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.

woman - entrepreneur - beautiful - true self

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.



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


Now Offering Videography in Asheville

I am so excited about this!!! Studio 828 Photography is now offering videography services here in Asheville. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Emily Gillis. She is the newest addition to our team here at Studio 828.

About Emily

Emily is a native of Hendersonville, NC and the newest team member of Studio 828 Photography as Videographer. Passionate about all aspects of filmmaking (especially direction, cinematography, and editing), Emily aspires to one day become an award-winning independent film director. She dreams to show feature films at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals and, by golly, it will happen. In the meantime, her own company and her work with 828 is in providing local businesses with beautifully authentic promotional videos. Emily brings a fresh perspective to the world of business video: she tells YOUR candid story how it is meant to be told.

Emily is fueled by passion, kombucha, and the love and support from her dreamboat husband. She loves vibrant colors, Pad Thai, music festivals, warm socks, and a good night’s sleep.

We will be adding portfolio examples to our website so, keep your eyes peeled for her work! And of course, if you’re interested in comprehensive video and photographic packages for your marketing plan, reach out directly. We’d love to learn more about what you do!

Arbonne Annie in Asheville

One of my recent clients is Annie. She has been with Arbonne for a little over two years now and is discovering how exciting owning your own business can be. For those that aren’t entrepreneurs, your first couple of years can be a real doozie and much of the time it is difficult to see the forest through the trees. Luckily, Annie has oodles of inspiration and purpose that is her driving force and she is KILLIN it in her business!

I give you, #ArbonneAnnie


One of the things that I LOVE about Annie is her drive. She and her husband have this incredible love, four amazing kids and she is inspired daily to not only contribute to her home and their livelihood and future but, it is because of her business that they are all travelling to Europe this summer! How exciting is that??? It inspires me for sure.

One of the things that I love about Annie’s business IS her purpose. She is creating a foundation because the woman that inspired her to succeed IN her business passed away unexpectedly and they were very close. Gah, if I ever were to lose anyone close to me like that I wouldn’t even know where to begin let alone how to champion a charity. It is truly remarkable. She is also coordinating savings to contribute towards the Buncombe county school system. Look, we all know that the public school budget is less than ideal and here comes this woman, this incredible mother with plans to create a buffer so that the structures, the classrooms, and the teachers have a resource to meet their deficit.

arbonne manifesto

And to do all of this by providing these amazing skincare lines and beauty products that are eco-friendly, natural, and safe to use. It is a win-win! Oh and by the way, I have sampled the RE9 skincare system, and the “Lotus” lipstick. For starters, the lip line is Annie’s favorite and I can see why. The texture is out of this world creamy, and the moisturizer is doing wonders for my face!!! I come by quite a bit of makeup and care lines in this business and I can easily recommend both of these, personally.

For Annie’s personal branding session we did more than simply change outfits. We created several different looks both in wardrobe AND in makeup and we created each look with only her Arbonne line. It was truly impressive and I am so excited for what the world holds for Annie.



Portraits of an Author

Portraits of an Author. Kimberly is such a sweet, sweet woman. She called on me to photograph her portraits for an upcoming book that is being published.

portrait - author - asheville - woman


I don’t want to give too much away about the story but, from what she’s shared with me, I am quite intrigued. She has written a memoir and, just wait. I’ll share the link to buy it as soon as it comes out. I’m so excited for her!

Thank you, Kimberly ❤


Movin on Up! {High-end real estate WNC}

Alexandra’s smile just won’t quit. I LOVE that about her. We had so much fun during her shoot. One of the greatest things about our story together is that I spoke with her earlier in the fall and she decided that it wasn’t the right time for a personal branding session. Alexandra is a realtor with Keller Williams and placing herself in the luxury market here in western North Carolina but was concerned going into the winter here, that it might be better to wait until the Spring.

Well, about a month later, a gentleman calls me and he is researching photographers for his wife. Her real estate business is taking off like wildfires in California (sorry Cali, no offense) and she needs new branding images. She’s been using the same head shot for about 10 years and, like all savvy entrepreneurs isn’t looking for the “same ole head shot”. He was drawn to my work because of our message in connection and empowerment, as well as our imagery. It is anything but run of the mill.

Oh, and did I mention that he went on, gushing about his wonderful wife for a good twenty minutes, telling me how much he adores her? Yeah. After about ten minutes it dawned on me that I had already spoken with his wife and kablammo! I was even more thrilled to be photographing her! She must really be pretty incredible if her husband has gone on in his admiration to a complete stranger. Yes, she is. In fact, if you’re in the market for real estate here in Asheville, I highly recommend her. We talked shop a bit and, she knows her business inside and out.

Hair and Makeup: Wendy, Blush Asheville

high end real estate - luxury - real estate agent specializing in high end
This was her family’s FAVORITE image from our session. I must admit, it’s one of my favorites too.

Alexandra Krobatsch, Forever Asheville

“Turning Dreams Into Realty”


Did I mention that one of the things we are offering our branding clients is more than a string of head shots. We are also using the images they love the most, and incorporating them into seasonal Facebook cover photos for their businesses. Remember, the point of your branding session is to ensure that you have cohesive imagery for your marketing efforts throughout the year. Social media is, like it or not, a HUGE component for your revenue. Nurture it. Care for it. Leverage it for your own business.

leveraging social media for your business with cohesive imagery

Want to learn more about how Studio 828 Photography can update your professional image to build your business? Let’s grab a coffee and chat about it! I love supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs here in western North Carolina. I would love to support yours too.

Being Your Brand

Being Your Brand: I spend a lot of time with clients discussing how cohesive imagery impacts their brand. I also spend much of that time discussing how self-hate can play a big part in when you book a portrait session, what you will choose to wear for your photo shoot, and how you want to be portrayed. I am no exception to that rule.

In 2016, we have some really great opportunities that are coming up for us and I wanted to come into this new year strong. Part of that plan included a photo shoot with Wendy from Blush Asheville to promote a really exciting event we have coming up later this month with the Special Olympics.

During the shoot, of course we had fun and laughed a whole bunch. I even got super excited about my hair and makeup.

spider holster; canon; portrait; outtakes; funny; laughing
I am officially the goofiest #LaraCroft photographer in history…
Seriously y’all, Wendy blows me away all the time. I can’t even tell you. You just have to experience it for yourself.


And then I found myself really getting down on myself about the weight I’ve put on over the past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, I recognized it, in a big way a few weeks back and am making the effort. Walk/running, putting the pizza on the back burner, more water, the whole shebang. That doesn’t mean it isn’t disheartening. But luckily, Wendy looked at me and said “Girl, you are a WOMAN, you have curves! Embrace it!” and she was absolutely right. It isn’t about having the perfect body. It isn’t about looking the way I did five, ten, even twenty years ago. It is about loving me for who I am today.

I am so incredibly lucky to be a portrait photographer. It is my job to help women feel good about who they are, right now. It is never about trying to be anything other than better than we were yesterday. I am grateful that my team understands that too. Thank you, Wendy.

So, how do you go about “being your brand” exactly? In my world, almost everything that I do involves my brand, somehow. It is all about choices. What to wear, how I spend my time, who I spend my time with, what luncheons to attend, trips we take, purchases throughout the year, and opportunities that present themselves do so based on HOW your market perceives you.

blush - asheville - sophisticated - brand
Wendy’s brand is all about Blush! Sophisticated, successful, sharp. She has cultivated Blush for twelve years from it just being her, to contracting nine amazing artists to provide makeup artistry to over 150 weddings each season. Not to mention her services in television, and on set with photographers.



Me personally, I love a ripped jean. Like 1992 ripped jeans. I am a child of the 90’s so, the grunge era and I, we go way back. As much as I LOVE some Pearl Jam I simply cannot, as an entrepreneur dress at that level of comfort any longer in my life, at least not publicly 😉 . Haha! Does that mean that I can’t incorporate some fun into my style? Of course not but, if I am going to be ready for every great opportunity that COULD be available to my business then I had better be prepared to run with the big dogs and so should you. What does your brand look like? Mine is urban, chic, powerful, and honest. With that kind of vocabulary, you won’t catch me at a photo shoot, or even on the street in a lazy anything. Does it mean I will be in a suit? Nope. I gave my last two suits to Goodwill about a month ago. They lived in my closet for five years and I never. wore them. once. My warpaint now is glamour. Plain and simple. Am I a goofball? Sure! That doesn’t mean White House Black Market isn’t all up on my vision board and my leather pants…they are here to stay.

I am living my brand and so should you. Be prepared for success, it just might work out that way.

personal branding - choices - business - entrepreneurs

Personal Branding for the Inspired Professional

Personal branding for the inspired professional.

Meet, Maggie Marie.

head shots - the authentic and professional you - personal branding

She was an absolute joy to photograph! As a small business owner, she is rebranding her copywriting business and was interested in showcasing her own persona as the face of her business. As many of you know, your first impression is not made on the consultation or the work, or even in the delight of your current client base (though, that absolutely helps!).

Your first impression is made when your potential client somehow connects with you, with your image, with your brand. In a single image your readership will judge whether you’re professional, delightful, quirky, lazy, friendly, ambitious, and yes, authentic. What does your current head shot or branding profile say about you?


I loved every second of working with Maggie. Her work is inspiring, her words are crafted and her spirit is limitless.

Thank you Maggie.

Are you interested in taking your branding to the next level? Please feel to reach out here for your personal consultation to design the brand you want for your presence.

Personal Branding is a Sign of Leadership

Recently, to our portrait menu we have added an option for personal branding. “Personal what?” That’s right, personal branding. As a photographer I am quite aware of the impact of my craft however, many people pass over their branding with the hopes that it will take care of itself or, if they just get a quick and dirty head shot session in with any photographer they’ll be covered and will “deal with it later” and then, later comes.

I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to photograph Alicia Sisk-Morris. She was in need of updated head shots as she had recently re-branded her business website and she does regular speaking engagements on accounting and empowerment of small business owners throughout WNC.

For her consultation we discussed what exactly she needed her imagery to portray? Yes, she’s a CPA but so much of entrepreneurship is about being able to connect with your clients, potential or existing before they even pick up the phone. For Alicia, she of course needed them to portray her approachability but also that she is a professional and friendly and can carry her brand with her image. She is the face of Sisk-Morris CPA, LLC. Even in our western North Carolina town, that’s a big deal. She wants her clients to understand that not only does she have the experience, education and staying power that any CPA should have (I mean c’mon, they’re responsible for our taxes here) but also that she is a real person. In my experience, Alicia is funny and charismatic not to mention she knows her stuff!

She was a guest speaker for a women’s group that I chair about small business owners and taxes (I know, you are really wishing you were there aren’t you?) and she gave not only a well thought out presentation but each of us was able to connect with the information. I don’t know if you know many creatives but when it comes to money, numbers, and organization, that can be quite the feat. Alicia made it painless, easy to understand and was open to questions and gave comprehensive answers. That to me, is better than gold.

I am incredibly grateful to have photographed you Alicia. I am also thankful to know you. I love that you specialize in small business and in women owned businesses as well. Thank you, more than you know.



head shots - personal branding - professionals in asheville
Personal branding is a Sign of Leadership

I’ve invited her to write a guest post about her experience with our studio. These are her words.

Personal Branding is a Sign of Leadership


As a female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) located in Asheville, NC, I work with a lot of self-employed individuals and small business entrepreneurs.  I advise my clients that it is especially important to be mindful about how you are presenting yourself to your clients.  The message you send should be consistent in both the written and visual form.  A part of that imaging is creating a logo, website, and social media profiles that share a consistent message.  Your message should include a solid professional head shot and a logo that matches your company vision.  Many of us, myself included, are the faces of our business and we should always put our best face forward.  If you are comfortable in doing your own branding then by all means, save yourself some money and do it yourself.  But if you are like me, you may need some help in the design department.

According to a Forbes magazine article written by Glenn Llopis “Developing your personal brand is essential for the advancement of your career and development as a leader.” When you represent your company, you want to make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light.

I recently upgraded my website design and felt I was in need of an updated head shot to accompany the refreshed text.  I was fortunate enough to have met Cat Ford-Coates, owner of Studio 828 ,at a local networking group.  Cat is a local photographer who specializes in photographing women.  Having seen some of her work online, I felt Cat would photograph me in a professional light.

Cat’s process is, in my opinion, quite unique.  She requested that I bring as many outfits as I would like along with jewelry and accessories.  She took the time to go through my selections and chose the outfits that would photograph the best.  She also hired a professional make-up and hair stylist to help prepare me for my shoot.  We all know that make-up for camera lighting is often times quite different from we might wear for every day uses. I really appreciated their extra help. They both listen carefully to my styling requests and they gave me exactly what I wanted.  I also have deep respect for Cat’s attention to detail while photographing me.  She knew what poses would be most flattering to my body type while still being mindful of my branding goals.  A head shot is so much more than just a photo of what you look like.  It sends a message to your potential clients and you want to make sure that message fits within your personal brand.  As Glenn Llopis stated “Your personal brand is an asset that must be managed with the intention of helping others benefit from having a relationship with you and / or by being associated with your work and the industry you serve.”

Thank you Cat for listening so well to my requests and giving me a head shot that I will proudly post on my website and use for upcoming literature and public speaking engagements.


Alicia Sisk-Morris, CPA in Weaverville NC is your choice for your financial needs in western North Carolina.
Alicia Sisk-Morris, CPA in Weaverville NC is your choice for your financial needs in western North Carolina.







Personal Branding for the Modern Entrepreneur

branding - marketing - asheville - modern entrepreneur - small business - wnc
Personal branding is more than just a head shot. Ask about how our personal branding sessions are tailored to your needs.

As small business owners, we often opt for the fast head shot session with that one photographer that is just starting their own business, in regard to our own branding for the sake of saving the almighty buck. And then, as the evolution of our brand takes hold we often realize, that head shot we had taken two years ago out in a field in the middle of the day…it just isn’t communicating the way we need it too. Often times we didn’t even make it outside (or we did…at noon, on a lunch break) and ended up being photographed while sitting on a wrinkled bed sheet with bad lighting.

So tell me, now that you have your feet under you when you really look at that head shot with the clarity of experience what is that portrait saying about you and your brand?

Is it saying?

  • She is detail oriented?
  • She takes her business seriously?
  • She seems friendly and approachable?
  • She is authentic?
  • She is professional?

Or is it saying:

  • She is operating her business on a wing and a prayer?
  • She is just starting out?
  • She is inexperienced?
  • She is off-putting or worse yet, mean?

What you’re looking for in a photographer is one that will not only photograph you in such a way that you have great lighting or a studio to be photographed in but one that will take the time with you to:

  • tailor your photo shoot to your own branding needs
  • handle your hair and makeup styling with a professional
  • pose you in a myriad of ways that flatters you
  • give you several options in wardrobe so that you’re able to create cohesive branding throughout the year that you can release for different events and marketing opportunities and speaking engagements and not just the “same old head shot”
  • customize a Facebook cover photo to you and your business

If you’re considering “new head shots” I invite you to experience our personal branding sessions at our Asheville photography studio. Ask about how we can tailor your photo shoot to YOUR branding needs. We would love to photograph you.