Maternity Archive

Welcoming Piper: A Motherhood Collective | New Orleans Birth Photography

When I made the announcement that I would start offering birth photography coverage as a part of my Motherhood Collectives, I was graciously and overwhelmingly surprised by the positive response. From old friends to clients of whom which I’ve documented many milestones, in just a couple of short months since that announcement, I’ve been hired to document so many beautiful and vastly different journeys into motherhood.

From neighbors to roommates to countless laughs, trips, and memories made together, Jamie is a treasured long-time friend. I’ve watched her and her daughter Bailey journey through life since Bailey was three years old, seeing the ups and downs of heartache, life lessons, and losses we all experience in one way or another. I truly believe the intricate personalities, experiences, and details of some humans are made to fit so perfectly, like the pieces of a puzzle, to certain other humans. Whether it’s chalked up to “true love,” destiny, soulmates, or whatever other coined term, I wholeheartedly believe there are people that exist in the world who so perfectly complement the existence of other humans. Through various sincere gestures made by Bubba in their relationship, the way he dotes on her, and what I know about the intricacies of Jamie’s heart, I know without a shadow of a doubt that these two were meant to share this life experience with one another.

Bubba with two little girls of his own and Jamie with Bailey, they joined forces last year as they got married and embarked on the journey of expanding their beautifully blended family. While Bubba is quite outnumbered to the ladies in his life, he’s pretty great at loving, providing for, and exemplifying an admirable male example to all of the little ladies who are so lucky to call him “daddy.”

I’ve seen Jamie experience many different things in life, but watching her strength and strong support system as she brought a child into the world takes the cake as my favorite. Here are a few snapshots of that journey…

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

As we spent hours anxiously awaiting Piper, I couldn’t help but feel such a full heart watching my friend flourish in so much love, support, and happiness during this season of life. My mind was also amusingly blown by the fact that the sweet 3-year-old I’ve watched grow over the years is now old enough to send T-E-X-T  M-E-S-S-A-G-E-S checking on her mama.

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

For anyone who knows Jamie personally, they know of her playful, jovial nature in almost any situation. When Bubba began cracking jokes in between Jamie’s exhaustion and pushes, I thought with even further affirmation than before, “Good gracious, this boy was made to love her.”

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

And just like that, Piper graced us with seven pounds and four ounces of chubby-cheeked perfection.

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

And never have I seen my sweet friend more content with all things in life.

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

While I thought Jamie deserved a 5-course dinner after that experience, this hungry new mama settled for the remainder of my Jimmy John’s and, in her true nature, was providing the entire room with laughs.

A few days later, we learned that Piper is a fan of being on camera in between naps. Oh, the life…

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Hillary + Scott Engagements

This past July, Jamie’s brother Jacob’s life was tragically and unexpectedly cut short in a motorcycling collision in San Francisco. Jacob is survived by his newly married wife and adventure buddy, Ali, who was with Jacob in the accident and is still recovering from many severe injuries.

Jacob was so full of enthusiasm for seeking out wonderful people and experiences, and also, a huge part of Jamie and Bailey’s life. Jamie was gifted two bears from close friends for Piper in remembrance of Jacob. One, a build-a-bear with a voice recording of Jacob exclaiming he had successfully completed the lunge challenge Jamie put him up to–the type of typical playful fun the two of them often shared. The other, a blue gingham stuffed bear made from one of Jacob’s dress shirts. While Piper never got to meet her vivacious uncle, she undoubtedly will learn of his beautiful spirit from the memories he left behind and the many lives he affected. And for Jamie, a photograph containing two of her most treasured loves.

Hillary + Scott Engagements

Jamie and Bubba, I cannot wait to see where this beautiful life brings you and your girls next.

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Now Offering Birth Photography! | New Orleans Motherhood Photographer

For anyone who keeps up with my posts regularly, you know the strong pull my heart has always had towards capturing the essence and experience of women. I cannot fully explain it, only that I know in the depths of my soul when I photograph a woman who opens up to me or lets me peer a little into her vulnerability, that there is no other place in the Universe I’m supposed to be more in that moment. Whether it’s a high school senior, a bride, a boss girl, or an expecting mama, the women and stories that have found themselves in front of my lens over the course of my career have left me impacted in the most unusual and profound ways.

For much of my career, I’d never had any stronger pull to any particular type of womanly experience–and while I still very much love photographing ALL types of milestones, I’ve noticed an ever-growing tug in my gut over the past year or so. During this time, I’ve noticed a particular and welcomed shift to clients desiring me to document their journey through motherhood. (This is in addition to weddings, of course, which I still very much photograph). Perhaps, and likely, this has to do with my age and place in my own life (no, I’m not quite ready to be a mama just yet), but, this particularly strong pull towards motherhood portraiture and the intensity of emotion captured through the experience is something I know I’m meant to delve into deeper.

After years of inquiries, pleas, and suggestions that I fearfully turned down, I have now decided it’s time for me and this camera of mine to extend my services to include birth photography and/or hospital photography. IMG_0976

 

Motherhood photography encompasses a wide scope of experiences. Currently, I document many mama moments from maternity, newborn, to growth and regular family lifestyle portraiture sessions and have many clients who purchase my Motherhood Collective which allows comprehensive documentation of these. With this, I’ll now be offering the option to add birth photography or the option to hire me exclusively for your birth experience or time in the hospital with new baby.

Many families are interested in documenting their birth experience; however, some instead prefer to have the experience documented during the first few moments of life after the birth. Whether you’d like me to document the pushes, tears, and intense emotion of your birth or the tender moments together within the first 48 hours following, I am available for either form of documentation.

As this is a brand new venture for me, I’m offering introductory pricing to the first 5 bookings for Birth Photography or “Fresh 48” After-Birth Photography. If you are interested in having me document this part of life for you, please contact me at kali@kalinorton.com for more detailed information + pricing.

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Milk Bath Maternity | Awaiting Ivy: New Orleans Maternity Photographer

“I guess I always believed the moments that would one day end up defining me would be loud. They’d be noticeable. I pictured fireworks. I thought I would definitely be able to point the moment out from all the rest if you put them side-by-side in a lineup. I’d be able to stand there, on the other side of the glass and say, ‘That one. That one was loud and big and mammoth and I knew it would change my life.’ But you can’t put moments in a box. You can’t keep people forever. Those moments are meant to happen and disappear.”

Excerpt from If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher.

How eerily true is this? I think it’s so easy for us to be ready for what’s next in life, that we so often don’t take the time to fully embrace the seasons we reside in in the present. Whether the season be happy or sad, it’s a natural part of the human experience to wonder, plan, or anticipate what’s ahead. When I first read these words when reading Hannah’s book, they stopped me in my tracks. Umm, hello reality check. Moments, seasons, experiences exist for us to feel what we feel from them in those moments and mold us into the future human we evolve to.

As Danielle got out of her car and greeted me, it was the first time I’d ever met her. It only took a few sentences of dialogue between us for me to notice the calm, peaceful personality she emanated. After spending that afternoon with her and looking through her photographs, I was able to put my finger on what was so alluringly tranquil about her–she embraces the now of this beautiful season of life she is in, awaiting her daughters, Ivy and Lily.

It wasn’t until after her session that Danielle shared with me the news that she learned weeks ago that she lost one of her girls, Lily.  She is currently still carrying both girls. I had no clue of this while photographing her, and now looking at these photographs radiates her strength during this season in a whole new light.

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

I cannot begin to fathom both the fear and excitement she has for her delivery next week. Observing the contentment and love for that beautiful belly and the spectacular ability her body possesses during these months was so incredibly empowering. Nine months, a “moment” so inherently special to her, Lily, and Ivy alone, that she can never replicate in this exact way again.

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

The morning of Danielle’s session, there was a stirring in me to do something more than just dreamy, creamy photographs of her in a field. We’d never spoken other than through email before, but as she picked up the phone and I introduced myself, the conversation went a little something like this, “I know we’ve never met, but umm, are you down for a milk bath?”

I’m incredibly glad she was open to the idea, because the way they display the beauty and strength of her body during this season of life is so profoundly breathtaking to me.

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle Pauli Maternity

Danielle, I have no doubt that you will execute motherhood just as gracefully as you do the road leading to it. Thank you for allowing me to capture your strength and beauty during this stage of life for you, Lily, and Ivy.

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Sunset Session on Navarre Beach | Dougherty Family: Navarre Family Photographer

“Here’s the thing, effective parenting and, more specifically, effective discipline, don’t require punishment. Equating discipline with punishment is an unfortunate, but common misconception. The root word in discipline is actually disciple which in the verb form means to guide, lead, teach, model, and encourage. In the noun form disciple means one who embraces the teaching of, follows the example of, and models their life after.”

― L.R. Knost, The Gentle Parent

It may seem strange that I’m quoting from a parenting book when I am not even yet a parent myself, but after coming across a quote from one of L.R. Knost’s books on Instagram a few weeks ago, I was instantly drawn to read more of the words she’d strewn together about parenting, love, adulthood, and life. I have not yet actually read these books, but after perusing through and bookmarking much of her work online, I know that I will find her book in hand when the season of parenting arrives for me.

Nonetheless, the above quote does have everything to do with the intricately woven hearts and ever-developing personalities of our dear friends Brooke and Shane and the family they are rearing together. I have known Shane for almost a decade, as he is one of Preston’s longest and dearest friends from 3rd Force in the Marine Corps. As with most long friendships, we’ve experienced quite a bit of life with Shane over the past decade. He recently returned home from a deployment and this past week we got to spend some genuine, quality time in Navarre, FL with him, Brooke, and the kids. From getting all of my baby cuddles and coos in with Miss Maggie, to spending some genuine girl time with Brooke, I felt like I got to truly soak in the love, life, and discipline that make up their little family.

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

From watching Shane discipline the boys with friendly wall squats and sit-down talks about “why” a reprimand occurred, to observing Brooke gently work at relinquishing the reigns of parenting three children alone for nine months, Preston and I both left with observant, full hearts at how beautiful the two of them execute parenting together.

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Usually with littles around during family sessions I’m not able to take a ton of time with mama and daddy, but we were able to step away and capture a few shots of Brooke and Shane, of which I’m quite enamored…

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

“Our children are children for such a small season of life. Let their laughter ring out, their imaginations soar, their feet stomp in puddles, their hands clap for joy. Too soon they will grow up and out of their youthful exuberance and zest and settle into the life and routine of adulthood.”

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Brooke and Shane, I’m ever-grateful for your friendship, delicious meals, endless laughs, and lovin’ from your beautiful babies.

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

Dougherty Family

If you’re interested in booking a session with me in Navarre, Pensacola, or Fairhope, I will be offering sessions at these locations during the month of August. Please contact me at kali@kalinorton.com for more information.

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Welcome to the World, Sweet Girl | Kate: Mandeville Newborn Photographer

“Life is amazing.
And then it’s awful.
And then it’s amazing again.
And in between the amazing and awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine.
Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.
That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.
And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” ― L.R. Knost

Clean, unadulterated, beautiful new life. This is absolutely my favorite part of documenting these moments, especially for first-time mamas. I hope you enjoy a peek into Allison’s life as a new mama as much as I enjoyed documenting it.

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

This black and white image below may be one of my most favorite newborn images, ever. There’s just something about the thought of Kate looking back someday on a time when her whole head was smaller than her daddy’s hands. Yes.

Kate Lailhengue

Kate Lailhengue

Happy Friday, friends!

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