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?

world reknown photographer sue bryce
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.

one on one - mentoring - sue bryce - education
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.

behind the scenes of a photo shoot with sue bryce
Emily, Caitlin, and Sue
assisting sue bryce
Caitlin, Sue, and Rodney
hair styling photo shoot sue bryce
The szhuszh! Sue and Caitlin

And that was just day one.

lunch break
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. 😛

sue bvryce workshop - dancing
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.

paris - chateau - mozart
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.






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!


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




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!

This Photographer’s Steps of Service {Asheville Photographer}

Preparing for a photo shoot as a photographer. So, what does that mean? What are this photographer’s steps of service? Don’t I just show up and shoot and send you home? Nah, it wouldn’t be nearly the experience for either of us if that were all there was to it. What is my process? Well, there are a few steps.

First and foremost: I have you in to our photo studio here in Asheville for a consultation (or via Skype if you aren’t local – @CatFC828) and we get to know one another a bit. Really, its a conversation more than anything. I ask you questions about what you’re hoping to get out of a photo shoot experience with us. Is it to celebrate a recent victory? A holiday or anniversary gift for a loved one? Investing in your own self care? Maybe you haven’t had a professional portrait taken in a while…or ever? You ask me questions, whatever is coming up for you: What do I wear? How much should I bring? Should I do my hair? What kind of shoes should I bring? What kind of artwork do you offer? How much is it? Can I bring a friend/daughter/sister/mom/partner? We’ll address all of these things, and more. These consultations typically take 30-45 minutes and are no obligation. If after we meet you decide that maybe I’m not the right photographer for you, that’s okay too.

What do YOU get from this consultation?

From this consultation I am able to really get a sense of you, your personality, your likes and dislikes and I use this information to tailor your photo shoot TO you.

  • Design a posing map based on your wardrobe, body type and personality
  • Learn about things you might not be so comfortable with about yourself and be sure to pose you in a way that is flattering for all of your best features
  • Understand the types of artwork you are interested in to help me shoot with that artwork in mind.
posing map - sisters - mothers and daughters - photo shoot
My not-so-Picasso sketch

So, we’ve had our consultation, now what? Well, if you choose to move forward with your makeover and photo shoot with us we will:

  • confirm your date with our calendar. That requires a non-refundable retainer paid either at your consultation or a date determined by our conversation at your consultation.
  • send you our PDF about the details on how to prepare; everything we discuss at your consultation and more in detail.
  • communicate either by email or phone about additional questions that you have before the shoot. For example, you might be out shopping and trying to decide between a few outfits. Text them to me and I’ll give you my recommendations and why. Send me your pinterest boards, tell me what imagery on my website that you love and are drawn to and why and feel free to pin those images as well. You can add comments to everything that you pin so I can know right away when I connect with your board.
  • follow up with you to remind you about your session the day before your shoot and then we’ll meet at the studio for your appointment.

During this time, I also take a few hours to sketch out my ideas for your session based on everything we discussed at your consultation, communication before your shoot and any inspiration you’ve provided. I’m no Picasso with a pencil however (see above image), these sketches allow me to solidify a posing map specifically designed for you. I’ll then use this map when you arrive in the studio to plan out your poses once I have your wardrobe in house while you’re in hair and makeup with our stylist.

before and after - transformation - pohtographer - asheville

When you arrive at our studio,we’ll take your before photo and you will go directly in to hair and makeup. Our stylist will discuss with you personally how you’re envisioning your hair style and your makeup for your session as well as anyone else receiving this service in your party. I will be finalizing our posing map based on your wardrobe selection, shooting some behind the scenes stills and video and arranging our first set.

Once we’re into the shoot, I’ll be coaching and directing you through the entire process based on that posing map. I’ll also be sure to capture candid in between poses as well. How you carry yourself naturally is beautiful and while I want to have the foundation of the map, your natural beauty will shine on it’s own as you become more comfortable and I want to capture that, above all else. 🙂

Following your photo shoot, we will schedule your in person reveal and ordering session. It is typically within a week of your photo shoot. At this reveal session we will go through all of your edited imagery together and you will choose your favorites for your artwork and place your order. Whether you love one image or twenty-five images, what you purchase is completely up to you. It is my job to create beautiful portraits of you that you will love. It is your job to choose your favorites and try not to want everything that we’ve created together. 😉 Once your order is placed we will schedule your product delivery. This is usually 3-4 weeks following your ordering appointment and dependent upon the artwork you have purchased (folio collection, wall art, etc.).  I will personally deliver your order to you at the time we choose at your reveal session. I drop ship nothing, ever. All of your artwork is delivered to me first, so that I am able to ensure the utmost of quality from my suppliers before it reaches your hands.

For the record, I am a hugger. I am connected to each and every one of my clients and I cherish you all. Each of us has a story and I am so grateful to be able to learn about you and provide this service for you. That being said, more than likely, you’ll get a hug. 😀

So, there you have it. Are you interested in a makeover and photo shoot with us at Studio 828 Photography? I would love to photograph you.



What is it that sets me apart from other Asheville photographers?

What is it that sets me apart from other Asheville photographers? Well, there are several reasons however, I’m enumerating top three I hear most often from my Asheville photography clients. This reasoning is what makes my service to you different from the service you might find with other Asheville photographers. That being said, it is not to say that other area photographers do not provide great service and/or product. There is so much talent in the WNC photography market and I am regularly in awe at the beautiful work so many of us provide.

testimony from clients - asheville photographer - women - empowerment - clarity
Your work doesn’t change who the subject is. It clarifies it. The body, while amazing, isn’t the beauty “in the pictures. It’s the smile and personality that’s captured in a moment of a woman feeling confident in her own skin.”- Hannah McCue, Asheville Professional
  1. “You made it seem so relaxed at our photo shoot! I had so much fun with you!”
    1. Every single client that I consult with is nervous and excited. They all have concerns and jitters.
      1. This is what comes up once we have made the choice to value ourselves and book a makeover and photo shoot. Maybe in the beginning, it even seems narcissistic? Perhaps superficially that might be the case. Personally, I find value in photography because we ARE valuing ourselves. We are teaching our daughter(s) that it IS important to value their own self too. We are creating a legacy for and with them and that artwork is priceless.
    2. We address these concerns ahead of time. We have a personal consultation either in person or via Skype with each and every client that books a session with us. These consultations are perfect because it gives us an opportunity to discuss the details of your shoot;
      1. what to wear, any physical limitations that you have so that I can tailor your posing map to you, how you would like your hair and makeup designed for your session, etc. All of these things help you to be prepared for your photo shoot with us and in turn, help to eliminate that uncertainty.
    3. At your photo shoot we’ll take your before picture, and I’ll go through the wardrobe you brought along with you to complete your posing map. You’ll go straight into the hair and makeup chair with our fabulous stylist. We’ll all laugh and chat, we’re women, we can talk about anything! From that point, we’ll move through your photo shoot. I’ll give you direction and coach you from pose to pose and in just a bit, you’ll even feel comfortable in front of my camera (no, really!). We’ll laugh and shoot for all of your beautiful outfits with your vision in mind.
    4. Following your session, as I recommend with every client MAKE PLANS to go out. You are going to feel beautiful, promise.
    5. Look, I am a very relaxed person. I am not easily shaken and I have designed our service to translate that strength to each of my clients. I love ripped jeans and t-shirts and I love flip-flops. Does that mean that I don’t love a $300 pair of boots and leather pants? Not at all! I love dress up and style! However, it is my job to ensure that you are as comfortable as you can be in front of the camera and that means that you too, must feel comfortable.
  2. My artwork 
    1. I am constantly striving to learn new techniques and master my craft. I do this by taking courses from industry leaders and constantly raising the bar for posing and my technical abilities and my business. Will you find similar posing with other Asheville area photographers? Probably, with some of it I’m sure you will. There is traditional and modern posing and I am not the only photographer that is regularly working to improve her skills and service. To believe that, well, it would be insane. What I can say is that my artwork is from my heart and I truly believe that translates to each of my clients to tell their story and create their legacy
  1. Empowerment
    1. There is real value in personal empowerment. Isn’t empowerment just some newfangled sales tactic and something I read about in memes on social media? Not even a little bit.
      1. Have you ever experienced power in your own self? Have you ever put yourself in the forefront of your day? Ahead of the hubs, the kids, the errands, the to-do list? What is your purpose? Is your purpose to work your 40 hours, workout, feed/dress/deliver/pickup your children, cater 3 meals, coach, and take only enough time to brush your teeth and sleep for 6 hours and hope for the best? Or is your purpose to do all of these things and teach your children that valuing yourSELF is paramount to your ability to caring for anyone else. That is empowerment. To realize your own self and the value you bring to the world as a mother, friend, wife, care-giver and woman.
pinup inspired - curvy girl boudoir - bucket list - testimonial - tattoo - asheville boudoir photographer
Feminine empowerment

Are you considering a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? We would love to photograph you. Reach out for a personal consultation. 828-275-9932

I am a Photographer {Asheville NC}

Why do I love what I do? Why am I enthusiastic? I am a photographer. I primarily shoot beauty and boudoir portraiture for women. I also shoot portraiture for families and contract up to ten weddings per season. I love what I do. I love that I can truly show you over the course of a day exactly how bright your own light can shine. I love that this experience brings joy and self-love to each of my clients. I love that we laugh. I love that I am able to provide this amazing experience for each of you. Giving that gift to you, it brings ME joy. That is why I love what I do. That is why I am happy to get up in the mornings. That is why I love being a photographer here in Asheville. Below are some images from shoots I’ve had over this summer. Each and every one of these women inspire me. They inspire me to be a better person. They inspire me to be a better photographer, to WANT to master more of my craft. I cannot thank you enough.

Mad Love,


glamour - gold dress - sequins - beauty modern - magazine style portrait - sensual - sexy - asheville - beautiful photography laughter - being vulnerable - guitar - boudoir - asheville photographer classic - beautiful portrait - professional pictures in asheville

intimate - beautiful portraits - asheville photography - studio 828 photography asheville boudoir - grooms gift - corset - black and white stunning asheville portraits - boudoir - photography mother daughter - infant - eyes - beautiful smiles - women over 40 - fabulous - taking time for yourself a quiet moment in portraits - quiet - beautiful sisters - beautiful pictures of your family - classic and timeless fierce - curves - timeless - sexy strength womanhood - celebration - taking time for you smiling - beautiful - portraits for mom being vulnerable in pictures - headshots

What if I just want the digital files? {Asheville Photographer Pricing}

“What if I just want the digital files?” is a question I get asked often as a photographer. We live in a digital age. We expect our imagery instantly in the form of digital files and with license to do with those files as we please. There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between photographers and clients about the reasoning here. I try to educate my clients about how our pricing with Studio 828 Photography is structured but, sometimes, between the excitement of shooting or the value of time approaching our shoot together, that understanding gets away from us. That’s okay. I thought it would be best to, at the very least post here for you to read and to direct new clients to read when we’re booking new sessions. It will also be a part of our contracts to be initialed from this point forward too. See? Now we all win.

Now, about those digital files.

Yes. You absolutely can purchase just the digital files. That is the short answer.

Let me back up a bit. There are (on average) two kinds of photographers. This post isn’t to say that this is the holy grail, but it is my experience.

  • Shoot and Burners – Photographers that shoot and burn everything to a disc and hand it over to the client.
    • There are also two kinds of shoot and burners (I know…it gets confusing for me too). One of the S&B’s will burn everything un-edited directly to disc and that is that. End of their workday. The other, typically a very new photographer that is just learning editing skills and simply happy to practice on your beautiful faces will over-edit just about everything, apply crazy filters and call it a day. I am even guilty of the latter.
    • Typically a low price point (<$150 for a portrait session and on average around $700 for a wedding). That’s okay too. They’re just starting out and they don’t understand that an average sale of less than $200 is just not a sustainable business model. Not if you want to stay sane and on top of your bills anyway. *S&B’s, don’t hate! Notice the previous point where I mentioned that I was guilty of that too?
    • Philosophy – Their session fee is to cover their time both shooting and editing. “If they’ve already paid me for it, why are they paying me again?” I struggled with this too, for over a year. Then epiphany came (angels sing here)
    • Seem to be everywhere in any given US market
    • Average business life of <2 years
  • Established photographers with a business plan in place – These photographers have been around the block a little bit. They invest in their businesses both in equipment, education and overhead.
    • Philosophy – Consider their photography artwork and sell products (individual images, albums, canvas, etc.) based on that artwork
    • Typically have a session fee and prints and products priced separately.
      • Their average sale can range from $600 all the way to $4000.  “WHAT?! $4000?!!!! That is crazytalk!!!!” I know. I know. That price tag will getcha won’t it? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down n just a bit.
      • Average business life >10 years
      • Have the digital files built-in to their packages

Personally, I evolved from the first type of photographer to the second in mid-2013. It takes some time to educate your existing repeat clients and I even do still S&B for some clients (my family mostly or in some business partnerships for events). However, given that I specialize in portraiture I learned quickly that $200 per client simply wasn’t sustainable. I had no way to reinvest in  my business (advertise, pay subscription fees, purchase new equipment, take continuing education classes etc.), had zero time with my husband where my laptop wasn’t directly in front of my face (that can still be a problem sometimes 😉 and paying my personal bills was something of a juggling act. One afternoon it hit me. I realized that my time and energy are worth more than that. That I deserve more than a living wage doing what I love. As an S&B…$200 inevitably turns to $40 in the photographer’s pocket. I don’t know any self-respecting adult that would work for $40 for a week’s worth of work. Do you? And if they have staff? Forget it. They’d be in the hole for about $50 per session and no income to show for it.

So, let’s assume that you come to me, Studio 828 Photography for your portrait session. You pay the retainer for your session, have professional hair and makeup done at the shoot and we shoot for an hour and a half or so. You come back in for your viewing and ordering session and we go through all of the edited imagery. You received the price list on two separate occasions via email and a third time in person at your session and you choose to purchase a single image and plan to purchase a 15 spread album but you need to check your finances to coordinate the best way to handle a payment plan. All of this is fine. We love working with our clients and I am a firm believer that, no matter what, everyone deserves to afford beautiful pictures of themselves.

Now here’s the key, this is important, the digital files of those images that are delivered to you are sized exactly to how you order them. So, if you ordered a single 8×10, that is how the file is sized, an 11×14 the same way and so on and so forth. “But why Cat? If I’m paying for the 8×10’s, why wouldn’t you send me the largest file size? I was hoping to have a canvas made for my parents for their anniversary.”

Am I aware that my products are priced higher than some of the big box printers out there? Yes. Is my product of a better quality? Absolutely. If you take a look at our pricing sheet you will notice that 8×10’s are one price, 11×14’s are a bit more, 24×36 are more and so on and so forth. Would it make sense for me to sell you an 8×10 and give you a file for a 24×36? You could then go and print off that file anywhere and I have worked for the price of a single 8×10 image. It would be similar to you trying to purchase a brand new sports car for the price of a used 4 cylinder sedan.

Side note* If you are planning to order a canvas in addition to your folio collection, by all means tell me. For starters, I am happy to work out a great rate for larger purchases and packages. Secondly, with every order I do each month, I check in with my vendors for specials they may be running so that I can pass that savings on TO my clients. Just a little food for thought :-)

“So, how does this work? How can any middle-American, hard-working individual afford anything BUT a shoot & burner? It sounds like I’m going to need to cough up a few grand to shoot with you?” Maybe you will and maybe you wont. Our average client spends $1200 with us. It all depends on what kind of imagery you need, how much of it and what size too. If you only need 3 8×10’s for new corporate headshots, that’s doable. If you need a folio collection, canvas and an album we can do that too. We offer payment plans to fit your budget and schedule so that no one is over-extended. Once your final payment has been processed and received by us, your order is placed with our vendor(s) and delivered to you upon my final inspection of your order.

So, can you have the digital files? Sure. The weight of a photographer’s price list is not necessarily in the product itself (prints, canvas etc.) though, I personally ensure that we use only heirloom quality products and artwork. The weight of that price list is in the artwork itself. As artists, we spend hours working on details about your image that you perhaps never would have known existed. Our process is how we polish your image so that you look your absolute best in our imagery.  Our business allows us the freedom to perfect those skills so that when you see your imagery with us, it blows you away.

Thanks for taking the time to read this posting. Have a question or thought on the matter, shoot me a line or post in the comments below.




Are you considering a portrait session in Asheville? I would love to shoot for you. Please do reach out via telephone or email. 828-275-9932 or

How my Photography has grown in 2 Years {Asheville Photographer}

This morning I read an article on fstoppers. It showcased 25 different photographers’ work, “Then and Now”. It was to remind all of us that every photographer begins somewhere. That each of us starts with just a love for the camera, and the opportunity for creation of art. So, with that I thought I would do a few myself. It helps me to remember that when I started 828 in the Spring of 2012 I had already been shooting for 15 years as a hobbyist but when I chose to do it professionally, something shifted. My spare time was used to challenge myself, learn the rules, learn functions with my camera I’d never even thought to use (or was scared to), drown myself in creativeLive classes, youtube tutorials, and the list goes on.

Every day I learn something new about my craft and I am happy to do so. I love my work and how far I’ve come and where I’ll go from here. It isn’t just about inspiration (though, that is a big part of it), it is about being inspired to be better and the bottom line is, you’ve gotta do the work. Each of the images below I love dearly, then AND now. I am using them merely to address how I’ve grown as a photographer and retoucher. Without having made these images, I wouldn’t be where I am today and as always, there is room for growth.

If you’re a photographer and curious where I draw education and inspiration from, I’m attaching a few links here. Check them out! You may draw some new inspiration yourself! If you’re someone listed below, Thank You.

Sal Cincotta/Behind the Shutter – free monthly magazine chocked FULL of great articles from some of the best of the best

CreativeLive – regular online classes with Amazing content about everything you could possibly even dream of in the industry

Sue Bryce – The champion of portraiture for women. Shooting with nothing but heart and gratitude

Rachel Stephens – Boudoir Photography Queen and her cL class alone helped grow my re-touching skills almost overnight!

Felix Kunze – *has a cL course with Sue Bryce for lighting…GET IT. Just do it.


Wedding Couple
Young Families
Classic Headshot
Beautiful Portraits of my Amazing Mom!
Teen Portraits and Seniors
Wedding Bridal Parties




Asheville Photographer has a Studio to call home {Asheville Boudoir Photography Studio}

Good Morning Asheville!!! So, earlier this month, I signed the lease on my new studio space. This Asheville photographer has a studio space to call home. It is right in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District at Phil Mechanic Studios where many artists house their passions. I’m right on the mezzanine level of the building and cannot wait to get in to start shooting!

What does this studio space mean for my business?

  • Scheduling is much easier to coordinate
  • New web presence branding on the Studio 828 Photography website
  • Expectation of privacy is guaranteed
  • The studio is accessible and has PARKING! Woohoo!
  • Last but not least…it means that I can reduce my photography session fee by $70! What?? Oh yes, I am now more accessible to women who would have me shoot for them.

So please, take a look around. View the photography work and information on the 828 website. I would love to shoot for you! You can contact me at 828-275-9932 or

asheville beauty and boudoir photography studio
So excited to have joined a wonderful artist community in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District!




We had our first official shoot to feel out the space this week! I think the space will shoot just fine 🙂 What do you think?

test shoot, new space, photography studio wnc

The state of my photography business reflects the state of Me {Personal Post from an Asheville Photographer}

I was reminded this weekend about how the state of my photography business reflects the state of me. It is funny how that sometimes slaps you in the face isn’t it? Well, for me it does. I don’t really know why it surprises me sometimes. Haha. The way I have found it to work is that when I am excited and happy and creating, my business is in the same phase and when I am frenzied, feeling depleted and all over the proverbial map…yep, you guessed it, so is my business. I hate to admit it, but the latter has been the case for a few weeks.

This morning I took a few minutes to remind myself to center and focus on the wonderful opportunities that are right in front of me. I am taking on a super fun shooting project to let my soul breathe a bit (more on that below), I am sketching out a new painting for a very dear friend and I haven’t painted in years! I am looking for a new studio space to house 828, and have a few great prospect meetings coming up, shooting again for my very first photography clients this Friday, designing albums like crazy (they really are our number one seller) and by the first week in May they will all be in-house and ready for delivery to some very patient and happy clients!

So, what happened? If I’ve been so blessed with work why have I felt so out of sorts? Because I have been dividing my time and energy between my two businesses and they are both in critical stages of growth. My dear friend Tiziana put it so perfectly in a conversation we were having a few weeks ago. She just looked at me and said “Honey, giving birth is HARD!.” I laughed at the time, but it is so true.

828 is at this beautiful and exciting phase wherein I have built a reputation for the company where I place a high priority not only in the final product, but also in service for my clients. However I am moving from the phase of “part-time on a wing and a prayer” to that of full-time photographer and alongside that comes the need for tweaking in my work flow. To put it mildly, there are some adjustments I am having to make, details to address logistically and a plan to implement. This morning I realized that I have been so frenzied because I have been winging the plan instead of carefully thinking everything through and mapping it out…the crazy part, I LOVE planning! No really! Timelines, checklists, the whole shebang…I’ve just been so distracted with everything going on in business number two and making sure that work flow there is prioritized I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants with my passion business, Studio 828 Photography.

That being said, my personal goal this week is to focus on that growth. To make myself a priority so that I may care for my proverbial children, my businesses. Those children are both at exciting crossroads and I need to honor that for each of them. Where’s that notebook? I need to start mapping out that plan!



Personal Shooting Project:

MODEL CALL: Looking for a few models for a sisters style shoot. I need models of all shapes and sizes, REAL women. Not that I don’t love models, we create beautiful imagery together but for this project, I need women that embrace and reflect the reality of womanhood. I’m looking for curvy, thin, athletic, shy, pretty, awkward, long hair, short hair, short, tall. Let’s run the gamut ladies! I shoot for everyday women and this project needs to showcase that beauty!

This shoot is scheduled tentatively for June 14th or 28th. If you are interested, please email with a brief introduction and a recent pic. Phone pics are totally ok, I just need to be able to see your lovely face and body type. ALL applications will be considered. In return I will provide two digital images and a printing release to each model for their time.


The Value of a Fabulous Makeup Artist {Asheville Beauty and Boudoir Photographer}

How do you determine the value of a makeup artist for a photo shoot? Many of my clients and other photographers often ask who I work with, how often, if it is the same company or artist regularly, how I found them and of course…how much they cost. I cannot stress enough how important a great makeup artist is for a shoot (or a wedding for that matter). It is absolutely paramount that, for you to look your absolute BEST in your imagery, that you start as flawless as possible.

Many artists, directly out of school while having incredible potential are still stuck in fleshing out all of the techniques they have learned. Personally, our policy is that recent graduates are welcome to join us on set with guidance from an experienced artist. No one will ever get better without proper guidance and communication not only from their mentor, but also from the photographer and most importantly, the client. The point of your makeup artist is not to make you look like a different person. The main goals of your makeup artist (at least on my set) is to:

  1. help you to look like the best version of yourself
  2. feel as though you are appreciated by everyone in the room (common goal)
  3. feel carefree and excited about your shoot

So, how do you go about finding a makeup artist? And not just any makeup artist, but a Great makeup artist! When I first started 828 beauty and boudoir photography sessions, I reached out to artists via Google and to others that other photographer friends have employed in the past. Some of them were incredibly skilled but a little too diva, others were incredibly gracious but their skill-set wasn’t quite up to par. All the while, I was able to give my clients beautiful imagery, I have been able to narrow down my favorite artists here in Asheville and thought I would share them with you today.

I hope you’re all having an amazing week! Ready for your beauty or boudoir photography session? Feel free to reach out, I would love to shoot for you! Go ahead, give yourself permission to embrace and celebrate your own beauty.


Cat 828.275.9932

Wedding & Beauty Hair & Makeup with Wendy at Blush by Wendy Ballance

asheville beauty and glamour photography

professional makeup artist in asheville

Asheville Hair & Makeup with Dollbox Productions

asheville boudoir photography

avl makeup - hair and makeup artists - boudoir photography
Amanda and Heather from Doll Box Productions

Hair & Makeup Artistry with The Secret Spa in Asheville

ashlee knight, makeup artist, photographers asheville

Yes girls, bubbles included

before and after - asheville bouudoir