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!


Asheville Holiday Photography Special

Happy Holidays and Ho, Ho, Hooooooo! I love bringing cheer and goodwill and this year have we got a doozie for you!

black friday - portraits - asheville - photographer special
Have you been considering a portrait session? A photo shoot by yourself for work, to celebrate a milestone in your life, to celebrate you, to create part of your legacy for your kids and grandkids, but something is always stopping you? Maybe you’ve been putting it off for one of the reasons here: I need to lose weight, I’m not pretty enough, I only need pictures of my kids, It’s too expensive, and the list goes on.

When you purchase a portrait session with Studio 828 Photography before 5:00pm on December 1st, we are going to gift you a second complimentary portrait session for you. BOGO Baby!

Look, we all know that Mom and Grandma have been begging you for a portrait session (C’mon, I know it, you know it, let’s be real here) where the three of you come in together and create beautiful memories. Well, let’s do that for them and Dad’s, are you listening in on this conversation? You can win some serious points this holiday season, too. Have you thought about gifting a session to your wife AND one to your Mom, too? You might even win Dad of the year for that one!

holiday portrait special

WEB RES-STUDIO 828 PHOTOGRAPHY - SANDRA GRACE-0557 mom and dad - couple - smiles - in love - park setting

3 generations - mothers - daughters - grandmothers

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sisters - best gift ever - asheville - photographer in asheville

couples photography - asheville portrait photographer - glamour for couples - husbands and wives

The best part is, when you confirm your portrait session with us before December 1st, we will send you a beautiful gift voucher for you to use anytime during 2016 however you would like. Maybe you would love a beautiful portrait session designed just for you. Maybe you have a friend or sister that you would love to gift the session too.Whatever you choose is fine with us. We’re happy that you’re entrusting the creation of this artwork, these memories, these heirlooms with US.

Get in quickly. Our cutoff is 5:00pm EST on December 1st so reach out here, email us, or call 828-275-9932 to take advantage of this offer before it is gone.

What does this offer include?

  • Personal consultation – One for each photo shoot. We tailor each of our photo sessions to our clients, their needs and desires for their artwork.
  • Professional hair and makeup styling at your photo shoot – for both photo shoots
  • TWO Photo Shoots at Studio 828 Photography
    • 4 wardrobe changes for a total of 5 outfits – per photo shoot
  • In person premier reveal session to choose your favorites from your session one week following each photo shoot here in Asheville
  • $300 credit towards the purchase of artwork from each of your sessions with us 
    • Complimentary session and/or print credit not redeemable for cash or transferable

Headshot Marathon in Asheville

Twice a year we host a day of headshots here in our Asheville studio, a “Headshot Marathon” if you will. This is a fabulous opportunity to update your personal branding for your business, social media and your own advertising. The best part? You receive your portrait choices digitally in web and high printable resolution AND matted and ready for framing.

Do we photograph headshots normally? Absolutely! The nice thing about a marathon setting is that because there are a few appointments available for the day, you are able to enjoy a taste of our services with a bit of a discount. Normally our professional branding sessions are $550 each, include: a preparation consultation, photo shoot at our studio or at your location of choice, professional hair and makeup styling, 2 wardrobe changes a 1 hour photo shoot and an in person reveal and ordering session where you choose your favorite 2 images from your session. Whether you opt for our full service headshot appointment or an appointment at our bi-annual marathon, you can rest assured knowing that we strive for not only great imagery for your needs, but also a fun experience for you with the highest level of service.

When was the last time you had a professional portrait taken for your business and personal branding? According to

“Your profile (social media) should be viewed as an online resume and needs to be as professional as possible,” adds McLain, who suggests updating your headshot once a year. “Recruiting in the tech industry, I expect candidates to have a thorough and polished social media presence,” adds Cesarz. “Not having a completed profile is more of a red flag than a profile lacking a picture. A profile with a picture of a landscape or a pet picture is worse than no picture at all and comes off as unprofessional.”

Sara Elisabeth Photography also touches on some key points about headshots and your industry in this LinkedIn article.

“More and more companies are opting to use the same photographer for their entire staff. Companies, large or small should consider hiring a photographer to capture professional branding images of their staff because it demonstrates unity and consistency in a world where the image is more and more important.” – Sara Shirley of Sara Elisabeth Photography


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Are you rocking a selfie for your personal branding? My husband is an ad designer for a local sales publication and more often than not, comes home in complete disbelief at how many professionals send him quick and dirty headshot “selfies” from the local coffee shop or worse yet, seat-belt strapped in their cars to be included in their magazine. I just shake my head. For those of you that may be guilty of this, (c’mon now, we’ve all done it even if just for a profile pic on Facebook) consider what your potential clients, or worse yet, your past clients are gleaning from this seemingly harmless photo of you. I’ll even use one from my social media as an example (give me SOME credit here, it was a few years ago ;-D)

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Car selfies, what do they really say about you as a person?

On a personal level, I was really excited about my new earrings, those giant feathers of glory right there. Gah! I still love them! I wanted to show them off in between the boutique and my outing for the night. A little personal splurge. Now, on a professional level with that as my social media “branding” what might that image say about me as a professional photographer?

Not so much, right? The image is blurry and over filtered, I’m in a CAR for crying out loud, light is all over the place and there is a funky border? If you were considering me for my portrait services and decided to do a little digging on me on social media before reaching out for your session, would you feel confident about my ability to provide you with a great service? My past clients (I’m friends with many of my past photography clients on Facebook) might see this image and think “Really? Really Cat? You charged me MONEY for your photography service and THIS is what you come up with for your very own profile picture?” Yeah, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth too.

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How about this one? What does this image say about me as a professional?

What about this one? Is that a bit better? Sure, it’s not fantastic but it is football fields beyond that first image isn’t it? I’m well styled in hair and makeup (Meghan Pulliam btw), you can easily read my facial expression and my pose is simple. The image is clear.

Now, what does this image say about me as a professional?
Now, what does this image say about me as a professional? Image courtesy of Jesseca Bellemare 2014

To be clear, this is not a headshot. However, what do you get from this image? How might it affect your first impression of me? What does it SAY to you? Chic and stylish, polished, maybe that I’m curvy and might connect to some body image issues that a client might have, that I care about my own image enough to shoot with a professional and include styling so that I am putting my best foot forward with something as simple as social media? It’s not so simple is it? That branding is your first interaction you have with any potential client and it needs to convey that you are worth every penny you charge and, that in caring enough about your own public image, you will care tenfold about each and every client experience that comes through your door.

portrait profile pic collageNow, is that to say that I don’t have “other” images as my social media profile? Not at all! There are fun ones, images with my wonderful dogs or with my husband. From these images you might even decide that I’m fun or adventurous, or that I love my family. And those may help your decision about whether or not you choose to hire me for my service. What none of those image says is “I am a professional and I care about you and your experience with my work.” THAT is what your headshot needs to convey.

On the Studio 828 Photography business page, in the past I’ve leaned more towards having a logo as the profile image simply because it creates recognition in my readers’ news feeds when I post. Though, I think that may fall by the wayside. I’m finding that my followers connect more with me as a person AND a business when they see ME. I am my the face of my business. Whether it is when I post behind the scenes imagery or video, the bounce on the engagement is always great. Returning clients and potential clients connect with my business through me. That being said, by Monday August 3rd (see how I’m giving myself a deadline here?), I will have photographed new headshots for my social media presence. It is just as important for me as it is for you. When was the last time you updated your personal branding? Be honest now…was it more than two years ago? Three maybe? Why don’t we go ahead and get you in on August 15th then? There are only a few appointments available for the day so please reach out for your personal consultation today.

Remember, the headshot is the new handshake.


All My Best,


UPDATE: I did it! I found the amazing Lauren Gregory of Lauren Gregory Photography and she was kid enough to handle me, insecurities and all and captured this lovely headshot for me! Yay! I’m updating as we speak!

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Image courtesy of Lauren Gregory Photography in Lexington SC

30 Days of a beautiful you {Summer photography contest Asheville}

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A Beautiful You. Summer photography contest in Asheville with Studio 828 Photography. You deserve beautiful photos of yourself. Enter today.

As I was going through the 28 days to gorgeous challenge last month, there were lots of little moments for me to see beauty in my own self and my own life and I got to thinking. “Cat, it is your JOB, your amazing purpose to see beauty in everyone and to show them that beauty through your work.” Well, why not expound on that 28 days TO gorgeous journey and take it a step farther? Let’s do 30 days of a beautiful you. From now until June 30 I am accepting nominations from women all over wnc to take part in this event and it is going to be a doozie! I will photograph 30 women from July 10 – August 10 whose stories really resonate with me. I must admit, 30 photo shoots on top of my regular client base in 30 days is going to be a tough nut to crack. That being said, I have to remind myself that it is my purpose to show you the beauty I see in you. That purpose does nothing more than inspire and excite me to no end! Whether you are a 20 something, a mom, a grandmother…I want to photograph you.

How it works:

  • Share your story with me using the contact information below. Tell me Why, Who you are, What you love in life and what you hope to gain from a makeover and photo shoot with us (is it some much-needed pampering? time to focus on just you? have you recently reached an amazing personal goal? you’re ready to really SEE what others see in you already?)
  • I will hand-pick 30 winners based on their stories. Feel free to enter for yourself or nominate a friend! Heck, do BOTH!
  • Winners to receive our full photo shoot experience from personal consultation, professional hair and makeup styling, photo shoot all the way through your in person reveal and ordering session.
  • The chosen winners will receive our makeover and photo session for a $150 retainer that will be applied 100% towards any product purchased at their reveal AND a $150 print credit. That is $300 towards any purchase made from your photo shoot.
    • Retainer is non-refundable
    • Print credit is not redeemable for cash.
    • Cancellations and rescheduling must occur no later than 7 days before your scheduled photo shoot

What we need from you:

  • Signed model release (your images will be shown in social media, print and online)
  • Your ability to be photographed between July 10 and August 10.
  • Your beautiful self, just as you are

What are you waiting for? Enter today.

Asheville Family Model Call {Family Photographer}

Good Morning Asheville family Moms! Today I am lookin at you! You’re the mothers that somehow find sleep to elude you just a bit, always running errands to drop off the kids, pick up the groceries, run to the mall so your kids will fit into what they’re wearing, pick up the kids, oh yeah and even work somewhere in there too. You used to place yourself at the top of the shopping list and now, well, now things are a little different. Your kids are your world. You haven’t seen the seat of a pedicure chair since before last October and you wouldn’t trade anything for it.

I want to photograph you.

We’ll make a day of it. We’ll treat you to a makeover and photo shoot and then we’ll bring Dad or your partner in with the kids for about a half an hour at the end of your shoot and photograph you all together. Single moms can get in on this, just have G-Ma bring the kids in instead and we can get G-Ma in on the photo shoot too! We’ll be selecting 5 families to receive this complimentary makeover and photo shoot with our studio. We would love it if it were yours!

What we need from you:

  1. Send an email to before June 1st with a recent picture(s) and tell me a little bit about who you are and your story (We all have a story, I just want to get to know you, learn about your life).
  2. You must be willing to sign a model’s release
  3. You must be able to shoot before July 21st, 2015
  4. $150 retainer at time of confirmation. Don’t panic, this retainer is 100% applied to the purchase of any product from your session.

What we provide:

  1. Professional hair and makeup for Mom (and daughters can have a little gloss and some curl in their hair too if you’d like make your shoot a Girl’s Day)
  2. Complimentary photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography for mom and the whole family
  3. Matted 8×10 from your session
  4. In person reveal session where we will go through all of your imagery together to choose your favorites.
  5. $250 print credit towards the purchase of any folio collection or package.

I recently polled our followers on Facebook about why families hold off on booking photo shoots and the number one reason was financial. I’m hoping with a little generosity we can turn that around for you. This offer is valued at $500.00. That is how much I believe in our service and our artwork. I’m putting $500 on the table right now for 5 families to create beautiful portraits of Mom and the whole family together. My goal is to take the most beautiful picture you have ever seen of yourself. We’ll take lovely portraits of your children and partner, document this time in your lives. So what do you think Mom? Let us pamper you, provide you with a fun day and beautiful portraits of the most important person in their world. You.

Remember, send a recent snap shot and a little bit about you to before June 1st to be considered. Thank you in advance ladies. I look forward to photographing you.



Super Duper Asheville Model Call {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

A brand new year calls for brand new photography challenges. Challenges I welcome with open arms and am so excited for, it is going to be ah-mazing! I have enrolled in some continuing ed for Studio 828 and will need your help! Listed below are needs I have for models in the coming months for assignments for the class. I’ve already started on some of them, which you will be seeing very soon. In the meantime however, please see below for upcoming needs. If you’re interested in modeling for us, please send a recent snapshot (cell phone pics and selfies are totally okay!) with your contact information: email, phone, etc. to

Also, please forward this link to your family and friends and anyone you know that may be interested,

What is provided for a model call:

  • Professional photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography in studio in Asheville’s R.A.D.
  • Gallery viewing of all of your edited imagery
  • One matted 8×10 fine art print of your choice from your session
    • Additional artwork may be purchased from your session at a 10% discount from our regular rates within 7 days ofyour in person viewing
      • Detailed pricing menu available upon request
    • Purchase is in no way required

Requirements of Models:

  • Signature for a model’s release for promotion by Studio 828 Photography
  • Arrive with hair and makeup for your session (Professional styling can be added for $150)
  • Wardrobe for your shoot* (We have a few odds and ends in the studio but we ask that all models bring a selection of outfits. We can always narrow down after you’ve arrived.
  • A fun and happy attitude


Models Needed: *Please note that the dates listed are relative. If we can schedule your shoot within 10 days of the date listed, that is fine.

Please note that the highlighted sessions are still in need of models. Please get in touch today if you’re interested in shooting with us.

  1. Feb 2:
    1. Two women:
      1. BOOKED one any race, age 30-55, up to 5 outfits ranging from casual to black tie
      2. one dark-skinned African-American woman, age 25-40, up to 5 outfits, preferably dresses and gowns or monochromatic outfits
  2. Feb 9: BOOKED One woman, any age/race, 3 outfits ranging from casual to dressy
  3. Feb 16: BOOKED One woman, age 15-25, any race, 3 outfits ranging from casual to dressy
  4. Feb 23: Three couples: male and female as well as same-sex couples welcome
    1. age ranges 25-30BOOKED/30-40BOOKED/40+, 2 outfits; one casual and 1 dressy with a suit jacket if male
  5. Mar 2: BOOKED One woman, age 35-45, 2 outfits; one casual (t-shirt and jeans) and one of your choice
  6. Mar 9: One woman, age 50+, 2 outfits; one casual, one black tie
  7. Mar 16: Three women (2 shoots):
    1. BOOKED One woman, age 30-40, 3 outfits ranging from casual to dressy
    2. BOOKED Mother-Daughter team:
      1. Daughter age 16-25
      2. Mother age 35+
      3. Wardrobe: 3 outfits ranging from casual to dressy. Consider complimentary color palettes when planning your session.
  8. Mar 23: BOOKED Two Women (2 shoots): ages 30-40 and 50+, wardrobe range from casual to black tie
  9. Mar 30: 2/3 BOOKED Three Women (3 shoots): The Curvy Gals! I don’t care if you’re kinda curvy, really curvy…the whole point is to shoot them curves girl! Let’s do it! age 25-65, 3 outfits from casual to dressy
  10. Apr 6: BOOKED 4 models, one shoot ages 35-50. casual and monochromatic/dressy. We’ll be shooting 2’s, 3’s and 4’s
  11. Apr 13: BOOKED two families, two shoots, any age group welcome, complimentary color palettes, indoor*
  12. Apr 20: three models, three shoots, any age group/race welcome, casual to dressy.
    1. Must arrive clean face and hair and do makeup (or have styled) in studio.
  13. May 4: BOOKED three models (3 shoots), ages 14-19, wardrobe casual to dressy
  14. May 18: three models (3 shoots), age 35+, wardrobe casual to dressy – 1 Shoot still available
  15. May 25: BOOKED two models (2 shoots), any age, corporate wardrobe. We’ll be focusing on the corporate headshot only.
  16. Jun 1: BOOKED one model, age 30-40, casual wardrobe for an outdoors shoot
  17. Jun 22: three models (3 shoots); age 50+, wardrobe upscale casual to dressy
  18. Jun 29: BOOKED two models (2 shoots); age 30+, light colored/ethereal wardrobe
  19. Jul 6: BOOKED two models (2 shoots), age 18-35, three outfits ranging from casual to dressy
  20. Jul 13: BOOKED two models (2 shoots), age 25-40, wardrobe for beauty shot only (so comfortable pants and a few different necklines/textures)
  21. Jul 20: BOOKED four models (1 shoot), ages 30+, wardrobe upscale casual to professional
  22. Aug 3: three models (3 shoots), male, ages 25+, professional casual – 1 Shoot still available

Beauty and Boudoir Photography Girl’s Day {Asheville Boudoir Photographer}

On a chilly afternoon I received a call about doing a boudoir session for two best friends, Staci and Brittney on a fun trip they had planned here in Asheville. Let me just say, I LOVE shooting girl’s days. It is always super fun and I’m tasked with capturing great portraits of not only their relationship but also of each of them individually. The transformations are usually full of laughter and OMG moments as well as gratitude. I’m given an opportunity to learn about women I otherwise would never have had a chance to meet otherwise. We’re women. We can talk about just about anything, and we usually do. Thank you Staci and Brittney, I had a fabulous day getting to know you both and I’m so glad you love your imagery as much as I do!

Thinking of a Siren Boudoir photography session in Asheville? Email or call 828-275-9932 to book your Girl’s Day!

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Do YOU Value Portraiture? {Asheville Portrait Photography}

“The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life. “

Derek Walcott

Let me ask you something…Do you exist in pictures for and with your family? Your friends? When was the last time you had a real image taken? Not one someone snapped with their cell phone, but a REAL image. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite images are taken with a cell phone. In fact, on the Meet the Photographer page on my website, there is a picture of my husband and I that was taken at the Mountain State Fair by a friend in the car behind us.

On a side note, the story behind it is funny. I am deathly afraid of heights! Seriously! I even have vertigo going up two steps on a ladder. This summer was a huge accomplishment for me as I managed to not only climb UP 8 feet into scaffolding, but STAY UP there to paint for a mural. At any rate, in the image it seems as though I am resting my head comfortably on my husband’s shoulder “Awww lovey dovey moment”! WRONG! I was holding on to the side bar of the car for dear life and keeping my head turned as far away from the view over the side of the car! So, every time I see it I giggle.

Now, when I look back through our pictures, that cell phone image will always make me smile. It will for the rest of my life. I know that. It was a funny moment, and that is wonderful! Photography EXISTS so that we can capture moments in time. The other side to that coin is that I also don’t have any pictures, I mean REAL pictures of myself. i have been photographing clients and friends for 18 years and I think there might be THREE images of me, in that time taken by chance, by pros.

“WHAT?!?! Cat!!!” I know, I know. I market my business around existing in these pictures, if not for yourself, then, at the very least for your loved ones. And here I am, not existing myself. After I’m gone, or after my youth is gone, I have almost nothing from the last twenty years. Well, I have plenty of facebook profile pics from my very own cell phone, but no real portrait. No imagery. Nothing that exists of me from this time in my life. I challenge each of my clients to DO this. That they should value not only the final product of imagery but also the experience. The stylists, the laughter, the pampering and yet…I have done none of this! Why? Honestly, for the same reasons you haven’t. Because I am not as thin as I once was, or because I can’t afford it at the moment, or because, simply I haven’t valued myself enough. Typing that last sentence kind of hurts a bit. It is true. I know it is stupid. I am important. I am valuable. I deserve to be documented. I deserve to be treated well. I know all of these things to be true…on paper. I also know that I have my own fears and issues and in order to take a step TO value myself and TO love myself that I too need to take a leap of faith. I have not stepped in your shoes. Well, (gulp) I’m diving in. Keep an eye out on the blog as I’ll be posting the results from my experience here. And if you’re a photographer reading this…shoot me an email. I’m in need of a portrait photographer. 😉 Preferably one in the beauty genre.

Jessica & Adam’s Engagement Session {Asheville Wedding Photography}

One of this year’s first wedding couples, one Miss Jessica Greenberg & Mister Adam Renfro had me shoot their engagement photography over the weekend. Saturday I was biting my nails because the weather was Gaaaa-Ross!! Hey Sunday, Thanks!

When Jess and I first met we talked about what her vision for her wedding, all the particulars and then found out that Adam was a little more than uncomfortable to have his picture taken. Well, we put a stop to that! I thought they did great!

Congratulations Adam & Jess! Looking forward to your wedding in October!

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Studio 828 Photography, Asheville Wedding Photographer