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Being Blessed and Turning 40


Being Blessed and Turning 40

Someone recently noted that I am fortunate. For a moment I had to take a breath. “Me? Fortunate? What? I’ve hustled my you-know-what-off for everything I have! How could they ever think that?!…Oh wait…”

Yes. So fortunate.

Gah! I love what I do. I am so blessed. It is my JOB to create beautiful portraits for wonderful people. I work primarily out of my studio here in Asheville and occasionally even have the opportunity to travel all over the world for education and opportunity. What a freaking life, right?

It is true. At 18 I knew I wanted to BE a photographer but had no idea how. At 30 I was so busy running a bar, I only had a point and shoot that had a flash function I thought was fun and artsy that I loved using when we were out and about. I even had a name for it, “drunk flash”. It was great. Streaming lights in all the photos, highlights so blown everyone looked amazing.

I turn 40 next week. Man, 40. Most people you speak with cringe at remembering their 40th birthday. Frankly, I’m lovin it. Why? Because I am fortunate. I somehow was slung from hustling booze day in and day out, barely considering a future to building a business. A real business. A business where I photograph women from all walks of life, their families, them solo, whatever their hearts desire and create amazing artwork. I attend networking meetings every week, I run advertising, I write for local magazines about business and empowerment, I eat, live, and breathe my business to attract as many women into my studio as I know how to do and then some. I am in a constant state of evolution and upleveling my skillset AND my business to be better every day.

And then I take a breath.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you whomever you are for reminding me that I am so fortunate. So fortunate to learn, to have the capacity to grow, to help others grow their own businesses, and to do what I love. 

To my birthday I look to my “order to the Universe” and it is as follows:

  • To be photographed by Sue Bryce
  • To enjoy champagne infused gummy bears
  • To laugh every day
  • To be healthy
  • To strive every day to be better than the day before
  • To pay ahead on my mortgage each month
  • To grow my savings for retirement
  • To travel to Barcelona in September and London in January
  • To remind others that they too can be better than they were the day before, simply by making the choice to be.

Thank you for reminding me that all of this is possible.





To Be Seen {Personal Post}


To Be Seen {Personal Post}

I got dumped this week. Someone I considered a very dear friend did not care for how I perceived that she had offended me and in no uncertain terms decided that we were no longer friends.

Wow. Full on slug to the gut.

“Ok, so what’s the deal, Cat? Why are you posting about this?”

Because it absolutely relates to WHY I do what I do. My grievances were centered around the fact that I wasn’t being “seen” by someone close to me; in work situations, and in personal. That my presence and understanding were being discounted for no understandable reason and it pissed me off.

And then I heard this voice this morning: “It only hurts if there is truth to it, Cat.”

I do what I do because I spent much of my life in the shadow of my own self-hate. I’ve worked through a lot of that over the past year or so, and most of it within the last six months. How could I possibly offer anyone the opportunity to BE SEEN through my own photography if I refused to see and value my own self? And then my friend decided that she didn’t want to be my friend anymore and that seven-year old little girl inside of me thought “Of course! Why would anyone want to be your friend anyway, Cat? You’re pushy, you’re bold, you’re dumb, you’re…” And then the seventeen year old version of me immediately started looking around for cigarettes because she knew the seven-year old girl was right on the money.

Wait. Breathe. No.

I was upset because I wasn’t being seen by someone I held in friendship but, whatever the issue is simply a reflection, isn’t it? Was I not “seeing” her? I certainly was quick to blame her and only take responsibility for the martyred reasons…Ahhh, yeah, I might break up with me too.

I really work to “see” the people in front of me, really see them. It is how I develop connection with my clients, with my family, and with my friends. It also requires that in order to see them, first I have to see myself. I have to care for myself. I have to look in the mirror and ask my conscience if she is proud to be a part of me today. Today, tomorrow, and the next day.

My portraiture would be nothing without that conscience or that connection. That means that I have to own my own choices. It means I have to look every person in the eye and see them, the real them and if I can’t do that, then I’m off. Off by a long shot.