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.


Devin’s Photo Shoot {Asheville Teen Photographer}

Devin’s Asheville photo shoot was too much fun! She and her mom came in as part of my model call earlier this year and we had a ball! Not to mention, I received kudos from my classmates about her versatile wardrobe selection too! Thank you Devin! Had a blast with you!

Check out the video below to learn more about a makeover and photo shoot experience in Asheville with Studio 828 Photography.

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Andrea Boyer, Doll Box Productions

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Are you interested in high school senior pictures this summer? We are running a great promotion for Asheville area seniors and time is about to run out! Check out the details for our Asheville Class of 2016 Seniors here or reach out with the contact form below. We would love to photograph you.

Portraits of a Dancer {Asheville Photographer}


It has been on my bucket list for some time to create portraits of a dancer. I even put it out on Facebook “Hey Universe, I’d love to photograph a ballerina, please and thank you”. Well, a few weeks later, I received an email from this dancer’s mother with interest to have her portraits made with Studio 828 Photography here in Asheville.

ELATED! [insert photographer happy dance here]


Thank you Autumn!

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Do you have interest in a portrait session with Studio 828 Photography? I would love to shoot for you!

Teen Empowerment through Modeling {Asheville Teen Photographer}

Shooting for young women is ALWAYS some of my favorite photography work. As a young woman myself I was a part of a youth theatre and education program, The Source Teen Theatre) and it was here where I learned that knowledge and performance are amazing tools for the youth of our society. Allowing tweens and teens to discover their own light brings about such amazing transformations both in imagery and in their own person.

Do you remember being in middle and high school? Do you remember the drama? The bullying? The cliques? There is so much happening in a teen’s life and oftentimes, these young adults can feel powerless, and lost in the crowd. By giving these young people an opportunity to stand out and star in their own performance, you give them the power to not only be involved in the vision for their shoot (preparing their outfits and communicating their own dream of being photographed) but, you are also trusting them to be that star. When you trust your kids, they learn that they can trust themselves and their own instincts. It is absolutely incredible to watch that transformation take place. You can see it as their confidence grows during the shoot.

Last summer was the last time I had an opportunity to shoot for a young woman so I am sooooo grateful Shelby and her Mom found me! While I do require that a parent/guardian be on set for any shoot with a client under 18 years of age, I think Shannon was just as excited as her daughter! We had so much fun on set and her pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for reminding me how incredible it is to shoot for teens.

Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Hair and Makeup: Wendy Ballance, Blush Asheville

Model: Shelby Bramlett

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Are you considering a photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? I would love to shoot for you! Please, shoot me a line anytime.



Glamour Event Announcement and a bit of a Personal Post {Asheville Beauty Photographer}

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Glamour marathon event August 25th. Email Cat@Studio-828.com for your appointment.

Hello Ladies!!! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! You know why? Because I’ve decided it is time to plan my bi-annual Asheville Glamour Marathon event. You know what that means for you? It means professional beauty, a photo shoot, a day to feel truly wonderful about yourself and do it all with a savings of around $500! (Give or take)!! There are seven appointments available for Sunday August 25th. Get in touch to reserve your time today.

I am often asked WHY I shoot beauty portraits. Glamour or boudoir, either one. For my clients, I suppose at first glance it seems like such a self centered thing for a woman to do. It isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do for you to begin with, getting up in front of a camera let alone to spend a few hundred dollars to have it done. For myself as a photographer, I could just shoot families and weddings and call it a day. In fact, a lot of my income is from just that, but I choose to shoot for women because these portraits are special.

My answer is deeply rooted, however the long and short of it is this; I grew up as somewhat of an underdog. I was always tall, and always overweight. I struggled with this for years. From kindergarten through my freshman year in high school, I even had a bit of a nemesis. There were cliques of course, the popular girls, etc. But this one girl seemed to make it her life’s mission to target me. Day in and day out for 10 years I was told that I was ugly, that I was fat, that noone would ever like me etc etc. As a child, these things are terrible. These opinions (while to adults are subjective and meaningless) to a young girl shape the way she believes in herself, the way I believed in myself.

Fast forward to 15, I had changed schools. I spent the summer after my freshman year rebuilding myself. I was tired of being the underdog. I was tired of being ridiculed. I wasn’t going to take it any longer. I lost weight. I smiled. Suddenly others were beginning to take notice of my transformation as well. I was getting…attention? This was new to me. I was even lucky enough to enroll in a modelling program in Tampa. This program was of course, a girl farm essentially but it taught me how to walk runway, how to apply makeup (without looking like I’d just discovered makeup all at once) how to dress appropriately, general etiquette in social situations (I’m a bit of a bull in a china shop). At the same time I had also discovered an extracurricular theatre program. You guessed it…a drama kid. The long and short of it is that these two programs simultaneously helped shaped my adult self. They taught me how to shine without shame.

On my very first photo shoot as a “model” I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. After a few minutes of being shy and awkward something happened. There was s shift in my consciousness. I became aware of myself, every slight movement. I knew where the camera was, everything was fluid, my gaze to the camera was more intense (not in an angry or weird way…it was just…more present? I think Tyra refers to it as a “smize” haha!)and the photographer was reacting to me, ME! I know it seems silly, but at the time it was more than just a compliment that this professional photographer was sharing energy with me. He was practically a rockstar in my book. He was moved by me and my actions. I was on top of the world! “Holy Crap! Am I Really Pretty?!” It was at this moment that I realized that I could like myself. I could be confident IN myself. I wasn’t that terrible accident that she had spent so many years accusing me of being. Eff her!

That transformation has stayed with me ever since. For the last twenty two years, I can recall that time in my life with amazing clarity. How seeing myself through someone else’s lens was paramount to developing my own inner strength and confidence. I am eternally grateful for having had such an opportunity. It has truly shaped the woman I am today. THAT is why I shoot beauty sessions. To bring that wonderful feeling to each and every one of my clients. Whether you are 15 or 75, we ALL need a time in our lives to truly FEEL beautiful. Being a part of that transformation with you brings me true joy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re interested in investing in yourself, to realize your beauty shoot me an email. I would love to shoot for you. The end result will make a wonderful gift to yourself, to your special someone or as an heirloom for your one day grand children. Remember, you will have these images in two years and still in thirty. Don’t you want a true memento showcasing how beautiful you are, right now? Want to make it a photo date with your mother, sister, bff? We can do that too! No worries!



The Lovely Brooke

We thought it would be nice on this incredible Autumn afternoon to wander around the NC Arboretum and capture some pretty. I teamed up with one Rachel Archer of Rachel Archer Photography who happened to already have a great relationship with Brooke as a model! What’s that? Can you say Senior pictures? OK! I’d love too!

I had a lot of fun editing Brooke’s images (as you can see). I have been testing out different editing techniques (as my editing tends to fall into the style of the 3rd image down) as senior styles change from year to year. Again, too much fun with you ladies. Brooke, you made it easy!!!


Empowering Teens to Be Their Best

That’s right folks…you are half way through your kids’ summer season of freedom. And for you high school senior parents, you know what that means…about $300 on senior pictures for your kids, PLUS prints! That’s okay though, I have you covered!

I am adding a new component to my photography business. I am now offering a teen empowerment program. Discover your inner beauty. Unleash your Awesome. (Yeah, I’m still working on the tag line).

Recently I was reading yet another article about photoshopping and body sculpture editing in magazines, etc. etc. from Darling Magazine when I started remembering what it was like growing up. {Oh and for the record, that is definitely not me below}

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Image courtesy of Darling Magazine

I was always the weird, almost-fat-but-not-quite-skinny girl from age 5 until probably 16 or so.  I started coming into my “own” around 15 and still to this day have some issues I should probably “talk to someone” about but I’ve grown from all of it. Its made me the person I am today. I remember constantly looking to others forms to admire and always feeling second best.

Then at 15 I begged and pleaded for my parents to send me to modeling school.  Oh yeah, you’d better believe it! Let me tell you, after 6 weeks of my dad driving me to Tampa (an hour away from my lovely little Sarasota) every Saturday I was suddenly finding myself, my beauty DID exist. I wasn’t actually the girl who would never be ANYMORE, I was the girl who shined, had confidence.  That kind of empowerment was amazing.  Suddenly I wasn’t scared of anyone with a sidelong glance. I could talk to boys without throwing up, I could go shopping without feeling like I wasn’t good enough for the fun stuff! I learned so much in that six weeks!

  • Posing beauty headshots and full length for a camera
  • How to “find the light”
  • Runway walk
  • Apply makeup tastefully
  • Communicate succinctly

All of these little things led to me embracing me talents and learning so much more about myself.  You tend to dismiss a lot of yourself when you have those blinders.  When you take them off…The world is host to so much more!

Skip ahead a few years – I would like to incorporate a teen beauty program with 828.  A beauty program that empowers young women to embrace their flaws and differences. Not shield them from the world.  As with that picture above, I find the woman on the left so much more intriguing and fresh and beautiful than the Barbie doll someone made her on the right (YES! That is the SAME person!). I would actually recognize her as a woman with character whereas her Barbie version looks like just another doll. I am glad these young teen girls are standing up against the popular magazines.  It means that girls today are smarter than we were. That they’ve recognized that what they read and look at and aspire to each day is false and they are doing something about it. They make me proud to be a woman, for the women they are becoming. Bravo ladies. Bravo.

So keep your eyes peeled and check in often while I build that beauty baby. Be sure this blog will be the place to be.

In the meantime, I’m gearing up for on site senior portraits this fall. Normally $200, but if you mention this blog post only $150 for the session fee, and includes an 8×10 and 10 edited images from the session. Remember, school starts in just six weeks!