Behind The Scenes at Yourdori❤Girl Photography • Part One

Props sourced from clearance toy section, $2.  Hens & Chicks 99 cents.

Were you wondering why I was so pokey getting this post published?  Did you think I was just playing with the grandkids or messing around online or taking photos of anything and everything that caught my fancy??  Well, you would be right on all counts.  However there is an even bigger reason, one that I had not anticipated at all.  And it leads me back to The Yourdori Story

Dana and I started The Yourdori Story back in February and I think I can honestly say that this journey has been life changing for the both of us.  I have grown both personally and in my business in ways that are profound and a little bit mind blowing for me and in a million little ways as well.

That's what I'm going to focus on sharing with you while taking you through this behind the scenes.  I'll show you the physical stuff, like my "studio/living room", my photo shoot table and some of the little vignettes that I have set up all over the place.

I toned down the saturation level on this image. I love how it turned out!😍

So the beginning of my story, of The Yourdori Story is the same as the ending.  It's the message for anyone and everyone struggling with not feeling like they are "enough", for whatever reason(s), to stop comparing themselves to anyone but themselves.  You can't be anyone, except you anyway.  Even if you are pretending to be something or someone else . . . you are still you.  And that's pretty freaking cool, I think.  Here's what hit me hard these past couple of days as I was putting this post together.

I was going to put the text "Don't com-pear yourself to anyone but you."  Sometimes I do know when to stop. 😂

I love my life!  I love my job!  I love that I get to be me and to make my job whatever I want it to be or not!

I love that I get to tell my story in both words and photographs.  I love meeting such wonderful women, both in person and online. I love all the opportunities and collaborations that have happened.

I love being able to say yes or no to anything, including how I choose to be.  I could also choose NOT to love my life or my job or any of the rest.  After all, my life is not perfect, I'm not perfect.

Choices, right?  It's all about choices.

We are always choosing, all day and all night long.  Do I want to do this, or that or do I want to do nothing at all?  Do I want to be happy or angry or act like an idiot?  Sometimes the choices are easy, like when my hubs says "Do you want to go out to eat?"  At other times they are hard, really hard, and only you will know what they are sometimes.

Everybody gets dealt different hardships and trials in life and I think it's our job, as humans, to show empathy and kindness whenever possible.

Behind the scenes of a night shoot.  I'm kind of a McGyver kind of photographer!  Notice the magnets holding up the backdrop?

What I'm trying to say is . . . that "behind the scenes" is not always so easy to see in a person, as it is in a photo shoot.  So be you!  Your best you, mind you, not "The Perfect You".  No such thing.

Grow, learn, improve.  Smile, be friendly, kind and helpful.  Rinse and repeat.  Make the choice to be you and be as nice and friendly and kind to yourself as you are to others.  Smile at yourself in the mirror.  Just smile.  Don't pick yourself apart.  Be kind.

Be kind to yourself.  Make Bear Toast.  It will totally make you smile!

And then at the end of the day and every moment in between . . . be grateful.  When we forget to be grateful, we forget to be kind.  You really can't be truly grateful and unkind at the same time.

Okay, I just had to get that out!  Whew!

So how does all that tie in with my photography?  It's key, really.

Daytime.  Flatlay.  Soon to be brunch.

I've been doing this photography thing now for about 2 years, which is really a puny amount of time in the scheme of things.  No formal schooling for it, in fact, just a Creative Live online courses that really captured my attention and set my imagination on fire.  I've been learning, by observing and doing, ever since.  The course was called Story on a Plate, given by a married couple named Todd and Diane.  Their site is White on Rice Couple.

I had also just got my first smart phone.  Up till that point, I just didn't get what the whole brewhaha was about.  Now I run my business from it.  Seriously, about 90% anyway!  I still mouse draw my graphics with Publisher.  Yep, I own a Bamboo and I have that function on my phone too, but it's my preference for now and I'm choosing that.

So, there you have it!  I use my smart phone to take my photos, edit my photos and run the back of the house as well.  There are some that say I am not qualified to call myself a photographer, you know . . . no schooling, no years of experience.  Pshaw!

This group of photos was shot at night. They are still raw.  Is that egg the star, or what?

Choices.  Again with the choices.  I choose to believe that I'm pretty awesome at what I do!  And I don't see that as bragging or boasting either.  Taking photos, running my own biz, making choices that effect how it works or doesn't work is so exciting to me! It's such a priveledge and a blessing to be able to do so.  It's a true joy.

I think that shows in my photography.  Is my style for everyone?  Of course not.  Is my writing for everyone?  Nope.  Am I for everyone?  Heck, no!!

But the peeps that are my "fans" and friends and loved ones, they are the ones who will see the best in me and inspire me to keep doing what I do and do it with joy!  I want to inspire them as much as they inspire me!

Night shot.  Cropped version.  If I'm doing a side shot, I really don't worry too much about the background, as it's usually colorful and blurred.

So all this chat is really the true "Behind the Scenes".  They say a picture is worty a 1000 words.  Do you wonder why I still talk so much! 😜 So, yeah, I'm done for now.  I'll chat in the captions of the photos about anything that might need clarification.

I'd love to do a part two to this.  Would you be interested?  What would you like to know more about?  Would like to see me do more of anything?  Less?

Same as above photo.  Uncropped.

Brunch. Unedited. Me standing on the chair. 

Photo props (not very organized at the moment) and scads of paper.

More photo props.

Close up of paper storage.  Just 'cause.

Very photogenic radishes. ❤

Under-table table.  I use it the same way only I don't have to stand on a chair.  I also put my table on risers.  It's a better heighth for me to get down eye level to get close ups.N

Another shot with the same layout, different subject.

Thanks for spending a little of your time with me.  I'm very grateful for that.  Drop me some thoughts in the comments about what you think too!  Big love!! ❤

The Yourdori Girls
Nancy and Dana


  1. This was a very lovely post! Enjoyed all the pictures, and what you had to say was marvelous too!

  2. "There are some that say I am not qualified to call myself a photographer, you know . . . no schooling, no years of experience. Pshaw!"
    Pshaw indeed. No amount of schooling will give you the 'eye' of a photographer. You obviously come by that naturally. Enjoyed this behind-the-scenes tour! Dana says you'd be the perfect one to help me organize all my 'treasures.'!!:)

    1. You didn't hint enough about how deep this blogpost was going. Loved your comparison. Your words.
      You do have an eye for photography. Maybe you should give a dslr a try some day. It gives you more control. I think you would love the feel of holding it!

  3. Nancy,

    You have taught me to be myself, too.

    I was trying to be something that would "sell," writing for education, but I was always second-guessing myself, and wondering what some teacher would say about my approach to reading.

    You made me see that if I just be me, just go for selling myself as a weaver/crafter it will work. And it has... I enjoy what I'm doing, and I don't care if someone thinks I'm teaching it the wrong way! It's my way, there are lots of ways, but who cares? Have fun with your own way.

    I love to look at all the details in your photos. That red step-stool chair is exactly like the one my grandma had, and we played with it all the time. I'm sure she loved that. :) Then my father had it in his darkroom for years. I wonder if it's still there?

    Thanks for being you, you and Dana have created so much good feelings for us here and inside the Gratitude Girls Cheer Leauge!

  4. Great post Nancy! I always enjoy your photos - even the photo props look great when you shoot them!! If you do a part 2, how about sharing what/how you get inspired to put certain items together when you do a photo shoot?

    I especially like this thought: "And then at the end of the day and every moment in between . . . be grateful. When we forget to be grateful, we forget to be kind. You really can't be truly grateful and unkind at the same time." So true!

  5. Great work Nancy, and so natural.


© Yourdori
Maira Gall