hi, I'm Irene and this is my blog. all images and content © 2005-2016 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


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.


how to have a fun vacation (Rome edition)

ditch the travel guidebook for one day.

pick a new word in Italian and repeat it endlessly (mine was grazie).

try every flavor of gelato until you find the perfect combination.

have pillow fights in your hotel room.

practice your voiceover skills. who knew that watching SpongeBob in Italian could be so fun?


London vs Paris

I am most excited today to share with you the new project and collaboration I've been working on the past few weeks with my fellow Shutter Sister Xanthe Berkeley.

London vs Paris: a photographic treasure hunt, looking for the beauty in ordinary things in London and Paris

we hope you'll like it.


you're 9!

9 things my sons have taught me:

being a mother is being on auto-repeat mode pretty much all the time.

how to (kick ass) play Wii hockey on Mario Sports Mix.

they will forget how many hours you spent crafting birthday invitations but will always remember that one day you were late picking them up for school.

to laugh at my own incompetence and mistakes.

doing the thing you love and that you do well for even a couple of hours a week can make everything else more enjoyable.

life balance is overrated.

kids need more of your attention and involvement as they get older, not less.

farting and then lying about it is not cool, no matter what age you are or what the circumstances might be.

learning to lose gracefully takes time.

I love you my crazy little monkeys.

Happy Birthday!

Fine Little Gallery featuring some of Will's drawings (thank you Elisabeth!)


on my to-stop-doing list today

spending a considerable amount of time and energy stressing out over things that I swore I would never worry about, such as elementary report cards, feed subscribers and body shape.

saying yes to unnecessary obligations and tasks that keep my focus away from what I really love and enjoy doing.

believing that I must work a certain number of hours each day (and make a certain amount of money each month) to feel legitimate as a writer and photographer.

thinking about that screenplay, and actually write it.

being so serious.

some things that are helping:

take that nap by Lisa Baldwin

remembering your genius. the artist in you. by Bindu Wiles

the simplest diet for lean fitness by Leo Babauta

and Sir Ken Robinson, always.