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asheville photographer

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman

Donna entrusted her portraiture to us in our Asheville portrait studio and we created some INCREDIBLE portraits with her. Portraits I know she will cherish, her children will cherish...It's a thrill for me to present you with Donna Gray.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

In portraiture, embracing the shadows is equally as important as embracing the light when you create your artwork. I'm reintroducing myself to the darker side of my work. Let me show you.

“Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” {A Portrait Book 2}

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“Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” {A Portrait Book 2}

“Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” a portrait book.

Just wow. I cannot even tell you how incredible this journey is. Over the past month I have enjoyed the company of some amazing women, all sharing stories about their daughters, step daughters, granddaughters, sisters. Birth stories, victories, heartfelt moments…We laugh and some even cry about these times together. It is mesmerizing.

I sat down to write some for the book tonight. I’ve been editing these amazing images and meeting with each of the women involved…It just takes my breath away. One thing is for sure though, this book is so much more than my portrait work. It is sharing the light that each of these women carries, their hearts, their souls, and everything they want to say.

After much thought, I’ve decided to expand the scope of this project. Originally, I had only planned on including a handful of women that had shown interest in the book. Frankly, after being a part of these women’s lives even for a short period and creating this artwork with them, how could I not expand to allow others who want to participate?

If you are interested in having a portrait session with us with your mom, daughter, granddaughter, sister, or cousin, we would love to have you. We have extended the shoots into the summer to accommodate families and the Buncombe county school schedule. You can review all of the details on our website here. It will give you all of the preliminary details about participation, expectation, and costs and of course, you can reach out directly with any questions and to apply.

This weekend alone I photographed a three generations shoot for a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter that simply set my soul on fire! And then a mother and daughter photo shoot with a young high school sophomore that reminded me so much of my younger self. They are all exactly WHY I do what I do. I love creating and having these wonderful hearts in our studio to showcase their love for one another…I can’t even describe it. This imagery will be cherished by each of them and their children’s children for generations. Wow! Just, wow.

Thank you to everyone who has participated to this point and I cannot wait to photograph many more of you to showcase in our portrait book, “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters”.

Apply to be considered for inclusion in our portrait book, “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters”

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Mother and Daughter Photo Shoot in Asheville

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Mother and Daughter Photo Shoot in Asheville

Nicola and Kerrington were an absolute JOY to photograph! I think I’ll be seeing Kerrington again to intern for me down the line  She was so sweet and we had a wonderful time dancing, and laughing, and shooting all afternoon.

They’ve joined me for our portrait book project and wow! I am so grateful for their participation. The more and more families I meet, the more excited I get for publishing!

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Are you interested in a mother daughter photo shoot, or in being a part of our portrait book project? We’d love to hear all about what you’re envisioning for your photography session in our Asheville studio.

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A Red Head and Two Dresses

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A Red Head and Two Dresses

Goodness gracious! Everyone, meet Kelly. Wife to an officer in the Army, student, and soon-to-be therapist. One of the things I learned about Kelly today is that her purpose is to be the hope in people’s lives, the light. Wow! It blew me away.

One of the things I love about her is that she knows what she wants. So often, when you ask someone what they are looking for, what they want out of life they sort of look at you like there is a foot growing on your face. Kelly knew straight away and I’ll tell you what, mark my words, she will get it.

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Kelly’s husband is deployed at the moment but, we’re both sort of hoping these images help ease the wait until he returns to the states.

PS – Kelly’s husband, in case noone has mentioned it, Thank you. You and your service are greatly appreciated.

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Are you interested in a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? Feel free to contact us using the form below. We would love to have you in for a consultation.

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Sue Bryce Education in Paris

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Sue Bryce Education in Paris

Honey, I’m Hooooome! Wow! WHAT. A. Trip. Somebody pinch me! In case I hadn’t told you (oh who am I kidding? Of course I told you), I’ve spent the last two weeks abroad in Paris, France. You read that correctly, Paris! Gah! ANNNND! It was for a workshop with the leading photographer of women in. the. world!!!! Sue Bryce.

You might remember that I studied under Sue in one of her courses for the better part of 2015. That in and of itself allowed me to grow my own skill set to better my shooting and my business practices. In short, it changed my business. In October of last year, I traveled to New York to a photography trade-show (Photo Plus Expo) to meet her. Well, I took other classes also but, meeting Sue was at the top of my list.

Then, she announced her workshop in Paris. It was this incredible, dream-worthy, and completely unattainable goal. I literally had NO IDEA how I would afford it but, I was going. No ifs, ands, or buts. It seemed impossible. And then it wasn’t. I jumped in feet first. I was going to Paris to study under Sue Bryce. There was no question. “Impossible IS I’m Possible” right?

Coffee, sequins, and glamour.

Coffee, sequins, and glamour.

Sue brought her team of mentors to teach an intense two days of shooting, business, and if you follow Sue at all you know she will also present you with the opportunity to face you own deamons, too.

The workshop was held in a Chateau in St Germaine en Laye…where Amadeus Mozart stayed on THREE different occasions, and even wrote about the home himself. It is one thing to see this place in photographs and completely another to walk through the doors.

Being greeted by Sue. Image courtesy Katinka Tromp

Being greeted by Sue. Image courtesy Katinka Tromp

Day One:

I was greeted by the mentors, Sue, and Cookie. Sue’s adorably famous star Pug. She immediately ran right up my leg, gave me a kiss and ran away again.

Cookie Bryce

Cookie Bryce

I must admit, I was way off my game for most of the first day. Well more nervous than I had expected to be not to mention, my camera was malfunctioning somehow (being rectified, no worries), and I felt like, like…I felt like it was my first day on a new job. New people, new expectations, I didn’t know what those expectations were, new workflow, and everyone was nice, and patient, and wonderful and I’m over here in the corner all “hey, look at my thumbs!”.

About half way through the day I found my stride. My camera would fire when I told it to, I was more comfortable with the setting and holy wow did I shoot some beautiful portraits! Even during one of the scenarios did I receive personal, one-on-one mentoring with Sue.

Sue, Lauren, and Esti

Sue, Lauren, and Esti

One of the things that I loved most about the workshop is that attendance was so limited so that Sue was able TO give individual attention outside of the classroom setting. I can honestly say that my shooting, even if I gleaned nothing else from this course (which is NOT the case), the quality of my shooting has grown by leaps and bounds. Their (Sue and Emily London Miller‘s) guidance literally, changed my life.

Emily, Caitlin, and Sue

Emily, Caitlin, and Sue

Caitlin, Sue, and Rodney

Caitlin, Sue, and Rodney

The szhuszh! Sue and Caitlin

The szhuszh! Sue and Caitlin

And that was just day one.

The ceiling was incredible, truly. Image courtesy Katinka Tromp Photography

The ceiling was incredible, truly. Image courtesy Katinka Tromp Photography

Day Two was all about the biz! The pricing, the marketing and networking, and the part where you are faced with your own YOU. AKA, do or die, baby! Needless to say, there were a lot of tears that second day, even by me. (I’m not really a public crier normally but on day two…holy cow! Waterworks over here!)

Sue, Shauna, and Rebecca posing 2's

Sue, Shauna, and Rebecca posing 2's

And then there was dancing. Yes, dancing. We had scrapped an idea to flashmob Sue at lunch that day (being grown, professional adults) and then a little birdie told Sue what we had been planning. Yyyyyeah, so we were called out and you’d better believe that about 8 or 10 of us got up there and did a choreographed dance to “Fireball” by Pitbull. Choreographed by one Rodney Pedroza. I also discovered something else…I probably shouldn’t spin in public without a dancing partner. 

Dancing for Sue, image courtesy Olga Zametra

Dancing for Sue, image courtesy Olga Zametra

This trip abroad was a lot of things: I made connections with amazing photographers from the US, the UAE, and Europe, for the first time in my life I facilitated something wonderful in my life, on my own that had nothing to do with anyone or anything other than my own desires both personally and professionally, I studied under the number one photographer of women in the world, THE WORLD, and I am facing some pretty incredible aspects of myself that I both am and am not prepared to face, and I welcome it.

I know! All this from one workshop huh?

Thank you, Sue. Again and again, your influence has changed my life, Thank you.

Lauren directing Katie

Lauren directing Katie

For anyone considering whether or not a workshop given by a leader in your field is worth the time or the expense, look a little closer. I hear, so often that “Oh, it was at a workshop, that’s WHY it’s good.” which I think is a cop-out. In attending education, given by those at the top of their field, YOUR field you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow. You are investing in yourSELF and you WILL grow from it. I highly recommend it.

XoXo,

Cat

#mirrormirroronthewall

#namaste

#certaintyandconviction

PS – don’t be surprised if I purchase all the crown molding from my local supply store (ALL of it) and paint it gold. PS: If I go missing, it’s because my husband came home and discovered that I DIY’ed our brick ranch into a French chateau. Those walls though, GAH!

 

These images were created at Sue Bryce’s 1st Paris workshop 2016 by Cat Ford-Coates

These images were created at Sue Bryce’s 1st Paris workshop 2016 by Cat Ford-Coates

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You are worth it and so is your daughter. SHOW HER.

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You are worth it and so is your daughter. SHOW HER.

Mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers.

Those roles are each, quite distinct and very, very important in their own way. My birthday gift to myself is to take action in honoring my role as a woman. My role as a woman who empowers other women. My role as a woman who sees the absolute beauty in every other feminine power that she meets, and mirrors it back to them. My role in honoring that in a new way is to create a book that tells the stories of mothers and daughters, and their connection. What those mothers want their daughters to know, the women those young girls are growing into being; their loves, dreams, and desires in life.

We will be inviting 20 women and their daughters the opportunity to a portrait session in our studio in April and May of this year and I would love for you and your daughters to be involved with us in this publication. We will be photographing our subjects in April and May and publishing a book with the imagery and stories of each of these women and their daughters this summer.

Would you and your mother or daughter be interested in a portrait shoot with us? Would you want to be part of an artistic endeavor and a book publication? Are you open to sharing your story and philosophy on womanhood, motherhood, and everything as a feminine being? Please submit your story to us below. How would this benefit you? How might this benefit your daughter(s)? How will sharing your story be empowering for you and for others?

Don’t be shy. We would love to photograph you.

What kind of legacy are you going to leave for your daughters?

What kind of legacy are you going to leave for your daughters?

They will never be this young again.

They will never be this young again.

F.A.Q.

  1. What are you publishing?
    1. A coffee table book honoring women (through portraiture and their own words) in their many roles in life as; daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers and the philosophies they want to share with their own daughters.
  2. How do I participate?
    1. First, submit your story and how being a part of this project will benefit you and others and we’ll go from there 
  3. Is there a cost?
    1. Yes. There is a non-refundable $350 fee to participate.
  4. What is your cancellation policy?
    1. Rescheduling for this project will not be permitted. Should you be unable to attend your confirmed photo shoot appointment (or arrive 30 minutes after your scheduled time), your appointment will be forfeited and your confirmation fee can be applied to a full session with our studio only.
  5. What is included?
    1. Pre-Shoot consultation: discuss your family, how this might be beneficial for you, what you want your daughter to know, and general information to plan for your session.
      1. Skype or Facetime
    2. Professional photo shoot in our Asheville photo studio
    3. Hair and Makeup styling for up to two people
    4. One signed copy of the completed coffee table book per photo shoot
      1. Additional unsigned copies available for purchase at $49
      2. Primary contact will be notified upon publishing and an appointment will be arranged for pickup
        1. Shipping additional
    5. In person reveal session
      1. We will review all of the edited imagery from your photo shoot
      2. Prints and packages available for purchase
      3. ADDITIONAL PURCHASE IS NOT REQUIRED
    6. When will you be shooting these sessions?
      1. There are 20 sessions available. Appointments will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis.
      2. April: Sunday 24, Friday 29, Saturday 30
      3. May: Friday 6, Saturday 7, Monday 9, Sat 14, Fri 20, Fri 27, Sat 28
    7. Are there any age restrictions?
      1. Please keep applications for children above the age of 7
  6. Look in the mirror. Take a Deep Breath. You ARE worth it and so is your daughter. SHOW HER.

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Being a Part of the Experience {Special Olympics Asheville}

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Being a Part of the Experience {Special Olympics Asheville}

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I was watching the news on a Sunday morning…oh wait, we’ll back up. Wendy and I had been talking about how we might go about giving back, and doing it in a way that makes a personal impact. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against donating to causes that I believe in. I love to peruse gofundme campaigns, and to participate in fundraising events. However, as much as I know those funds are contributing to the betterment of xyz, they feel a little on the side of indifference. Does that make sense?

We left our conversation to brainstorm on how we might contribute to an effort wherein we could be an integral part of the experience.

So, back to that Sunday morning. I was watching WLOS, our local ABC affiliate here in Asheville and there was a story on a kickball tournament for our local Special Olympics chapter and I spit out my coffee! Literally, down my shirt, onto the couch. My husband turned around and looked at me with the quizzical expression of “Dear lord, what now?” across his face.

I grabbed my cell phone and immediately texted Wendy “I HAVE IT! (insert fireworks and heart emoji here) Special Olympics! What weekends are you free in Jan/Feb?” She was in like Flynn! We mapped out an outline of the best way that we might organize such an event and stay in keeping with the theme of making a difference with the athletes. I didn’t want to turn and burn like you might a photography marathon, but I also wanted more than 2 or 3 people.

The heart of this business is to empower our clients in their own vitality. I can’t think of a better organization to partner with than Special Olympics to meet that purpose. Can you?

When I met with Carla and her team, they were so gracious for the opportunity. One of the things they had mentioned was that so many businesses feel that the only way they CAN contribute to Special Olympics is monetarily, which of course going into the new year is no easy feat for most businesses in Asheville. The real meat of it is they are open to events like this one, wherein all parties not only gain exposure, but help to educate the general public and bring awareness about special needs to the community.

I am thrilled to be making a difference here in Asheville. Not only will we be able to make new friends and create some beautiful portraiture, but French Broad Imaging has agreed to contribute the printing for the athletes (they will each receive a matted print from their session with us), Wendy of Blush Asheville (pictured left) is contributing her artistic services so that every athlete looks their absolute BEST for their portrait and I am chomping at the bit for January 23rd to be NOW! We are going to have so much fun!

I’ll be sure to share all of the funness from our portrait party on the 23rd. Follow our Facebook and Instagram (@catfordcoates) for behind the scenes from 10:00-3:00 on January 23rd!

When asked “Why” our sponsors had this to say:

  • “Those with learning disabilities are so often overlooked as people with thoughts, feelings, and ideas of their own. My job, my purpose, is to not only acknowledge but, to empower them in their own self. It isn’t just about being pretty. It’s about knowing your own grace and owning it.” – Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography
  • “I see the beauty within from every girl. If I can make one more smile with a touch of lip gloss and a little blush, then it is one more day I can be blessed by the best job ever.” –Wendy Ballance, Blush Asheville
  • “We are part of this community. We want to help the people in our community, and especially those with special needs. Thank you for the opportunity!” – Tony Hood, French Broad Imaging

Are you interested in sponsoring this event? Reach out below. We’d love to talk!

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