An Amazing Announcement!
So, so, so, so, so, so, so very excited to now let the secret out that my dear friend, Nathan Morgan, will be moving his sweet family to Kentucky where he will become my freaking co-worker! Yes, you read that right - Nathan is coming on board at Lizzie Loo. Some of you have had the pleasure of meeting Nathan as he photographs weddings with me, while others of you will get that same pleasure this May when Nathan and his wife, Kelly and their son, Milo move back to the bluegrass. So why Nathan? What will he be doing? And where did I find him? Glad you asked! I will entertain you with some photos while I answer Q&A style!
First things, first. If you don't remember Nathan from a time you've met, you may remember them from a little session we did last summer when they visited, here.
Why Nathan? And to that I answer, why not Nathan? To give you a little back story, we attended Western Kentucky University together. He was often a great help in editing my stories, encouraging classmates and checking gear out to us all, but it was in his final summer there that we got to help teach a summer workshop. For a week we hung out with minority high school kiddos interested in a journalism career. We documented their whole trip and spent the final 48 hours (I won't lie, Nathan stayed up for most of it, I, on the other hand took naps and made the Starbucks runs) producing a multimedia piece about their experience and work. To say Nathan worked hard on the piece would be an understatement. Not only was I a big fan of his hard work, but I was always amazed by his ability to balance family with school and our workload. And family was always the priority, of which I am a huge fan. Nathan and I shoot very similarly, we approach life with the same chill and I think you will find him just as easy to be around and be photographed as you find me (I hope!).
While in school, Nathan interned in Memphis at their newspaper and left WKU for Midland, Michigan where he took a position as a staff photojournalist. He and Kelly moved in July of that year, and somehow Nathan managed to win Michigan Press Photographer's 2008 Photographer of the Year. Yes - Mr. Morgan only worked in Michigan for 6 months and kicked tail immediately. It was during this time that he began coming to Kentucky to photograph weddings with me. I enjoyed his skills, he enjoyed the break and he blended seamlessly with the groom and groomsman. While shooting our first wedding, we made a joke that it would be fun to do this one day on a more regular basis, and there the seed was planted. Since then Nathan, Kelly and I have been Skyping, scheming, chatting and praying for an opportunity to bring them back to Kentucky and into the Loo family.
You say this Nathan fellah is fun, talented and easy going - what's he all about? Well, I asked them to each make a list of favorites, so take a gander at Nathan's. Good movies, being nostalgic, road trips, new shoes, grillin' out, family traditions, airports, making people smile, Christmas, hoodies, coffee, fire places, crisp fall days, old things, fireflies, technology, hot air balloons and fresh air.
What will Nathan be doing at Lizzie Loo? Nathan has an amazing ability to meet and greet folks, get them comfortable in front of the camera and get to creating great portraits without missing a beat. He'll be a photographer first, because that is his first love in this field. He'll specialize in weddings, high school senior fellahs and families. Can you hire him for any sort of other session? Absolutely! Nathan will be working 5 days a week, so you'll see him out at weddings with me, out at weddings of his own, in the store wrapping up your headband purchase, at ordering sessions, behind the iMac editing weddings, sweeping the sidewalk, walking town with his family, taking Leila to potty, photographing seniors all over town, and most anything else that has to do with shooting and image production. He'll handle your orders and get your images through the editing process, as will I. And he'll be my own, in-house tech support. Thank goodness for that, because I am the furthest thing from techy.
So if Nathan will be a photographer, where will you be? And why a Nathan when it's Lizzie Loo? I will still be photographing everything, daily. I'm still your girl for your weddings, seniors, kids, families, headshots, boudoir and such, but our priority here is to serve you and last year got a little tough to over-love at times. We had to turn folks away because my schedule didn't allow extra sessions and sleep. Christmas time worked a little slower than I would have liked and I didn't see my family as much during those busy seasons, so it's time to grow. Now when you book, you'll have the option of choosing Nathan or I, depending on your preference. If you haven't a preference, we'll talk with you and choose the best fit for your situation. As an associate, Nathan's pricing will be a bit different than mine on the service side of things, but don't expect too much to change around here.
Don't get me wrong, we're not flooded with customers 365 days a year (yet!), but we aren't able to serve and make as big a difference in our community when it's just me and the part-time ladies. From the beginning, I wanted to operate my own business so I would have the freedom to live and serve and love as I felt called to do. The last couple years have been full of amazing, endless hard-work and not a bit of that will change.
What will change is my ability to work at things I am great at. I love to photograph. I love to spend an hour over coffee before your session. I love to spend extra time shooting a session. I love to see my family. I love to run a business. I love to create marketing campaigns. I love to meet new folks. I love to call you back. I love to come to your home and help you hang your prints. I love to document. I love the Lord. Those last two are really what are changing it all. I love to document and I love the Lord. My skills (Nathan's too) lie in telling stories with images that seek to change hearts and open eyes. As I began a project at Kosair this winter, I realized it would be next to impossible to pour into my work the time and effort needed if I am to be here, running every facet, all the time. I want to travel with a family as they bring home their adopted child. I want to tell that story in an effort to demystify the process for couples who may be on the edge of adoption. I want to give my all to the mentoring program my friend Emily and I began. It's time for us to grow and it's time for this business to have a shot at making a real, tangible difference in this community. That's why I moved back, isn't it? To take what I'm given and pour it back into others.
Now is my chance to pour the opportunity of our community into Nathan's family. They are so, very excited to move much closer to their own family. Down to the sweet(er) South, where folks know your name and stop to say hello. Nathan will be storytelling when he moves down. He'll be working on documentary projects as he feels led and he'll join me in teaching photography to our community. This move is all about our answer to a calling to be able to serve more and love our families more.
You keep talking about Kelly and Milo - who are they? Somewhere between photographer and picture editor, Kelly and Nathan became pregnant with little Milo. Nathan and Kelly were high school sweethearts who wed thereafter and eventually moved to Bowling Green together for Nathan to pursue his photojournalism degree. Four-ish years later, little Milo will be walking when he comes to Kentucky, all decked out in his cloth diapers being towed around by his sweet Mom, Kelly.
Keep talking...more about this Kelly lady! Currently, Kelly is a stay-at-home mom who nannies a bit in Midland (she'll do that here, too, hint, hint) and loves Milo's laughter, cloth diapers hanging in the sun, drives in the country, honest conversation, Kentucky rain showers, bluegrass music, open windows, the smell of spring, antique furniture, creativity, county fair animals, tears of joy, yard sales, Chai lattes, date nights, farm fresh eggs, picking berries, the Croatian seaside and making mommy friends.
See? She's a perfect fit. We have country, we definitely have Kentucky rain showers and bluegrass music. By the time the Morgans get to town we'll have the smell of spring and the smells of country fair animals just around the corner for them to enjoy! She'll explain this much better than I, but Kelly is working at becoming a lactation/breastfeeding consultant. She also cloth diapers little Milo and loves to talk about baby wearing, so all you Mommies out there, I will be sure to get you all aquatinted. I know one of the things the Morgans are most excited for is the community of living small town and support our neighbors offer to one another. You all know, as do I, how great raising a child in this town can be, and the Morgans are all about it. I know how amazing you all have been to Leila and I. I can hardly wait to see how you embrace the Morgans.
Who is this adorable baby? Milo! The Morgan's son will celebrate his first birthday right around moving time and enjoys toy cars, momma snuggles, Hess trucks, muslin blankies, bed time stories, rough housing with daddy, bananas, swimming, eating watermelon, taking baths, giving kisses and chasing kitty cats. He's looking for new friends and fans, so do inquire within if you're interested! In all sincerity, I would say the thing Milo is excited for is being much, much closer to his grandparents - another fabulous reason for the Morgan's move!
You keep saying Nathan's great, but how do we know it's true? Though Mr. Morgan moved to Michigan to take a staff photographer's position, he moved on up to be the photo editor at the paper. And this year, the team he led won an Award of Excellence in the Pictures of the Year International competition. You can see the work of the Midland Daily News's photo staff led by Nathan here. His team included Ryan Wood, Nick King, Thomas Simonetti (yes, our Thomas who shoots weddings, too) and John Tully. This was such a huge, huge testament to the kind of work they produce as the Los Angeles Times and Palm Beach Post also placed in the Newspaper Editing Portfolio field.
Nearly the same crew won second place in the National Press Photographer's Association Best Use of Photography by newspapers with less than 75,000 circulation category. led by Nathan in 2010. During his shooting days at the Midland Daily News, Nathan took home awards for sports picture story, feature pictures and news pictures. As previously mentioned, he won Michigan Photographer of the Year in 2008 after only working in the state for 6 months. His work has been published in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee; Lexington Herald Leader, Associated Press, USA Today, WKU College Heights Herald and the WKU Talisman.
Enough of the specifics, check out a bit of Nathan's work below. It is now sprinkled all over the site, as are his rates and we can officially say his calendar is open for the filling. It is certainly not too soon to begin booking portraits with Nathan in May - my schedule is filling out through the middle of the month, already. If you have a wedding in May, June or July, Nathan has spaces to accommodate your big day. His pricing for weddings can be sent over via email if you like. For now, I'll let some of Nathan's work speak for itself. Much of this was created while he worked at the Midland Daily News and during weddings he shot with me! Enjoy!