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


a little something for you (Paris edition)

a little something to thank you for your support of the Epic Thanks 2011 campaign which has helped raise enough funds to get a secondary school up at Shepherds Junior with at least four classrooms, restrooms, a well, solar power, a science lab, a kindle library/technology lab, a kitchen, enough beds for the school's first class and more!

I am so, so grateful for all the miracles you made possible.

thank you, thank you all so much.

download your free printable 2012 calendar here.


today, I'm happy

because I barely picked up my camera for the past 6 months unless for commissioned work and short family trips. and it doesn't really matter.

that I didn't get what I wanted in the first place. because it opened more doors than I could possibly have imagined, propelling me in the direction of new dreams.

that loading my Polaroid sx-70 with film makes my heart leap again.

because I walked (and had lunch) with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous. and have never had more convinction about what I am doing.

because even though his changing behavior has been most disconcerting and our relationship strained the past couple of months (and I am now wrapping my head around the fact that I have a pre-teen), my son taught me how to play chess last night. and if this isn't the most awesome thing in the world, I don't know what is.

b for bonnie


Paris hearts Instagram, too

new Instagram love: @bonnietsang @ericabartel @doublecap @monchouchou



"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