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



"you think this is just another day in your life. it's not just another day. it's the one day that is given to you, today. it's a gift, it's the only gift that you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. if you do nothing else but cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

so I wish you that you would open your heart to all these blessings and let them flow through you. that everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you. just by your eyes. by your smile. by your touch. just by your presence.

let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.

then it will really be a good day."

- Louie Schwartzberg, Happiness Revealed

Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

make it a really good day.


Epic Thanks

today. and every day. they make me laugh, pick up after them, roll my eyes, say no, love unconditionally, question myself, proud, play board games, learn new lessons, and grateful beyond words.

my crazy little monkeys.

what are you grateful for?

note: I am hosting the Epic Thanks 2011 Benefit Art Sale where a group of talented women have graciously donated original artwork to benefit the Epic Thanks 2011 campaign. all proceeds from the sales will be invested in expanding the efforts of Mama Lucy Kamptoni and building a secondary school at Shepherds Junior in Arusha, Tanzania. I hope you'll celebrate Epic Thanks with us!


I think I'm in love

I've finally had the first roll of Kodak Portra 400 film that I shot with the Leica Minilux developed last week. and just like that. a wave of contentment washing over me. and months of instant frustration, all gone as an expired breath.


"decide if you're Tigger or Eeyore"

experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

brick walls are there to let us show our dedication.

tell the truth.

be earnest.           

apologize when you screw up.

focus on others, not yourself.

get a feedback loop. and listen to it.

don't complain, just work harder.

be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity.

decide if you're Tigger or Eeyore.

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture


why I love my job

each summer, French non-profit organization Secours Populaire Français provides trips and activities for children who might otherwise never have the opportunity to go on holiday. this year, 5000 children from age 6 to 12 spent a day on the large beach of Cabourg, swimming in the ocean and playing under the glorious Normandy sun. and it was my job, and privilege, to document this day.

more photos here.


how to have a fun vacation (Swiss edition)

watch the early morning sunrise over the Alps.

try every cheese and honey pairing until you pick the perfect combination for your palate (mine is brie and spicy honey).

take outdoor naps. lots of them.

pat every goat you may encounter during your hike even if the mountain guide strongly advised you not to and enjoy the company of a new, loyal friend.

break into "the hills are alive!" (you know you want to.)


away we go

I can't wait to share with you details about working with French non-profit organization Secours Populaire Français. about the surge of joy, and gratitude. about the learning and the lessons. and how, for the first time in a while, all the pieces fit nicely together. but for now we are off on a much anticipated family trip in the Alps before school starts in 10 days. and we couldn't be more excited.

hope your summer has been nothing but lovely.

Sally J Shim


I heart instagram

more Instagram love: @hulaseventy @emichyxxx @cinloughridge @fotomo


Bastille Day


to mama with love

To Mama With Love is a collaborative online art project that honors moms across the globe and raises funds to invest in remarkable women who are transforming the world. participants create heartspaces that include words, videos, photos & investments in honor of mamas they love. last year, the site attracted over 13,000 visits from across the globe and raised nearly $17,000, which was invested to build a children's home in Arusha, Tanzania. 

this year, the funds raised will be invested to expand the efforts of four extraordinary women who are building schools in Tanzania, providing education and loving care for local children in Nepal, and running shelters for women in Afghanistan.

so this Mother's Day, show a mama your love and change the world!

note: a group of talented women photographers have graciously donated original prints to benefit the To Mama With Love 2011 campaign. much much love and gratitude to Xanthe Berkeley, Rachel JamesJennifer Way, Lisa Field-Eliott, Meredith Winn, Lynn Van Der Velden-Elliott, Azuree Wiitala, Myla Kent, Stephanie C. Roberts, Jenny Vorwaller, Tomoko Matsubayashi, Fernanda Montoro, Kathya EthingtonKristin Zecchinelli and Jennifer Evans. I'm honored to call you friends.