Cat Ford-Coates, Portrait Photographer

Cat Ford-Coates, Portrait Photographer Image courtesy of Jesseca Bellemare Photography, Asheville, NC

Cat Ford-Coates, Portrait Photographer

Image courtesy of Jesseca Bellemare Photography, Asheville, NC

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.

Images courtesy Lauren Gregory Photography, Columbia, SC

Images courtesy Lauren Gregory Photography, Columbia, SC

MY OWN PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE

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.

The Magic that is the TEAM at Studio 828 Photography

Wendy Ballance, Lead Makeup Artist

Wendy Ballance, Lead Makeup Artist

Wendy has been working as a professional makeup artist since 2003. A Georgia girl, born and raised, then fell in love with North Carolina! Starting out with CHANEL Cosmetics, she learned quickly that great makeup was worth every penny, and a gorgeous face was priceless! With a Bachelors degree in Music/Arts, she always knew she would be in the realm of Arts and Beauty for her career. Wendy is the owner of Blush Asheville and she and her insanely talented and skilled team work over 150 weddings throughout western North Carolina every year. Alongside weddings, Wendy is also contracted by FOX news. and works numerous jobs in film, television, and print, and is a single mom to her precious son Fletcher Leigh.

In 2016, Wendy traveled to Miami, Florida where she studied under her favorite makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic (Kim Kardashian's makeup guru).

"I am constantly training and learning" says Wendy, and "I am always inspired by the Blush artist, and constantly working on how our brand is going to grow. I am blessed and love working with Studio 828 Photography & am so thankful for the opportunity to work and grow with Cat in her business. We might just take over the world." (hahaha only kinda kidding on that last part ;-D )

Cheers to #828blush

Follow Wendy on IG: @wendybblush

Mandy Freeland,Makeup Artist & Esthetician

Mandy Freeland,Makeup Artist & Esthetician

Mandy started her journey in the beauty industry in 1997 as a Cosmetologist in Dallas, Texas. Her family recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina and are enjoying their home in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. For weddings, special events, and photo shoots she concentrates on enhancing your natural beauty, helping you to look and feel your very best. With Mandy, you are never a number. "In personalizing each of my clients' services specifically for their needs and wants is where the fun is. I look forward to meeting new faces and helping women and men achieve health and beauty." #828Mandy

Follow Mandy on Instagram: @gorgeousbymandynichole

Andrea Boyer, Licensed Stylist and Makeup Artist

Andrea Boyer, Licensed Stylist and Makeup Artist

After almost a decade of working in a salon atmosphere, Andrea was asked to join a local hair and makeup artist group, Dollbox Productions. She had decided to branch out on her own and get into the realm of freelance styling and found her 'happy place' amongst a group of wonderful and talented ladies with aligning values and appreciation for individual artistic vision. Having an opportunity to make people look and feel their best for any occasion is at the heart of why I do what I do. I enjoy creating looks that can be made into beautiful memories through photography.

#828Dolls

Follow Andrea on Instagram: @andrea.boyer