• NEWS:

    Registration for Visual Storytelling online course April 6th
    Portland Oregon, San Francisco and Seattle June/July 2015.
    East Coast travel September/October

the conway family | Greenville, SC | Family Storytelling Photographer

The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life. –Faber

Thanks to Jen Conway (amazing Greenville, South Carolina Birth Photographer) and family. xoxo  

by Molly Flanagan

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nerf war + cupcakes | dallas, texas | family storytelling photographer

Hmm, there are so many things I could write about here.  Like, how my rental car got rear-ended on the interstate in the pouring rain on the way to Chris+Ashley’s house.  Or how Ashley is training to be a midwife.  I could write about how Chris travels a ton for work, yet still finds the energy to execute epic nerf gun battles with his son.  Or how Ashley was a surrogate this past year, and she delivered a beautiful baby for a beautiful family just a few weeks before I came down to take their pictures.

But, the thing that I love about Storytelling photography for families is that the big stuff doesn’t really matter.  I have shared it before, but that won’t stop me from sharing it again.  One of my favorite Paul Tripp quotes–

There simply are not many grand moments of life, and we surely don’t live life in those moments.
No, we live in the utterly mundane.
We exist in the bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, and hallways of life.
This is where the character of our life is set.
This is where we live the life of faith.

We think the moments that matter most are the kids perfectly curated Easter outfits, the well deserved job promotion, or that day last fall when every room of the house was clean at the same time.  But the truth is, those places are not where we live.  Those places, while awesome and memorable, are not where our character is built. They are not the places where we become who-we-are.  We become ourselves in the quiet places that no one sees. When we are tying our shoes.  Scheduling a hair appointment.  Reading a bedtime story.  An uneventful morning commute.  When we can’t find our keys and are late for soccer practice.  Those seconds before we hit the snooze button (for the 3rd time).  When we walk to the laundry room to search for a missing sock–

Did you realize the average mom will carry an overflowing laundry basket down the hall more than 10,000 times before her first kid graduates high school? That is a lot of life lived in the hallway!  The mundane moments.  They are important.  Life is not found in bigger+better.  Life is found in snuggles on the couch+cupcake batter+nerf guns+bath-time+daddy’s scrambled eggs.  Those are the moments that count.

by Molly Flanagan

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passenger side window | OBX, NC

 

by Molly Flanagan

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my favorites from 2014 | family photographer

me·mo·ri·al
məˈmôrēəl/
noun
1.
something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event.

For the past year I have been thinking a lot about memorials. Yes, you heard me right — memorials. A year ago I shot a session for a family that was getting ready to move to a different state. The house meant a great deal to them — their first years of marriage, the house they brought their children home to, where they wrestled with one another and with God over various life challenges. That session — it was the first time I saw the importance of what I do for a job. I mean, it isn’t like I am a brain surgeon or a kindergarten teacher or a garbage collector. The world would keep spinning just fine without me here doing my thang. I enjoy it. The people being photographed enjoy it. But it isn’t really important.

That day, however, — as I took pictures of the window sills and front stoops that framed this family’s life for nearly a decade, I got it.

You see, in The Bible, in Joshua 3-4 — similar to Moses and the parting of the Red Sea — God miraculously took the Israelites through the Jordan River on dry land. Once they passed through, the Israelites were commanded to collect twelve big stones from the Jordan and place them in a certain spot. “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

This family was setting up a memorial. Collecting stones from their own Jordan River to commemorate this chapter of their life coming to a close. And just like the kids of the Israelites, this family’s children and grandchildren will be able to flip through the book we complied together and ask, “Why is this here?” The parents will be able to recount God’s faithfulness as their family was just beginning to grow. And I, non-brain surgeon me, was able to play a part in that holy stone-stacking.

I finally got it.

On the outside, it may just look like a simple coffee table book or a pile of rocks on a river bank. But those simple objects serve a greater purpose — to keep the memory from fading. To bring back focus to what is most important. To establish a memorial in honor of the complicated, messy, joyous pieces that fit together to form our lives.

No, it isn’t brain surgery, but it is important.

And now, my own stack of stones.  To those families that joined my *photographic family* in 2014, thank you for trusting me with your stories.  This is my memorial to you…

2013 favorites –> here

by Molly Flanagan

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The Brown Family | anderson, sc | newborn photographer

“God loves you so strong and so deep like
two big seas put together.  you are the
salt of the world.
he will never give up on you.
trust in the Lord.”
-Yaden Brown, 8 years old

Other times Melinda Brown and Family have been featured here:
Grove Hospital | Grove Maternity | Scout Maternity | Playdate 

Storytelling Sessions take place in your home and last about 2 hours.
Local pricing begins at $350.
Travel Session are approximately $1900.
One-on-one online or In-person mentoring available for $600-$896.
Contact me for more information on how to book a session to tell your family’s story.

 

by Molly Flanagan

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