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Every Day Photos Interview–Natalie Norton

{If you missed the post about taking better Every Day photos, go check that out so you understand why I’m posting these interviews}

 

For those of you landing here for the first time, I’ll be posting interviews from some amazing people talking about why every day photos are important to them as well as sharing some of the photos of their “every day”.  All of these people live intentional and deliberate lives and they make an effort to document their days and tell the story of their family through photos.  They’re all the real deal and I’m excited and truly humbled they agreed to do this (they’re busy.  Like, really busy).

To read earlier interviews by Courtney Slazinik or Chari Pack, click on their name.

 

And now here’s my friend.

Natalie Norton.

I first found Natalie on her blog when her infant son was fighting for his life after contracting whooping cough.  He didn’t survive.  I had just had Carter and he was a hard, HARD baby.  I read Natalie’s blog each day and sobbed and sobbed.  And became grateful for my baby who cried all.the.time.  Because he was here.  And he was alive.  Natalie’s story and strength were a HUGE source of inspiration for me during one of the hardest years of my life.  I later attended Natalie’s first Breathe Intensive and it changed the trajectory of my life.  I have since done some business coaching with her and I now consider her a dear friend.  She’s truly one-of-a-kind with a heart of gold.  And this photo slays me every.single.time I see it.

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Here’s what Natalie has to say about every day photos in her life.

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1.  Give me a quick synopsis of your “story” 

I’m Natalie.  I’ve got an amazing husband, 7, yes SEVEN, remarkable kids–4 I baked myself, 3 came as unexpected (and miraculous) bonuses and 1 is waiting for me in heaven.  I’ve been a professional photographer just shy of a decade, an author/coach/public speaker since 2010, and a lover of life since forever and ever.  It’s great to meet you!

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2.  Why are every day photos important to you?

Every day photos are important to me for the same reason they should be important to each of us:  real life–the stuff that actually matters–is so.very.fleeting.  I know, better than most, that in the end, it’s not going to be the big, “exciting” events that make up life…it’s going to be the moments in between that will come together to create the beautiful tapestry of our lives.  When all is said and done, those are the moments we’ll yearn for.  Those are the moments we’ll never want to forget.

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3.  What is one of your favorite every day photos and why?

Somewhere, in the abyss of boxes that live in the basement of my childhood home, there’s an old polaroid of my little brother, Gavin, and I.  We’re about 10 and 6 years old, respectively.  I’m dressed up in my dad’s slacks, suspenders, and cowboy boots, and he is wearing an antique dress that belonged to my maternal grandmother when she was a child.  We’d even curled Gavin’s straw colored hair into ringlets and used lipstick to color both his cheeks and his lips.  The look on both of our faces is priceless; we were completely aware of our hilarity, and boy, were we proud of it.

My brother died unexpectedly in 2007.  I’m grateful every day for memories like these…memories I sincerely don’t believe I’d have if a photo didn’t exist to memorialize them.

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4.  What type of photos do you wish you had more of from your childhood?

I’d take ANYTHING I could get my hands on!

When I was very young our family was quite poor.  (Now, that’s a relative term.  To clarify, we spent many years living hand to mouth).  One day, we were at the beach as a family, and a rogue wave came up onto the shore and washed all our beach supplies into the ocean….including the family camera.  It was years before my parents could afford to buy a new one.  I have only hazy memories from those camera-less years.  Each image we do have, whether from a friend or a formal family photo session (of which I can only remember 2 ever taking place), is absolutely priceless.

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5.  What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to help people take “better” every day photos?

Stop worrying so much and just take the picture.  Years from now, you’ll care FAR more that the photo actually exists than you will how artistically remarkable it is.  Practical advice?

1.  Turn off the flash.

2.  Say “no” to “Say cheese!”–candid is always best

3.  Pics now, posts later.  Don’t get so caught up in posting images to social media in real time that you miss precious moments as they unfold.  Photograph the moments, yes, but then put the dang phone away and really experience them.

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Thank you thank you thank you Natalie!  Natalie’s currently juggling the role of mom to seven kids, two of which are toddler twins.  She has her hands full so I’m extra thankful she was willing to do this!

The best place to find Natalie is on Instagram (@natalienorton).

You can also read her blog here (which I’m begging her to start doing agin).  Regardless, there’s already a ton of great stuff on there.

 

To learn how to take better every day photos of YOUR family story, check out the EVERY DAY PHOTOS GUIDE.

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  • I’ve loved her stuff for quite some time and followed her on Instagram. She seems amazing. I loved this entire list and all her answers. I lost my little sister and when she died afterward we were looking for pictures of her and my mom and there were two. Two. My mother was and still is heartbroken about that (and it’s been 15 years). That is why I document every stinking thing in our lives.ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Oh wow Rhonda, that makes my heart hurt for your mom. Truth is though, I don’t think that’s very uncommon. I only have a handful of photos with just me and my mom. I have VERY few photos of me growing up. Not nearly enough to piece together all the memories. But there really wasn’t the technology to conveniently do that. Now we have everything at our fingertips. We just have to DO it.ReplyCancel

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