May 02-14

Tomorrow, one of my dearest friends is getting married.

Callie, I am honored to be standing beside you, to support you and Jamie as you commit your lives to one another, to cry with you and laugh with you (which I'm sure we'll do both - a lot - this weekend), and to use my gifts to capture your sweet celebration. I'm nervous and excited, because I want it to be perfect for you. I'm praying the Lord's favor and grace may be felt in a very real way. God is good! I'm so excited for you both! The day is finally here!

To see more beautiful images from Callie and Jamie's engagement session, click here. A big thank you to Style Me Pretty for featuring their session!

To follow along with the wedding celebration, be sure to keep an eye on our Instagram accounts! We will all be there with bells on, celebrating and photographing this sweet celebration! ::  Nancy / Callie /  Will / Elizabeth

Comments: 2

  1. Kyla F May 2, 2014 1:42 pm

    Congratulations Callie and Jamie! It has been a delight to follow the beautiful God-written story of your journey to this special weekend :)

  2. Angélique May 3, 2014 1:37 pm

    Oh, seing Callie and Jamie engagment and proposal pictures make me so much emotionnal! Congratulations, praying for y’all this weekend :)

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May 01-14

May Goals 2014

Goals ~ by Nancy Ray ~ 7 comments
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Ok friends, a few updates on my goals. We are 1/3 of the way through with this year (can you even believe that?!), and I'm feeling on track in some ways, and behind in other ways.  Here's a quick update:

Things that aren't working: My wrist has been giving me some pain, so I had to stop cycling. (The pressure on my bent wrist would irritate it even more.) I'm a bit behind on my reading, and I'm desperately needing a day completely devoted to emails. I'm feeling behind in my communication and my ShootQ maintenance. The Omnivore's Dilemma (my current book) is over 400 pages, and I didn't realize that at first! So I'm spacing this book out over a few months, while adding in some shorter, easier reads as well. The studio needs a good refresh, and I've been putting that off. While it's fun to reset and decorate, it's hard to step away from the emailing and editing that is so urgent and time sensitive!

Things that are working: I've been eating really well, I've lost 5 lbs and I feel energized. While I haven't kept up with cycling because of my pesky wrist, I have tested my ankle's running ability little by little on the greenway. Thankfully, I think I am ready to start running again! I'm going to take it slow and steady this month, working my way up to running 2 miles straight. I. can't. wait. Also, I'm speaking more than I ever imagined. Remember when I briefly mentioned I wanted to speak more often this year? Well the opportunities just keep coming! Last month I spoke at Making Things Happen and the Pursue Workshop and our youth group. This month, I'm leading a breakout session for a women's retreat at church, and I'm preparing for 2 amazing conferences this fall: Amber Housley Inspired, The Influence Conference, and Making Things Happen again!

So, here we go. May is honestly more about survival : keeping me healthy, keeping everything running and photos delivered on time, keeping my head above water. So my goals revolve more around making time for ME than anything else, because that is currently my greatest struggle. I work long hours during the week days and shoot on the weekends, so my goals factor in a lot of good fun and refreshing things to do.

May Goals

Read 20 in 12: Finish reading The Omnivore's Dilemma &  read Crash the Chatterbox
Celebrate Callie and Jamie! Capture their wedding while being a bridesmaid. Oh yes. It's gonna be amazing.
Go to Hot Yoga once a week (!)
Begin to run again: work up to 2 miles without stopping to walk
Take our boat out on the lake on a beautiful day
Pick Strawberries with Will!
Write letters to sponsored kids
Speak at the Shine conference at my church
Finalize studio decor
Get my inbox to zero more than once
Complete my series on Organization on the blog
Rewrite and finalize the NRP missions statement
Track my time the month of May (beginning May 5)

Weekly
Take a Sabbath once a week
Take 2 days off Social Media each week
Sunday: Reset Day! (read more about that here)

Daily
Morning Routine
Posture exercises
Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night (by getting in the bed early!)
Eat healthy
Drink 4 Tervis Waters

Have you posted your May Goals? If so, leave a link below!

Comments: 7

  1. Casey May 1, 2014 12:11 pm

    I love your tradition of posting your monthly goals. I am so excited to not only follow along, but to join in this month!

    http://www.caseydavisweddings.com/2014/05/may-goals.html

  2. Amy E May 1, 2014 12:38 pm

    I so enjoy these emails to keep me on track :) Thank you for sharing. Much love!

  3. Emma Grace May 1, 2014 2:20 pm

    This is my first time blogging my monthly goals! Very excited! Thank you for always being so encouraging!

    {http://tuttibellablogs.com/2014/05/01/may-goals/}

  4. Bailey Jean May 1, 2014 7:25 pm

    I just shared an April goals recap and my plan to make May happen this morning! I’m also doing a condensed Contentment Challenge so I’ve been scouring your old posts for encouragement ;) Thanks for sharing with us!

    http://www.braveloveblog.com/2014/05/making-may-happen.html

  5. Emily Hansel May 5, 2014 12:15 pm

    Hey Nancy! I got some pretty bad tendonitis in my wrist from all the wallpaper stripping and painting we did when we first moved in to our house, and 4 years later it still flares up from time to time. Make sure you tell your yoga instructor, she should have some modifications in poses for you so it’s not irritated. And if you’re still going to the chiropractor let them know too, there’s something mine does to make it feel better (gotta tell mine too, it’s flaring up since I’m working on my only definite May goal- finally painting the kitchen!) Hope it feels better!

  6. Stephanie May 6, 2014 1:34 am

    I love reading your goals each month – you’ve definitely been instrumental in creating my own monthly goals! Oh and I also shared everything about your Contentment Challenge with my Bible study this month! Thanks for inspiring all of us!!

    My May goals are here: http://stephseekingjoy.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/may-goals/

  7. So what about the Purge of 2014? - The Ashley Davis Project October 13, 2014 11:39 pm

    […] woman I would like to share with you, that do monthly or semi-monthly goals: Jessi Connally Nancy Ray Lara Casey Elise Blaha […]

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Apr 30-14

I am thrilled and honored to be a part of Amber Housley Inspired : an intimate gathering for creatives. Set in the beautiful, secluded mountains of Tennessee (just an hour outside of Nashville), this retreat is going to be incredible. I can't share all the details, (we are keeping those special secrets just for our attendees!), but I can say this: Amber is putting on an event weekend like no other. It will include intimate time with the speakers, empowering content, and lots of fun too. I am so honored and thrilled to be a part of it!

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BEFORE YOU READ ANY FURTHER: I have something special for you! If you register for this workshop with the code NANCYRAY, you get to save $200! And guess what else? If you register before June 30, you save an additional $400. Seriously, y'all - that's $600. And you know I like to save some money! Just head to ahinspired2014.com and click "register."

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Guess what else? We are expected to sell out in the next week, so I would grab your spot now. Don't wait! This is, after all, an intimate gathering, meaning it will be kept small on purpose. Seats are very limited to allow for close connections, relationship building, and access to speakers and fellow attendees. Several of the 30 seats have already been filled!

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I'll be speaking on something important and dear to my heart. Money can be such a hard thing to talk about sometimes, but after paying off our house and becoming debt free, my husband and I are incredibly passionate about sharing financial principles and practicals with other couples and entrepreneurs. Read more about my session on the AH site - it's gonna be good!

Another thing I love about this workshop: it's not limited to "just photographers" or "just planners." This is an environment for women entrepreneurs who have a heart to do great things in their lives and businesses! Here are some of the amazing women I'll be speaking alongside:

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The dates are September 14 - 17, 2014, so mark your calendar! Also, be sure to follow Amber Housley + AH Inspired on Instagram. (You can also follow the #ahinspired2014 hashtag for updates and details.) Signing up for the AH Inspired Newsletter is a great way to stay in touch and be the first to know about details, dates, and the retreat.

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I really hope to see you there!

Comments: 0

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Apr 30-14

I love recapping our months with Gratefulgrams. What is one thing that happened in April that you are grateful for?

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Celebrating Easter with Lily's and a candle from my mama - N / My first time officiating a wedding - W / Fun dates that end in pure exhaustion - E / Standing in our fully framed soon to be master bedroom! - C / Organization in home blog series - N / Winston trying to hide from the scary vet - W / Days on the lake with these boys - E / Filming for the Amazing Life Together cafe series - C / Quick stop at the cutest place on our day trip to Charleston - N

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Discovered bluebird eggs in our birdhouse - W / NHRA drag races... the look on Robert's face the entire day was priceless.  - E / Conquering our Wedding Reception seating chart - C / Winston snuggles at the end of a long day - N / Spontaneous games of racquet ball with family. During wedding receptions. In strange houses. - E / Packing for our honeymoon to Antigua - C  / The most beautiful wedding in my Mama's hometown - N / Celebrated Easter Sunday at Celebration - W / Filling our new house framing with scripture! - C

Comments: 1

  1. Liz and Ryan May 1, 2014 4:06 am

    Love this!!! We are so grateful for getting to hug you all in NC this past, filming Callie for Amazing Life Together, awesome coffee at Jubala, and fun life chats! xoxo!

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Apr 29-14
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Beautiful Jordan. This girl is so real, so true, so authentic to who she is. I have been so blessed getting to know Jordan and her fiancé Joel - the two of them together make me so happy. They just make sense, together, you know? I'm sure that one of the things that attracted Joel was Jordan's beauty - she's obviously gorgeous. But you know what makes her even more beautiful? She is the unassuming beauty - the naturally beautiful girl in a room who doesn't make a fuss or draw attention to herself. No, Jordan is humble and lovely and beautiful. She's real. And that makes her even more beautiful.

After Jordan's bridal session, I just couldn't stop smiling! Jordan's best friend, Joel's sister, Joel's mom and Joel's cousin were all there to help. By the end of the evening, I felt like I was part of the family! We were all laughing and having such a good time, I honestly didn't want to leave. People like Jordan and her sweet family make me so grateful for my job!

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Comments: 2

  1. Julia Canavan April 30, 2014 1:08 am

    So beautiful!!

  2. Joel & Jordan Wedding | Nancy Ray Photography June 16, 2014 5:30 pm

    […] honestly felt refreshed after spending time with them, whether it was for their engagement session, Jordan's bridal session, or their wedding day. Their genuine personalities are so real and honest. They are the kind of […]

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Apr 28-14

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Meredith and AC tied the knot this weekend in Clinton, North Carolina - my Mama's hometown. Their intimate wedding made me happy in so many ways, and while I feel I could probably write a book on how much I loved it, I'll save that for their wedding day blogpost. For now, enjoy these sweet, elegant portraits of Meredith. Isn't she stunning? Her dress and veil and cascading bouquet are just timeless.  I'll never forget this chilly March day, the gusts of wind, and the rain that quickly followed our time outside together. Meredith had the best attitude about it. "If it rains on my wedding day, I won't be able to do anything about it. My bridals aren't any different! Let's just  make the most of it." And that's exactly what we did. They turned out beautifully, thanks to her joy and natural elegance. Oh, I cannot wait to share their sweet wedding!

Venue: Barrington House
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 1

  1. Ally May 1, 2014 3:37 am

    I LOVE the detail shot of her earring and lace! It’s so simple, elegant, and beautiful

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Apr 25-14

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Two words come to mind when I think of this wedding: pure joy. The feeling of this wedding is something that I won't ever forget. Each moment was meaningfully planned and thought through to make sure that their wedding day was not only about them, but about The Lord's will for their life, which was becoming one. I love the way that Kristen could not stop saying throughout the night "Y'all, this is my husband." They took in each moment of the day and from beginning to end, they were grinning from ear to ear. And to celebrate, they did what they know best - ate Kristen's favorite cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe and danced the night away with everyone they love.

Kristen and John's gorgeous wedding celebration was held at the new and stunning Merrimon-Wynne House in Downtown Raleigh. And let me tell you, this house was packed to the brim with people who adore Kristen and John. From the bridal party to their family, it was so evident that this couple is so dearly loved.

I have been so blessed by this couple and know that their marriage is going to do great things for the Lord.

Venue: Merrimon-Wynne
Officiant: Chris Hankins
Cake Artist: The Cupcake Shoppe
Caterer: Sage and Swift
Florist: C and D Events
Event Coordination and Designer: C and D Events
Reception Band: Just Music DJ Service
Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Indigo 23
Invitations: Minted
Bridal Gown: Pronovias
Bride's Shoes: J. Crew
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lula Kate
Groom's Attire: Jos A. Bank

A huge thank you to my amazing second shooter, Cameron Faye!

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Comments: 3

  1. Em April 25, 2014 11:06 pm

    Love that one of him high-fiving on his way out! Such a great capture!

  2. Ally April 27, 2014 12:50 am

    Love this Callie!! Seeing these beautiful pictures makes me even more excited for you to capture our wedding here in October :)

  3. Kristen April 28, 2014 12:57 pm

    Callie!! Love these – couldn’t be happier! I probably look at the pictures at least once a day. Thanks for truly capturing the emotions of our wedding day!

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Apr 24-14

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I am thrilled to introduce Jamie, our new Spring Intern! After much searching and many interviews, Jamie ended up being the perfect fit for the job. I am so grateful for her sweet demeanor and lovely spirit. She is a wonderful addition to our team this spring season! She's been working in the studio for a few weeks now, and she recently accompanied me to a lovely bridal session in Charleston, SC. Now it's time for you all to meet this wonderful lady!

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1. Jamie's first day at work: being trained by Callie! / 2. Jamie's 2nd day of work just so happened to be her birthday, so naturally we bought her a coke to celebrate! / 3. Nancy & Jamie stopping by Queen Street Grocery in Charleston on their way home / 4. Jamie snapped this pic at Lowndes Grove Plantation at a bridal session

Where are you from?

Raleigh, NC

Why do you love photography?

I love that photos will last forever. I always enjoy looking back on photos of myself and my family from years ago. I love the fact that photos capture a moment in time and they can be passed down through generations.

What are you passionate about?

Building relationships through Young Life. I lead high school Young Life for two years in Greenville, North Carolina and I now lead College Young Life at East Carolina University. Leading a small group and sharing Jesus with girls who are in college holds a special place in my heart.

What is your current favorite book?

I just started re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It was one of my favorites in high school and I have been wanting to read it again for a while!

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Jamie's first day at Sola Coffee Cafe for lunch! We of course had to introduce her to one of our favorite local lunch spots, complete with a glass bottled coke.

Your favorite food?

This is a hard one. I could probably live off of mac & cheese for the rest of my life, but I also love fresh strawberries and a plain bagel toasted with butter from Bruegger’s.

What’s something that no one knows about you?

I have really vivid dreams!

Your favorite thing to do on a beautiful day?

I love spending a day at the beach reading a good book or swimming in the ocean. I also really love playing disc golf with my boyfriend and friends. 

What are you most excited about for 2014?

I am excited for this new chapter of life post graduation and living in Greenville, NC for another year.

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Jamie assisting at Lowndes Grove Plantation

Coffee or Tea?

Neither. I know I’m weird! I constantly crave a coke in a styrofoam cup from McDonalds. 

What are you grateful for today?

The warm weather and spending the day with Nancy and Callie in the studio.

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Images from Jamie's Instagram. Be sure to follow her if you don't already!

Comments: 3

  1. Ashley April 25, 2014 1:51 am

    Yay Pirates! I’m a fellow ECU alumni :)

  2. Whitney’s Bridals | Nancy Ray Photography June 9, 2014 9:36 am

    […] bridal session. After a long drive from Raleigh, I arrived at Lowndes Grove Plantation with Jamie, my sweet intern. We walked the beautiful property on an absolutely perfect day – no humidity, […]

  3. Jamie & Scott | Nancy Ray Photography August 12, 2014 9:00 am

    […] might recognize Miss Jamie in these images, because she was our sweet intern this Spring. As a parting thank you, Callie photographed Jamie and Scott, her boyfriend, in a field near the […]

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Apr 22-14

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I had never been to Centerville, NC before this session. In fact, I don't know that I had ever even heard of the quaint country town until Emily and John mentioned that it was where they wanted to have their engagement session! After looking on a map and realizing it was only an hour from my house, I got very excited because I absolutely love shooting in new places. I missed the turn, because as you can see in the image below - the driveway is long, narrow and secluded - almost hidden from the main road. I took that lovely black and white photograph with the house behind me, facing the road - so you can see how much land you had to cover before arriving.

Upon arrival at this beautiful house, I fell in love. The quietness of the country with no noise, the peaceful countryside, the beautiful big farmhouse, the gardens, the history of the property, and this couple! It was one of those moments where I kept asking myself, "Is this really my job?"

I asked John about the significance of the lovely home, assuming that it was the home he grew up in. I came to find out that this home was his parent's lifelong project. After inheriting some land in the country, his parents decided to walk the land to see what they would find. They came upon a dilapidated house, and John's mom fell in love with it. They took an old, abandoned, historic house, (with kitchen detached! Built in the 1800's,) and over the course of John's lifetime they turned it into their favorite family hideaway: a vacation home, a holiday home, a getaway. While they didn't live here permanently, John's parents have restored this beautiful home to make it a family treasure. Isn't that such a beautiful story?

More than this home and this place, I fell in love with this couple. A Southern gentleman and a Southern belle, for sure! These two are kind down to the core of who they are. They treated me like family, and they treat one another with such tenderness and kindness. I am so thrilled for their wedding this May!

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Comments: 2

  1. Em April 22, 2014 10:41 pm

    Beautiful! What a special place!

  2. Emily April 23, 2014 10:13 am

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures, Nancy! What talent you have! I am overjoyed to be working with you! Looking forward to May!

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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!
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