• NEWS:

    Dallas/Fort Worth - January + July
    Edinburgh/London - early April
    Sonoma/San Francisco/Seattle Area (Tentatively) - early June
    New York - September
    Mentorship Spots now available for 2015
    Visual Storytelling Class offered again January

get out of the road | personal | anderson, sc

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Hey, remember that summer when it was super hot and never rained and the mosquitoes were terrible?  Then one evening a tiny cold front came through and we got to sleep with the windows open and run around in the yard and we knew everything was going to be okay?

In the spiritual life God chooses to try our patience first of all by His slowness. He is slow: we are swift and precipitate.  It is because we are but for a time, and He has been for eternity. Thus grace, for the most part, acts slowly. He works little by little. Sweetly and strongly He compasses His ends, but with a slowness which tires our faith because it is so great a mystery. We must fasten upon this attribute of God in our growth in holiness. There is something greatly overawing in the extreme slowness of God. Let it overshadow our souls, but let it not disquiet them. We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and the lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and He will come. He never comes to those who do not wait. He does not go their road. When He comes, go with Him, but go slowly, fall a little behind; when he quickens His pace, be sure of it, before you quicken yours. But when He slackens, slacken at once: and do not be slow only, but silent, very silent, for He is God.  - Fredrick Faber

by Molly Flanagan

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visual storytelling | the define school

As photographers we have the power to tell stories of extraordinary and mundane moments that will become a part of our collective history. Rather than posing life’s moments, step away from typical photographer-driven pictures and learn to let life speak for itself.

In this 4-week class we will go beyond merely taking a pretty picture. We will explore the key elements one must know to tell realistic and compelling visual stories. We will discover how to work with clients, friends and our family members without manipulating or posing. The end result will be stepping away with a holistic depiction of our lives in photographs.

Lastly, we will learn how to photograph and display our images to best showcase them as they are: stories.

Registration opens Monday, August 25, 2014 at noon EST at: The Define School

it isn’t pretty but it is beautiful | maternity photographer | greenville, sc

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This has been a difficult pregnancy for my friend Melinda.  It’s summertime in South Carolina//with 4 young children//in the midst of renovating a small country home//and she has been experiencing debilitating back pain for the past several weeks.  The supernatural urge to nest has been replaced with bed rest.  Elaborate nursery decorations are replaced with closet renovations to carve out a spot for another crib.  All the things that a pregnant lady normally finds comfort in have been stripped away, exposing the raw honest truth of the cost we count when becoming a parent.  No matter what the baby magazines tell you, the truth is —  it isn’t pretty. Becoming a parent (and being one … and, well, being a human in general) is messy, painful, humbling, laden with risk, and it smells nothing like baby powder.

It isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful.

Russell Moore, in his book Tempted and Tried, said:  Risk is inherent in every kind of other-directed life. Marriage could result in infidelity. Having children means you may well experience the anguish of seeing one of those children killed in a car accident or shipped home in a casket from a foreign war or sentenced to life without parole in a federal penitentiary. Courage isn’t protecting yourself in a cocoon from these possibilities. Courage is walking forward and embracing others in love even though you may suffer greatly in ways you could never imagine now. Jesus walked that way before you, and he walks that way now with you. That’s the way of the cross.

Risk.  It doesn’t make sense.  It isn’t safe.  And it certainly isn’t pretty.  I so often settle for pretty, manufacturing an organized and predictable life that makes sense.  But, I am learning (so slowly) that life isn’t designed to be safe.  It is made to be given away.  A life of self-preservation only leads to a stagnant existence.  We are created to take chances, be vulnerable, and put others before ourselves.  We are called to break free from the stale cocoon of self-preservation and give all we have freely.  It is messy, humbling, and laden with risk.

When we love with abandon, it isn’t pretty or safe.  But what it births is a fierce and wild beauty that cannot be contained.  My friend Melinda is walking out this kind of deep love –

It isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful.

I do not need safety As much as I need You You’re dangerous But Lord You’re beautiful - Rend Collective

 

by Molly Flanagan

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my favorites from 2013 | storytelling photographer

Well, I’m more than half a year overdue, but I managed to put together some of my favorite pictures from 2013.  Last year was a whirlwind, so taking some time to look back and enjoying all these memories was really wonderful!  On one of my flights last fall an older gentleman sitting next to me said that I should have a book printed from each of my sessions because when I am an old lady I will love looking back at these stories and reliving them.  I think he is right.  I can totally see a wrinkly version of myself forcing my grandkids to thumb through books as I tell them about all of these cool families I had an honor to meet.

If you aren’t familiar with my approach to family photography, I document real life in an artistic manner.  Spending a couple of hours with a family in their home as they live life together.  It is very low stress and enjoyable for the families to set aside time to celebrate the moments that are often overlooked as we get busy with life’s responsibilities outside the home.

To each of the families that entrusted me with your homes and hearts last year.  Thank you Thank you Thank you!  Getting in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking… let alone opening up your home and having intimate family moments recorded.  I am thankful you trusted me really *see* your family and show you the complex beauty that takes place in your home. I truly LOVE each one of you and am so happy to know you!

To those of you that I have not had the honor of welcoming to my photographic-family… if you have considered thinking outside the box for your family photos and not restricting your memories to smile-at-the-camera portraits, then I invite you to be a part of this collective story of “The Heart of the Home”.

Thank you 2013… you were pretty amazing…

Click here to read an interview with a past client about her experience with an in-home storytelling session.

Storytelling Sessions take place in your home – Last around 2 hours – Pricing begins at $350 – I am based out of Anderson, South Carolina but am available to travel to your home no matter where you live (cool houses and well behaved children are not required). Email me at hello (at) mollyflanagan (dot) com if you would like more information!

by Molly Flanagan

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cogan’s 8th birthday | personal | anderson, sc

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Well if there is one thing I learned last week it is how to spell diarreah diharrea, er diarrhea.  No need to go into all the details, but on Cogan’s birthday a pipe burst somewhere in our town and we essentially had no water for an entire day while at the same time my daughter kicked off a horrible stomach virus that made it’s way through our home.  I had so many great plans to make Cogan’s birthday amazing, and my heart broke for him all day, knowing that there was nothing I could do to make it fun.  Fortunately, by the end of the day he declared it was “the best birthday ever.”  So this is a very disjointed birthday story that consisted mostly of him watching Netflix and playing Minecraft.  Which, I guess when you think about it really is the best birthday ever for an 8 year old boy.

Every year I ask my kids the same questions on their birthday (plus a couple he wanted to add):

Favorite TV Show:  Phineas and Ferb
Favorite Movie:  Star Wars
Favorite Food:  Steak
Favorite Fruit:  Blueberries
Favorite Vegetable: Broccoli
Favorite Color:  Hot pink and neon green
Favorite Restaurant:  Texas Roadhouse
Favorite Dessert:  Mint ice cream with a cherry on top
Favorite Drink:  ”Soda.  Every soda, I can’t choose!”
Favorite Time of Day:  ”Washington Thursday!  Just kidding!  That’s not even a time!  Maybe afternoon because that is when I play the most.”
Favorite Sport:  Football
Favorite Character:  Anakin Solo
Favorite Toy:  Ipod or Legos
Favorite Song:  ”What Does the Fox Say” and Abide
Favorite Minecraft Song:  ”What Does the Squid Say” and “Lets Have Some Fun in Minecraft”
Favorite Game:  Minecraft, Fancy Pants, and Turbo Fast
Favorite Book:  ”That’s hard because I don’t like any books.  ’A-Z Mysteries’ and ‘Magic Treehouse’.”
Favorite Read-Aloud Book:  Narnia Series

Cogan’s 4th Birthday.  Cogan’s 5th Birthday.  Cogan’s 7th Birthday.

by Molly Flanagan

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