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

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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.

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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

A Red Head and Two Dresses

Goodness gracious! Everyone, meet Kelly. Wife to an officer in the Army, student, and soon-to-be therapist. One of the things I learned about Kelly today is that her purpose is to be the hope in people’s lives, the light. Wow! It blew me away.

One of the things I love about her is that she knows what she wants. So often, when you ask someone what they are looking for, what they want out of life they sort of look at you like there is a foot growing on your face. Kelly knew straight away and I’ll tell you what, mark my words, she will get it.

portrait - red head - ginger - asheville photographer

Kelly’s husband is deployed at the moment but, we’re both sort of hoping these images help ease the wait until he returns to the states.

PS – Kelly’s husband, in case noone has mentioned it, Thank you. You and your service are greatly appreciated.

red head - portrait - portfolio

Are you interested in a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? Feel free to contact us using the form below. We would love to have you in for a consultation.

Sue Bryce Education in Paris

Honey, I’m Hooooome! Wow! WHAT. A. Trip. Somebody pinch me! In case I hadn’t told you (oh who am I kidding? Of course I told you), I’ve spent the last two weeks abroad in Paris, France. You read that correctly, Paris! Gah! ANNNND! It was for a workshop with the leading photographer of women in. the. world!!!! Sue Bryce.

You might remember that I studied under Sue in one of her courses for the better part of 2015. That in and of itself allowed me to grow my own skill set to better my shooting and my business practices. In short, it changed my business. In October of last year, I traveled to New York to a photography trade-show (Photo Plus Expo) to meet her. Well, I took other classes also but, meeting Sue was at the top of my list.

Then, she announced her workshop in Paris. It was this incredible, dream-worthy, and completely unattainable goal. I literally had NO IDEA how I would afford it but, I was going. No ifs, ands, or buts. It seemed impossible. And then it wasn’t. I jumped in feet first. I was going to Paris to study under Sue Bryce. There was no question. “Impossible IS I’m Possible” right?

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Coffee, sequins, and glamour

Sue brought her team of mentors to teach an intense two days of shooting, business, and if you follow Sue at all you know she will also present you with the opportunity to face you own deamons, too.

The workshop was held in a Chateau in St Germaine en Laye…where Amadeus Mozart stayed on THREE different occasions, and even wrote about the home himself. It is one thing to see this place in photographs and completely another to walk through the doors.

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Being greeted by Sue. Image courtesy Katinka Tromp

Day One:

I was greeted by the mentors, Sue, and Cookie. Sue’s adorably famous star Pug. She immediately ran right up my leg, gave me a kiss and ran away again.

sue bryce's dog cookie in paris
Cookie Bryce

I must admit, I was way off my game for most of the first day. Well more nervous than I had expected to be not to mention, my camera was malfunctioning somehow (being rectified, no worries), and I felt like, like…I felt like it was my first day on a new job. New people, new expectations, I didn’t know what those expectations were, new workflow, and everyone was nice, and patient, and wonderful and I’m over here in the corner all “hey, look at my thumbs!”.

About half way through the day I found my stride. My camera would fire when I told it to, I was more comfortable with the setting and holy wow did I shoot some beautiful portraits! Even during one of the scenarios did I receive personal, one-on-one mentoring with Sue.

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Sue, Lauren, and Esti

One of the things that I loved most about the workshop is that attendance was so limited so that Sue was able TO give individual attention outside of the classroom setting. I can honestly say that my shooting, even if I gleaned nothing else from this course (which is NOT the case), the quality of my shooting has grown by leaps and bounds. Their (Sue and Emily London Miller‘s) guidance literally, changed my life.

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Emily, Caitlin, and Sue
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Caitlin, Sue, and Rodney
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The szhuszh! Sue and Caitlin

And that was just day one.

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The ceiling was incredible, truly. Imae courtesy Katinka Tromp Photoraphy

Day Two was all about the biz! The pricing, the marketing and networking, and the part where you are faced with your own YOU. AKA, do or die, baby! Needless to say, there were a lot of tears that second day, even by me. (I’m not really a public crier normally but on day two…holy cow! Waterworks over here!)

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Sue, Shauna, and Rebecca posing 2’s

And then there was dancing. Yes, dancing. We had scrapped an idea to flashmob Sue at lunch that day (being grown, professional adults) and then a little birdie told Sue what we had been planning. Yyyyyeah, so we were called out and you’d better believe that about 8 or 10 of us got up there and did a choreographed dance to “Fireball” by Pitbull. Choreographed by one Rodney Pedroza. I also discovered something else…I probably shouldn’t spin in public without a dancing partner. 😛

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Dancing for Sue, Image courtesy Olga Zametra

This trip abroad was a lot of things: I made connections with amazing photographers from the US, the UAE, and Europe, for the first time in my life I facilitated something wonderful in my life, on my own that had nothing to do with anyone or anything other than my own desires both personally and professionally, I studied under the number one photographer of women in the world, THE WORLD, and I am facing some pretty incredible aspects of myself that I both am and am not prepared to face, and I welcome it.

I know! All this from one workshop huh?

Thank you, Sue. Again and again, your influence has changed my life, Thank you.

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Lauren directing Katie

For anyone considering whether or not a workshop given by a leader in your field is worth the time or the expense, look a little closer. I hear, so often that “Oh, it was at a workshop, that’s WHY it’s good.” which I think is a cop-out. In attending education, given by those at the top of their field, YOUR field you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow. You are investing in yourSELF and you WILL grow from it. I highly recommend it.

XoXo,

Cat

#mirrormirroronthewall

#namaste

#certaintyandconviction

PS – don’t be surprised if I purchase all the crown molding from my local supply store (ALL of it) and paint it gold. PS: If I go missing, it’s because my husband came home and discovered that I DIY’ed our brick ranch into a French chateau. Those walls though, GAH!

😀

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These images were created at Sue Bryce’s 1st Paris workshop 2016 by Cat Ford-Coates

 

 

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.

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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!

Elegant Portraits in Asheville

A wife, a mother, a grandmother and a civil servant. Beautiful and elegant glamour portraits were the perfect anniversary gift for your husband. Wishing you both many, many more years together.

Thank you Robyn. I loved every bit of photographing you.

Hair and Makeup: Andrea, Doll Box Productions

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Are you considering your very own portrait session in Asheville? I would love to photograph you.

Get in touch for your no obligation consultation to discuss how you envision being photographed and answer all of your questions about our photography service here in Asheville.

Talk Soon,

Cat

Modern Portraits with Christine

Christine, GAH! I have had SUCH a blast with you! Ladies and Gentlemen, this beautiful woman is a dance instructor and a nutritionist and, in her words she “lives holistically with a sense of humor”. Needless to say she is a ball of fun and gorgeous to boot! My makeup artist and I are headed to a show she has coming up at The Orange Peel, too. Seriously, I can’t wait!

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Wendy Ballance, Blush Asheville

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We were able to give her a fun-filled and relaxing day of pampering and laughter, beautiful portraits for her business and for HER. Sultry, inspired, friendly and authentic.

Thank you so much Christine. I adored photographing you.

Xo,

Cat

Are you considering a portrait session with Studio 828 Photography? Whether it is for a personal branding session for your business, updating your family portraits this Fall or enjoying a day of glamour customized just for you, I would love to photograph you. Reach out for your personal consultation. We’ll chat, answer any questions that you may have and address your vision so that I am able to tailor your portrait session specifically for you and your needs.

 

How I felt about my own Before and After

One of my gifts, as a photographer and a human is that I am able to see everything beautiful in you and everything that you maybe, aren’t super happy about, too. So, how did I feel about my own before and after?

When I first entered photography professionally, I was immediately drawn to modern portraiture. As a college student (a hundred or so years ago), I loved the edgy, black and white aesthetic. it was the 90’s. Everything was edgy, then, haha! As my photography grew and I was able to hone my skills, contemporary glamour was easily where my heart burst with joy. There is something so simple, yet so magnificent about stripping away everything you don’t like or hate about yourself and lighting everything that is beautiful. Defining that in a magazine style portrait that just, well, it sings.

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a rampage in purchasing new pieces for our studio wardrobe. Beautiful satin and lace dresses for anyone to wear during their photo shoot here in Asheville. Elegant pieces to go that extra mile in ensuring you feel beautiful for your photo shoot. You might come in thinking, “Oh I just need new head shots” or “I’m more of a casual girl” but, having that extra piece of drop dead gorgeous never hurts anyone.

So, what better time than to test the waters myself? So, I donned one of the new pieces and called a photographer friend over, hung my black velvet backdrop and put on a face and stepped in front of her lens.

“What are you doing, Cat? Why on earth do you NEED a portrait? You just had a full on beauty session a year and a half ago with another photographer. Do you really need another one? Do you even really DESERVE another one? God, this looks horrible on you. Your makeup looks awful and you haven’t touched up your hair color and you could use to lose more than just a few pounds. You’re almost 40. There’s no way these will be even remotely resemble the you, you remember…”

Pause.

“OK deep breaths, Cat.”

All the voices, I acknowledged their existence. Always in the voice of the 12-year-old me. She was constantly berated so, I can’t really blame her for being scared. It’s her job to protect me from suffering that kind of attack…oh wait…

Be careful how you speak to yourself. You are listening after all.

I took my “Before” picture in my kitchen, after a single cup of coffee in front of a window. No makeup, I don’t think I’d even brushed my hair. A real “before”, to say the least. Yup, that’s me in the morning. How did I feel about the before? Seeing the truth sometimes can be jolting. I got to see all of my flaws in the cold light of day, and then I was going to put it out there for all the interwebs to see. Haha! The dark circles under my eyes, the scowl lines in between my eyebrows from spending 20+ years in the Florida sun, my growing chin (what’s THAT about anyway, jeez) and the list goes on. The point is, that is my face. That is what I look like. In a normal day, I might throw on a little moisturizer and some eye makeup. I might even go so far as lipstick if I’m feelin sassy. I’m a pretty good lookin gal, curves and all. A little face can go a long way.

In editing the footage we shot that day, we were very careful to only go as far as we would for any client. I am very meticulous about retouching. As much as I wanted to wave my magic photo shop wand to get rid of everything I see, it was very important that I remain my beautiful self and, not some idealized version of myself. My portraiture is based on highlighting everything beautiful about my client and if I went the “extra mile” on my own portraits, it would have defeated the purpose.

before and after - beauty - asheville - photography - portrait
Having the strength to step in front of a camera can be challenging. You’re faced with all of your flaws and “I’m not good enough”, right then. You ARE good enough. everything about you is perfect. You are valued.

So, what do I see staring back at me?

  • a woman who loves her work
  • the courage to let all of the voices have their say, and then move forward to embrace this moment
  • a woman with doubts and fears, just like everyone else
  • a woman who is loved
  • a woman who has worked tirelessly to build her business
  • a beautiful portrait, now part of my legacy

I put this image out on social media yesterday. Clicking the “post” button definitely took a minute…or two but, here’s the thing, if I can’t share my very own before and after, how on earth could I ever expect you to come into my studio, let alone experience your very own transformation with us?

Our service, our process is not one of turn and burn, wham bam thank you ma’am. I want you to be able to envision yourself having your portraits made with us. I want for you to see that my purpose here is not to just photo shop everything away, it’s to showcase everything wonderful about you, right now. It’s to help you see past all of the little things you hate seeing in the mirror: all of the shoulda, woulda, coulda, all of the when I lose 15 pounds, all of the when I get to the salon or the gym, all of the maybe one days, all of the “I’m not good enough”. You ARE good enough. You DO deserve beautiful portraits. Your family and loved ones deserve beautiful portraits OF YOU.

They are your keepsakes. They are your heirlooms.

In the words of Sue Bryce, “You are beautiful. I want to capture you for All time.”

I 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

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.

 

XoXo,

Cat