Jan 14-15

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I truly feel like I am sharing a treasure with you today. I have waited to long to share these images with you, and the day has final come! I cannot look at these images without getting teary, without feeling the same emotions I felt that day. Yes, it's true: I was the photographer and one of Callie's bridesmaids! Yes, it was the craziest day for me, and I dove so deep into the heart of my work because I wanted it to be perfect for Callie and Jamie. But I also stopped and prayed with Callie, I cried when she put on her dress, I stood beside her as she said her vows and gave her life to Jamie, and you better believe I danced with Will at the reception! I would have this day no other way than exactly how it was. It was perfect.

Yes, Callie works with me here in the studio. But what started out as a position as a studio assistant a few years has grown into one of my closest, most treasured friendships. I love this girl. She is like a sister to me, and we spend so much time together. She's younger than I am, but I look up to her in so many ways. She is so passionate about worshiping Jesus, mentoring young ladies through Young Life, photography, marriage, and living life to the fullest. She is an incredible photographer. It has been such a joy to work with her, to watch her grow in the seasons of dating, engagement, and marriage. I have loved mentoring her in business and photography. Honestly, I couldn't imagine doing life without Callie by my side.

Watching her and Jamie together is just fun. If you know them, you know they are crazy. Very crazy. But it's wonderful because they compliment one another perfectly! They are all in with whatever it is they are doing. They are committed and loyal. Jamie is laid back and happy, but there is this crazy-fun side to him that is hilarious! He is also a man full of integrity, and that is obvious in how he lives his life. Callie is organized and artistic and straight forward, always giving a gracious and honest answer. The two of them together are just refreshing and fun to be around.

Their wedding day was a perfect representation of their hearts. More than anything, they wanted Jesus to be lifted high, and He was. They wanted to focus on marriage more than their wedding, and they did. They wanted to love on those around them, to be together, to enjoy their day, to eat their food, to dance together, to stop and acknowledge their friends and family who came so far to celebrate them... and they did each of these things. It was so sweet to see everything unfold, to be a part of a day that was so full and rich of what matters most on a wedding day: marriage and those that are there to celebrate it.

Finally, before I share the rest of these lovely images with you, I need to give credit where credit is due. I would have never been able to photograph this day without lots of help and hands along the way. The work you will see here is a combination of my own, my husband Will's, and the amazing Geoff and Cheyenne Schultz - some dear friends and incredible photographers who dropped everything to help us this weekend. I am so, so grateful to each of you. You allowed me to enjoy this day, you photographed the entire ceremony, you were everywhere I couldn't be, and you gave such a wonderful gift to Callie and Jamie. Thank you. I could not have done this without you!

A big, BIG thank you to Southern Weddings Magazine for making one of my biggest dreams and goals come true by featuring this wedding in your most beautiful print issue SWV7. It was worth the wait! Callie and I are so grateful to each of you! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

Venue: River Oaks Charleston 
Cake Artist: Twenty Six Devine
Caterer: Cru Catering
Bar Service: Squeeze on Site
Florist: River Oaks Charleston
Event Designer & Coordinator: River Oaks Charleston
Reception Band: Atlanta Pleasure Band
Videographer: Heart Stone Films
Paper Goods: Rebecca Rose Creative
Calligraphy: Jill Velez
Reception Tent: Sperry Tents
Bride's Gown: Monique Lhullier at Nitsa's
Bride's Shoes: Joie
Bride's Veil: Custom from Nitsa's
Bride's Bouquet Ribbons: Frou Frou Chic
Bride's Getaway Dress: French Connection
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Hair Stylist: Hilary Mansell at Visage Salon
Makeup Artist: Elina Mille at Bellelina
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank
Groom & Groomsmen Suspenders: Hold Up Suspender Company & Monograms Inc.
Shotgun Shell Cufflinks: OruAka
Vintage Tabletop Rentals: Polished
Standard Rentals: Eventworks
Lounge Seating: Out of Hand Rentals
Specialty Linens: Latavola
Rock Candy Favors: Nuts.com
Transportation: Lowcountry Valet
Boat Transportation: Full Circle
Wedding Painter: Meredith Haake
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 12

  1. Faith January 14, 2015 11:00 am

    Love love love! xo

  2. Lisa January 14, 2015 11:04 am

    Seriously, these images make me cry every time! Callie, you were the most BEAUTIFUL bride, and the joy that radiated from you and Jamie on this magical day was inspiring!

  3. Kate R January 14, 2015 1:02 pm

    Callie, these photos are SO BEAUTIFUL!

  4. Cheyenne Schultz January 14, 2015 2:20 pm

    Wish we could do it all over again. It was an honor to shoot alongside y’all! Love you guys.

  5. Lauren Socha January 14, 2015 3:04 pm

    Callie and Jamie’s wedding is without a doubt the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. What a dream! And now that I feel like I’ve met Callie a bit more now, all of the beautiful words you shared up there are totally true. :) )))

  6. Justine January 14, 2015 4:43 pm

    So, so beautiful Callie! How stunning you are! XOXO

  7. Stephanie Scholl January 14, 2015 10:41 pm

    I mean.. speechless! This is, hands-down, one of the most stunning, meaningful, and all-around gorgeous weddings I’ve ever seen!! You can feel their love radiating through every single image.

  8. Hannah Elizabeth January 15, 2015 2:57 pm

    I just can’t stop looking at them! Such a gorgeous wedding! I really love her color choices and all of the personalized small details. Do you know where she happened to purchase her getting ready robe? I love it!

  9. Chris Wheaton January 15, 2015 3:14 pm

    Amazing images! It was a blast working together, watching you pull of double duty as photographer and bridesmaid, and seeing Will hustle all day in his NPR apron. Definitely a wedding we will never forget!

  10. BECCA January 16, 2015 2:58 pm

    I just love every single thing about this post. Loved working with Callie and Jamie, and loved being able to work alongside you in those quiet moments before the wedding began. Nancy, I have always loved and admired you for how much you care about our clients and each couple you serve – but I have never been prouder to call you my friend than when I watched you work your tail off for these two, with such a selfless sense of love. It was such a joyful day and you worked so hard and loved them so well.

  11. Under the Oaks: Photography & Videography | Call me Callie January 23, 2015 10:01 am

    […] our wedding images here and here! And to see our wedding in print, be sure to buy a copy of Southern Weddings […]

  12. Weekly Wedding Favorites No. 9 | Kyla Mary January 25, 2015 9:14 am

    […] Captured by Nancy Ray Photography […]

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Jan 09-15

Sutton Newborn

Newborns ~ by Elizabeth Tate ~ 2 comments

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This family, this session... I can't even.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of my favorite things about newborn sessions is the raw emotion that can feel so thick in the room. This state of emotion produces some of the best moments that you will ever be present for as a photographer. This session in particular was special because Heather is a dear friend of mine. I can be kind of tender anyway, and I'm totally one of those people who cries at the sight of other people crying, so needless to say the tears flowed as my friends intently and emotionally studied their brand new baby girl in the first days of her life.

Other sweet moments in this session? Definitely watching big brother Destry with his new sister was a highlight. He was so gentle with her and treated her with such caution and care. Des is getting so big, and is seriously one of the most polite and outgoing little people under the age of 3 you'll ever meet. He calls me Mervis (his attempt at Libis, one of my nicknames), and it's the cutest thing in the world!

I just love this family so much, and Baby Sutton is simply adorable and the perfect addition!

Film Processing : Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 2

  1. Emma January 9, 2015 9:41 pm

    Elizabeth, this is one of the best newborn sessions I’ve seen from you on this blog!! You did a great job capturing the tiniest details and the color in these images from using film is stunning. Great job!!

  2. Cheyenne Schultz January 13, 2015 12:00 am

    precious fam!

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Jan 08-15

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This wedding celebration was so elegant and beautiful. North Ridge is the loveliest place for a classy and Southern North Carolina weddings - it is a long standing icon in the Raleigh area. I love that Ashley and Nathan chose this for their wedding venue because it is so meaningful to Ashley's family. Ashley's grandmother continues to be involved in all of the events after years of being a member at the club. It represents a wonderful community for their family! Not to mention, it fit perfectly with Ashley's Southern and classic style.

This day was certainly a memorable one! I will never forget watching (and hearing) the thunderclouds roll in as the ceremony took place, and the raindrops that started to fall right after Ashley and Nathan kissed! They safely made it down the aisle, I took a few brief photos of them outside, then we all ran in to take cover. There have only been a few weddings I've photographed in my life that have poured like it did that day! Thankfully, everyone had a wonderful attitude and the guests quickly got to cover. It is always a sign of a mature and wonderful couple when rain doesn't get in the way of a good time. Ashley and Nathan continued to dance and party as if nothing happened, and it was the most beautiful celebration!

Venue: North Ridge Country Club 
Officiant: Rev. Peadar Dalton from Your Ceremony Matters
Cake Artist: Edible Art
Caterer: North Ridge Country Club
Florist: English Garden
Event Coordinator: Cam Heinsohn at North Ridge Country Club
Reception DJ: McSound Productions
Videographer: K2 Productions
Hair Artist: Blown Away
Makeup Artist: Kelly Parks at Mary Kay
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang from Alexia's Bridal Boutique
Bride's Veil: Vera Wang from Alexia's Bridal Boutique
Table Vases, Lanterns, Candles: Table of Contents
Shoes:Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids' Earrings: Hyla DeWitt Jewelry
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 1

  1. Lisa January 9, 2015 8:36 am

    Oh my word, her dress is stunning!! What a beautiful couple!

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Jan 07-15

The Tates Move!

NRP Team ~ by Elizabeth Tate ~ one comment
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For those of you who don't know, my husband Robert and I just recently moved out of our first home and into our second. Exciting! (Right?) In case you missed my Instagram post on moving day, please let me be completely honest in telling you that, exciting as it was, it was also hard. Allow me to explain.

First of all, I actually had no idea that Robert and I had accumulated enough stuff to fill the Taj Mahal. No, really. This alone made the moving process more challenging than we anticipated. Also, I hear that "stuff" multiplies whenever kids come along, and that's a little terrifying to me.

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Second of all, the purging and packing process was a little overwhelming for me, someone who is significantly sentimental and significantly ADD. Thankfully, I know this about myself, so I started the process a solid 3 months in advance. I would do things like pack a box of books and then reward myself by trying on my newly re-discovered wedding gown. Productive, but also, not.

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Before I go any further, let me tell you that we were genuinely excited about moving. The Lord had made it abundantly clear that this was the right choice for us, and we were thrilled about our new house. Be that as it may, moving day came, and I was a trainwreck.

We loaded up the last box and walked back inside. It was completely empty. Robert spoke and it echoed, and then I started sobbing incoherently. Pretty sure I said some things, asked some questions, vocalized that emotion... pretty sure Robert didn't understand a word I was saying. He's a smart man, though, and he didn't try to push me past it. We just sat on the bottom of the steps and he held me while I cried.

I know it's weird, but it felt like we were abandoning our trusty little home. I had to keep reminding myself, "the house does not have feelings" and "the memories stay with us, not the house." We picked out everything in that little place... floors, cabinets, countertops. We'd sneak in it while it was being built in the months leading up to our wedding and walk around inside just giddy with excitement. It's hard to just be done with that part of life forever, even when you know it's right.

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Over the next few days, our families helped us move into the new house. I was a stressball, but a happy one. That first night I mostly just paced around with a dumb look on my face while everyone else worked like little ants in a colony to unload the truck. It's been a month since then, and slowly but surely we're doing renovations, hanging things on walls, decorating for Christmas, making it home. Kiwi and Noodle, our two little psychopath cats, are finally at ease after their tumultuous transition. Robert has verbally and physically declared war on the leaves with his leaf blower. We've met some sweet neighbors, built a bonfire in our backyard, and watched a meteor shower without city lights corrupting our view. It's been so good. All in all - we're drained, but I'm thankful. We were blessed with three sweet years in our very first home, we're excited to be where we are now and for what's ahead here.

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Comments: 1

  1. Kelly January 7, 2015 2:44 pm

    The new house is adorbs. Love it and the red door!!

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Jan 06-15

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So much changed at NRP this past year, and it all changed for the better. It was a year of growth and of learning. It was a year of serving and loving couples and families, of growing in our gifts, of communication, of dreaming.

It was a year of challenges, changes, and excitement. 3 times we had to find emergency replacements for 2nd shooters due to sudden illness, and 3 times our team stepped up to the plate to serve and shoot at the last minute. We transitioned Elizabeth from a wedding photographer to a family photographer, which was exciting but also new territory for us. Callie photographed more weddings than she ever has, and her hours in the studio increased due to the amount of work and editing we had to maintain! We had to really make our systems and communication efficient and effective, due to the workload. I spoke and traveled at more conferences than I ever have before, while maintaining a fully booked wedding schedule. Will stepped away from his full time ministry job and stepped into a part time role here at NRP and a full time financial coach. And of course... we found out we were adding a tiny one to our family!

2014, you were good. I wouldn't change a thing about you.

2014 at NRP

Photographed 32 Weddings
Photographed 51 Engagement Sessions, Bridal Sessions and Family Sessions
Photographed 9 Mini Sessions
Published 202 Blogposts
Sent out 5 editions of the Nancy Ray News
Answered a bajillion emails
We read The Advantage as a team and implemented a new core purpose and strategies
Will began working from home full time for his financial coaching business and part time with NRP
Launched Elizabeth as our Family Photographer
Hired a Spring Intern and a Fall Intern (and we adored both of them!)
Photographed Fun and Fancy Free : a summer editorial shoot for Southern Weddings Magazine
Got our first Real Weddings feature in Southern Weddings Magazine!!!
Featured in Southern Weddings Magazine, Cottage Hill Magazine and The Knot Magazine
Featured on Southern Weddings Blog, Cottage Hill Blog, Style Me Pretty, Snippet and Ink, The Lovely Find,
The Daily South Southern Living Blog, and Brides.com
Had a Team Day at Lake Gaston, complete with swimming, tubing, skiing, eating, and a photo shoot
Implemented NRP Weekly Team Meetings
Nancy spoke at....
- WPS conference
- Making Things Happen (Spring and Fall)
- The Influence Conference
- Amber Housely Inspired
Are adding a teeny tiny member to our team and family

Hope you enjoy these "in action" images of us shooting, working, speaking, and meeting as a team throughout the year!
All images taken by NRP team unless noted. Film scans by Indie Film Lab

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Winston, our studio mascot!

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Our wonderful Spring Intern, Jamie

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A weekly NRP Team meeting selfie

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Speaking at Making Things Happen / Image by Robyn Van Dyke

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Love this image of Will! He'd holding all of his equipment, and mine (see that I'm a bridesmaid in Callie's wedding?), AND he's wearing my apron which is hilarious. He gets 2nd shooter of the year award just for this!

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Above image by Robyn Van Dyke

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Callie with her dear friend, Jenn, who was a bridesmaid in a wedding she was photographing

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Enjoying a delicious dinner at a wedding with our Fall intern, Emory

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Our fall intern, Emory

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Our 2nd shooter Ally with our Spring Intern, Jamie! We had to rent the largest lens in history for this wedding!

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Comments: 3

  1. Lindsey Wachter January 6, 2015 2:27 pm

    I love this!! You have all had such a wonderful year! So happy I got to be in one of the photos too!! :)

  2. MacKenzie January 11, 2015 10:24 pm

    Loved this post! So fun seeing y’all in action and made me hope we get to work together in 2015 or beyond! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Cheyenne Schultz January 13, 2015 12:05 am

    Loved this post – so fun. :)

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Jan 05-15

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We sure have filled up this blog with some beautiful people and memories this year. I am so grateful to each couple and family that has trusted us to capture the most exciting days of their lives!  We've also added some new voices to the blog, we've broadened the content of our posts, and we even hosted our very first blog survey. I have to say - I love blogging, especially because of the connection point we have with so many of you.  We hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have! If you have a favorite post, image, or memory, we would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for reading - we don't take that lightly!

Here are the top posts of the year, by comments and by views, as well as our favorite posts this year!

1) Baby Ray Announcement
2) Organization at Home
3) Callie & Jamie's Engagement Session
4) My Journey with Baby Ray (Part 1)
5) My Work, My Ministry
5) Organization in My Spiritual Life (Part 1)
6) My Contentment Story
7) Organization in my Spiritual Life (Part 2)
8) Lauren & Jake's Wedding
9) Anna & Barrett's Wedding

And a few of our Favorites:

- Baby Ray Announcement
- My Morning Routine
- Kaitlin & Clay's Wedding
- 5 Things I Learned from NRP (guest post from intern Jamie)
- Organization in Time

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Comments: 1

  1. Kristen S. January 7, 2015 2:20 pm

    Ah! So honored to have made it on here! Love this collection of the bests. Yall are so talented and have beautiful hearts to match. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in 2015!

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Jan 01-15

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Happy New Year, friends! It's January 1st, 2015.

Take a deep breath and thank God for a brand new season of life.
This is your year to change,
to do something different,
to take hold of the life you've always wanted.

If you've never set goals before, you can start today.
If you've failed at previous goals, you can try again.
If you don't even know where to start, take hope! Just don't give up.

I am excited to share with you my brand new Goal Setting Guide - a brief and easy guide to setting goals for your year! It's a free PDF download that you'll receive as soon as you sign up for the Nancy Ray News. Just look to the right sidebar to see where you can signup! (Already signed up? No worries! You will receive it in the newsletter that goes out today!)

I'll be honest : setting goals for 2015 was really hard for me. I have been setting my yearly goals on January 1st for the past 5 years, but I've never had to include a major anticipated life event in my goals. Knowing that this baby will change my life and my business dynamics in ways unknown, knowing that I have to block off a season to only focus on being a Mama... all of that left me frozen in the goals category of life. Major goal block. I didn't even know where to start. Would I still be able to read as much as I want? To exercise? To travel? How do I launch a new workshop or dream, or should I put everything on hold?

So, I did 3 things to get me back on track again:
1. I asked my friends who are Mamas and business owners to help me be realistic in my goals. (How much time should I take off? How many weddings should I plan to shoot? How do I handle emails and editing? What are good goals for me to set during my maternity leave?)
2. I reminded myself to set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Again, my main focus here is that I want to set attainable / realistic goals for 2015. I want to set myself up for success, not failure. (I tend to be an overachiever and set unrealistically high goals!)
3. I broke my year up into 3 parts, which really helped me wrap my head around taking a successful maternity leave. Seeing the entire context of my year broken up like that really allowed me to say, "I can do this."

And now that I have an outlined plan, now that I have strong goals centered on meaningful work, now that my priorities are aligned with what matters most (hello, 4 month maternity leave!), I feel like I can do this. Yes, I am entering into 2015 with open hands, knowing that the Lord is in control and that His plans are greater than mine. Yes, I know that my plans could change and might not look like this by the end of next year. BUT I'm not going to let this giant unknown season of my life squelch all of my dreams and hopes and goals. I will continue to dream dreams and to set goals and to reach high, knowing that:

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
Zig Ziglar

•••

2015 Goals

January - April
- Rebrand for NRP
- Hire a new Associate Photographer
- Launch a financial workshop with Will
- Photograph an editorial
- Invest in the NRP Team through weekly meetings + a team fun day
- Walk/run a 15K
- Declutter my home
- Prepare the nursery
- Go on a baby moon

May - August
- Have a baby!
- Take a successful 4 month maternity leave
- Restructure my daily routines

September - December
- Give myself lots of grace as we figure out life with a baby
- Launch 3 new products in the NRP Store
- Host a financial workshop with Will
- Run a 5K

Throughout the year
- Read 12 books
- Teach 4 mentor sessions
- Shoot 35 weddings & 35 sessions as a studio
(I will only be shooting 10)
- Speak at 3 conferences

The most vital part of my goal setting process is simply this : set monthly goals. Let your yearly goals guide what you write. Break them down across the 12 months of the year, then implement them in 4-week timeframes. That is the perfect amount of time to really accomplish some things. So, along with my yearly goals, here are my goals for January, 2015:

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January Goals

- Finish interviewing and make a decision on the new NRP Associate Photographer
- Choose dates for our financial workshop in the fall
- Choose dates and location for baby moon in the spring
- Email vendors about editorial photoshoot ideas and dates
- Clean out nursery room and decide on a paint color
- Register for a 15K in February
- Start NRP Team Meetings up again, decide on dates for Spring fun day
- Clean out studio / back up all files to start fresh for the year

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One of the most powerful exercises you can do as you set your goals is to simply look back at the last year. What worked? What didn't? I've been working through my friend Lara's new 2015 Powersheets, and this was the most helpful exercise for me. (I highly recommend her Powersheets! It is a very thorough approach to digging deep and setting goals for the next 6 months.) It's not fun to write about the goals you didn't accomplish, but it's important to acknowledge them and ask yourself, why didn't they work? It has allowed me to see where my focus diminishes, and where I can make simple changes in my life to accomplish important goals.

Things that didn't work well in 2014

- Mixed studio systems (too many going at once: ShootQ, Wunderlist, calendars, chalk wall, etc). We are almost to the point of having it perfectly streamlined, but it's taken all year to sync our systems.
- Date nights should have been planned further in advance, to make the most of them.
- I did not read 20 books. I am currently on book 16!
- Living in a state of stress and not a state of joy. Asking the Lord to change my heart and attitude in a mighty way in 2015.
- Stop working on time. I am not great at time management, and cutting off work is a tough one for me when there's always more to be done.
- I did not switch to clipless petals on my road bike or run a half marathon, all due to the slow healing of my ankle injury & then my pregnancy. (I'm 100% ok with that!)
- I wrote more often to our sponsored kids, but not monthly. I want to be a constant encouraging voice in their lives.
- I memorized very few Bible verses this year.

Things that worked well / What I accomplished in 2014

- Delegation and growth in my business: Callie taking over much of the studio day-to-day management, she's shootings tons of weddings, and Elizabeth has found her stride as our family photographer.
- Team meetings + implementing everything we learned in The Advantage. It's been a game changer.
- Healthy lifestyle, exercise and eating habits! We are shopping differently and are outside several times a week for a family run. I ran my first triathlon this year while I was 6 weeks pregnant! Pretty proud of that.
- Will working at home has been amazing. We established much more margin in our lives after Will stepped down from ministry. We miss it terribly, but we are grateful to have a bit more breathing room for our businesses and family to grow.
- I ate dessert much less often!
- I looked at social media much less by choosing 2 days a week to be completely social media free.
- Meaningful travel memories. We made time for lots of little getaways this year - sometimes with friends, sometimes with family, sometimes alone. We went camping, we enjoyed a trip to Beaufort, and we took our boat out skiing 5 times like we had hoped!
- I spoke at 6 conferences throughout the year. (This list + WPS, Pursue and the spring MTH)
- Consistent study of scripture and morning quiet times has been the foundation for our success.
- Living on less than we make, giving more, and investing more : those were our main financial goals, and we achieved all of them.
- Shooting in film! It was scary and wonderful and expensive and beautiful. All in all, we love it and are on track to be a film studio.

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What about you? What are your hopes and goals for 2015? What will be different for you this year?

One thing I have learned in my years of goal-setting: it is SO inspiring and encouraging to read the goals of friends. If you have blogged or shared your goals somewhere, please leave a link in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!

Comments: 12

  1. Emily January 1, 2015 10:54 am

    I’m so excited for you and Will this year!! What a blessing that little baby is going to be. And the rest of your goals sound amazing as well. You can do it!

    I just posted my goals for the year, still working on goals for this month!

    http://emmalouwrites.com/2015-goals-dreams/

  2. Emily January 1, 2015 12:37 pm

    It sounds like there is a beautiful and joyful year ahead of you!

    My goals for the month of January and the year are up! The biggest thing that is different in terms of goals for this year is putting them on my blog. I just know that it will make me more accountable and encouraged to complete them.

    http://alwaysemmyhope.com/2015/01/01/2015-january-goals/

  3. Jordan Brittley January 1, 2015 1:12 pm

    I’m so excited for you Nancy! Reading through your goals reminded me to break my goals down into smaller parts so that I can keep things specific!

    I know my goals for this month and am still working on my goals for the year (thank you, Lara)!!
    http://www.jordanbrittleyblog.com/2015-january-goals/

  4. Kyla Fetzner January 1, 2015 2:45 pm

    You are incredible Nancy! Your goals are encouraging and I am really benefitting from the resource you included in your email today. I am still working through my goal prep for 2015 but am eager to see what the Lord has for me in the next 365 days :)

  5. Hannah Elizabeth January 1, 2015 9:29 pm

    Thank you so much for the Goal Setting Guide! Such a helpful resource as I tend to feel pretty lost when trying to nail down my goals for the year.

    I love to read your goals. Always inspiring :)

  6. Breanna January 1, 2015 11:23 pm

    So excited for your 2015!!! I am spending this year simplifying my business, my marriage, and my health. I can’t wait to get back to the basics and carve out space for Christ to fill. Thank you so much for you inspiration :) !

  7. Faith January 2, 2015 12:08 pm

    I always look forward to reading your goals every month. They are so inspiring! Watching you grow your family this year will be such a blessing!

    I recently started a blog and posted my own goals yesterday! I’m excited to see how I can follow through with them this year.

  8. Jen Thompson January 2, 2015 12:33 pm

    As always, I enjoyed reading your goals! In the past I’ve never been diligent at setting goals and keeping them. Since I turned 30, I’ve decided to set 30 goals in my first year of 30. Some include: Run a half marathon in the Fall, Write our compassion child once a week, Call friends (not text) on their Birthdays, Build up my Etsy shop and Start my blog! I had hopes of starting my blog last Spring, but our house fire threw a wrench in the process. For 9 months majority of our focus was on our home restoration and claiming receipts for insurance (extremely stressful time!). This year I’m thankful to be settled into our home (again) so that Casey and I can focus on ourselves and each other. As soon as my blog is up, I will share it with you and you can read the rest of my goals! Praying for your year as you let go of more things instead of holding on too tightly, to allow God’s grace to envelop your daily life as He prepares you to be a mom!

  9. 2015 Goals » Leigh Elizabeth Photography January 4, 2015 3:00 pm

    […] reading fellow photographer Nancy Ray’s goal setting advice, I feel like her blog post helped me to set up a framework for my goals. I’ve laid out what […]

  10. Kate January 4, 2015 6:52 pm

    Nancy, I so admire your drive and honesty in your blogging! I really love what you are doing with your business, it’s so inspiring and I love that you are open and honest about your faith and personal life. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you have a beautiful 2015! xx

  11. Stephanie Scholl January 7, 2015 7:43 am

    I absolutely love following along with your goal-planning and feel continuously inspired. Thanks so much for sharing your big dreams – and action plans – with us. I know it’s going to be such a different sort of year for you, but what a blessing it will be to become a mama!!

    I’ve shared my goals for 2015 here: http://stephseekingjoy.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/happy-2015/

  12. 2015 + january goals » A WordPress Site January 10, 2015 12:24 am

    […] school, moving, and job changes it sort of stumped me as to where to even start. I followed “Nancy Ray’s 5 Step Goal Setting Guide” and I have never been more pumped about my goals before. I created meaningful goals that […]

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Dec 31-14

On Turning 28

The Rays ~ by Nancy Ray ~ 4 comments

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Today, I turn 28! My plans for today include :

Drink coffee
Run my birthday 10K!
Get massages with my Mom and Sister
Snuggle with my nieces and nephews
Eat my birthday cake of choice : The Original
Spend some wonderful time with my favorite guy :

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My plans for this year include :

Become a Mama
Steadily grow my business
Take a true, no-work, maternity leave
Care for myself : healthy eating, exercise, and caring for my appearances
Teach others more often. Host a workshop, Speak at a few conferences, blog from my heart
Mentor and pour into my amazing team
Read lots of business, faith, and parenting books!

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 Here's to a wonderful year!

Images taken by Callie and Elizabeth
Film Processing : Indie Film Lab

Comments: 4

  1. Kyla Fetzner December 31, 2014 5:52 pm

    Happiest birthday to you sweet Nancy!! You are a true light and I am so thankful for the positive impact that you have had in my life over the past year.

  2. Leanne Caroline December 31, 2014 8:44 pm

    Happy birthday Nancy. Good luck with your 10K run. Lovely, simple goals. As always, can’t wait to read more and follow as your journey unfolds xo

  3. Leanne Caroline December 31, 2014 8:47 pm

    PS. Saw you on Lara Casey’s “Make it Happen” book trailer, loved your words, I was crying too!

  4. Linnea January 1, 2015 4:42 pm

    Happy birthday Nancy! This year is going to be amazing for you. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me in your life and business.

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Dec 30-14

The Riesland Family

Families ~ by Elizabeth Tate ~ no comments
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I recently had the privilege of photographing the Riesland family at Fearrington Village, and let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air.

One thing that stuck out to me about Zack and Stephanie was how intentionally invested in each other they were. Because I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned chivalry, I notice it when a husband opens the door for his wife. I notice when he offers to carry things (or kids) so that his wife can walk empty handed. I notice the way she treats him in return, the way they look at each other, even while surrounded by complete chaos. In the short time I spent with this sweet couple, I admired them for the way they loved and served each other, and the way they treated each other with respect and consideration above all else.

And their kids... seriously adorable! Each Riesland child is completely full of life and personality. Sometimes, moms and dads have a tendency to be overly restricting during sessions, perhaps at the expense of little Billy Bob's already limited composure. Don't get me wrong, there's a time to reel them in; but at the end of the day, 2 year olds will be 2 year olds. I'm all about letting kids be themselves, and Stephanie and Zack did that. They gave a stern "Sit still" every now and again, and that would buy a few minutes of "perfectly posed", but they also didn't hinder real life. Caris twirled around, Josiah smiled sweetly and made funny faces, Ansley laughed and stared at her mom and dad often, and Ben... sweet little Ben. He was pretty much a party on the go. He was hard to catch, that Ben, but full of joy and laughter whenever we did. Just goes to show that real life is way more fun than perfectly posed.

All in all - an unbelievably beautiful family who I am so happy to have met!

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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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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