July 2013 Archive

Erin {Senior 2013}

There are certain people in this world–and I know them instantly every time I meet them–that just simply have so much sunshine in their soul. It radiates to those around them, just simply by being in their presence. Whether they are clients or friends (or both), these people always leave a happy mark on my heart. Their beautiful, radiant existence just makes the world a brighter place.

Meet Erin. Erin is one of these people. Just from looking at her photos, I see the light in her eyes and love for all things surrounding her. I’ve known Erin for years, but hadn’t seen her in probably almost ten years before we did her senior session. Seeing the beautiful, intelligent, strong leader she has become made my heart smile.

We did Erin’s session in the Fall, and oh, how I’m a sucker for the brown leaves on the ground! Seeing them in photos gives me the same feeling as a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice latte.

Erin brought her pup to the session. After getting Chewie this past February and learning what it’s like to love an animal, these pictures of the two of them just pull at my freaking heart strings. And now I’m itching to do a session with Chewie. (;

Erin, you have grown up to be an absolutely radiant young lady. I have not one doubt that you will be so successful at all that you do. Thank you for allowing me to document such a monumental time in life, as you start your steps out into the adult world.

And just a last little reminder for all of my new, 2014 Seniors–TODAY is the last day to secure a date for your earlybird senior session and receive the promo offer! Here’s the promo, in case you missed it:

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

How to Join the Creative Process Alongside Your Photographer (For Brides)

This is a post for those of you who want more than just photographs documenting a timeline of events from your wedding day. It’s for the bride who wants to feel something — a bigger story, if you will — when she looks back on her photographs. A story, that when she looks back, doesn’t remind her of the miniscule happenings or stress surrounding the wedding, but instead, a story that tells her of her place, maturity, experiences at that moment in life. A feeling that tells of her place with her brand new spouse at that time — of the ripe, new relationship. It’s for the bride who wants to look back on her photographs and feel every inch of the person she has become since then. Because, for me, a beautiful nostalgia or prideful feeling of accomplishment are the greatest gifts photographs can give us…

There is a difference between a photograph taken by someone who’s a stranger and someone who knows your style, your personality, and the dynamic within your relationship. What I’ve found to be the absolute key to getting organic images full of pure emotion and style, is an experience based firmly on communication. This is why I base the planning process with my brides on a system centered on certain specific points of communication that I believe to be essential to a welcoming relationship and great photographs.

Let’s talk more about some ideal communication. Good communication breeds a relationship that makes a bride feel like a friend to me. In addition to our frequent emails, perhaps a Skype meeting or two, and maybe even a little dinner double date in my home, I encourage my brides to join me in communication in a few simple ways:

1. BLOGS AND PINTEREST: Let’s face it, Pinterest has become a common theme of our generation and what a beautiful tool it is! I encourage you to create Pinterest boards for your own personal inspiration, but I encourage you to invite me to join the process. Even more than Pinterest, I encourage you to find wedding blogs that speak to you. Tell me about them. Tell me of your overall style, vision, and FEELING you’re trying to acheive. This gives me such great insight on your personal style and a look you may be trying to achieve, but cannot put into words for me. It allows me to see and interpret your style, see what inspires you, and mesh them together after getting to know you to create the perfect curated story that is all your own.

With that being said, please don’t submit to me specific Pinterest photos you’d like replicated. That’s a different story and won’t create anything authentic for YOU.

2. SOCIAL NETWORKING: Invite me to join your social network. While Pinterest is great for styling and creative direction, this allows me to get to know you on a more personal level. It allows me to interact and learn about your personalty, the things you are passionate about, or maybe a little of your relationship dynamic. Let’s make the most of social media. (:

3. ENGAGEMENT SESSION: Engagement sessions are a fabulous way, and in my opinion THE BEST way, to join in on the creative process. During the process of collaborative planning for an engagement session, I truly get to know you as a couple, what you’re like when you’re not dealing with wedding-esque things, and the you that makes you two who you are. Essentially, engagement sessions allow me to really learn the foundation and dynamic of your relationship. They allow me to learn what the both of you are like behind the camera, your best angles, and how to make you feel most natural on the wedding day. Engagement sessions create the foundation for a beautiful tradition of taking photographs with one another. This is a tradition I feel very strongly about among married couples in the first years of marriage (and well, always) for the many benefits it brings. You can read more about those sentiments here.

I hope this post helps inspire you a little. I can’t wait for us to become great friends!

Taylor {Senior 2013}

Still celebrating my 2013 Seniors over here and ringing in welcomes for my 2014s! It’s been so exciting emailing and planning with those who have taken advantage of the July Promo already, and SUPER excited for meeting new ones! If you are a Senior this year and want to take advantage, you still have until next Wednesday, July 31st to snag the sweet little deal. I cannot wait to hear from you. (:

In celebration, here’s another one of my favorite sessions from last year. Taylor’s porcelain skin made for the most beautiful glow. Which reminds me of a little tip for ladies that I’ll be posting more about soon…STAY AWAY FROM THE TANNING BEDS before photo sessions. They might give you a tan you’re loving during the summer months, but tanning bed color doesn’t do the skin many favors when it comes to photographs. It makes for uneven, less-than-natural skin tones. Nobody wants that, right? I’ll talk more about this and other pre-session tips for ladies in a blog post next week.

Taylor was up for anything, which I love! Complete trust in me with styling will truly let the most natural photographs come out. Taylor has a sweet, quiet personality — soft and inviting was her aura. And this rustic field at sunset, well, you know how I feel about fields at sunset…

Did I mention Taylor is a dancer? She’s got some of the prettiest lines in her moves. We decided to incorporate that into some of her shots, in her dainty white dress. Oh, I love these shots. I also love that she will be able to show her kids one day all of her mad dance skill.

Taylor, you will do great things. I know it.

FAQs {Lifestyle Sessions}

Lifestyle sessions are the best ways to document growth every year. Whether it’s growth of a child, relationship, or family as a whole, I truly believe in the importance of having this documentation yearly. In fact, as I mentioned in this post, Preston and I make it a point to fit a stylized lifestyle session into our budget every year. You should go read THAT POST about the invaluable meaning of these sessions and the way it’s helped us grow as a married couple, documenting the first years of our family and the journey of learning life together.

Yes, a Lifestyle Session is an investment, but it’s an absolutely invaluable one for me. It’s a monumental experience, planned meticulously to capture raw and organic emotion, style, and love into a curated time capsule. I love the profound joy I have in knowing that the milestones of my own life with Preston have been beautifully documented.  I pray that I give you an inkling of such joy in your own photographs. It’s not just about the photographs for me, though — it’s about the ups and downs, trials, and tribulations of life that you have experienced with the people you love in those photographs. It’s the feeling of accomplishment of making it through those ups and downs with that boyfriend, fiance’, or spouse.  It about the feeling you get when looking at your beautiful grown-up daughter as she graduates from high school and imagining the nine months you carried her in your womb.  I do what I do because I love capturing these milestones so you always remember these blessed feelings.  I want to create treasured heirlooms for you as well.  I want you to feel your own radiance when you look at my documentation of your life. Life is beautiful and it should be documented. You only get one, and oh, how it passes ever so quickly!

I’ve put together a little informational post for you guys answering some frequently asked questions about my Lifestyle Sessions. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more! Below are some of my favorite shots from recent Lifestyle Sessions. Scroll through to see these and read through the FAQs. (:

How much do you charge for stylized lifestyle photography?

My consultation, curating, editing, and disk of final images costs $500. Sessions are for individuals, couples, or immediate family members. Please inquire about extended family sessions. I also have additional offerings, including prints, canvases, albums, and other art pieces. If you’d like to learn more about additional offerings, please inquire here (kali@kalinorton.com).

How long after the session does it take to get all of our edited images?

It typically takes 2-3 weeks for full editing completion. It’s probably tempting to ask how the progression is going, but just know I am working very diligently to finish your beautiful images in a timely, yet quality manner.

Do I get printing rights to all of the images?

Yes! Once I finish editing the images from your session, I deliver a DVD to you. You are then allowed the printing rights to these images. I have a list of preferred printing locations that will print your images with the best color and quality. You are also able to post these on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you choose. If you wish instead, a $250 credit towards prints through me is offered with the collection purchase in lieu of the DVD. All of the images will also be posted in an online proofing site where you can view them and order if you’d like.

Can I order prints, albums, and other specialty products through you?

Yes, you sure can! Many of my clients like to own the digital copy of their session; however, still prefer to print products through me with my professional lab. You can inquire about printing, album design, and other product offerings here (kali@kalinorton.com).

When do you book sessions?

I book sessions on Monday-Thursdays. We work most weekends shooting weddings, the weekends off are generally spent with family. I ask that you plan work schedules in advance to shoot on weekdays. I typically start the shoot 1-2 hours before sunset or, sometimes, early mornings during busy seasons.


Where are you located?

I’m located in Ponchatoula, Louisiana area, but I take sessions along the entire Gulf Coast…and will travel wherever families, love, or seniors request! For local sessions, I typically shoot in the Hammond/Ponchatoula area or arrange a customized travel fee for locations over 30 miles.

How can I reserve my session date? Can you hold my date?

I require a 25 percent non-refundable retainer of the total collection you choose to reserve your session date. I do not hold a date without a retainer and signed contracts, as dates are booked on a first come, first serve basis.

Do we get all of the images you take on the session day?

No and we do not allow the extra photographs to be seen as they are typically duplicates with eyes closed. I break down all of the images taken into the best collection that beautifully represents the scope of your session. I believe in quality above quantity. These are all hand-picked and edited in detail, then delivered to you as well as posted in an online gallery.

Do you touch up all of your photos?

I do edit each image individually to make sure the color, saturation, and lighting looks as it should. I strive to curate your entire collection with cohesive, timeless beauty.

Do you help me plan outfits and choose a great location?

YES, oh yes! This element is equally as important to me as the actual editing of your images. I truly believe a thoughtfully planned outfits and location coordination are central to beautiful photos and a stress-free shoot. Once you begin the booking process, I will send you details of how we will go about a specific planning process to ensure we are on the same page about the entire style and feel of your session.

What happens if it rains?

All of my lifestyle and senior sessions take place outdoors on location, so I watch weather forecasts days before sessions to try to gauge if rain will affect the session. If it is the case, I will contact you and we will reschedule for another Monday-Thursday available session date that suits the both of us.

What do your albums look like?

I offer premium leather albums. The pages are thick and extremely durable as the photos are printed onto the pages. Each album is custom designed by yours truly in a classic, timeless style. I also offer Fine Art Coffee Table Books with the same classic, timeless design techniques and a linen outer cover.

How long does it take for our albums to arrive?

After the design process is complete, it takes around 6-8 weeks for your albums to be delivered.

Do you make any of our images black and white?

Yes. Some images look better in black and white! I use professional, creative judgment on this. My goal is to make your entire collection as beautiful and timeless as possible.

Does sales tax apply to us?

Yes! If you reside in Louisiana, I am required by the state to charge sales tax.


I hope this answers some of the questions you may have had. If you’d like to learn more or book a Lifestyle Session with me, you can email me at kali@kalinorton.com. I’d absolutely love to get to know you!

No-mayo Chicken Salad + Kendall Jackson Avant

There’s something about a delicious, healthy life and the enjoyment of a corresponding wine that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Cooking a delicious, healthy meal, pairing the perfect wine, and mixing good company might be one of my most favorite things in the whole world. I’m pretty sure I could talk about good food and good wine for days AND I absolutely love when people share healthy recipes and wine recommendations with me. So, I’ve decided to make weekly foodie posts with new, healthy recipes I’m trying and fabulous wines I’m diggin’. Sounds like a win, right? I thought so too.

So, here’s our first ever of many “What I’m Loving” foodie posts. I imagine a crowd roar in my head here…

First of all, let me start out by saying that Preston and I have adopted a new way of eating that we’ve come to absolutely love. I talked about some of those changes a little in this post. With that, we’ve given up (for the most part) wheat, red meat, and several other things that we realized might be bringing down our energy levels and contributing to other problems. I’ll talk more about this in a future post. Among that, we’ve eaten much more fish, the occasional chicken (hormone-free when possible), fresh fruits, veggies, and grains. This week we were both a little fished-out, so I decided to try my hand at a healthy, no-mayo chicken salad to eat on some lettuce wraps. OH MOMMA, let me tell you, this chicken salad did not disappoint!

Here’s what I used:

2 Large Chicken Breasts

1 1/2 Avacados

2 Boiled Eggs

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil (remove stems)

1/4 Cup Dried, Unsweetened Cranberries

4-5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Seasonings: Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne

Wraps: Romaine Lettuce

Add desired amount of chicken salad, roll and eat. Voila. (: I’m honestly terrible with measuring out my seasonings, so I’ll try to be better with that. Be sparing with the sea salt, but the rest you can pretty much season to your preference. Remember, put less and you can always taste test and add more.

And because the aura of a delicious dinner is best paired with a little vino, this is one of my favorite Chardonnays I recommend to pair with such a light meal. I’m mostly a red wine girl, but hot summer days sometimes make a cool, crisp white a great change of pace. For those of you who may not be akin to Chardonnay, I still highly recommend you try this one from Kendall Jackson.

Although it’s a Chardonnay, it’s made in a way that brings together two separate blends, allowing you to taste more of the fruit-forward notes you would find generally in a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, yet combined perfectly to still taste the slight oak notes that bring in the warm vanilla and spice you often get from a Chardonnay. This little mix of flavors is why it’s one of my favorite whites! Some of my near and dear friends like to giggle at me for this, but I like to think that my favorite Chardonnays have a nice, slight buttery taste. Make fun of me if you will, I’ll keep appreciating my hints of butter. (;

So, if you’re feeling the urge for trying something new, light, and delightfully refreshing, these are definitely my two top recommendations for this warm summer week! Happy Wednesday, my friends.