Thursday, September 6, 2012


Sometime during the early summer of 2009 I was browsing the blogosphere. One particular night I came across 3 blogs. Photography blogs. As strange as it may sound, I started a relationship with these blogs. I started following them.

One of the blogs was a photographer in Hawaii. I found her by Googling or Yahooing or something of the sort. I discovered Natalie Norton. This is Natalie’s old blog, the one I was originally taken with, but her new blog and information can be found here.

I remember thinking that night, wouldn’t it be awesome to have her photograph the two of us or all of us or some of us? See, even in 2009 I was planning a future family trip. Following our summer 2010 trip to Maui, I began planning for the summer of 2012 and I knew in my heart I wanted Natalie to be a part of this event. I loved her style. Her photography spoke to me. It spoke to my heart. I admired her artful eye and knew she could capture us beautifully. I always kept her in my thoughts, but in the summer of 2011 I was crushed. You see, Natalie lived on Oahu but was moving to Arizona. Moving! I was so disappointed.

I didn’t think there would be any chance that Natalie would journey to Maui or that we could even afford it if she could. As the planning continued, I searched other photographers on Maui and even some on the other islands.  As I searched, nothing compared. Sure, other photographers were good, with pretty pictures, and some were even amazing. They just weren’t Natalie. As 2011 was ending I knew I needed to get serious or just forget it. Finally, toward the end of January, I thought, what the heck. Just email her and see. See if there is a possibility. See if it fits the budget. Just see.

I did. She gave me information and said she may be going back to Oahu during the summer and it just might work. As things progressed in the planning, a travel agent helped me with all of our flight arrangements and lo and behold, she was able to save me mega bucks versus me booking everything myself. Really? It was like finding money in the sofa or your pockets just when you need something. It was joy! I contacted Natalie and booked her. That was in March. Only 4 months prior to our trip. This doesn’t happen folks, this just doesn’t always happen this way.

Finally everything was in place. Everything was planned. Everything was happening! On Thursday, July 12, day 6 of our trip, we finally met. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. As she drove up I ran, yes, I ran, to meet her in the driveway of the house. We hugged. We talked. We laughed. As we made our way into the house, she met Cupcake Girl first, in her undies I might add. Cupcake, not Natalie! She made the rounds and met the rest of the BBB (Blended Brady Bunch). Then Natalie poured out her sweet love and started the magic. It was truly wonderful. I watched her when I could and tried to learn. Learn her secret to getting that beautiful smile or that sweet look. Learn how to coax out the inner child we all have inside. She was amazing! A few weeks after our trip a sweet little package came in the mail. Natalie provided us with a little over 150 photographs and there is absolutely no way I could even begin to pick a few favorites. They are all my favorites!

Natalie captured ALL of us beautifully. The beauty as Beanie holds her round belly. A belly that holds her little baby girl. The love in Trone’s eyes as he looks at Beanie and embraces her. The admiration and loving playfulness shown between Reb and Josh. They have such beautiful smiles and contagious laughs! I see my baby, Kayla, all grown up. Photographs will do that, you know? All 23 years of her rolled up into a lovely young woman. Her pretty eyes and bright smile light up my heart. As I look at Traci I see the woman, the wife and the mom that she has become. Her inner beauty has evolved and matured as her life has evolved and matured. Her beautiful blue eyes are filled with joy as she looks at her sweet husband, Zak and their adorable daughter, Cupcake Girl. When I look at Zak’s photographs I see so much love and devotion for his girls. He adores them! When you see the photographs of Cupcake Girl, well, you will see her as I see her. The gentle side of her and the silly side of her. Her love for each of us has no limit and you see it in her eyes. You see it in the way she touches and embraces. As for my sweet husband, The Captain, there is so much joy in his eyes and in his sweet smile. He way he grins when he is in the presence of his girls and their husbands. The way he embraces them with so much love, affection and admiration. He is so proud of them. He is proud of all of us and loves each of us. I see the spark in his eyes when Cupcake Girl holds his hand or gives him a kiss. I can almost hear his heart bursting with joy when she smiles at him or laughs at his silliness. I have immense love for this man and am so grateful he has an abounding love to share with all of us. I adore him endlessly.

And finally a personal note to Natalie. I am so grateful to you Natalie. You shared your gift  and your passion with us. You made us laugh, feel at ease and again, you captured us beautifully. Thank you for sharing you time and thank you for sharing a little bit of yourself with me. I will always treasure those few moments we had together, sitting in the grass under the West Maui Mountains, talking and sharing. Thank you for loving what you do and your willingness to share it with others, especially us.

Enjoy this little glimpse of us, courtesy of Natalie.

P.S. Special thanks to my little BBB. I particularly love our “attitude” photo. You know the one! Thanks for letting me do that!

All photographs posted with permission from Natalie Norton. All images are copyright protected by the individual photographer and owner of this blog. DO NOT use images for commercial purposes. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission.

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