How Being Thankful Inspires Goals for the New Year

Getting ready for the new year, we all have sugar plums dancing about everything we hope to accomplish. My own goals are no different. First and foremost however, before putting pen to paper on those goals I think it is paramount that I review the year coming to a close to be thankful for my accomplishments and lessons.

This year has been a doozie for me, personally and professionally. I came in to 2015 with a goal to complete my continuing education course (which I did! Wahoo!), and to build my business, build savings for my family, and learn to manage my time more efficiently. What I have come to learn, throughout this year was so much more.

I did complete my continuing education. I also closed my second business and that took a toll on me both emotionally and financially. What I’ve come to realize with that closing is that it was the perfect opportunity for me to put my all and everything into this business, my photography. What is it they say? “Where focus goes, energy flows?” and it is exactly the truth. I picked myself up and dusted myself off and said “Cat, no more excuses. Now is the time for you to really shine, so get up off your arse and get to it.”

Since then I’ve been to New York, I’ve made new friends and new clients, visited with dear friends I haven’t connected with in years, my husband and I are actually able to spend time with one another (a concept foreign to us for years) and I love going to work every, single day.

I am excited for 2016. Life hands you exactly what you ask of it and I see that now. I love that I am able to live my life doing exactly what I love and with the people I choose to enjoy this journey with by my side. I love that I am able to support others in their dreams, and their successes.

For 2016:

  • My goal is to travel, to learn from masters in my field.
  • My goal is to build savings for my family.
  • My goal is to live to the fullest at every opportunity.
  • My goal is to photograph 192 women in 2016.
  • My goal is to photograph one inspired, conceptual shoot for me each month.
  • My goal is to spend quality time with the people that mean the world to me, near and far.
  • My goal is to set boundaries for myself and stick to them.

One of the things I started doing this year was saying “yes” to things. Things I had never experienced or had been fearful of. New ideas, new concepts, new journeys and it has been one of the most liberating changes in my life. Now I’m excited to fly on a plane. I trust that the pilot will get me to my destination safely. Now, I make new friends whenever given the opportunity and embrace everything wonderful I see in those people (Thanks, Andy 😀). Now, I venture to new places, out of my home, out of my regular path to connect to new people almost everyday. I am so thankful for that.

What are some of your goals for 2016? What is on your horizon?

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Asheville Holiday Photography Special

Happy Holidays and Ho, Ho, Hooooooo! I love bringing cheer and goodwill and this year have we got a doozie for you!

black friday - portraits - asheville - photographer special
Have you been considering a portrait session? A photo shoot by yourself for work, to celebrate a milestone in your life, to celebrate you, to create part of your legacy for your kids and grandkids, but something is always stopping you? Maybe you’ve been putting it off for one of the reasons here: I need to lose weight, I’m not pretty enough, I only need pictures of my kids, It’s too expensive, and the list goes on.

When you purchase a portrait session with Studio 828 Photography before 5:00pm on December 1st, we are going to gift you a second complimentary portrait session for you. BOGO Baby!

Look, we all know that Mom and Grandma have been begging you for a portrait session (C’mon, I know it, you know it, let’s be real here) where the three of you come in together and create beautiful memories. Well, let’s do that for them and Dad’s, are you listening in on this conversation? You can win some serious points this holiday season, too. Have you thought about gifting a session to your wife AND one to your Mom, too? You might even win Dad of the year for that one!

holiday portrait special

WEB RES-STUDIO 828 PHOTOGRAPHY - SANDRA GRACE-0557 mom and dad - couple - smiles - in love - park setting

3 generations - mothers - daughters - grandmothers

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sisters - best gift ever - asheville - photographer in asheville

couples photography - asheville portrait photographer - glamour for couples - husbands and wives

The best part is, when you confirm your portrait session with us before December 1st, we will send you a beautiful gift voucher for you to use anytime during 2016 however you would like. Maybe you would love a beautiful portrait session designed just for you. Maybe you have a friend or sister that you would love to gift the session too.Whatever you choose is fine with us. We’re happy that you’re entrusting the creation of this artwork, these memories, these heirlooms with US.

Get in quickly. Our cutoff is 5:00pm EST on December 1st so reach out here, email us, or call 828-275-9932 to take advantage of this offer before it is gone.

What does this offer include?

  • Personal consultation – One for each photo shoot. We tailor each of our photo sessions to our clients, their needs and desires for their artwork.
  • Professional hair and makeup styling at your photo shoot – for both photo shoots
  • TWO Photo Shoots at Studio 828 Photography
    • 4 wardrobe changes for a total of 5 outfits – per photo shoot
  • In person premier reveal session to choose your favorites from your session one week following each photo shoot here in Asheville
  • $300 credit towards the purchase of artwork from each of your sessions with us 
    • Complimentary session and/or print credit not redeemable for cash or transferable

Fine Art Portrait Concept

Coming into the fall this year, I realized I was struggling. Struggling to meet the level of service I strive to provide for my clients. Struggling to really create the imagery I KNOW that I can. A friend asked me when the last time I had shot, just to be shooting? Just to be shooting for me and I truly couldn’t answer. I had no idea.

When you first start out, you photograph anything and everything. It’s how you decide where you passion really lies within photography. Is it with weddings and events? Is it photographing infants? Is it in a photo-journalistic approach or a studio setting? Is it in covering families? Is it in shooting men or women? Is it with digital or film? Is it for fashion and editorial work? Is it with personal portraiture? Conceptual work and abstract? The list goes on and on.

For me personally, I have ALWAYS loved photographing people, women especially. Yes, I have experience with events and weddings and covering concerts and street photography but where my heart sings s portraiture. I prefer it be in my studio but it certainly hasn’t been banished only there, haha.

This year, I had been concentrating so heavily on my continuing education, my blinders were up. Plain and simple. And, by this fall, man I gotta tell ya, my fire was barely a candle flame. This happened when I studied music, too. I became so wrapped up in the theory of everything, the logistics that I had lost the love of the music itself. I had taken the art away and brought everything back down to the rules. It ruined it for me. Now, the extent of my singing belongs to belting at a karaoke night (don’t get me wrong, I will sing loud and proud for some karaoke) but the dreams of a career in music beyond teaching, left me a long time ago.

So, when my friend asked me when the last time I had photographed anything just for me it dawned on me that…I hadn’t. Plain and simple.

This is not an option. Not ever. For any artist. Heed these words, please.

As as an artist I HAVE to create, it’s in my blood. I love creating: lists, plans, concepts, flyers, goals, paintings, composites, you name it. What I get lost in sometimes is the execution. If you take away the creation part and all I’m left with is maintenance, and rules, and theories, my well runs pretty dry.

It was pretty apparent to me that I needed to start planning a shoot just for me. I had found some inspiration in a clay facial mask and found a model that could move like a ballerina and we created some beautiful images together.

I am now adding a conceptual line to our menu with 828. I will work with you and your ideas to design a vision to create some beautiful artwork. Please, let me know if you’re interested.

Model: Emma D

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates

inspired photography in asheville

Inspiration on the way:

  • all white – December
  • cherry red – January
  • Napoleonic era – February
  • branches – March
  • Paris – April

Before and After Transformation

The before and after transformations are such a hot topic. Many clients choose not to have their “before” image shown, which is fine. However I want to talk about WHY they are so important in my marketing efforts.

The purpose of my photography is not to make you look like a different person. It isn’t to “shop” everything away. The purpose of my photography is to create beautiful imagery of you and showcase you at your absolute best. Plain and simple.

Of course, many photographers say that.

My intention with before and afters is to show you that each of these portraits are of everyday women; just like you, and just like me. In fact, I even WANT you to smile in your before shot. It isn’t to make you look “bad”, your before shot is to simply show your face exactly as it is in all it’s plain glory. That’s mine, below.

before and after - beauty - asheville - photography - portrait
My very own before and after transformation

So, before you “decide” that all the women on my site are models, let me tell you that all but one of them are everyday clients. (The one “model” that is showcased on my site is in my fine art gallery. I am branching into some conceptual photography and thought it best to utilize a professional for that piece.)

Everyone else is a beautiful, captivating, and wonderful woman just like you. She trusted me to create beautiful portraits of her the same way that I hope you will, too.

Are you considering a beautiful portrait session of our very own? I would love to photograph you. Reach out today for your personal consultation to design the photo shoot of your dreams!

Fall Family Portraits in Asheville

One of the things I pride myself on is how we don’t just shoot and run for our family portraiture. Yes, I am well aware of how much kids and dad just LOVE to be in front of the camera for hours at a time (Yes, that is sarcasm there, haha). We have designed our portrait sessions a little differently than most.

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Family Portrait Sessions everyone can be excited about

Mom, you are single-handedly saving the world, 7 tasks at a time. We see it. You are the last on your very own list for care and we know how much you’ve been wanting portraits made of your beautiful family. We have designed a portrait session like no other. Instead of just meeting you out somewhere, running a brush through your hair quickly, and hoping that your kids thought to brush their teeth we put a little thought into designing a photo shoot that is more than that. So much more than that.

We bring Mom into the studio for our full service hair and makeup styling and photograph her in up to 4 different outfits. Mom you are also welcome to bring your daughter in for this experience as well. We can schedule you both together. Then, following your in-studio photo shoot we will meet up with any children and Dad out at your favorite location for a 30-45 photo session with everyone for just long enough to keep their attention, and not so long everyone hates the world. 🙂

Would you like a family portrait session that everyone will be proud of? I would love to photograph you.

Three Generations Portraiture Asheville

Generations portraiture always, always, ALWAYS pulls at my heart. Family, well, it means the world to me. I was so fortunate in photographing Jean, Jennie and young Hattie that I simply was bursting at the seams!

3 generations - mothers - daughters - grandmothers
See what I mean? Gah! I LOVE photographing generations.

These wonderful women had cancelled a family vacation over the summer due to some personal issues however, they were bound and determined to create some wonderful memories together when they found me. I am so thankful they did. I loved capturing wonderful images for each of them to cherish. Love, love, LOVE.

Are you interested in creating beautiful portraits with your children, and grandchildren? I would love to create beautiful portraits for your family too.