Viewing entries tagged
asheville portrait

The Incredible Briana

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The Incredible Briana

Briana's portrait session in Asheville with portrait photographer Cat Ford-Coates of Studio 828 Photography

www.studio-828.com

Photographer: Cat Ford-Coates

Hair/Makeup: Mandy Freeland

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Mother Daughter Photo Shoot with Cynthia & Jacquie

Mother Daughter Photo Shoot with Cynthia & Jacquie

How old will you be when you finally decide that your relationships with your favorite people should be celebrated? How will you create your legacy with them? A trip or adventure? A portrait shoot? Perhaps even both. This is how Jacqueline wanted to celebrate her relationship with her mother this Mother's Day. 

Beautiful Emily

Beautiful Emily

Emily called on me to create beautiful portraits; for her, her mother, and her husband. Everything about Emily's experience with us is everything I dream about for and with my clients. We photographed her in our Asheville portrait studio in October and I've just been DYING to share. She even texted me tonight about how much her husband loved her portraits (& how proud he was for keeping her secret!) Had to wait until she broke the gift to her family and WOW!!!! Thank you, Emily.

Why Do I Love My Work as a Portrait Photographer?

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Why Do I Love My Work as a Portrait Photographer?

I had an epiphany this morning and boy was it a doozie. For reference, I had a client once that insisted we jam through her photo shoot. She was a doctor and had a very busy schedule. Everything had to be movin, groovin, and out the door.

Looking back on it, from that point forward I began to assume that no one really wanted to be there. They wanted their portrait session with us to be over as quickly as possible. So I began to hustle, overlook important details and settings, hurrying through one of the most important aspects of my work...the transformation.

When it hit me this morning, it was like a truck. Crash! Bang! Boom! I immediately sat down to reflect on what it is that I do as a portrait artist and why I love my work. You see, it's important to me that I love what I do and while my business is separate from me, I am part of my business so if there is a piston misfiring in the engine of Cat, the engine for the portrait business goes haywire! It was time to really appreciate my work and everything that goes into it and I thought I would share some of that with you today.

  • I love getting excited with the client prior to their portrait session
  • I love helping to educate the client during our consultation on our process, how to prepare, what to wear, etc.
  • I love sketching out the posing maps for each client session. It helps me to solidify where we will go during the session, what we are trying to capture and convey, and keeps me on task when I get excited during the shoot and forget things ;-)
  • I love shooting on my hand-painted backdrops. I paint them myself, did you know that? I do have an Oliphant on my vision board but in the meantime, I have enough of an eye with a brush to create that lovely background you will see yourself on in our portraiture.
  • I love watching my clients enter our hair and makeup room. It is like a Hollywood moment here in our Asheville studio!
  • I love seeing my client's transformation in hair and makeup and then seeing their faces experience it! What woman doesn't want to feel like her most beautiful self?!
  • I love seeing the wardrobe selections that my clients bring for the sessions. Some really EPIC choices and style! I love it! (Gives me shopping ideas too)
  • I love shooting. I love creating. I love being excited about getting THE shot! I love laughing during our session together.
  • I love giving direction throughout the shoot. Most clients hate being in front of the camera because they don't feel as they know how to pose, they feel awkward. I love fine tuning each of our movements so that each client looks their absolute best and it gives them reassurance of exactly that! Confidence comes in pretty quickly when you know your photographer is a master poser.
  • I love downloading everything into Lightroom for the first time. It's like Christmas. Seeing it on the back of the camera is only the beginning and doesn't even begin to do it justice.
  • I love retouching the imagery. Another transformation in and of itself and women from all walks of life are my models. It is so gratifying!
  • I love printing the images from our photo session together. There is nothing more lovely in my world that having physical prints of my artwork in my hands. There is nothing like it.
  • I love matting the portraits too. It is a zen process for me to put the finishing touches on your portraiture.
  • I love watching the client walk into the gallery and stand in awe at seeing themselves at their best.
  • I love watching them carefully analyze each and every one.
  • I love watching them trying to decide on which images they want to take home (it is a tough process, lemme tell ya!)
  • I love it when they cry or get excited, because they are so moved at seeing themselves because it means that I DID see them, that I reflected back to them the woman they only hope someone sees, someday. Many times, it is for the first time.
  • I love that I am a portrait artist.

For those of you looking for more than a turn and burn snap service, I am your photographer. I am here to give you the experience of your own, most beautiful self and reflect her back to you in portraiture you will cherish.

portrait - asheville - photographer

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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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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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Celebrating 40 and Fabulous {Beauty Photographer}

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Celebrating 40 and Fabulous {Beauty Photographer}

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Daisy Chavers, Love, Daisy Salon

Celebrating 40 with everything you are! Nicole came to Studio 828 Photography with her daughter for a portrait session. Instead of shirking away from her birthday, she is embracing it in all it’s glory and creating a beautiful memory with her daughter.

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I always love it when moms bring in their daughters for their session. We play dress up and have fun in the studio but, little do the daughters know that in the game of “girl’s day” we are actually teaching them the value of SELF. She and her mother now, will have beautiful portraits for a lifetime. Portraits of the day. Portraits of their love for one another. Portraits they can both, always look back on to find the spark in their eyes.

When I delivered Nicole’s folio, she was going through the images and there is an image of her daughter she simply adores and she looks up and says to me “Now, I’ll always be able to remember her just like that…” It is so true. Have you ever had a memory, you thought for sure would be bright and bold in your thoughts forever? And then, little by little, that memory fades? It gets filed back in your subconscious behind all of the new bright and bold memories you make as time moves on.

Don’t wait. Celebrate everything you are, right now. Exist in photos for and with the people you love.

Beautiful portraits of a daughter

Beautiful portraits of a daughter

Are you interested in a portrait session with Studio 828 Photography? Get more info today about a beauty portrait session here in Asheville.

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