What is it that sets me apart from other Asheville photographers?

What is it that sets me apart from other Asheville photographers? Well, there are several reasons however, I’m enumerating top three I hear most often from my Asheville photography clients. This reasoning is what makes my service to you different from the service you might find with other Asheville photographers. That being said, it is not to say that other area photographers do not provide great service and/or product. There is so much talent in the WNC photography market and I am regularly in awe at the beautiful work so many of us provide.

testimony from clients - asheville photographer - women - empowerment - clarity
Your work doesn’t change who the subject is. It clarifies it. The body, while amazing, isn’t the beauty “in the pictures. It’s the smile and personality that’s captured in a moment of a woman feeling confident in her own skin.”- Hannah McCue, Asheville Professional
  1. “You made it seem so relaxed at our photo shoot! I had so much fun with you!”
    1. Every single client that I consult with is nervous and excited. They all have concerns and jitters.
      1. This is what comes up once we have made the choice to value ourselves and book a makeover and photo shoot. Maybe in the beginning, it even seems narcissistic? Perhaps superficially that might be the case. Personally, I find value in photography because we ARE valuing ourselves. We are teaching our daughter(s) that it IS important to value their own self too. We are creating a legacy for and with them and that artwork is priceless.
    2. We address these concerns ahead of time. We have a personal consultation either in person or via Skype with each and every client that books a session with us. These consultations are perfect because it gives us an opportunity to discuss the details of your shoot;
      1. what to wear, any physical limitations that you have so that I can tailor your posing map to you, how you would like your hair and makeup designed for your session, etc. All of these things help you to be prepared for your photo shoot with us and in turn, help to eliminate that uncertainty.
    3. At your photo shoot we’ll take your before picture, and I’ll go through the wardrobe you brought along with you to complete your posing map. You’ll go straight into the hair and makeup chair with our fabulous stylist. We’ll all laugh and chat, we’re women, we can talk about anything! From that point, we’ll move through your photo shoot. I’ll give you direction and coach you from pose to pose and in just a bit, you’ll even feel comfortable in front of my camera (no, really!). We’ll laugh and shoot for all of your beautiful outfits with your vision in mind.
    4. Following your session, as I recommend with every client MAKE PLANS to go out. You are going to feel beautiful, promise.
    5. Look, I am a very relaxed person. I am not easily shaken and I have designed our service to translate that strength to each of my clients. I love ripped jeans and t-shirts and I love flip-flops. Does that mean that I don’t love a $300 pair of boots and leather pants? Not at all! I love dress up and style! However, it is my job to ensure that you are as comfortable as you can be in front of the camera and that means that you too, must feel comfortable.
  2. My artwork 
    1. I am constantly striving to learn new techniques and master my craft. I do this by taking courses from industry leaders and constantly raising the bar for posing and my technical abilities and my business. Will you find similar posing with other Asheville area photographers? Probably, with some of it I’m sure you will. There is traditional and modern posing and I am not the only photographer that is regularly working to improve her skills and service. To believe that, well, it would be insane. What I can say is that my artwork is from my heart and I truly believe that translates to each of my clients to tell their story and create their legacy
  1. Empowerment
    1. There is real value in personal empowerment. Isn’t empowerment just some newfangled sales tactic and something I read about in memes on social media? Not even a little bit.
      1. Have you ever experienced power in your own self? Have you ever put yourself in the forefront of your day? Ahead of the hubs, the kids, the errands, the to-do list? What is your purpose? Is your purpose to work your 40 hours, workout, feed/dress/deliver/pickup your children, cater 3 meals, coach, and take only enough time to brush your teeth and sleep for 6 hours and hope for the best? Or is your purpose to do all of these things and teach your children that valuing yourSELF is paramount to your ability to caring for anyone else. That is empowerment. To realize your own self and the value you bring to the world as a mother, friend, wife, care-giver and woman.
pinup inspired - curvy girl boudoir - bucket list - testimonial - tattoo - asheville boudoir photographer
Feminine empowerment

Are you considering a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? We would love to photograph you. Reach out for a personal consultation. 828-275-9932


Glamour Party {Asheville Beauty Photographer}

This past weekend, Studio 828 Photography teamed up with Independent Sales Director Ashley Fender of Mary Kay to host a day of beauty with women here in Asheville. You might remember Ashley from a recent post where this glamour party was announced (if not, you can read about it here). When she and I met earlier last month, and during our photo shoot, we had gotten to talking about how we absolutely LOVE our jobs! Corny, I know but so true. It is our job to see the beauty in every woman we come in contact with and provide her with a service for her to find that in herself. Duh! What an amazing purpose, right?

Well, I can promise you two things:

  1. Each and every woman that came in for her appointment
    1. came in a little unsure but excited
    2. left feeling beautiful
  2. My makeup ran down my face pretty much the entire day (thank you coconut oil)<<<even I have a bad makeup day from time to time. I’m only human ya know 🙂

In all seriousness though, I feel so blessed to have photographed each and every one of you. Thank you for taking just a bit of time out of your holiday weekend to enjoy one another and yourselves.



beauty photography; women; emowerment; mother daughter; best friends; asheville photographer
So much fun photographing these amazing women!

Are you considering a beautiful portrait session to celebrate you? Maybe you would like to come in for a makeover and photo shoot with your best friend, mom or sister? I would love to photograph you. No holiday needed.




Devin’s Photo Shoot {Asheville Teen Photographer}

Devin’s Asheville photo shoot was too much fun! She and her mom came in as part of my model call earlier this year and we had a ball! Not to mention, I received kudos from my classmates about her versatile wardrobe selection too! Thank you Devin! Had a blast with you!

Check out the video below to learn more about a makeover and photo shoot experience in Asheville with Studio 828 Photography.

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Andrea Boyer, Doll Box Productions

teen - asheville seniors - photographer asheville avl high school seniors - photography - teens modern senior photographer cat ford-coates mothers and daughters - teens - mothers day contemporary portraits for seniors and teens - vogue asheville senior photography - teens - seniors - avl - high school

Are you interested in high school senior pictures this summer? We are running a great promotion for Asheville area seniors and time is about to run out! Check out the details for our Asheville Class of 2016 Seniors here or reach out with the contact form below. We would love to photograph you.

Exist in Portraits {Asheville Photographer}

Our relationships are what create happiness and joy in our lives. Whether it be with our mothers, our sisters…anyone that we love. It is my job to help you to celebrate those relationships, to create beautiful portraits of you and those people who you love. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait. You are good enough now.

Are you considering a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? Please, fill out the form below and we will be in touch for your personal consultation.

28 Days to Gorgeous Challenge {My Personal Journey}

I can already tell that I’m going to enjoy this challenge and the support in the private Facebook group seems to be almost effervescent! So, how’s it going?

Day One: The first challenge was interesting. I was asked to define “beauty”. I was a little stunned at first because as a beauty portrait photographer I didn’t have a concrete definition just flowing out of me. So I thought for a bit about what beauty MEANS to me and came up with the following:

“In a woman beauty is confidence and owning exactly where she is in that moment. Beauty is awe-inspiring. Beauty is eloquence and grace.”

Day Two: 5 Words…So, if you only had 5 words to describe yourself, what would they be? It seems like a simple exercise until you really sit down to do it aaaaaand, no negativity. Self hate IS NOT ALLOWED.

  • strong
  • committed
  • passionate
  • ambitious
  • daring

Now, take that list in, whatever your list is…and then use 5 words to describe the self you WANT to be. Your future self. Should the words be the same? Should they be different? Personally, I think this sort of intention definition is important. Really break it down for you, down to the shoes you’re wearing and the relationships you have in your life. Actually, I think I’m over-thinking this one a bit HOWEVER, I’m finding in my own personal journey that defining that future self, see them in your mind, that transformation develops that person as a goal in your life. What is that person like? What does she value? What are her strengths? What are her weaknesses?

  • generous
  • inspiring
  • passionate
  • eloquent
  • committed

Day Three: Three people I find truly beautiful

It could be anyone. For me I chose women I admire; in profession, in family and in the famous Hollywood genre. These woman have struck me with their inner beauty and generosity and for one, her statuesque grace and beauty. I’ll be keeping their names to myself for now. I know how I see them. How I recognize their beauty is through their nature and their actions as well as their physical makeup.

Day Four: People watching. I LOVE people watching!

  • My gas station attendant had the clearest blue eyes, like prism and ice clear!
  • I love the part of my job that allows me the opportunity to find beauty in every single one of my clients. My client yesterday was truly beautiful. Giving herself permission to embrace her own beauty with kindness and a life following her purpose. That kind of light simply cannot be simulated, not ever and I love it!
  • I haven’t run into anyone else in a couple of days (that I didn’t know anyhow) but there was an actress on a tv series that I love to have on in the background while I edit. I still cannot place what else I know her from but she has beautiful red hair, a sultry voice and though I don’t know her name or what else I’ve seen her on I’ve always found her to be so stunning!

Day Five: Eye contact.

I can see how this challenge might push the boundaries for some. For me personally, I’m an eye contact kinda gal. I make it a point to not only catch someone’s gaze but especially so when I’m thanking them, saying hello/goodbye, giving a compliment, etc.

Day Six: Do something for someone else

I’m actually incorporating this into my life more and more, or trying to anyway. Whether it’s buying coffee for someone behind me in line, planning a surprise get together, even leaving all my silver in the penny pot at the gas station. I love the way it makes me feel to do something simply out of wanting to make someone’s day. It’s a bonus if I have the opportunity to see their reaction but most times I don’t and that’s okay. I know I’ve given a little universal fist bump to someone who deserved it, and that’s all that matters.

Day Seven: Do something for me. Erin recommended a new lipstick or a pedicure (both of which I love btw) but I chose a different route. I opted to spend a day enjoying some me time. I went out with a couple of friends for a late lunch (really we’d planned to go tubing but…well, we’re a little special sometimes and didn’t quite have it together), a couple of beers and came home to a nice long nap on my couch. Exactly what I needed and I gave myself permission too. It isn’t often that I give myself an opportunity to really relax. If I’m shooting, I’m shooting. If I’m not shooting I’m probably setting up blogs for the coming weeks, meeting with clients for consultations or reveal sessions, designing new marketing pieces and campaigns, out meeting new people who I can connect with to see how my services might benefit them and the list goes on. It was nice to disconnect from my work ethic for just a few hours. I started day eight with fresh eyes.


Asheville Family Model Call {Family Photographer}

Good Morning Asheville family Moms! Today I am lookin at you! You’re the mothers that somehow find sleep to elude you just a bit, always running errands to drop off the kids, pick up the groceries, run to the mall so your kids will fit into what they’re wearing, pick up the kids, oh yeah and even work somewhere in there too. You used to place yourself at the top of the shopping list and now, well, now things are a little different. Your kids are your world. You haven’t seen the seat of a pedicure chair since before last October and you wouldn’t trade anything for it.

I want to photograph you.

We’ll make a day of it. We’ll treat you to a makeover and photo shoot and then we’ll bring Dad or your partner in with the kids for about a half an hour at the end of your shoot and photograph you all together. Single moms can get in on this, just have G-Ma bring the kids in instead and we can get G-Ma in on the photo shoot too! We’ll be selecting 5 families to receive this complimentary makeover and photo shoot with our studio. We would love it if it were yours!

What we need from you:

  1. Send an email to Cat@Studio-828.com before June 1st with a recent picture(s) and tell me a little bit about who you are and your story (We all have a story, I just want to get to know you, learn about your life).
  2. You must be willing to sign a model’s release
  3. You must be able to shoot before July 21st, 2015
  4. $150 retainer at time of confirmation. Don’t panic, this retainer is 100% applied to the purchase of any product from your session.

What we provide:

  1. Professional hair and makeup for Mom (and daughters can have a little gloss and some curl in their hair too if you’d like make your shoot a Girl’s Day)
  2. Complimentary photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography for mom and the whole family
  3. Matted 8×10 from your session
  4. In person reveal session where we will go through all of your imagery together to choose your favorites.
  5. $250 print credit towards the purchase of any folio collection or package.

I recently polled our followers on Facebook about why families hold off on booking photo shoots and the number one reason was financial. I’m hoping with a little generosity we can turn that around for you. This offer is valued at $500.00. That is how much I believe in our service and our artwork. I’m putting $500 on the table right now for 5 families to create beautiful portraits of Mom and the whole family together. My goal is to take the most beautiful picture you have ever seen of yourself. We’ll take lovely portraits of your children and partner, document this time in your lives. So what do you think Mom? Let us pamper you, provide you with a fun day and beautiful portraits of the most important person in their world. You.

Remember, send a recent snap shot and a little bit about you to Cat@Studio-828.com before June 1st to be considered. Thank you in advance ladies. I look forward to photographing you.



Best. Father’s Day. Gift. Ever. {Asheville Boudoir Photographer}

Saturday June 21st is the day of Dad! The kids can get make him the sweet hand molds and paint him pictures he’ll cherish and you…ladies, take the plunge and skip the tie. A boudoir photography experience here in Asheville with Studio 828 Photography will be THE gift he’ll remember and the experience is the gift for you. Keep in mind, we need to photograph you before June 5th to have your artwork in time for Father’s Day.

photography promotion for boudoir photography in Asheville and western North Carolina with Studio 828 Photography
Best. Father’s Day. Ever.

Are you interested in a boudoir makeover and photo shoot in time for Father’s Day? Get in touch and we’ll schedule your session today.



Pinup Inspired Boudoir Shoot {Asheville Boudoir Photography}


pinup inspired - curvy girl boudoir - bucket list - testimonial - tattoo - asheville boudoir photographer

Nina called on me earlier in the year to accomplish part of her bucket list, starring in her own pin-up inspired boudoir photo shoot. We chatted a few times and emailed back and forth to really understand her inspiration and purpose. I must admit, I love it when clients have a vision in mind and trust that my artwork will bring that vision to life. I loved photographing you Nina and I am so glad that I was able to give you an experience you’ve always dreamed about.

One of the wonderful parts about being a photographer that specializes in photographing women is that I have the opportunity to turn my greatest weaknesses into strengths. I have always struggled with my appearance so I am able to connect with women because, like it or not, we all do. In that struggle I discovered that it isn’t about looking to perfect everything that we see as wrong in our bodies. Our inches and lines do not define us, our words and actions are what hold true power. Highlighting everything beautiful, embracing those flaws and celebrating who we are as women are what truly make us beautiful.

Are you considering a beauty or boudoir photography session in Asheville? I would love to photograph you. Please get in touch for your personal consultation with the contact form below or by phone at 828-275-9932. We can chat over the phone, meet up for coffee or meet in my studio in Asheville’s River Arts District. Whatever is convenient for you.

Talk Soon,


avl - pinup - curvy girl - feeling great in your own skin


28 Days to Gorgeous {My personal journey}

Happy Monday Interwebs! I wanted to reach out to let you all know that I am embarking on a personal journey through a program a colleague (Erin Blackwell) has designed, called “28 Days to Gorgeous”. The program starts on May 8th and is all about rediscovering my own beauty by honoring mySelf even just for a few minutes a day. We’re all busy. We run from task to task and errand to errand taking care of all the things and all the people and somehow, somehow we get lost in the thick of it. I am guilty of this too.

I’m even blogging about this primarily for accountability but, also to share this experience with you and I hope you’ll join me. You can learn about the program here and sign up as well if you’d like and if you do, I’d love it if you would share your experience in the comments of my posts here on the blog. I would love to blog about each challenge individually but really, I’m thinking once a week is more feasible a goal. Will you join me?

Ready to honor You for a bit? I think you should. #28DtoG



2016 Asheville Seniors {Model Call}

asheville senior ambassador program - high school seniors - senior photography

Finals are almost over. You’re so close you can taste it. Floating up the French Broad River with friends, sleeping in on a Tuesday, visiting colleges over the summer because next year…next year you’re in the final stretch. You’ll be a senior. You’ll be graduating from an Asheville area high school in 2016.

This summer, Studio 828 Photography is launching our senior ambassadors program. W-T-Heck is an ambassador’s program? It’s simple.

What we need from you:

  • Your smiling self
  • Signing of a Model’s release with parental consent
  • confirming your makeover and photo shoot before June 5, 2015 (A parent/guardian must remain on set for your photo shoot if under 18 years of age)
  • shooting in May/June/July of this year
  • up to 5 outfits ranging from casual to prom
  • your excitement and willingness to share your photos with your friends and on social media
  • a 500 word essay about You. Why should we choose you?
    • Do you have a strong social network?
    • You want to save Mom and Dad some cash?
    • You’re uber-involved in extra-curriculars?
    • You tell US!

What we will provide:

  • Complimentary photo shoot
  • Professional hair and makeup styling
  • $300 print credit towards any product purchase
  • 100 senior rep cards OF you
  • $50 in cold hard cash when any one of your friends books a paid senior photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography in Asheville

To qualify, email your essay with a recent snap shot/selfie to Cat@Studio-828.com before May 22nd, 2015 for consideration. We’ll be accepting 3 students from each of Asheville’s high schools listed below. Tell us why you’re awesome and why you would be the perfect fit!

Asheville area high schools:

  • AC Reynolds
  • Asheville High
  • Enka High
  • Erwin Clyde
  • The New Classical Academy
  • Francine Delany New School