It is to see the beauty in you {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

I received an email this morning that stopped me in my tracks. Reading it, I immediately started bawling. For those of you that know me, you know I’m not a crier or openly vulnerable person. This woman’s complete honesty and vulnerability brought me directly back to my chubby, unpopular 12-year-old self that was teased relentlessly for years. It brought me to a place where I remember why I am a photographer in the first place. It is to see the beauty in you. It is to capture it through my lens. It is to show you how beautiful you already are.

“I have felt guilt and shame throughout my childhood for being beautiful, and as an adult I decided to just be ugly; because it made me feel better about myself. Over the last few years I’ve let myself “come out of the closet” and choose to be me, and it’s been so terrifying much of the time! But being part of this photography project with you would feel like a public embracing and accepting of myself as the woman I am: me! I am beautiful! But it’s my soul finally free to shine that is my true expressing of beauty, and I’m so happy when I let that pour out of me! I’m deeply inspired by the journey you’re on, and would love to connect with you on this project.”

As a woman who has struggled with accepting herself, her true self for her entire life I am in a constant state of growth. I am learning daily how to forgive not only those that I allowed to destroy my own self value but, also forgive myself for allowing it to happen in the first place.

Forgiveness is not an easy path. Over the years I’ve found myself stalking their social media profiles and hating them and their successes in life. I know, it is terrible. Here I am, 39 years old and I can still feel those wounds and times in my life like they were yesterday. I don’t allow myself to go down that rabbit hole any longer. The only person that hurts, is me. The difference between then and now is that I honor how my younger self felt in those moments of what seemed like sheer terror. I hug her. I peer into the mirror, through my eyes and see the lost little girl and tell her that she is beautiful. That she is valued and loved. I honor those moments by finding the light in every single woman who I meet. When I photograph you, I can see everything you don’t like about yourself. I can see everything that you love. No one is “crazy” for feeling their nose is too long or their hips are too wide or their frame is too small. We all have imperfections, they are what make us beautiful. And now, instead of stalking those profiles and hoping they have found some sort of karmic retribution, now I hope they have found some way of filling the void that they held as children. That terrible loneliness that caused them to be so cruel. Some days it is hard to wish them only the best in life, to wish them happiness and a life filled with love. That challenge is my own but in learning to forgive them, I am learning to forgive myself.

This woman’s simple email brought everything right back around for me. Having guilt and shame wrapped around embracing your own self is so incredibly painful and it is terrifying and I am blown away and honored that they would choose me and my services to help them to reclaim that for them. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for reminding me that we all deserve to value ourSEVLES. I look forward to photographing you.

Advertisements

Thank you for Loving your photographs {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

Thank you for loving your photographs, truly. It is quite apparent to me that you love your photographs because you are referring me to your friends and sharing my work on your social media. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. To take it a step further, please tell those people who you are sharing those portraits with, to tell me that YOU sent them to me. I would love to send you a gift.

Much Love,

Cat

thank you

Are you interested in a beautiful photo shoot to celebrate you? I would love to photograph you.

Feeling Incredibly Blessed this Morning {Asheville Photographer Personal Post}

asheville photographer - gratitude - living the dream - thank you

I’m feeling incredibly blessed this morning. I really am living my dream. As a college student, I always knew that I wanted to be a professional photographer. I had no idea how I was going to do it, I mean, HOW do professional photographers make it? How do they reach people? New clients? I had no idea what a business plan was let alone, how to create one. I just knew that I loved taking photos and that was what I would, one day end up doing to make a living. When “life” set in after college, I put my camera down. My creative self stayed busy with painting and singing occasionally and I started down different paths. I was a network designer for a time. I worked my way up (and down) in the food and beverage world but my heart was always in photography. My creative self thrives on my service to my clients and creating beautiful portraits for each and every one of them. I am so thankful for that.

Personally, I believe that each of us was given a talent and in order to be successful in life, it is our duty to master that talent, our craft. In that journey to mastery we water that garden to bloom to fruition, to be our very best self. Personally, I am a creator. I love, love, LOVE creating! At times, the maintenance can be tough to keep a hold of but then, I am reminded that the maintenance is what allows our creation to thrive.

Am I the best business person? Not always. I do have stumbles from time to time but I have a pretty strong grasp on business as a whole. I am learning more and more every day and I am thankful for those lessons. It allows me to perfect my service and my product to my clients and when I can bring joy to them, I am winning.

Am I the best photographer? The best artist? Not by a long shot, but I work daily to master my craft and my faith in my artistic self knows no bounds. There are artists all over the world that I follow and draw inspiration from and pull into my own work, to let my work and ability evolve to be better every day.

I am so thankful today. My past, present and future clients allow me to live my dream. I love each and every one of them for that. Each of us has a story and I love getting to know every woman who walks through my door. My job is to photograph you. My love is capturing your personality, your spirit and your story and I am deeply humbled by each and every one of you. Thank You. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love in order to provide for my family and live the life I want to live.

With never-ending gratitude,

Cat

Are you interested in a makeover and photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? I would love to shoot for you. Get in touch here and I’ll be happy to speak with you about your vision for your photo shoot here in Asheville.

 

So Much to be Thankful For in 2013 {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

I have been trying to write this post for about two weeks now. My head swirls with all of the topics I wanted to touch on before the end of the year; new photography promotions, being thankful, my favorite images from this year and the list goes on. The main point for this posting however is merely to express how grateful I am for this past year, how thankful I am for the opportunity to grow here in Asheville both as an entrepreneur and an artist. For those of you that have worked with Studio 828 Photography, THANK YOU! I would not be on this path without you and I cherish each of you, as clients and as friends. I have some really fun, divalicious new promotions coming for 2014 and I cannot wait to share them with you!

I am thankful, humbly and graciously. I have had wonderful adventures this year! Opportunities to travel up and down the eastern seaboard from Florida to Manhattan (I am a “half back” after-all).  I have been lucky enough to shoot for some of my favorite people and reconnect with friends I haven’t seen for a decade! To celebrate wonderful new chapters in their lives and to help some come out of their shells and remember that they too are wonderful, beautiful souls that deserve the light and care that these photography sessions bring to you and in turn developed wonderful friendships along the way.

Thank you Asheville. YOU truly have blessed me.

XoXo,

Cat

Some of my Favorite Images from 2013

asheville beauty photographer - cat ford-coates, behind the scenes at a photoshoot
Thank you Jennifer Burrell for capturing this moment!
Probably my favorite image of New York. Thank you iPhone!
Probably my favorite image of New York. Thank you iPhone!

modern glamour photography in asheville asheville engagement photography

beofre and after of a young model in asheville
Always ask for a Before & After transformation

sisterly love - wedding photography in wnc fun wedding party photography in asheville asheville event photography

bride and groom - asheville wedding photo booth
Amelia & Warren taking a moment for some laughs

mother daughter portraits - asheville - creative - timeless

intimate engagement photography
Their laughter is contagious!!

brides in asheville, farm wedding sabrina sprinkle - asheville beauty photography - moody black and whites groomsmen - asheville wedding at claxton farm professional portraits - portraits for professionals in asheville banyan trees - fun high school portraits - sarasota teen portrait photography

savannah minister richard nelson - isle of hope - portraits for professionals in savannah
No really, he’s GOT this!

portraits for professionals in savannah pierce edens - pedw - portraits for musicians in asheville

dog portraits - asheville - love my dog!
She’s got my heart!
frannys farm - leicester nc - wedding and event venue in asheville
You always have a good time at frannys farm!

intimate boudoir portraits in asheville - beauty photography asheville and wnc senior photography in asheville - catching a moment boudoir photography asheville beauty poortraits - asheville portrait photographer intimate beauty portraits - beautiful photogrpahy in asheville asheville family photographer