DIY Flower Crown & My First Periscope!

DIY flower crown, baby!!!

I did my first Periscope last night and…helloooo, SO. FUN. You can follow me at @catfordcoates I’ve been making a list about different topics to scope on and its lookin like I’ll be using it’s fabulousness pretty regularly. Oh! AND! I got my first troller on the scope last night too! While, I need to remember not to curse AT people ON Periscope, it felt pretty cool. Haha! You know you’ve “made it” when…

At any rate, I am a sucker for a DIY project! Now, that isn’t to say that I am particularly GOOD at DIY. I love to paint, and sew, and do all the crafty things but I am far and away from being good at any of them. What’s the rule? It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to get done. Story of my life right there!

assistant - flower crown - diy
My lovely assistant

Don’t get me wrong. I am very detail oriented, but in very specific tasks. Things like client work, SEO for my website, spelling (haha), but when it comes to building props or creating dress options for my studio…Girl, none of that needs to be perfection. I’m not selling it on a runway. They are tools to set my photography apart and help my clients to feel special and beautiful. <<<That right there is my number one priority. Period.

That being said, I have a photo shoot coming up next weekend. This shoot is serving two purposes:

  1. It is part of my “stay inspired” series where I shoot concepts just for me, and to build my portfolio in new directions. The theme? “Marie Antoinette”
  2. Shooting editorial portraits for a lingerie designer that we are hoping to feature in a magazine (I’ll keep you posted)

What I love about the two looks is that it’s allowing me to stretch my legs in designing a themed photo shoot, giving us two completely different options for Marie Antoinette, one of which will be directed more towards portraiture and the other towards boudoir. It’ll be fab!

So, in creating a prop for one of the looks I decided that:

  1. I needed to build a flower crown.
    1. I needed to periscope it to show:
      1. how frickin easy it is
      2. have a double-purposed video (one on Periscope and one I could use here on my blog)

…and then I went down the rabbit hole and made two, had my super squishy assistant Matilda wearing one (she’s a golden/aussie and the best assistant ever!), and made a giant mess of my dining room. The latter is nothing all that new. I build most of the crafty hacks for my portrait studio here at home.

Here is the periscope video in case you missed it! Be sure to download the app so you can follow me live! Also, my Instagram has all of my funness as well: behind the scenes, Matilda (because, duh!), client favorites, and the list goes on. Both handles are:


See you on the other side!

flower crown - diy - photographer
I am the lady liberty of flower crowns



Now, the steps to making a flower crown. The recipe if you will.


  1. Floral Wire
  2. Floral tape
  3. stemmed fake flowers
  4. wire cutters or pliers will work too

**Note, I spent $23 on 1-2-3 (already had pliers) and had enough material for two adult crowns and I still have two rolls of floral tape and about a million feet of floral wire, as well as enough “flowers” left to get through a crown for a young girl.

  1. Measure wire around your head three times
  2. Cover length of wire by winding floral tape around the wire (this will take a while)
  3. loosely twist the wire around itself (3 times) – this makes the base sturdy enough to hold your flowers and stems
  4. Flowers:
    1. trim your flowers to where you have about 2″ of stem (give or take)
    2. thread stems through wire braiding
    3. wrap threaded stems with floral tape
    4. repeat a million times

Holiday Portrait Sessions

Oh the holidays!

Ladies, let me be clear. I’ve gotta put this out to you because every year I get dozens of calls in November from wonderful women that want to book their photography session to have in hand by the holidays (and I always feel like a jerk when I don’t have availability) Our cutoff for photo shoots to have your artwork in hand by the holidays is December 5th. We are booking November and December dates now.

Don’t be sad, reach out as soon as possible to secure your date.

  • Boudoir
  • Glamour
  • Portrait
  • Branding
  • Family
  • Generations
  • Sisters
  • Best Friends
  • 50 and Fabulous


  • Personal consultation to discuss our service and process and how you envision being photographed
  • Professional hair and makeup styling
  • Photo Shoot
  • Premier in-person reveal and ordering session to review 25 fully edited images from your session
  • Hugs

I would love to photograph you.

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.



Photographing Women and the People they Love {Asheville Family Portraits}

At Studio 828 Photography, we specialize in photographing women and the people they love. We had the pleasure of shooting for Brooke and creating amazing portraits of her and her family! Brooke was a little shy at first but, she trusted the process (her words) and I thought she did a fabulous job (seriously, she is a stunning woman)! And her family, ohmygosh! Too sweet!

Thank you for letting me photograph you all! I had so much fun and hope you LOVE your imagery!

Are you interested in a makeover and photo shoot with Studio 828 Photography? We would love to photograph you and your family.



Glamour Party {Asheville Beauty Photographer}

This past weekend, Studio 828 Photography teamed up with Independent Sales Director Ashley Fender of Mary Kay to host a day of beauty with women here in Asheville. You might remember Ashley from a recent post where this glamour party was announced (if not, you can read about it here). When she and I met earlier last month, and during our photo shoot, we had gotten to talking about how we absolutely LOVE our jobs! Corny, I know but so true. It is our job to see the beauty in every woman we come in contact with and provide her with a service for her to find that in herself. Duh! What an amazing purpose, right?

Well, I can promise you two things:

  1. Each and every woman that came in for her appointment
    1. came in a little unsure but excited
    2. left feeling beautiful
  2. My makeup ran down my face pretty much the entire day (thank you coconut oil)<<<even I have a bad makeup day from time to time. I’m only human ya know 🙂

In all seriousness though, I feel so blessed to have photographed each and every one of you. Thank you for taking just a bit of time out of your holiday weekend to enjoy one another and yourselves.



beauty photography; women; emowerment; mother daughter; best friends; asheville photographer
So much fun photographing these amazing women!

Are you considering a beautiful portrait session to celebrate you? Maybe you would like to come in for a makeover and photo shoot with your best friend, mom or sister? I would love to photograph you. No holiday needed.




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