hi, I'm Irene and this is my blog. all images and content © 2005-2019 Irene Nam unless stated otherwise. please do not use original images without permission. thank you!


in loving memory of
Oliver Yu-An Nam
Feb 1 - May 20 2014


summer manifesto

it's about giving the dryer a nice, long break, eggplant nail polish, perfecting my potato salad recipe and wearing sun cream every day.

about jazz festivals, Toy Story 3, shopping for school supplies, more books from the local library and opening ourselves up to joyful idleness.

it's about old friends and new adventures, where laughter and simple beauty are revered.

it's about being kind to my body, to my self.

(please check the issue 6 of UPPERCASE magazine featuring photos and an article about my favorite cafés in Seoul, South Korea. many thanks to publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool.)


strawberry picking

trying to figure out marketing, image processing and packaging ideas for a new business project of mine, and learning that inspiration, like summer bliss, comes in spurts.

sometimes I just need to be a little patient.

Peta Mazey Photography


my best friend from kindergarten

she's the one I call to whine about the extra fat around my waist, update my portfolio, or when I am faced with the decision of whether or not to let my boys meet my long estranged father. the one I've been through puberty, hair disasters, and the breastmilk vs. formula debate with. after nearly 30 years she's still the one I like to embarrass in public places, disagree with on many things yet very few important matters, and whose couch I love to fall asleep in.

she's my running partner, the wind beneath my wings, my best friend from kindergarten.

Sharon Montrose


it's here

it's been an incredible journey, a labor of love, a valuable lesson in living the writer's life, and sisterhood. 

many many thanks to Tracey, Karen, Paige, Maile, Sarah-Ji, Jen, Andrea, Stephanie and Kate for helping me love, accept and approve of exactly who I am, and everyone who has supported Shutter Sisters in one form or another for the past two years.

I am inspired, giddy, humbled and grateful beyond words.




Polaroid shoes

this past weekend I entered a room full of strangers, jumped on a hotel bed (for a photography assignment, but it was fun nonetheless), asked stupid questions, fell in love, photographed an unborn child, learned about white balance and made 21 new friends.

so once in a while, go ahead and do that crazy little thing. and watch as the magic unfolds.

Jesh de Rox


sunrise in Tokyo



slowly recovering from six weeks of sick kids, doctor appointments and banana-flavored antibiotics, and learning to acknowledge and unashamedly own my feelings for what they are, even when they're revealing parts of my humanness that I'm not proud of.


I am not fond of the paint color that my husband chose for our entry hall, even if I repeatedly asked him to.

sometimes I sing to my sons just because it makes me feel like a rock star.

on my birthday, I am four again.

the only thing you can change


let me just tell you this

I wish I were allowed to write about it here, but I'm not. so let me just tell you this.

today I'm grateful. I'm grateful for planting cherry tomatoes, basil and chamomile with my sons. I'm grateful for caring friends who make time to listen, for Ben & Jerry cookie dough ice cream, and the unwavering strength that I'm capable of as a mother. I'm grateful for understanding what matters most and the things I waste my time worrying and thinking about. knowing that two days ago my life could have turned into a parent's worst nightmare. and that under different circumstances, I would give anything to have what I have right now. 

miki** (via abby try again)


spring manifesto 2010

it's about planting vegetable and herb seeds.

about wiping up the balsamic vinegar dressing on my plate with a piece of bread, chatting with my best friend from kindergarten, holding a glass of wine, wearing my favorite t-shirt, with my sunglasses on and Polaroid camera loaded with film. finally.

it's about turning 33.

about stocking up on allergy medication, about yoga practice, handwritten letters, signing up for a cupcake class and repainting the entry hall anything but white.

it's about planning Sean and Will's birthday party with a 2-month delay and a family trip this summer as part of a long-term project that my husband and I have recently picked up.

it's about being passionate about what I do.

inspired by Shari.

spring manifesto 2009

so you want to buy a film camera