Inspiration Project AND a $500 Gift Voucher Giveaway

The Fireball Photographers are an international group of professional portrait photographers who formed a year ago after we met at a workshop in France. We are interested in photography as an independent art form. We collaborate on creative projects throughout the year in order to grow as artists and professionals, and ultimately, to advance the art of photography everywhere. What’s inspiring one of our next creative projects? Hint: Old is the “new” new!

At 6:00PM today I will be drawing one lucky winner Live on our Facebook page for a $500 Gift Voucher to Studio 828 Photography. Why? Because I want to not only shoot for this amazing project, but I want to reward those that support me in my work, follow, and cheer me on everyday. If you’ve been on the fence about booking a shoot, maybe this is the perfect opportunity for you. You get to participate in something bigger than any of us individually, create art, and be a model for a day. How much fun would that be??? Gah! I can hardly wait!

portrait inspiration - project - stay inspired
Johnathan Singer Sargent, Painter

OK so what’s the catch?

  1. Let me know you’re interested. You can email me Cat@Studio-828.com, text or call 828-275-9932, fill out the form below, or simply comment on the facebook live thread.
  2. At 6:00PM EST, I will be doing a drawing on Facebook Live to announce the winner
  3. Winner receives $500 gift voucher toward Studio 828 Photography, can be used toward the shoot itself or toward product. Whatever you choose.
  4. Shoot must take place before April 30 at our Asheville Portrait Studio.
    1. Model release must be signed
    2. We can absolutely incorporate additional looks (up to 5) if interested during your photo shoot
  5. In person reveal appointment
    1. Additional imagery may be purchased but is not required.

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One Day

One day, your children WILL go looking for portraits of you, for portraits with you, Mom. Have you thought about that? I mean, REALLY thought about that. What will your children find when they do?

I’ll tell ya, I have had one roller coaster of a summer. I’ve lost friends that were so near and dear to my heart, I can’t even tell you. It has been a heart-breaking summer to say the least but, BUT what I did notice is that following the tears and the initial shock after learning about their passing my very first instinct was to find portraits of those friends. Something to remember them by because I know that one day, I will have trouble remembering their faces, the sound of their voices. That day isn’t today but it will come.

Maybe this feels a bit morbid, I don’t know. The truth of it however is that I NEVER, EVER want to forget the faces of my family. My mother. My father. My brothers. My sister. My cousins and their children. Never in a million years.

Let me ask you this; when was the last time you had a portrait made? Not a fun selfie you posted to Facebook that will never see the light of paper but an actual portrait? One you’re proud of and feel like your most beautiful self? One you’re excited to display in your home that your children will see beaming to them every, single day to remind them that they are loved? To remind them how much they are loved by the most important person in their lives…

Are you hiding behind the camera? C’mon Mom we all do it. You do it. We all do it. You don’t know how to really stand to flatter your best self or, your makeup isn’t right, or you’ve put on weight, or you don’t weigh enough, your hair is a crazy mess because you haven’t had even a moment of peace in 4 days to take the time to brush it let alone style. I feel ya. Here’s the thing though, none of us is promised tomorrow. Whether you’re 33 or 83, there is no guarantee. Take a breath. What is the best possible thing you can do to ensure that your light is celebrated by the people who are dearest to you? My answer to that is to create beautiful portraiture. Moms, Dads, Grandparents I’m looking to you. These portraits will be cherished by your children, your children’s children even, for lifetimes. Let that sink in for a moment. Lifetimes.

I hope you’ll pick up the phone. I would love to talk with you about how you’re envisioning your portrait session with us. 828-275-9932

5 Tips to take better Candid Family Photos

This post is for all of you taking photos at your family events that don’t quite warrant spending money on a photographer. I’m talking about birthdays, and holidays, family get togethers, etc. So often in my Facebook newsfeed I see albums for photos taken candidly at family events and it occurred to me that maybe some of us need a little bit of direction so that Aunt Sally doesn’t get made because she’s bending over to pick up a kid in the background of that kinda blurry shot you took of cousin Mark. I thought I’d lay down a few rules for you to consider when you’re shooting these events. Your friends and family will thank you later, promise!

  1. Stop taking pictures of people while they’re eating. Stop it. Just don’t. Often times we think the shot of everyone at the table will be nice because there are groupings of people but the short answer is “No”. If you want to get the groupings, enjoy YOUR meal and then grab your cell phone or your camera and head over either before everyone starts eating or just after they’ve finished, or better yet once everyone has coffee. Trust me.
  2. Consider the background. Look, in the example I gave above about Aunt Sally? Yeah, that’s a thing. Noone wants a photo of their bent over bum or face, chewing food in any image. Not ever. If cousin Mark is being funny, or has a great smile, have him turn towards the light or move to the left a little. If he’s a ham, he’ll eat it up. If he’s got a great smile, he’ll appreciate the attention and recognition of wanting to be photographed. Don’t assume that just because it is a candid moment that he won’t move a foot or two. Aunt Sally will give you high fives, too.
  3. Have your subject turn towards the light. How many times have you taken a sweet family shot in front of the Christmas tree, or in a living room and at the time you think it’s perfect and then when you upload it you realize you have crazy shadows being cast down people’s faces because a light overhead (from a fan or sconce) was directly overhead and now they look like they could be characters on The Walking Dead? Either turn that light off for a moment or find something white (a piece of paper, paper towel roll, a white plate, a piece of poster board, a white blanket on the couch, etc.) to bounce that light shining down back to their faces. It’s a great trick AND when you pull it off, it’s pretty impressive to onlookers too.
  4. Turn off your flash already. You’re trying to get a beautiful dimply lit shot that has the heart of the moment in it and your flash fires and now everyone’s skin is bleach white and they have devil eyes. Crank up that ISO on your Canon Rebel or slow down your shutter speed (no more than the size of the focal length you’re using) and hold the camera steady. The ambient light you’re hoping to capture there will come to life. It’ll be great.
  5. Consider your subject. You have 15-20 images and you’re posting them to Facebook and in one or two shots the people you’re photographing aren’t being flattered and aren’t paying attention to you…just toss em. Really. No one really cares about a moment where the main subject is talking to the other person, mouth agape, turned away from the camera, and shot from below. It isn’t flattering. It isn’t a “candid, photo-journalistic” moment. It’s just a bad shot. It’s okay. Even seasoned professionals have a couple of those from events they shoot. Guess what happens to those images? Recycle bin. That’s what.
    1. If you want to really capture the moment, set up the shot. You can do this candidly. Consider the framing of the moment, move the camera up a little or over to the left. If you’re photographing a conversation between two people, move front and center. The image won’t make sense if the closest subject’s head is turned 120 degrees away from you and the person they’re talking with is out of focus and not paying attention in the first place.

What I love about my work as a portrait artist

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.

Cinderelly, Cinderelly!

When you come in for a portrait session we will photograph you in up to 5 different outfits. What better reason to take advantage of grabbing that gown in the closet that you’ve been dying to wear? C’mon, I know it’s in there!

Whether it is your wedding dress, or a thrifty find, or just an incredible dress you’ve been dying to wear but just haven’t had the opportunity bring it with you!

We all have that dress. The one you feel like a million dollars in, a Hollywood starlet. Even if it’s a wee bit tighter than you remember, we have ways of making it fit for a portrait 😉

Every woman loved playing dress up at some point during her life, even me. Now is the time to get dressed up to create the images your great-grandchildren will thank you for.

Ring in for a photo shoot. I can’t wait to photograph you.

gown - epic portrait - woman - cinderella - bridal portraits

Mother Daughter Photo Shoot

Anita and Brittani are two of my favorite people! The love these two share for one another, holy crimeny! They have this wonderful relationship both as mother and daughter and as best friends!

best friends, mother and daughter, asheville photo shoot, studio

They came to me to celebrate that relationship and to be a part of our portrait book, “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” and I couldn’t be happier! I adored having you in the studio, ladies!

XoXo,

C

 

“When I get bigger…”

I was watching a video on Facebook recently, of a friend’s younger daughter. She was three years old at the taping and she and her father were having a conversation. At one point she stated “When I get bigger…” and then rambled on about what she would accomplish and do and it struck me like a bell might, out of a deep sleep.

Manifestation. I know, a popular word these days. As a kid and young adult I was a fabulous manifester. Anything I wanted, whether on a whim or a big decision, simply appeared into my life. It just did, it was a thing. Then, as an adult things shifted. I suffered. Was broke. It seemed endless. For years I chalked it up to being “part of life”.

You know what? It WAS part of life because I expected it to be. Not because it was. It was because I created that suffrage. How might it be different if I expected it to be great? Be everything and more?

What if (hang with me now), what if we stepped into our adult selves knowing that we would live amazing, abundant, healthy, and incredibly adventurous lives simply because we knew they would be so?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay our dues. No matter what we choose for our profession, or partner, or any of it – it still must be mastered. Mastering anything takes time. But, what if instead of worrying, and trying to force our version of perfection into every single minute we simply kept moving forward, kept taking the action necessary every single day to create that life for ourselves. What if we knew with absolute certainty that “When I get bigger” everything would be okay? That it would be everything we dreamed and more.

Let’s take that leap shall we? Everyday. Let’s choose to know at our core that when we get bigger everything will be just perfect.

Thank you, Charli. You’re a genius.

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.

 

Xo,

C

“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”

Meet Audra, Beautiful Audra

 

Meet Audra, beautiful Audra. A funny, outgoing, and kind professional here in western North Carolina. We just loved having her here in the studio with us for her beautiful portrait shoot. We had a ball with the amazing dresses that she brought, and different makeup looks so that we could provide her with a wide variety of images. From professional branding imagery to dramatic portraits, I am in love with everything we produced with her.

woman - entrepreneur - beautiful - true self

So many clients come to us thinking that there is no way they could ever look like the women on our website. They’re worried that they “aren’t photogenic” or are “terrible in front of a camera”. I’ll let you in on a little secret, it isn’t your job to be photogenic. It is my job to give you direction and example throughout your photo shoot so that your portraits showcase only your best self.

When was the last time you had professional portraits made? Were they with anyone special? Were they to celebrate a victory or time in your life? We would love to photograph you in our Asheville photo studio. Reach out for your personal consultation. We can chat about what you have in mind for your photo shoot and go from there.

I look forward to meeting you.

 

Kindly,

Cat
transformative portraiture in asheville bossbabe - girlboss - fierce - asheville - women in business
dance - fan - wind - flowing dress - portrait - photographer in asheville authentic - fun - kind - friendly personal branding girl boss - in charge - choosing destiny

Hair and Makeup: Andrea, Dollbox Productions #828dolls