One of the most amazing weeks in the five years I’ve had my full-time photography business… So many wonderful people, incredible locations, fascinating assignments and challenging logistical decisions. In the end, it’s so helpful to keep it all simple and rely on second nature (which is, of course, hard-earned through experience).

September and October are non-stop, wall-to-wall photography shoots. I’m certain I’ve had to decline about as many assignments this year as I’ve accepted, which is an unfortunate predicament. I’m grateful, thankful, appreciative and humbled that so many folks want to work together.

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Back to Bloomington and already booked each day for the foreseeable future! Here, my first shoot upon returning home — a phenomenal proposal/engagement session with Ben and Ally.

Vacation time is amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but there’s such a joyous fulfillment that comes from doing excellent professional work for other people.

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The gorgeous Double Arch, at Arches National Park…. One of my favorite images from this summer.

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Blessed beyond imagination….

One of the most awe-inspiring wildlife moments of my life. Yellowstone National Park, and within 100 meters of this beauty. I was able to get several images before she/he walked back into the woods.

The moments when luck meets preparation meets divine intervention meets a calm resolve…. Magic.

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Absolutely smitten with Grand Teton National Park. So many brilliant views and inspiring photography opportunities.

Interesting how Bloomington last-minute photo job requests have been pouring in this month, but the missed events at home have to take a back seat to the remarkable blessing of open roads and open calendars…. There’s making a living, and there’s making sure you’re living.

A friend had recommended a hole-in-the-wall pie restaurant to me, knowing my tentative summer travel plans. We found the place yesterday afternoon, and I do believe two things: first, it was probably my first piece of pie in years, and second, it was high on the list of the best I've ever tasted.

No plans. Great backdrops. Tremendous photography equipment. A phenomenal Jeep with Sirius playing awesome music. And pie.

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In the midst of an extraordinary month-long exploration of the Badlands, Yellowstone, Tetons, Jackson Hole, Park City, Arches, Canyonland, Brice, Zion, Grand Canyon and so much more…. What a remarkable opportunity.

Here, I had a once-in-a-lifetime fluke encounter with a female Bighorn sheep, at the Badlands. She wasn’t 30 feet from me, and the entire scenario and setting couldn’t have been more perfect. I’ve felt the presence of God many times, and this was, of course, one more. I was fully aware that the situation could go poorly, but she was noble and gracious in eye contact and demeanor. I’ll forever be grateful.

A wedding on June 30th and another on August 3rd, but, in between, this 16-state month is a festival of personal photography and bucket list checks.

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Off to shoot a wedding this afternoon/evening, and am thinking about the ever-present cycle of life. Our daughter is traveling in Mongolia, our son is in Europe for the summer, Siobhan and I are leaving tomorrow for a month-long road trip, some folks are taking their first steps and some, their last.

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I was asked twice this week how I choose which images I post on Facebook, Instagram (both Jeff Norris Photography) and/or this website. Interesting, but it’s really just two simple factors. First, many clients specifically ask not to have their shots posted on a public site, and second, I simply don’t have the time to post as much as I otherwise might.

This week, as an example, I’ve got six jobs. As I’m shooting and editing those, I’ll be into the following week(s) and will have six more jobs…. It’s a not-for-the-faint-at-heart career (and I wouldn’t want it any other way!).

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We just stole away for a quick five-day return to beloved Route 66 for the week leading up to and including Father’s Day, taking my dad on the portion of the Mother Road from Chicago to St. Louis. Last summer we drove him on Route 66 from St. Louis to Santa Monica, but he’d missed the Chicago-St. Louis portion, and very much wanted to have completed the entire 2,448 mile journey.

We hit all the highlights of the beautiful road, including Dell Rhea’s, the Gemini Man, the iconic gas stations, the wonderful museum in Pontiac, the incomparable Cozy Dog, Deck’s Drug Store and, of course, Ted Drewes and the amazing concretes. We even tossed in a Cardinals/Cubs baseball game in St. Louis….

Interesting to look down on my calendar and see “Summer Begins” on the page today. I feel as if it’s been summer since May 1st, and have already had a glorious one, at that. Let, I suppose, the actual summer now begin….

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Far more blessed than I have any right to be…. The gift of travel, and even more so on top of everything else I’ve been given, is a grace that I appreciate to my core.

Ten days exploring the gorgeous western-Michigan iconic shoreline, and particularly the four days in Mackinac Island, were extraordinary beautiful. The Grand Hotel is an incomparable jewel, and it’s now a part of my life in the same way that is Key West and a few other deeply personal, special locales.

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