Cat Ford-Coates, Photographer

cat ford-coates- professional photographer - destination portraiture

Philosophy: As a product of the 'TV Generation', I have always struggled with my own imperfections; my weight especially. As a child, then young woman and my exposure to the feminine idols always left the question, "Why can't I look like them?" 

My purpose with 828 is to provide a stellar experience to anyone that has EVER asked that question. Every woman should feel amazing in her own skin & it is my job to help regular, everyday women to realize their own light & be empowered by their own SELF. A day with us is about ensuring you look and feel beautiful, to celebrate You.

  • Header Image courtesy of You Are Stunning Photography


I've been photographed professionally a couple of times over the past few years. With each photographer, when I first saw the images they had created, thought about the experience as a whole, it literally left me breathless, truly. And I thought to myself, "Every woman should experience this." Years ago, I fell in love with portrait photography. I love it with EVERY CELL of my being, and I have done everything in my power have worked and learned through education to master this craft and until I experienced it for myself, I never could have understood exactly what it is that I give to people in my photography portrait sessions here in Asheville.

Preparing for the session in and of itself was nerve wracking. What do I bring to wear? God does this even still fit? Is this too over the top? How much weight have I put on? ...And then I remembered my own rules for client wardrobes and calmed down: texture, form fitting, accessories, neck lines. Breathe, Cat.

Sitting in hair and makeup, we of course had fun. It is always so reassuring when you know that it is in everyone's best interest that you truly look as great as you can before a photo shoot. We laughed, made jokes, we even selfied (because, duh!). And, going through the experience with Lauren and her team of course I was nervous, and felt awkward but having direction given during the shoot was priceless. That direction kept me from falling down the rabbit hole of self doubt. My twelve-year-old self was quieted. Whew! 

But, it wasn't until I saw that first image that everything washed over me and I realized the impact that our work as photographers truly has. The woman I saw looking back at me was everything I aspire to be in my day-to-day life. She is confident, and feminine, and powerful, and accomplished, and loved. She is LOVED. That is powerful stuff, right there. It was in that moment that I realized that every woman should experience a portrait session for herself. These portraits are more valuable to me than most anything I own. They are photographs OF me. They document an incredible time in my life. They represent everything I hope to inspire in others in learning to value their own self.

That is what I do. I am a portrait photographer.

Beauty photography is the heart of our business. We are constantly working to evolve our service to provide a luxurious and boutique experience for every client that walks through our door for their makeover and photo shoot here in Asheville. It is my job to create the most beautiful portrait you have ever seen of yourself and my goal is to help you see that beauty in yourself from this point forward. 

A photo session with Studio 828 Photography is not only fun, it is empowering. Many women choose to book these sessions because of an anniversary, upcoming holiday, meeting a weight loss goal but really, my reason for photographing this genre is because each and every one of you deserves it. Do it for You. Give yourself permission to embrace your own beauty.

 Images courtesy  Lauren Gregory Photography , Columbia, SC

Images courtesy Lauren Gregory Photography, Columbia, SC