videography: Iron Kite Films
Officiant: Rev. Virginia Wood
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Elegant Ensembles
Reception Band: Total Package Band
Lighting & Stage: Sound Illusions
Rentals: Hauser Rentals
Hair Stylist: Vance Yountz, Bang Bang Salon
Makeup: Scott Weaver
Linens: La Tavola & Connie Duglin
Invitations: Bella Figura
Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole
Wedding Day Paper Elements (Programs & Welcome Gift Boxes): Rebecca Rose Events


Comments: 3

  1. Em November 9, 2013 1:28 am

    Beautiful colors, and yes, the light IS magical!

  2. Liz Patterson November 9, 2013 9:54 pm

    Thank you for doing such an amazing job capturing our special day Nancy!

  3. Emily November 11, 2013 8:20 pm

    I LOVE the styling on the invitation suite, so perfect!

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Nov 06-13


It is always so refreshing when a couple decides to truly have a wedding that is a unique reflection of their personalities! That is exactly what Rachel and Tyler did, and it was so much fun to capture every moment. From the time they arrived at Duke Chapel until the glow stick exit at the end of the evening, I (along with all of their guests) kept discovering little surprises in the details of their wedding that brought a smile to my face. Bright pops of color, tables named after their favorite places they had visited, Indian cuisine for dinner, 3 gentlemen and a lady for their bridal party, a group salsa dance for their "first dance," and a fun graphic display recounting the history of their relationship. Every one of us - guests and vendors - were entertained from start to finish. It was a blast!

Congratulations, Tyler and Rachel! So grateful to have been the one to capture your amazing day.

Ceremony Venue: Duke Chapel
Reception Venue: Nasher Museum
Caterer: Sage and Swift
Florist: Tre Bella
Event Coordinator: Grace Leisure Events
Cocktail Hour Band: Big Fat Gap
Reception Band: Orquestra GarDel
Makeup Artist: Pam Hung
Hair Stylist: Leah Achey




Comments: 1

  1. Emily November 7, 2013 8:30 pm

    I’ve never seen a glow stick exit, how perfect!

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Nov 05-13


Rachel & Tyler's unique rehearsal dinner was held at the the Museum of Life and Science complete with train rides, a petting zoo and the insect observatory. There was no way any guest could have a boring time! After hearing about how much Rachel enjoyed this museum growing up, Tyler's parents knew that this would be just the place to put on a dinner to celebrate their soon to be marriage with their closest friends and family.

Guests explored the property and all that it had to offer before it was time to sit down for dinner. Elizabeth and I loved all of the animals! We seem to think that they really enjoyed getting their pictures taken by us as well! This was such a fitting scene for Rachel & Tyler, especially because of Rachel's love of goats.


I also conquered my fear of large insects this day, as there were many to be seen. Thankfully they were all safely confined in their tanks!


Rachel & Tyler, it was such a joy to be a small part of your wedding weekend and I wish you both endless happiness in your life together as one!

Comments: 1

  1. Emily November 5, 2013 3:07 pm

    Congrats on the large insects fear (virtual high five!) What an awesome place to celebrate!

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Nov 03-13


Sarah truly makes the most gracious bride. Her Duke Chapel wedding this weekend was stunning, but she carried the whole event with her grace, hospitality, and beauty. I photographed her bridals at her Cape Hatteras beach home back in August, and we could not have asked for a more gorgeous day! Her dress, hair, and bouquet were all perfect - it was a flawless session before her wedding. The best thing about Sarah is that she is beautiful inside and out - so caring of others, so selfless. It has been a joy to capture her sweet spirit through this season of her life. Congratulations, Sarah!


Comments: 0

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Nov 01-13


Photo credit:  Lara Casey

October was a whirlwind. It was GOOD, but it was a whirlwind. It included:

3 booked weddings on October 5th to begin the month (!) • 5 hot yoga classes that kicked my butt • 5 weddings total • weekend in Beaufort to spend time with Will and photograph Callie & Jamie's engagement session • strength training with an amazing personal trainer • online google hangout (watch here if you didn't get to see it) • 11 sessions • 1 rehearsal dinner • Making Things Happen Conference • the NC State Fair with Will • running in my neighborhood • annual Bridge costume party

Bare with me for a few moments while I just dump out my heart and my thoughts into this post. You've been warned.

My heart is full. It is heavy and refreshed at the same time. Making Things Happen gave me the gift that it always gives : a renewed perspective, focus on my life goals, determination to make time for what matters: reading, date nights, exercise, etc.

Yet at the same time,  I have been so frustrated lately because I feel like there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Sometimes, I literally say out loud, "There IS enough time. God gave me enough time!" Which is true. But HOW I manage that time plays out in my life in so many different ways. The truth is that my to-do list exceeds the realistic time I have to check it all off. I put too much on my plate for the day. Then I leave my work day feeling defeated and guilty when I stop to watch a movie with Will or exercise or take the time to cook dinner.

In the midst of all of this, I'm reading an incredible book : 168 hours - you have more time than you think. It has helped me immensely, and I'm so grateful for it. The first thing it tells you to do is log every single hour of your day and write down how you spend it. So instead of logging "work," I write down "emails" or "blogging."  I have logged 2 weeks, and I am still logging my hours and learning about this crazy life that I lead. I am learning how to exercise and answer all these emails that will never stop filling my inbox and how to train my team and how to be a good wife and get enough sleep and plan time for me and rest and edit and update my business to stay current (read: USB drives instead of DVDs) and I feel just plain overwhelmed sometimes. I am just one person.

Want to know what I've discovered in all of this?

I still have a lot of learning to do.

I want more boundaries, a more productive schedule, more adventures, a healthier lifestyle, and happier clients.

You know what else I've learned?

These things take time.

Small changes over time = a BIG change. So this month, I will be faithful with what is right in front of me: November. I will continue to make goals and learn how to better myself and my life. I will whisper prayers of thanks, because while I'm not perfect and I'm not where I want to be, I have come so far.

Lord, give me perspective so that do not become discouraged. Give me strength to change where I need to.

November Goals

- Continue 15 in 12 : Finish 168 Hours, Read The Advantage as part of the #readsplendid Book Club
- Begin training for my Christmas Day 10K! (Yes it's a race that my sister and I made up!)
- Launch Mentor Sessions with Will
- Teach a finance class on the Influence Network
- Eat only 2 desserts / week
- Celebrate Will's birthday!
- Photograph 3 weddings, which will wrap up my 2013 wedding season
- See Gravity and the Hunger Games in Theaters. Scared about Gravity. Pumped about Hunger Games!
- Enjoy the mountains with my family
- Lead a few songs of worship on the guitar (!) at the Celebration Staff Retreat
- Complete all my Christmas shopping by Cyber Monday
- Order USB drives to replace DVD's for Digital Negatives

What are your November Goals? Leave a comment with a link to your blog below! Even if this is the very first month you've ever blogged your goals - leave your link. You never know who you will inspire!

Comments: 13

  1. Em November 1, 2013 11:04 pm

    Can’t say I’m on board with the 2 desserts/week goal, but I love you still :)

  2. Cheyenne Schultz November 2, 2013 1:08 am

    Great post, friend! Inspired by you, per usual.

    Not sure what you are looking for for your USB’s, but I ended up going with Flashbay….got 4GB’s for sessions and 8GB’s for weddings. Here’s what they look like:

    I also looked at USB Memory Direct and PhotoFlashDrive dot com.

    And here are my November goals:

    Love you!

  3. Jenn November 2, 2013 3:28 am

    You inspire me so much Nancy! I have been following your blog and instagram for quite some time now, and I sincerely love reading each of your posts and your honesty about life. God is teaching you so much and even though I live completely across the country from you and somehow randomly stumbled across your blog several months ago, He is totally using you as an inspiration in my life and others people’s lives! Thank you for sharing your goals. I wrote mine in my blog today :)


  4. Hannah Elizabeth November 2, 2013 4:30 pm

    Love reading your monthly goals! You’re so inspiring! I hope to meet you one day :) Also, I saw Gravity last night. THE most suspenseful movie ever.

  5. Katie November 2, 2013 5:40 pm

    You are so encouraging! Thanks for the reminder about using time wisely.

  6. Rachel November 2, 2013 7:49 pm

    I’m with Jenn! It’s been fun following your blog and instagram! This is my first month of publishing my monthly goals, so here’s to a little more accountability and getting alot more done ;)

  7. Michelle November 3, 2013 8:01 pm

    I started bikram last month too! So hard, yet so good.

  8. Meredith Teasley November 5, 2013 2:13 am

    Thanks for sharing! They are short and sweet since we are having a BABY, but here are my November goals! :)

  9. Rachel November 5, 2013 2:16 am

    Nancy, your goals always inspire me! mine are posted on my blog. I went right out and downloaded 168 Hours. Can’t wait to read it. :)

  10. Sarah Becker Lillard November 7, 2013 9:54 pm

    Nancy, I always love reading your goals! I just got 168 Hours and am looking forward to reading it this month. I really loved her previous book – a collection of what the most successful people do before breakfast/on the weekend/etc – and I’m sure I will get a lot out of this one too. I’m with you, there is no way I could see Gravity – but I did recently see Captain Phillips and it was fantastic! Happy November! xo

  11. Aubrey November 7, 2013 10:46 pm

    Yay for made up races with your sister!!!

    Can I just say go you!! I just wish I could finish my Christmas shopping before Christmas Eve!! :)

  12. Bianca Valentim November 8, 2013 1:09 pm

    Nancy, I love love love love reading your goals. It inspires me so much. There is a reason I was only able to read your post today, because today is the day I’m feeling overwhelmed about not having enough time and I’ve been in an awful mood. But then I read this and I feel better knowing I’m not the only one and also that it’s okay to feel like that sometimes. You rock!!! Thank you!
    Here are my goals for this month:

  13. Brittany November 12, 2013 7:49 pm

    Yes yes yes! Working on how I spend my time too. We only have so much and I so desire to spend it wisely. Hope you have a wonderful month :)

    Here’s my goals post:

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Oct 31-13


Baked Pumpkin Spice Muffins for our new neighbors / Spent the night with my sister at the Carolina Inn when I spoke at the Making Things Happen Conference / Received a sweet gift in the mail from a bride
Enjoyed the NC State Fair with my sweet husband who bought me corn and let me play the fish game (even though I didn't win a single goldfish) / Photographed some really beautiful weddings / Read a lot. Learned a lot at MTH. Enjoyed my new mug a lot too!


Picked pumpkins with Jamie at the NC Farmer's Market (one of my favorite places!) / Saw Ben Rector in Concert with my Young Life team / Shot my first wedding at the Fearrington!
Officially bought a Wedding Dress with my mom at Nitsa's in Winston-Salem! / Helped lead 135 High Schoolers from Broughton at Windy Gap 


Took time to snuggle with Winston after some long days / Received my "Baby Step 7" gift from Nancy! An incredible Saddleback Leather Briefcase / Saw my High School Soccer Team play in the State Tournament
Introduced Nancy at Making Things Happen via video / Photographed my cousin's engagement session, and led them in our first-ever pre-marital counseling session / "Foxface and Poncho" at the Bridge Costume Party


Photographed a beautiful wedding at Cobblestone Hall / Caught the King BMX Stunt Show at the NC State Fair / Robert, myself, and Will : Team selfie at the wedding!
Unbelievable sunrise on the way to work / Participated in the Walk for Hope / Saw Judah and the Lion in Concert

Comments: 0

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Oct 30-13

Photos by Eric Kelly

What is your favorite part or moment in a wedding?
The exit! It's full of excitement and anticipation. All of the planning is done, and the couple zips off to begin their new life together. It's the cherry on top of a wonderful wedding celebration!

Where is your favorite place that you have visited so far?
Stonington, CT in autumn. Will and I traveled there for a friend's wedding last year, and I fell in love with New England in the fall!

What is your favorite summer activity?
Taking the boat out on the lake & Goodberry's dates with Will. They tie for my favorite.

What is your favorite book and why?
Redeeming Love. It's the perfect picture of Christ's love for us. Whether or not you're a Christian, you should read this book.

Who was your favorite music group or artist when you were in high school?
Nichole Nordeman

Something interesting you might not know about me is...
I've never taken a PE class in my life.

What do you usually have for breakfast?
A smoothie or homemade granola & yogurt

What is your favorite chip flavor?
Salt & Vinegar

What are you thankful for today?
My health

What makes you laugh?
Winston (our great dane) right after he wakes up. He's so cute and sleepy!

Do you have any nicknames?
Minki, Minks, Nancy France, Nanny, Nan, and my nephew Crews calls me Dancy.

If you could be one color in the Crayola box, which one would it be?

When I was younger, I dressed up as a "Spa girl," complete with face mask, curlers, robe and slippers for halloween.


Comments: 1

  1. ANNIE October 31, 2013 9:40 am

    Nancy, every single photo here is stunning. I love your relaxed hair and natural makeup. Beautiful.

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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