• NEWS:

    Some places I will be passing through in summer/fall 2015
    and am available for family sessions/mentorships:
    Edinburgh // Sonoma // San Francisco // Portland ME+OR //
    Seattle // Mt Vernon WA // Dallas // Raleigh // Richmond // Baltimore //
    Eastern Shore, MD // Philly // New York // New Jersey // Halifax, NS

nemours children’s hospital | commercial lifestyle photographer

This summer I got to shoot a commercial project in Orlando, Florida for Nemours Children’s Hospital.  It was a really amazing experience… much like shooting a regular family session, except there were stylists and wardrobe people, and art directors, and tons of catered food and snacks and at least 10 people standing behind me watching at any given time.  My husband and kids came too and we got to go to Disney World and stay in a hotel with soft white robes and 6 swimming pools!  This will definitely be one of those stories that I tell my grandkids one day.  Here are a bunch of my favorites:

by Molly Flanagan

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ashley’s story | anderson, sc | storytelling photographer

A photograph is a small moment in time… life snatched up at 1/100th of a second.  It is a sliver of a story so big, so complex– how can I communicate the fullness of life in a fraction of a second?  How can I communicate enough of Ashley’s story here before your mobile-device-infected attention span conks out?  I’m not sure it is possible. If it is, I haven’t figured it out yet.

Some time-slivers in Ashley’s life are a career as a Marine.  A thyroid cancer diagnosis.  Meeting the man of her dreams, then marrying him.  Having his baby.  There was that time he saw a gigantic stuffed tiger at the drug store — the very first gift he bought for his daughter.  Cooking amazing meals.  Drinking wine.  Lots of time-slivers of laughing.

Then there were those time-slivers when he was tired.  Really tired.  And at first he needed to just suck it up.  But then it got worse.  There was a heart transplant.  But his heart– the man of her dreams – his body wasn’t strong enough to take it and he passed away.  Leaving behind a wife, a toddler, and a little baby.  A baby that was also in and out of the hospital battling his own health concerns that have left him unable to take food and drink like most other little ones.

The last few years of Ashley’s life play out like a Lifetime movie.  But the story didn’t end at the hospital–

Ashley recently moved here to Anderson. A new town, away from her own family.  This is the town where her husband grew up.  Her kids will never have a memory of their father.  They were too young.  But maybe they can know him through his family. Their grandparents.  Their aunts and uncles and cousins.  The ones that look like him and talk like him. The ones that have the same laugh, the same hands, the same quirks.  The ones that can retell memory after memory.  Time-sliver after time-sliver — so they WILL know their father.

The pictures below are merely 46 tiny time-slivers recorded on a normal, uneventful day.  But they are real.  Glimmers of what is to come.  They are the beginning:  A new town.  A new home.  So new the pictures are not hung and the couch is on back-order.  New paint on the walls.  New memories to make.  These slivers of time announce the beginning of a new chapter in Ashley’s life.  But they are also a monument lifted in heart-wrenching honor of the messy/beautiful/painful/hopeful slivers that have led up to today.  Humbly declaring that life and death and all the bits in-between are out of our control.  So the only thing we can do is Trust with hopefilled Faith that sense will one day be made of what now feels senseless.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 The weight of loss hangs heavy in the air.
As a chair once occupied now sits empty.
Yet the weight of glory hangs thicker.
Like a cloak of peace around her shoulders.
She feels this unseen substance, proof of things hoped for.
And knows, though the balance teeters,
This weight of glory makes momentary afflictions light.

by Molly Flanagan

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christmas tree day | anderson, sc

by Molly Flanagan

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poppop | raleigh, nc | family photographer

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Poppop is a retired entomologist from NC State.  I assumed that he was one of those kids that had jars full of bugs on his dresser, but he didn’t become interested in insects until he had a summer job hunting down mosquito breeding areas for the city.  By the end of the summer, he realized he loved it and went on to spend the rest of his life hunting for bugs.  He spent time in South East Asia studying the effects of insects on peanut crops and he brought home a lot of interesting pieces of art that still decorate his home.

While I was in Raleigh, Poppop’s daughter, two of her daughters plus all of their little ones came up from the coast for the weekend.  Poppop met his youngest grandchild for the first time (by the way this was his first time giving a baby a bottle, which was such an awesome moment to see!) and showed the kids some of his prized butterflies.  Poppop was married to Grandma for over 60 years.  She passed away 4 years ago, but her presence continues to linger throughout the house. In fact, her purse still sits in the hallway by the front door.  Grandma loved to bake and one of her favorite recipes was cream puffs, so the ladies decided to make a batch in her honor while I was there.  Poppop tasted the cream puffs and complimented the girls, but admitted that they were not as good as Grandmas.

One of my favorite things I noticed about Poppop was that he is never without a can of Diet Coke in his hand.  He said when he goes out he always takes two cans with him, one regular and one caffeine free.  If he starts to get a little sleepy he will pop open the regular, if not he goes with caffeine free!  Soon Poppop will be moving towards the coast to be closer to family.  This house, which he built 50 years ago, will be sold.  This wasn’t even my family, but I wanted to hold on to every little detail and tiny moment.  The phone on the wall with the curly cord.  Mommom’s collection of elephant figurines.  The heavy drapes and red kitchen counter tops.  Each corner of the home contains decades of memories.  And each moment spent with Poppop has been treasured by his family.

 

by Molly Flanagan

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the s family | small town near the north carolina coast

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I don’t look on poetry as closed works.
I feel they’re going on all the time in my head and I occasionally snip off a length.
-john ashbery

by Molly Flanagan

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