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Tuesday, December 13

12 Days of Christmas

We have officially entered the 12 days of Christmas (which means 16 days until my birthday and 18 until New Years for those of you who are keeping track). This past weekend I had two full day shoots and I am sore! I never noticed how much I squat on shoots until I reached the end of the wedding Sunday and my calves were screaming. I know, the terribly difficult life of a wedding photographer, they should write epic poems in my honor. But physical pain aside- this weekend was a constant reminder of how blessed I am to do what I do. I get to spend my days actively practicing my passion and share in some of the most important moments of my clients' lives.

The Princess Ball was absolutely inspiring. The stories that some of the girls had and the people that stepped out of the woodwork to help put this event together was nothing short of a miracle. Every girl (close to 70 of them) got to dress up for one night and feel like the princesses that they are. Myself and several other local photographers got some great pictures of these girls and I know that these families will treasure the memories forever. For me it was like shooting 70 weddings at once- capturing all the girls getting their hair and make-up done; getting in their dresses; sharing their first dances with their fathers- it was a magical evening. For every girl it was their special night. Definitely an amazing event that every girl (and her father) should experience at least one. And it's not too late- wheels are already in motion for next year's Princess Ball. I will keep you updated on its progress. A special thanks to Fairfield Christian Church North Campus for hosting the event and the gorgeous Marissa Bailey for putting it all together. You are one incredible lady!

The Kimes wedding on Sunday was equally amazing. Held in the OSU Faculty Club, the wedding was such a beautiful display of a young couple's love. Sam and Evan were all smiles all day and I couldn't help but share their excitement. They were such great models- a gorgeous couple. Evan, the groom, brought his fiercest modeling moves and Sam, the bride, was absolutely glowing all night. My favorite detail of the day- a baby pine tree for every guest so they can "plant a tree for love". I'll have a full post of their wedding soon but here are a few sneak peak pictures to tie you over.

Keep smiling!

Saturday, December 10

Date Day at CMA

Maybe it's because we're both in college or maybe it's because we've seen every single episode of The Office AT LEAST seven times- but whatever it is, Blake and I don't get out much. And we're okay with that. We spend 99.9% of our nights hanging out in front of a computer working on school stuff or in front of a tv watching Hulu/Netflix. So sometimes the wild woman in me just screams "I have to go do something!"

And that is how we found ourselves at the Columbus Museum of Art two weeks ago. We made a whole day of it. Lunch at Max & Erma's- yes, we're fancy. Believe it or not I've never been to a Max and Erma's before but I will definitely being going back for the most amazing tortilla soup I've ever had in my life. Then off to CMA. If you've never been- you should definitely go. It's such a beautiful building with amazing architecture and it's only $10 (less for students, kids, and seniors)! Seriously. Go. At the risk of sounding like a PSA... it's fun for everyone. They've got weekends planned for kids once a month and there is definitely something to keep everyone entertained. Although I will say that if you don't have kids (or don't like kids) don't go on a family weekend. Blake and I spent half of our visit trying to stay a room ahead of the Brownie troop visiting that day.

 You can put these chairs on my Christmas list. Seriously, how amazing are these?
 And I think this is on Blake's list...

My favorite discovery was in the love room where they had a "peace tree".

Blake and I had an amazing day pretending to be cultured people. Armed with only Blake's knowledge gained from a quarter of art history 101, we explored the museum for hours. And because the CMA allows you to take pictures of most of their exhibits, I got some great pictures out of the experience. Could not have asked for a better day out. It will definitely hold me over until next year when we go on another "date day".

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, December 6

November Wedding: Chris + Jyssika Dunn

There was magic in the air. It’s hard not to have that feeling on 11.11.11- the coolest date for a wedding that I could ever think of. Jyssi did a nice job of picking out the date which held special meaning to her, being her late grandfather’s birthday. It was a beautiful (although quite chilly) Friday in Baltimore, Ohio. The church gave off such a wonderful, intimate feeling that made every guest and family member feel close to the young couple as they pledged their lives to one another.

Jyssika was absolutely gorgeous in her dress and has an infectious smile that you can’t help but want to be around.

Chris and his groomsmen, in camo accented tuxes, stayed pretty loose all evening and gave me some great opportunities for candid shots in between the formal group pictures.

I love watching the couples interact after the ceremony- it’s time to let their hair down and enjoy the months of planning that went into the day. Chris and Jyssi were immediately joking and whispering to each other in a small room off of the chapel as they waited for their guests to be dismissed. And when Chris went AWOL during the family group shots after the ceremony, I got to watch Jyssi’s face as she asked, “where is my husband?”- the first time she got to call Chris her husband. She laughed and admitted it felt a little weird to call him that but he was by her side in a second. And I know he always will be. Their love is evident and I’m so blessed to have been a part of their special day.

For even more pictures from the Dunn Wedding check out the slideshow below.
Keep smiling!

Sunday, December 4

I Survived.

Wow. The last few weeks have been insanely busy. But I do enjoy a challenge. And I have arrived at the end of Autumn Quarter 2011… Victorious. I survived the fall quarter and am taking a few quick breaths before diving into next week. Next Saturday, I will be taking pictures of all the lovely ladies at the Princess Ball at Fairfield Christian Church. It’s a wonderful event made to make every little girl feel like a princess and teach them the importance of treating themselves and their bodies with the respect and love they deserve. It’s such a great message and I’m so excited to be a part of it. Then Sunday I will be shooting the Kimes wedding at the OSU faculty club and I am looking forward to shooting a gorgeous December wedding.

I apologize for not giving everyone a sneak peak of the Dunn Wedding I shot on Nov. 11th but the full post (in all its glory) will be coming VERY SOON. In all the madness of the recent weeks, Blake did manage to drag me away from my school work, picture editing, and constant stressing to take me to the Columbus Museum of Art. It was an amazing day and I plan on giving it a full post of its own as soon as I find the time. But because every post is better with a picture, here’s my favorite detail shot from the Dunn Wedding:

Please check out the Facebook page for the Princess Ball here. If you're in the area there is still a lot you could do to help so please don't hesitate to ask!

Keep Smiling!

Saturday, November 12

Couple Session: Kelli and Phillip

"We do love each other, I swear," Kelli playfully reassured me about half way through our session Sunday at the beautiful Blacklick Woods Metro Park in Reynoldsburg. But she didn't have to tell me. I could tell. They teased each other non-stop and as far as I'm concerned, love is the only thing that could have convinced Phillip that a two hour photo shoot (complete with two outfit changes) was a good idea. But he was a great sport and Kelli was born to be in front of a camera. She was always ready with a killer smile and her amazing red hair was always shinning in the sunlight. Things like that make my job easy.

Sunday was absolutely beautiful weather. Even Kelli and Phillip's dogs loved it. The beautiful Darcy and Dippy had matching blinged out collars that just pulled their little family together so well. I've never worked with dogs before and I have to admit, I was a little nervous. But these two lovely ladies were literally smiling in the pictures. Couldn't ask for anything more.

I cannot get over how cute these two are together. Although, Kelli laughs when I use the word cute. But it's my favorite way of describing these two. I like to talk to my subjects when we're shooting to keep everyone loose and happy. And the look they gave each other when I asked about how they met was nothing less than hilarious. The answer I got was just as unique and incredible as the two of them. I'm so glad that these two chose to spend such a wonderful Sunday afternoon with me and share their story and their love with me. I'll never get tired of listening to love stories.

You can check out the sneak peak pics from this shoot here.
Keep smiling,

Wednesday, November 9

Fall Frenzy

What a week it has been! The gorgeous, unexpected, Summer-like weather is the only thing that has kept me sane. I had two amazing shoots this past weekend. One on Saturday with the always amazing Foltz family and a Sunday afternoon shoot with Ms. Kelli Carroll and her lovely boyfriend, Phillip Case. Both shoots were such a treat and the sun never seemed to stop shining all weekend. I apologize that I don't have more time to blog lately but we're heading into week 9 at OSU and things are really starting to pile up. So here's a sneak peak at the Kelli and Phillip shoot, stay tuned for a full post coming later in the week. Also, I have another wedding this weekend and will be keeping you up to date on that. Thanks for everyone's support and love. Things are really picking up for me and I cannot express my gratitude enough!

Keep smiling!


Thursday, November 3

Lessons and Thanksgivings

It's my dream to be a successful wedding photographer (I don't know if you could notice by the blog or anything). And the month of October was such a great month for my budding business. I got to shoot a beautiful wedding and some amazing family pictures. But most importantly, I learned a lot. Through  every conversation with potential clients and every photo shoot- I was given the opportunity to succeed and to fail. And no matter what the outcome, I got to take a step away from the situation and start to analyze. I guess it's just the college student in me, but I'm always preparing for that next test, the next conversation, the next shoot. So I can do better. I want to improve. I want to find new amazing ways to suprise my clients and my self.  I want to offer them everything they've dreamed of and give them so much more. Lofty goals, I know. But you have to aim for the stars.

And I've got some crazy day dreams. The wish list of photography equipment I have compiled is too long and about $100,000 too crazy to think about without making me drool. The schedule I dream about having in a few years after I 'make it big' requires a few additional months on the calendar and at least 8 more daylight hours. Now of course I do have the regular kinds of day dreams too- an ice cream truck tips over in front of my house, I find an inexpensive high heel that's just as comfortable as my flip flops, and all of the rude drivers in the world are abducted by aliens. Those are normal day dreams, right?

Until the day of to-die-for camera lenses and unlimited ice cream, I'm okay with having my feet on the ground. Because I have an amazing  family and friends who couldn't be more supportive. Thank you so much to the clients who have already taken a chance on me. And a huge thanks to anyone reading this blog. It means more than you could ever know.

It's November now. The month of amazing fall colors and thankfulness. The month is already starting out pretty well- I have a family shoot Saturday and a 'just for fun' shoot Sunday with a couple, so new pictures will be arriving shortly. Both of these were scheduled completely last minute. So if you still want to squeeze in some last minute family pictures or get a great fall photo shoot before the weather turns terrible- please, contact me. Like always- it's Kaylina Norton Photography on Facebook or you can email kaylinanorton@gmail.com. And expect a lot more of my bubbly, happy rants throughout this month leading up to Turkey Day. Until then I'll be dreaming and learning from everything. Because life's tests are always cumulative.

And because everything is better with a picture attached... Meet Weezy, my hedgehog. She makes me pretty happy.

Love you guys and keep smiling!

Sunday, October 16

All in the Details

Yesterday I had the pleasure of shooting a beautiful Sweetest Day wedding. However getting to that wedding and rehearsal dinner the night before was not exactly easy. The rehearsal was to start at 4:30 Friday night. At approximately 3:00, I blew a tire on my car. Luckily, I have an  amazing, heroic uncle who came to my rescue. Because Lord knows that I don't know the first thing about simple car repairs. And no, as my uncle pointed out, they do not teach you how to change a tire in college. The following morning while in the shower, getting ready for the wedding, the water pump went out. But other than my troubles behind the scene, the wedding went incredibly smoothly and was a beautiful ceremony. Everyone pitched in to make everything beautiful and every detail was perfect. A lovely way to celebrate love and Sweetest day.

Keep smiling,


Friday, September 30

Back to School

Sorry it's been so long since the last post but school started last Wednesday and I've been swamped. That's one thing about quarters, they waste no time getting started. This week for a business class we had to take a Myers-Briggs test and give a presentation on our personality types. For those of you who have never taken it before you take a 70-something question test with all yes or no answers and it spits out a 4 letter acronym at you. For example, I'm an ISFJ and Blake's an ENTP (yes- complete opposites). You can then look up your acronym and find out more about yourself. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your habits, your best suited careers, and your perfect mates. Or my favorite: all the famous people who share your acronym. I've got Queen Elizabeth II, Mother Theresa, and Robert E. Lee- strange mix.

While I found the whole experience pretty interesting, what I loved most about my personality profile was this: I'm born to be a portrait photographer! I already knew that but it was nice to hear it from a complete stranger who doesn't know me. I'm the kind of person who like making people feel good about themselves. I use my photography as a service to others. I make them feel comfortable and help them enjoy an experience that is special. I believe in the power of photography and anyone who has known me knows how much I love pictures.

I've always been iffy on personality tests because if you're broad enough- you'll match everyone. And I don't need a personality test to tell me who I am, what I love, or who I'll get along with. I was lucky enough to stumble on my passion through experience and a little help from my loved ones. I continue to learn and grow everyday. I have weird little eccentricities that a personality test will never be able to pinpoint.

That's what I love about people: at the heart we're all the same, but completely different. And it's why I'll never want to stop trying to capture that something that makes everyone special.

And because everything is better with a picture attached, here's my favorite picture I took this past week.

Take the test here or just keep smiling,


Tuesday, September 13

First Looks

So yesterday while skimming through my favorite blog, Jasmine Star, I happened upon an answer to a question I’d been asking myself for quite a while: how does she have time to take all of these gorgeous, one-on-one bride and groom shots? Her answer: first looks.

If a bride and groom decides to have a “first look” on their wedding day it means that they sit aside time before the ceremony to see each other privately (and of course take pictures). Now, I understand that some people want to keep the “tradition” of not seeing each other until the alter. But as Jasmine, and many other wedding photographers, will tell you- the new tradition is first looks.

For those of you who are more detail centered, here’s exactly how you would set up a first look session: The photographer and groom would wait at the shoot location (a room in the church or outside the church on a nice day) and the bride would then be called in. That way that moment when the groom first sees the bride is still captured but in a more intimate setting that can be followed by more breathtaking pictures.

As a photographer, I love the idea of a first look. It gives you time to have those one-on-one intimate pictures you can’t take after the ceremony when everyone is watching and the guests are all waiting for you so they can eat. If you make time to take pictures then the experience is so much more cathartic. Anyone who has ever been a part of a wedding party will tell you the day is completely packed full of last minute running around. If a bride and a groom does not make time to see each other alone and take pictures- it won’t happen. You’ll rush through the whole day and realize when it’s over you missed a big opportunity.

There’s no right or wrong way to go. But for those couples (or brides) that want a million pictures of their special day, a first look is a way to take pictures without being rushed by hungry guests.

Check out Jasmine’s post here and check out the amazing pictures she gets from “First Looks”.

Monday, September 5

Labor Day Weekend

Yay for holiday weekends. Anytime I get an extra day of work, I'm for it. This weekend was particularly nice.

Blake and I taught the 9:00 am Sunday school class for K-5th grade Sunday morning. It was our first time, but it went really well. It helps when it's a holiday weekend and only three kids show up. We spent Sunday afternoon and evening watching "Band of Brothers" on Blu-ray. And we wrapped up the night by meeting some friends for dinner.

Today Blake, who is the Percussion Caption Head for Canal Winchester's band, had to go to Canal's Labor Day Festival Parade. I decided to go along because I can't past up insanely unhealthy festival food. I took my camera along and had a pretty great time.

It was a pretty great weekend, which we needed. Blake starts back to college tomorrow and it's back to work for me. Hope everyone else had an amazing weekend also.

Stay smiling,


Friday, September 2

The September Issue


This week just flew by. Work was completely hectic and I've been trying to soak up these last few weeks of summer. I know that almost everyone is back in school which means I can feel my summer coming to an end and I'm not ready! Because all I see when school starts is the impending winter. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I HATE winter. But I forget that there's an amazing 2 and a half months before the cold.

The September issue of Vogue came a few days ago. It's huge: 758 pages with Kate Moss rocking the cover. I normally read every word on every page of every issue but I'm not so sure I'll be able to finish this one. The arrival of the September issue means fall is here. It means that I can start wearing my boots again. And all of the clothes I have tucked away in the back of the closet, waiting for the first chilly days.

Autumn is my favorite because everything about it is beautiful. The colors, the clothes, the weather. I want it to last forever. We just have to get through the sweltering weekend first.

Stay cool and stay smiling!
(And Go Bucks!)


Friday, August 26

Meet Jonas Glay

Happy Friday!

My week has been a little crazy and I can honestly say that I haven't looked forward to the weekend this much in a long time. My one highlight for the week was my photo shoot with the Glay family on Tuesday. Adam and Nichole and big brother, Owen, welcomed Jonas Edward Glay to the family on the 12th.

The shoot was so much fun. Two year old Owen met me at the door so excited to take pictures. He was such a big helper and sat beside me "taking pictures" with his Elmo camera. Jonas was amazing as well, so calm and not even a little bit fussy.

My new assistant

It amazes me how photogenic children are. They're so comfortable around cameras and always ready with a big smile. It's truly contagious. I want to thank the Glay family for inviting me into their home and sharing their toys with me.

Check out my Facebook for more pictures from the session and don't forget to "like" my page and follow me on Twitter. I can't succeed without your help!

Thanks for all the support and keep smiling,