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

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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.

“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”

You are worth it and so is your daughter. SHOW HER.

Mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers.

Those roles are each, quite distinct and very, very important in their own way. My birthday gift to myself is to take action in honoring my role as a woman. My role as a woman who empowers other women. My role as a woman who sees the absolute beauty in every other feminine power that she meets, and mirrors it back to them. My role in honoring that in a new way is to create a book that tells the stories of mothers and daughters, and their connection. What those mothers want their daughters to know, the women those young girls are growing into being; their loves, dreams, and desires in life.

We will be inviting 20 women and their daughters the opportunity to a portrait session in our studio in April and May of this year and I would love for you and your daughters to be involved with us in this publication. We will be photographing our subjects in April and May and publishing a book with the imagery and stories of each of these women and their daughters this summer.

Would you and your mother or daughter be interested in a portrait shoot with us? Would you want to be part of an artistic endeavor and a book publication? Are you open to sharing your story and philosophy on womanhood, motherhood, and everything as a feminine being? Please submit your story to us below. How would this benefit you? How might this benefit your daughter(s)? How will sharing your story be empowering for you and for others?

Don’t be shy. We would love to photograph you.

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What kind of legacy will you leave for your daughters?

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They will never be this young again.

F.A.Q.

  1. What are you publishing?
    1. A coffee table book honoring women (through portraiture and their own words) in their many roles in life as; daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers and the philosophies they want to share with their own daughters.
  2. How do I participate?
    1. First, submit your story and how being a part of this project will benefit you and others and we’ll go from there 🙂
  3. Is there a cost?
    1. Yes. There is a non-refundable $350 fee to participate.
  4. What is your cancellation policy?
    1. Rescheduling for this project will not be permitted. Should you be unable to attend your confirmed photo shoot appointment (or arrive 30 minutes after your scheduled time), your appointment will be forfeited and your confirmation fee can be applied to a full session with our studio only.
  5. What is included?
    1. Pre-Shoot consultation: discuss your family, how this might be beneficial for you, what you want your daughter to know, and general information to plan for your session.
      1. Skype or Facetime
    2. Professional photo shoot in our Asheville photo studio
    3. Hair and Makeup styling for up to two people
    4. One signed copy of the completed coffee table book per photo shoot
      1. Additional unsigned copies available for purchase at $49
      2. Primary contact will be notified upon publishing and an appointment will be arranged for pickup
        1. Shipping additional
    5. In person reveal session
      1. We will review all of the edited imagery from your photo shoot
      2. Prints and packages available for purchase
      3. ADDITIONAL PURCHASE IS NOT REQUIRED
    6. When will you be shooting these sessions?
      1. There are 20 sessions available. Appointments will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis.
      2. April: Sunday 24, Friday 29, Saturday 30
      3. May: Friday 6, Saturday 7, Monday 9, Sat 14, Fri 20, Fri 27, Sat 28
    7. Are there any age restrictions?
      1. Please keep applications for children above the age of 7
  6. Look in the mirror. Take a Deep Breath. You ARE worth it and so is your daughter. SHOW HER.

 

Home for the Holidays in Asheville

Happy Holidays my wonderful WNC beauties!

So, let me ask you a question: How many of you have family coming into town for the holidays this year? Parents, sisters and brothers that perhaps you haven’t been in the same room with for 2 years, 5 years, maybe more?

For the first time ever, we are opening up on-location or in-studio family portrait sessions here in Asheville and the surrounding communities the week after Christmas.

We are opening 5 appointments between December 26th and December 30th, with special package pricing to create memories with your family.

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OK Cat, how does this work? I know my Mom would LOVE a family portrait of all of us together. How do we make this happen?

Simple! Pick up the phone and give me a call. 828-275-9932 and we will book in your consultation. This can be in our studio in the River Arts district or via Skype. We will discuss your family, what you have in mind, location options, what to wear, when we can schedule your photo shoot, and artwork and package options to suit your family’s needs. We’ll get your appointment confirmed with our calendar and voila! Best. Present. Ever!

Please do get in touch ASAP as I don’t expect these appointments will last for very long.

 

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!

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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.

Family Portrait Experience Like No Other

 

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Beautiful portraits of a wife and mother with Studio 828 Photography

School is in, summer is dwindling and the days seem a little less harsh than only a few weeks ago. Fall is right around the corner and the leaves will change before you can even say “homecoming queen”. I got to thinking, how can I set Studio 828 Photography apart in this season? Here in western North Carolina, these upcoming months are a stunning time here in the mountains. The natural backdrop and landscape are…majestic. What better time of year to have your family portraits?

Now, there are a million ways to go about having your family portraits taken. What I can say is that I will not offer a turn and burn service to get you in and get you out and only be hopeful that I’ll catch a couple pretty moments before the next family comes along in 20 minutes.

Personally, I think your portraits are more than that. You’ll have this beautiful artwork for more than a lifetime. Each piece will be passed along from generation to generation and frankly that deserves a bit of planning, a little glam and your family, front and center.

Introducing the Asheville family portrait experience like no other…designed around YOU. 

  • We’ll bring Mom (& daughters) into the studio for professional hair and makeup styling and a photo shoot with 4 wardrobe changes
  • We will then meet the spouse & other family members out, in a park or urban setting and photograph a session with everyone.
  • It’s the best of both worlds; beautiful studio imagery and some amazing beauty images of Mom and the girls (or solo for some definitely needed pamper time) and then some beautiful portraits with everyone outdoors in a beautiful setting.

Sound like a plan? Get in touch today for your personal consultation about your Asheville family portrait session. If, after your consultation you decide this styled session isn’t for you, that’s okay. I’m glad we had an opportunity to speak a little and maybe you’ll change your mind down the road, or refer a friend that might enjoy this experience. However if you DO decide that this is for you, I promise we’ll have a fantastic experience together and with a little coaching and guidance in how to prepare, what to wear and in posing you will all look like a million dollars and be able to look at these portraits for years to come and think about what a magical time it truly was.

Portraits of Sisters

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Cherish these moments

Sisters. I have always loved the connection between sisters. How their personalities ebb and flow when they are together. It is this beautiful melody. Their mother came to me for a beautiful session that we kept, just for her. And then we had a portrait session with her family and her daughters simply, beamed. I couldn’t NOT share them with you, they are lovely, wonderful girls.

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Wendy Ballance, Blush Asheville

 

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That moment, when all their wildest dreams are at their fingertips
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To see the future, the woman she will become

 

Are you interested in booking a mother/daughter/sisters photo shoot with us? We would love to photograph you.

Photographing Women and the People they Love {Asheville Family Portraits}

At Studio 828 Photography, we specialize in photographing women and the people they love. We had the pleasure of shooting for Brooke and creating amazing portraits of her and her family! Brooke was a little shy at first but, she trusted the process (her words) and I thought she did a fabulous job (seriously, she is a stunning woman)! And her family, ohmygosh! Too sweet!

Thank you for letting me photograph you all! I had so much fun and hope you LOVE your imagery!

Are you interested in a makeover and photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? We would love to photograph you and your family.

XoXo,

Cat