June 2016 Archive

Social Media’s Out for Summer: Why I’m Taking a Partial Social Media Hiatus

“I’m sure no one ever thinks about it…but these snapshots are our little stand against the flow of time. 

The shutter is clicked, the flash goes off…

And we’ve stopped time. If just for the blink of an eye.

And if these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it’s this: I was here. I existed. I was young and I was happy…

and someone cared enough about me in this world, to take my picture.”

If you’ve seen the movie One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams, you may remember this quote. Watching the movie again recently, the words got me like a jab straight to the gut. But perhaps not in the way you might think. While the words did resonate the sentiment that photographs are ever-so-important, it resonated another sentiment even more. One of disconnecting in this world we live of C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T connection. Taking time to breath and to be present, without sharing every move we make in hopes of “likes” and followers.

I think things in the social media world have evolved at such a fast pace, that we sometimes don’t even realize how much it’s effected the ebbs and flows of our lives, our emotions, and our relationships. While I absolutely CHERISH social media for it’s ability to connect us with the outside world, I think most of us can agree in this age of DAILY Facebook spats, that it’s both a blessing and a curse.

I am ever-so-grateful for the parts of social media that have allowed me to expand my mind and my relationships with thoughts and people that I never before would have been able to encounter in the same ways–or on the same levels. However, I think we can all agree that the “Keeping up with the Joneses” and the Facebook aggression on topics like vaccinations, political debates, and parental critiques are at an all-time-high enough to make an onlooker sick to the stomach.


(Photo by Jenna Kutcher)

So, what am I getting at?

Well, after much debate (and fear)–as social media does drive an inherent part of my business–I’ve decided to take a little hiatus from Facebook and blogging. It’s VERY semi-permanent, but I truly believe a break from the constant chatter to NOT document every move I make and instead observe the real-life happenings around me is essential for growth and development.

With that being said, I WILL still be present on Instagram and you can follow me @kalinorton. I’m not sure exactly what date I’ll be back on Facebook and blogging, but it will likely be around mid-August. When I do return, my hope is to share with you any insight and growth that occurred in my absence.

While this step was a little scary for me, as blogging twice a week has become such a vital part of my business, I truly believe this break is necessary. After all, the scariest things usually birth the best transformation, right?

In the meantime, if you’d like to reach out or connect with me, you CAN still do so via email, Instagram (@kalinorton) and Snapchat (@kalinorton).

Happy Summer, friends!


Farmhouse-Inspired Shoot | Motherhood: Mandeville Family Photographer

“Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t lie. I know you’ve got mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind…”

While I’m not generally a huge fan of country music, Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” kept playing on repeat in my mind as I was editing this session. I thought of how much of an overwhelmingly beautiful feeling it must be as a parent to watch your children grow up and emanate the values you try, hope, and pray to instill in them.

Rebecca and her husband Tommy have been wonderful friends to me for several years now. They truly exemplify what it means to be humble, kind, and the most loving humans, undoubtedly setting the most wonderful example for their littles to replicate. Their boys, Oran and Trygg, have hearts of gold and will do anything an adult asks of them. Fiona, with two older brothers to teach her the ropes, is quite literally sugar AND spice.

With an immense love of animals, babies, and basically all things living, I knew I wanted this session to truly emanate the strength and beauty that is Rebecca. I wanted it to be so genuinely her–with her animals, her babies, and her plants–to truly capture the essence of her in this stage of motherhood.

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Chickens, ducks, 3 dogs, a cat, and a goat, Rebecca has the sweetest little farmhouse-esque back yard around. Yes, these are all their animals. I love it so much. Bam Bam, the goat, is especially a treat. He adores the kids and follows them around constantly.

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Rebecca loves to tend to her plants as much as she does her animals and babies. When her garden is full, she and the kids will go out and pick all of the goodness…and of course, the eggs from the chicken coop.Anika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan WeddingAnika + Stan Wedding

Rebecca and Tommy are expecting sweet baby number four in November, so I wanted to capture it in a sweet way that she could announce her pregnancy.Anika + Stan WeddingAnika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan Wedding

Rebecca, your heart is gold and your spirit is radiant. I love watching your journey through motherhood.Anika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan Wedding

I mean, can we just talk about how precious Bam Bam is? He loves being around the kids so much.Anika + Stan Wedding Anika + Stan Wedding

After I did the session, I got a text from Rebecca. She said, “Oran has requested a few photos in black and white, because it makes him look old.” I laughed so hard. That sweet baby has no clue that those killer crystal blue eyes he has are the most handsome thing. All he wanted was his black and white photo and to hug his chickens. (DISCLAIMER: I absolutely did put a photo in black and white just for him).
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Happy Thursday, friends!



My First Film Scans & Practicing Vulnerability | New Orleans Wedding Photographer

Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.” An excerpt from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Guys…GUYS. I’m going to admit something crazy. These photos you’re about to scroll through are photos I’ve had on an undeveloped roll of film for almost two years. Yes, T-W-O years. Two years of sitting on the shelf in my office where I could safely say, “Yeah, I shot film once,” conveniently not mentioning any further that I was too scared that I had failed at the attempt to have it developed. Too scared that I was in an industry where I just might not be good enough. Too scared to tackle learning a new faucet to my craft because, well, because I might not be the best at it. Because it was going to be hard. Because as the creative industry has shown me time and time again, there are SO very many talented minds among us–how in the world was I going to find a way to stand out. How? Especially when so many of my peers were seemingly SO far ahead of me in their business, income, and creative journey.

But maybe that’s not my calling. Who says that because my main source of income comes from photography that it has to define who I am? Who says that I have to be THE BEST in that particular craft. No one but me.

Recently, I’ve been really delving into the topic of vulnerability though. From my personal relationships to my business, it’s getting me out of a rut and teaching me BIG things that I think we all could use a dose of every once in a while.

Especially in our social-media-driven generation of picture perfect Instagram feeds and meticulously curated photo galleries, I think it’s SO easy to forget that we all are after the same goal here. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a corporate CEO, a creative with a passion for creating beautiful things, a surgeon saving lives on the reg, or even a student, we are ALL simply trying to enjoy the moments of this pretty little life and make our own mark, whether big or small, on the world. More often than not, those who have made giant marks on the world did so by being vulnerable–by stepping out of their comfort zones and into realms that may have seemed quite scary and unknown.

I think what we so often sometimes forget is that we don’t need to be the next creator of a life-changing movement or founder of a Fortune 500 company to leave our mark on the world, we can simply do it by any old way that fills our cup. Because living a wholehearted life, well, I think that’s all that truly matters.

In another excerpt from Brene’s book she speaks on this so eloquently saying:

“We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us. We’re afraid that  our truth isn’t enough–that what we have to offer isn’t enought without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.”

Why am I telling you all of this and, more so, what in the heck does it have to do with film scans? Everything.

You see, I recently decided to develop these scans only after I was able to tell myself that whether they came out fabulously or terribly, it DIDN’T mean I needed to jump and pursue film offerings. I realized that although I love photography with my whole heart, my heart is multi-fauceted. Just because my peer has excelled in a certain area of photography, does not mean that it’s my calling to excel in the same way. At all.

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These scans filled my heart so much when I finally got them because I didn’t put ANY pressure on them. I didn’t expect a new branch of my career to come from them or a desire to run out and buy a film camera. Heck, I didn’t even expect to have any worth sharing on the blog. But, I was pleasantly surprised. And you know what? For today, that is enough.

Did you like this post? I’d love your feedback and your own personal experiences with things like this! Over the next few months, I’m looking to really hone in and cultivate a community that embraces imperfection and fear–a community that recognizes that life is NOT picture perfect.

What value is in our human experience if we don’t create community based on our findings? I have a ton more to share on the topic of vulnerability, comparison, and social media. Please tune in over the next few weeks as I delve into various aspects of these topics. Don’t worry, there will be pretty pictures too. (:

PS. If you’d like me to blog about a specific topic I’d love to hear from you! After all, if I’m not posting intentionally based on what you can relate to, what is this blog for anyhow? Feel free to comment here or on Instagram (@kalinorton) with your ideas!




The Davis Family is Growing | Awaiting Baby: Alabama Maternity Photographer

Jessica and Noah are two extremely talented and intelligent friends I’ve had the pleasure of knowing through that little Marine thing Preston does. Within this unique and beautiful military family we’ve made over the years, we’ve all become quite close and fond of one another. We’ve watched life’s happenings unfold–from babies, to numerous deployments, to heartbreak–it’s a bond not only among the Marines, but truly among the families, wives, and various forms of friendship intertwined.

When I first really spent time with Jess it was on a camping trip with our beloved group of friends from 3rd Force Reconnaissance Co. I had packed for what seemed like two days and thought I was immensely organized and ready–that was until I met Jess and her pre-cooked, individually packaged gourmet meals she had meticulously prepared for that weekend. From a hearty stew made from scratch to 70% dark chocolate sea salt candy bars for the s’mores, Jess had thought of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. The Martha Stewart in me instantly turned into major fan girl and I was completely and totally Team Jess. A radiant and humble personality, two careers of her own, and a beast with anything that involves the realm of crafts or cooking, I knew instantly that weekend that Noah had the most genuine kind of keeper on his hands.

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As you can imagine from her aforementioned credentials, she’s also a huge hit among Emma and Jackson, Noah’s littles. Maybe it’s her stellar cake making skills, the colorful bento box lunches she sends them to school with, or just simply the way she emits love–either way, I’m pretty sure no one’s complaining in the Davis clan.

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Jessica and Noah decided to be surprised by the sex of the baby, so I can’t wait to see if the boys or girls of the family will become outnumbered soon. I think Emma and Jackson are pretty stoked either way.Noah + Jess MaternityNoah + Jess Maternity Noah + Jess MaternityNoah + Jess Maternity Noah + Jess Maternity Noah + Jess Maternity

I know this baby is coming into the most loving group of humans. Jess and Noah, I absolutely cannot wait to love on that sweet bebe’ soon. Noah + Jess MaternityNoah + Jess Maternity Noah + Jess MaternityNoah + Jess Maternity






Summer Portrait Session Upcoming Dates | Fairhope & Mobile

I’ll be in the along the coast in the Fairhope and Mobile Bay areas at the end of next week and will be offering a limited number of portrait sessions while I’m there!

**As always, booking times are granted on a first come, first serves basis upon receiving contracts and retainer.

These offerings are carefully crafted portrait sessions highlighting organic emotion and special bonds between loved ones with yours truly for a $250 session fee and include a gorgeously planned session and a private online viewing gallery for ordering prints, albums, and high-resolution images.

The following dates and times are available in Fairhope and Mobile, so if you are wanting beautiful photographs of your family this year, this is your chance!

Emily + Trent EngagementsContact directly at kali@kalinorton.com. Booking requires a signed contract as well as your session fee.