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About Nancy "Hookey" Hamilton

Nancy 'Hookey' Hamilton Photographer

I was one of six children, nicknamed "Hookey" after my three older sisters were told the legend of an Indian princess, when my Mother was very pregnant with me. I was nick-named with a shortened version of the Indian princess' name a few weeks before I was even born. The nickname stayed with me all these years. It was an artistic, talented family, and I believed that I must have been left on the doorstep by Indians, because I couldn't dance, draw, paint, and make music the way they could. I had an insatiable desire to express myself, but it usually led to getting into mischief, rather than producing art. It took me years to find my own way. In the meantime I graduated from college in Virginia, and ended up working in incredibly diverse fields; Radiobiological Research, College Teaching, Antiquarian Books, Plant Nurseries, and as a Corporate Child Care Director when my son was born and I wanted to have him with me. I ended up in Healthcare administration, of all things, but I had started photographing. It took over my life. When I met and fell in love with another artist trapped in healthcare,Joel Bagnal, I felt I had finally found my place in life. We live in a our historic, funky old house on the bayfront in St. Augustine, and I am surrounded by beauty. I have my soul mate, I had a fabulous son, I have my camera, and I love my life. I hope my photographs reveal it.

Artist's Statement

I have no earth-shaking mystical, convoluted, complicated, evolutionary reasons that I photograph; it is very straightforward and simple. I love beauty. I have to express it. I have to share it. I want you tofeel the same emotion and feeling of incredible joy that I get when I see something that takes my breath away. I don't feel I have to "make it" or create it in Photoshop; I want to recreate it the way it appeared to me so you to see it the way I did. I look for it everywhere I go, constantly.

All my life I have had this intense feeling that there was something I HAD to do, and when I started photographing, I knew I had found it. When I am taking photographs I often get so involved I forget to breathe, and I have to laugh at myself. It is exhilarating, and I love it. It is a wonderful way to live, looking for beauty, and I hope the end product will say to you, "Look at this! Look at what I saw!"


  • Participant / Student for 20 years of intense photographic study, from some of the top professionals in the nation and the world
  • 1st prize Winner of the 1st St. Augustine Lighthouse competition
  • Consistent award winner in Jacksonville Camera Club's Competitions
  • Winner of local photographic competitions
  • Photographer for book covers and book illustrations
  • Member, JPPG (Jacksonville Professional Photographers' Group)
  • Member, FPP (Florida Professional Photographers)
  • Member, CNPA (Carolina Nature Photographers’ Association
  • Member, JCC (Jacksonville Camera Club)
  • Artist producing Fine Art Photography sold to galleries, corporte and private collections, business offices, and home
  • Producer of Find Art Photographics cards for gift shops, hotels, bed and breakfasts, plat nurseries, restaurants, and coffee shops, both in Florida and out of state.

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