Jessica & Adam’s Engagement Session {Asheville Wedding Photography}

One of this year’s first wedding couples, one Miss Jessica Greenberg & Mister Adam Renfro had me shoot their engagement photography over the weekend. Saturday I was biting my nails because the weather was Gaaaa-Ross!! Hey Sunday, Thanks!

When Jess and I first met we talked about what her vision for her wedding, all the particulars and then found out that Adam was a little more than uncomfortable to have his picture taken. Well, we put a stop to that! I thought they did great!

Congratulations Adam & Jess! Looking forward to your wedding in October!

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Studio 828 Photography, Asheville Wedding Photographer


Young Family in Asheville {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

Hands down, the Atema family is by far the client you dream about for a photo shoot.

  • Good lookin family
  • Open to direction
  • Ready to try, climb on to, hang from, smile ANYWHERE!

All throughout our session yesterday I felt so lucky. Thank you all again for having me shoot for you!!! And now, on with the pictures!



Studio 828 Photography

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Chevron Chevron Chevron! {Wedding Trend Tuesday from a Wedding Photographer in Asheville}

So, normally I post specifically about my photography business. Today I got to thinking…”What about wedding related topics that stand out to me?” Right now, the Chevron graphic has made its way into so many aspects of design. Both in weddings and even in branding with companies and everyday fashion. Today I thought I would post specifically in what I’m seeing in weddings with the pretty Chevron business. How are brides and grooms bringing it into their wedding day? I did a little search on pinterest and Wowza! People are so creative! Now, for the sake of disclaimers – Studio 828 Photography did not shoot these images. They are courtesy of pinterest and the pinners as listed. Okay, caveat out of the way…ON with the Chevron!

Mint and white chevron wedding cake
Photo courtesy of Pinterest for Theo Milo Photograpy

Theo Milo Photography Blog

Gold gray and white wedding cake
Photo courtesty of Pinterest for the Bridal Guide

Bridal Guide Photo of the Day

Chevron wedding cookies
Photo courtesy of Style Unveiled via pinterest

Style Unveiled also did a great post on Chevron wedding trends! 

Marigold chevron wedding invitation
Photo via pinterest for Daphine Press

Daphine Press

modern chevron wedding invitations
Photo courtesy of

Wedding Chicks DIY Red & White Wedding

reception games - personalized cornhole - wedding
Style my corntoss! Photo courtesy of – Great Resource!

wedding aisle - chevron - 2013 wedding is a great DIY resource! What fun ideas!

Something Turquoise is a Bridal Inspiration website. Definitely take a click on over! ❤

chevron wedding theme - wedding dress
OK, so this dress is not American made, let alone by a local seamstress HOWEVER – it is a wonderful example of how a chevron style can really be upfitted into a high end design

Photo courtesy of

Now…I’m not done! We’ve seen some great examples from weddings and inspiration boards but WHY are people choosing chevron as their pattern of choice? It’s modern, chic, infuses a boutique yet structured feel to the bride and groom’s most special of days to name a few reasons. Personally, I love it! Some brides are even bringing the graphic to not only their invitations but to handkerchiefs for the groomsmen, in wraps for their bouquets, Thank you’s, party favors, and more. I’m looking forward to this summer when chevron is sure to hit its height of fashion. Thank you trends! Finally a wedding trend people can look back to and not be mortified (can anyone say 1977?)

For those of you just starting your wedding planning process, I would love to help you check wedding photographer off of your todo list! Email today.



Studio 828 Photography, Asheville Wedding Photographer

Why is Photography So Expensive? {Asheville NC Wedding Photographer}

I cannot tell you how many times potential clients have said any combination of the following:

  • You aren’t too expensive are you?
  • Are you one of those $3000 wedding photographers?
  • God, I wish I could afford that

and the list goes on.

It is a pretty frustrating conversation, but I guess I kind of get it? Wait, no I don’t.  Look, I understand that most people consider photography a luxury. Have you ever considered that while being a luxury because most people consider it inconsequential and not necessary for everyday living, perhaps you might consider it a luxury because of all it takes to BE a professional photographer? What does that photographer bring to the table that cousin Jimmy couldn’t? {Remember, you will never, ever, ever look back at a power bill that you had twenty years prior and have heart-strings pulled. Yes, you need electricity to keep your food cold and oven warm but occasionally an event will occur where you will NEED a professional photographer to capture the day.  This of course is another blog in and of itself} (Though Kristen Booth does a fantastic job! HERE)

“OK, so why can Pro Photographer charge so much? They’re just taking pictures!”

  1. Professional photographers are in business and business(es) MUST make a profit to stay alive. {Also, try to remember that as with every business, about 33% off the top goes to Uncle Sam straight out of the gate}
  2. Professional photographers are much more than the “point and click” people. Their many hats also include: Negotiator, make up artist, CEO, accountant, marketing genius, website designer, blogger, driver, janitors, networker, oh yeah and PHOTOGRAPHER.
  3. They spend time year after year in continuing education to expand their knowledge and skill and to learn as much as they can about their industry and the business. They join professional photographer’s associations, attend seminars and training with some of the best artists in the industry.
  4. Professional photographers are not just shooters and order takers.  They don’t work in big box stores for minimum wage.  They are business people and artists and they provide complete client service.  They are your concierge to the art world.  Pros shoot dozens or even hundreds of clients every year. They understand what looks great, how to assemble albums, and how to group multiple images together.  Their ultimate goal is to furnish you, the client with what is best for you, not jut have you sign the dotted line.
  5. Professional photographers know the benefit of professional equipment AND the benefit of backups on said equipment. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent purchasing multiple camera bodies, fast lenses, flash equipment, viable carrying and storage cases…and that’s just for on site photography.  None of that includes studio gear.
  6. Professional photographers spend countless hours producing a professional images for clients. Is that all we do? Well, here is a snapshot of my day and you tell me.
  • Answer emails and return phone calls
  • Check calendar. Do I have a shoot today? Batteries charged and memory cards cleared? If yes: the drive time and costs to and from the shoot location, the time for the actual shoot, etc.
  • Review blog and website stats (What is drawing attention?)
  • Add a blog entry (If I am feeling so inspired)
  • Network the blog link all ovah the place!
  • Process images. Now, this can be tricky.  You can pretty much bank of anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour per image (depending).  How many images are in your package? Am I building an album for you? Add another 4 hours
  • Mount and/or frame images
  • Package images
  • Deliver to client
  • Follow up work with previous clients

Once you add everything up, it would be impossible to stay in business if I only made pennies on each client.  Now, speaking of pennies, where do all those pennies go? Obviously not just in time.

Say you have hired me as your professional photographer for your child’s senior pictures.  “Geez Cat, is $250.00 the best you can do?”

Total – $250.00

  • Uncle Sam – (33%) $82.50 = $167.50
  • Gas within 50 miles of 28801 approximately $10.00 = $157.50
  • Overhead costs per portrait client (I know, I’m giving away way more than I should here) = $45.00 (=$117.50)
  • Time associated with your session = 7.5 hours (see below)
  1. 1 hour on site session with your child
  2. Driving to and from your child’s session (average 45 minutes)
  3. 30 minutes choosing 10 quality images to process and edit
  4. (approximately) 30 minutes per image = 5 hours
  5. process to online password protected photo gallery = approximately 15 minutes
  6. email client for image review

So, you tell me. Is $117.50 worth 7.5 hours of your time? Is that a reasonable sum of money to be paid for a day’s work? Yes, actual work.

Another thing to consider, especially in wedding photography is this: You might be concerned with how expensive your wedding photographer is. “Oh my goodness! I had no idea!” etc. Let’s say you let your budget dictate the actual choice. You choose your wedding photographer purely based on price.

Photo Sally quoted me 4 hours and an album for $800.00

Photo Jane quoted me 4 hours and an album for $2200.00

You haven’t looked at portfolios. You haven’t met either photographer. You are choosing purely on the information given to you here. $800.00 or $2200.00. You choose Photo Sally, of course. Your wedding day comes. Photo Sally arrives, she shoots for you. Let’s just assume that she was personable even, we won’t even factor in any awkward or nervous behavior. Three weeks go by and you finally receive a link to an online gallery for your images. The photography seems acceptable though you wish some of the photos with your wedding party that were backlit…you wish they were a little brighter and, where is the picture of your first kiss? There is a picture of your parents tearing up because they are seeing you in your wedding dress for the first time, at least you think they are because it isn’t quite in focus and these pictures online are a little small and hard to really make out. It’s okay. You pick a handful you’d like to frame at home and a few for your parents to purchase. You’ve already spent $800 and your parents helped so much with the wedding costs already, they at least deserve a couple 4×6 prints don’t they?

You see, the reason Photo Sally is able to provide you with coverage for only $800.00 is because she has only shot a handful of weddings. Not to discount Photo Sally as a person. She is probably even quite nice. Maybe you can even really see how her images really WILL be amazing with more work and practice. Well, it was all you could afford at the time. You probably will enjoy the press printed coffee table book for an album when you open it from time to time, until your soon-to-be children get ahold of it and confuse your wedding album for a coloring book.

Now, let’s say you had an experience with Photo Jane for $2200.00. You thought ahead of time and said to yourself, “My photography is really all I will have for the rest of my life to really remember my wedding day. I will alot a higher percentage of my wedding budget to the photography and cut back on our invitations a little bit.

On your wedding day Photo Jane arrives. Now, of course you have already met during your planning meetings and your engagement session. You might as well be old friends! When she gets to your wedding you see that she has a giant bag full of equipment, lenses and an extra camera body. You happen to comment on it and she tells you it is her “just in case bag of extras. We can’t go missing important moments in cases of equipment failure now can we?” She is precise and friendly when directing your wedding party during the formals session after your ceremony and you see her everywhere at your reception.

Bride and groom's first kiss in WNC as man and wifeThe day following your wedding, you check your email and there is a sweet “thank you” from Photo Jane. Two weeks later you get an email again, this time reminding you of your in person viewing appointment. It is time to see your pictures! Yay! When you come in for your viewing, the images are played from a projector and they are larger than life! That backlit image of your wedding party and perfectly bright, the image with your parents tearing up…oh yeah! IN focus! All of your images are presented with a wonderful soundtrack of music you RECOGNIZE and not some weird elevator business. After you’ve seen your larger than life images, you discuss the options for your album and artwork. About 6 weeks later, your album and prints arrive in the mail with a bottle of wine from Photo Jane. The album is amazing! Archival quality paper, it comes with a cover and maybe even a display stand. When you open it the colors are vibrant and every image speaks TO you. On the card is a personalized “thank you” again…and maybe even a few extra prints because she really enjoyed your work and relationship.

There is a saying “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional. Wait until you hire an amateur.” There is a lot to be said  for that. Maybe Photo Sally’s pictures were SO bad you HAD to hire Photo Jane to retake and style your wedding pictures, let alone fly your wedding party back into town to take them. Pay close attention when you are searching for your wedding vendors. All of them. It is, after all your wedding day. Isn’t the peace of mind of knowing your images are being cared for by a true professional worth even half of the extra cost? So, there are my two cents.  Sorry if I was a little long winded and Thanks for reading!

Team Wedding Asheville Strike Downtown! {Asheville Wedding & Portrait Photographer}

This afternoon, we Ashevillians were quite lucky. It is February and the weather was in the 60’s, and sunny. What does a wedding photographer do in February when she comes across weather like that? She teams up with a wedding dj to take some new portraits to update his marketing efforts! Which wedding dj did I meet up with? None other than one Mitch Fortune of Mitch Fortune Productions. And he isn’t your run of the mill wedding dj. We aren’t talking about setting up a playlist and walking away ladies and gentlemen. We are talking about handling your ceremony without missing a beat, keeping your party goers on the dance floor for as long as you can stand it, bringing along up lighting that will absolutely blow you away! If you are looking for a wedding dj, check him out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

PS – Big thanks to all of the amazing mural and graffiti artists that have painted these wonderful backdrops for us here in Asheville. We wouldn’t be this beautiful without you! ❤

Now, without further adieu. Mitch Fortune.

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates of Studio 828 Photography


Studio 828 Photography in a Nutshell

  • Cat Ford-Coates is not your average wedding photographer. She is creative, focused and treats each wedding with the utmost care and attention to detail not found with other Asheville and Sarasota wedding photographers.
  • “Creative, Heartfelt & Sincere” These are words often used to describe Studio 828 Photography in Asheville North Carolina, New York and Sarasota. We are available to photograph your wedding anywhere in the world.
  • Our clients are looking for heirlooms, for artwork versus snapshots burned onto a CD. This of course is what draws them to Studio 828 Photography as their wedding photography company.
  • Studio 828 Photography provides wedding day coverage primarily in Asheville NC but also in the surrounding areas of Hendersonville, Tryon, Brevard and Charlotte. In addition we are available for weddings in Sarasota FL, Manhattan NY and beyond.
  • Not looking for a wedding photographer? We are also available for senior and glamour photography sessions. Email for your appointment today.

Wedding Photography Special {Asheville Wedding Photography}

Ladies and Gentlemen…We are in the thick of engagement season here in Asheville, North Carolina. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…Ladies…are you ready to tell Beyonce’ he DID put a ring on it?! I thought you might be. So, in the spirit of Cupid Studio 828 Photography is offering  newly engaged couples a 50% discount on our wedding packages.

“What? Cat, did you just say HALF OFF?”

You bet your bippee I did!

Go ahead, head over to the Studio 828 Photography website. Take a look around. There are portrait and wedding galleries a page dedicated to frequently asked questions, a page dedicated to my boudoir events (brown chicken brown cow!) and more. Feel free to shoot me an email with any questions or to see if your wedding day is available on our calendar. I love documenting your wedding. The laughter, the tears, the kisses…incorporating architecture into each of those special moments…

We will honor all contracts booked before March 1st at these discounted rates. Happy Marrying!!!



Looking for 828 Senior Brand Ambassadors {Asheville and Sarasota Senior Photography}

Studio 828 Photography is on the search for upcoming seniors of 2014 & 2015 in WNC & southwest Florida. Are you a good fit?

“What is a Senior Brand Ambassador?”

  • Male or Female Student of all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and interests
  • a student living in Asheville and Sarasota metro areas
  • A high school junior or senior that can represent Studio 828 Photography to their peers
  • a student actively involved not only in school but in extra curricular activities and their community
  • someone with an active facebook account
  • someone with character and outgoing personality to represent Studio 828 Photography with their classmates and peers

“What are some of the benefits of being a Studio 828 Photography brand ambassador?”

  • Senior models participate in up to 2 on location photo shoots, for free
  • 828 SBA models receive discounts and other incentives towards their senior print collections
  • 828 SBA models also receive designer model cards with images from their modeling session(s), to distribute among their friends and peers. For every model card redeemed 828 SBA models receive credit towards their print collection and cash (cold hard cash, ladies and gentlemen)
  • 828 SBA models receive digital images for email sharing and facebook posting to promote Studio 828 Photography

“How does Studio 828 Photography make their selection of ambassadors?”

  • personality, personality, personality!
  • participation in extra curricular activities and clubs
  • how eager the candidate is to BE an ambassador & spread the word about Studio 828 Photography
  • how much the candidate appreciates the 828 Style of photography

This program is pretty great! Our ambassadors gain experience in modeling, how to pose, help their parents with a break in the cost of their Senior photography print collections, earn extra money for themselves, and have a lot of fun! Fill out the form below. Tell us why you are the perfect, crazy awesome best ambassador Studio 828 could choose! We will be in touch!!!! You can also email to answer the same information, ask any additional questions you might have, or pass along to your parents should they have any questions also.

By submitting this information you agree:

  • that your parents will be contacted
  • that a parent MUST be in attendance for each photo shoot
  • that all credits earned will go towards your final Senior print collection with Studio 828 Photography