slide show

Monday, March 19, 2018

Liz & Travis

Meet Liz and Travis.
They're having their first baby in August, and Liz is pretty convinced it's gonna be a boy. 

It's a girl! 
My dear friend, Taylor of Taylor K Photography set up this shoot, and I was lucky enough to tag along. Thank you, Taylor for including me! 
And congratulations, Liz & Travis on your new daughter!

From a mama of 4 daughters I can say that it doesn't matter if she's a girly girl or a ninja or karate dog or a nurse, if her favorite color is pink or black or blue or golden, if she loves dresses or wouldn't dare be caught in one, if she wants to have a daughter of her own someday or kids aren't her thing... 

You are going to love being the mama to a daughter! I promise!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Let's Play Ball!

This boy lives and breathes baseball.  
Most of us love baseball here in the Crazy House, but he will sit and watch a baseball game for hours on tv. If he has someone to ask a gazillion questions to about the game as he watches it, even better. He loves to play it and he love to watch it, but just as much even more he loves to study it and learn baseball. Every play, the statistics, the players, the whys and wherefores... baseball is his thing.
This year he's adding a whole 'nother thing to think about, pitching. The Man Child briefly pitched about 10 years ago. It was no less stressing but I was 10 years younger so maybe that helped. If you've never been a mama of a pitcher, especially a new pitcher, you know that nervous, stressed-out, mama-sitting-in-the-bleachers feeling that I had as I he approached the mound that evening. 
In the end, he did quite really well for it being his first time. 3 up and 3 down, 2 innings in a row. With the help of his team mates a couple of pitcher-to-1st base outs. And I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing him on the mound again soon!  
Congratulations, my sweet son. I love that you love this so much. I love that you have passion not in baseball, but in your heart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ordinary Miracles Photography Workshop (The families)

One more gallery from the workshop, and I promise I'll move on to other stuff.

The families.

The wonderful families and their kiddos!
A note about how we run our shoots at our workshops. None of the "models" are actually models. Like they are our models but they aren't model models with any experience or anything. And actually we prefer "models" that are just plain ol families becuase that gives the photographers the type of practice they value most. We look for volunteers in the area we hold the workshop at and look for people who are willing to be patient with us (and by "us" I mean 20-ish photographers who are at varying degrees of learning) for 2ish hours while we teach and shoot and get experience doing what we love, making beautiful images.
I don't know how it happens, but again in Scottsdale this year, we so lucked out with these amazing families (and teens from the first shoot.) They families were just so patient (and really dads aren't that patient sometimes 'cause sometimes they are there just because their wives really wanted them to be. And that's not necessarily an easy thing for dads to do, especially when the kiddos start to melt down about 45 minutes into the shoot.) They were just so great. Yes sometimes the kiddos melted down. We expect that. We tell the families to take breaks when need be and often that's we we get our best pics. We try to make it a fun experience for all the families. All have to sign a model release which allows all the photographers to use the images they took for advertising, teaching, marketing...
The photographers maintain their copyrights for the photographs, but in exchange the families get free digital images from all the photographers, each with their own editing and artistic style, with a print release to do whatever they want with their photos. They can get them printed on huge canvases or plaster them on Instagram or all over their Facebook page... really it's a win-win situation for both the models and the families.
Personally, I don't get to shoot as much at these events as I'd like. I do a lots of making sure things are running smoothly, teaching... and crying. 

Side note... I cry at all photoshoots. I really do. Photography can be a really intimate thing. Seeing a family or a child, hearing what they say to one another, connecting to these people, seeing the love they share and little glimpses into their souls, the very reasons that they love one another... It is a very special honor to share these intimate moment with them.  

And it makes me cry every single time. 
Thank you my dear families. Thank you so very much for letting me, letting all of us really get to know you and capture some of your specialness in photos. You made it possible, and it was our pleasure.

And maybe, to those of you reading along here. We've been changing the city of the workshop every year. Maybe we'll come to your city someday for a workshop and be able to capture some of your family's specialness too! I would love to do that!

Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Photographer referral in your neck of the woods!

Photo credit to my friend, the lovely and talented Taylor of Taylor K Photography listed below.
Taken at my workshop with many of my students, several of which are listed below! 
I've been lucky enough to meet and get to know some amazing photographers from all over the country, and over the years I've been blessed to call many of them my friends! I also get asked for photographer referrals from all over the country too. So, continuing in the tradition of passing on the good stuff, the following is a list of photographers from all over the country that I could not recommend more. Amazing women! (Nothing against the men folk. It just so happens that they are all women folk!) Crazy talented women from all over the United States, ('Merica as Ru calls it!) All of which I know personally and wouldn't hesitate even a tiny little bit to have them snap our own family's pics if I could. Some of them are/were students of Ordinary Miracles Photography classes, who decided to step past taking photos of their own family and children and go into business! And others are women I've met along my own photography journey, equally as talented and amazing. There skills behind the lens is just too good to not pass on, and I hope you'll reach out to them for your own family photos when the need arises.

And seeing as how most of them don't live close to me... well... I'm just going to have to beg them to come visit me soon and take our family photos! Or I can show up at their house unannounced with all my whole family in tow for a visit at their house! But then I'd need to bring a casserole at least... and a casserole without tatter tots 'cause that's just gross.

So if you're looking for an amazing photographer, please look up one of these lovely ladies and just soak up their talent and let them bless you with images that will your love! If you're going on vacation, consider looking up a photographer to wherever you're going, 'cause that's the best type of souvenir of all, and it doubles as your Christmas card photo!

If I don't have your area listed below, shoot me a message, and I'll find one wherever you are, 'cause each of these ladies also knows a handful and amazing photographers, and supporting small business owners is a good thing indeed!

Washington DC area and Manasass, VA, Kathleen of Pics By Kathleen  
Boston Area, MA, Christina of Christina Wilbur Photography    
Maryland, Delaware and northern VA, Carrie of Carrie D Photography 
New York City, NY, Summer of Summer LaLande Photogrpahy
Lansdale, PA, Carrie of Cabesh Photography
Vero Beach FL, Sennie of Stories of Joy Photography
Tennessee, Shannon of Shannon Benfield Photography 
Atlanta, GA, Kelley of Pear Tree Photography    
Chicago, IL, Tyrie of Tyrie Mehaffey Photography  
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Bonnie of Bonnie Ducharme Photography  
Las Vegas, NV, Lesli of Lesli Street Photography 
Salt Lake City, UT, but really ALL OVER the globe, Wendy & Tyler of Blue Lily Photography
Metro Phoenix, AZ April of April Yarger Photography
Metro Phoenix, AZ, Kate of Songs Kate Sang Photography 
Metro Phoenix, AZ, Kim of 40 Love Photography
Long Beach, CA and area, Taylor of Taylor K Photography
SanFrancisco Bay area, CA, Alicia of Grey Wren Photography
SanFrancisco Bay area, CA,  Laura of Lulu Jane Photography
SanFrancisco Bay area, CA, Denise of Denise Beatty Photography  
Snohomish county, WA, Jamie of Focal Point Photography

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Ordinary Miracles Workshop (Part III-When I may or may not have come undone)

It should not have surprised me at all, seeing as how I was at a photography workshop and all, surrounded by a whole bunch of photographers that had cameras hanging from their necks, a whole bunch of ladies that love photography and capturing moments and images as much as I do...
...that they'd eventually point the camera in my direction.
And of course they did.

You see one of our models for the teen shoot, who coincidentally has found himself in front of my lens for the last 19 years, was my son, The Man Child. And he rocked it if I don't say so myself!

But there came a moment in the middle of the 2 hour shoot, when some of these amazing photographers, my students, said something along the lines of, Hey Nancy, why don't you get in a shot or 2 or 20 with your son? And I said, Heck no, my friends! First off I'm the teacher here so I don't think I can spare the time. Not to mention that I am very sweaty and my workshop hair is less than flattering. My face is totally red, and did you see this grey? White-shirts don't photography well. And oh no that most certainly is not happening! Of course! I'd love too!

And I am so so so happy I said yes.
I am thrilled to have these photos.
They make me so happy that I don't think I can even explain it! That I have this moment captured forever and ever.
You see, as we were standing there, The Man Child and I, something happened. Something happened to me. The Man Child stood there all confident and handsomely in his man bun. Me not so much. I'm not comfortable in front of the camera, but even so I've been trying more and more these days to be in front of the lens too. So I did. And I smiled and took direction from these amazing photographers.

And then... all of a sudden... it happened.

Maybe it was the way my son put his strong muscular arm around me, not a chubby toddler arm or even a young-adult tween arm. But rather a man's arm wrapped around my shoulder, and it was the same preemie arm that 19 years ago that I reach into the incubator in the NICU and touched when he was first born.

Maybe it was that moment when I briefly looked over and saw his smile, and I remembered that it was that same smile so many years ago that coaxed the first joy and laughter out of very very scared babies, Tess and Mimi.

Maybe it was the memory of that very same kid that ran away 'cause 5th grade homework was too hard. And it really was.

The one that learned that snow isn't so soft after all.
It all just came rushing back in that moment, all those little so-crazy-important ordinary miracles that that this child has blessed me with over the years. The memories flooded my mind. The challenges and all the overcoming and hurdle jumping. The dance parties and his uniqueness. And he saw a tear roll down my cheek, and he held me a little tighter, in his protective amazing arms. I flashed forward to my 70's or God willing my 80's or 90's... and his arm still around me when I might need it the most.

I realized that my job as a parent, my job parenting him day in and day out, is largely done.
And I came undone.

Photo Credit goes to the amazing, beautiful and talented, my friend, Christina Wilbur of Christina Wilbur Photography.
Thank you, my friend. Thank you so so very much.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ordinary Miracles Workshop (Part II-the teens)

Back at our workshop, we had 2 amazing photo shoots. the first was a teen shoot in a real junk yard. And by junk yard I mean salvage yard which I thought was the same thing, but I've since learned isn't. We were able to get a group with both guys and girls, ages 13-19, because photographing them is so different and requires a different skill set and the shoot was about 2 hours long. 2 of them are twins and I'll leave it to you to figure out which ones they are! And without exaggeration, it might have been my favorite photo shoot of all time!
See, aren't they amazing! None of these young people are professional or working models. Several are the children of the participants. All of them are amazing and were so wonderful to work with!

Next up... the family shoot!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 years ago...

Mimi walked through the door of our hotel room and into our forever.
Or rather she was carried.
And it has truly been such an amazing, wonderful, glorious, glittery and pink-sparkly filled 6 years with this girl, our daughter, with many more years to come!
And anyone who wears a tiara and pink hair extensions with their outfit just 'cause is pretty awesome in my book!

Happy family-aversary, my love!

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