Preparing for your Photo Shoot {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

“Preparing for your photo shoot? What do you mean? I thought I just washed my face, showed up with a few outfits and you work your magic with professional hair and makeup?” Yes. That is kind of true. The other side to that coin is that, the more you are ready for your photo shoot with your outfits, getting your nails done, and shaping those eyebrows..girl it makes a world of difference! Remember, the images we will create with you are images that you will have for a lifetime. Don’t you want to make the best of that? Create such a lovely heirloom?

Many clients have a few different needs with their pictures. Not only do they need updated head shots for their professional branding, but also, they’re looking for beautiful images of themselves in their favorite outfits. We do indeed play dress up! We can even take it a little farther with some beautiful, floor-length tulle skirts or sequined dresses I have available in the studio. That being said, what do you have in your own wardrobe that runs the gamut of style? Professional outfits, a beautiful dress or gown, casual sweaters with jeans, gorgeous draping tops, scarves and the list goes on.

A beautiful example of this is from my client Spencer. She did an absolutely beautiful job of preparing for her session and brought at least ten outfits with her. When she arrived, we went through those outfits together and picked five beautiful pieces for her photo shoot here in Asheville. After her professional makeup by Zack Russell from Makeup at the Grove Arcade, she looked absolutely stunning and her session went beautifully! See for yourself!

preparing for your photo shoot - set mapping - 5 outfits

Isn’t she gorgeous? Gah!!! We paired her clothing against several beautiful backdrops, fixed her hair in both up and down positions to create a different feel for each set of images and she knocked it out of the park! Some images have a softer, more feminine feel, some more professional for her work and others more casual for a lovely keepsake portrait. Thank you Spencer. I absolutely adored shooting for you!

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Photography: Cat Ford-Coates, Studio 828 Photography

Makeup: Zack Russell, Makeup at the Grove Arcade

Are you looking for an Asheville portrait photographer? I would love to shoot for you! 828-275-9932


My matted prints came in! {Asheville photographer’s own beauty session}

In January I had my very own beauty photo shoot here in Asheville with a photographer I’ve been following for some time, Jesseca Bellemare. You can read about the beginning of my experience with the parts one and two links here; Part One, Part Two. Well, after my very own payment plan (thank goodness!) my matted print collection finally arrived. I find myself staring at them with sort of a disconnect. Is that me? I’ve always had my own body issues to contend with but really, haven’t we all? Before unwrapping the ribbon my self hate voice was laughing terribly at me. I pushed through and untied the ribbon and then it all fell away. The self loathing subsided and I remembered that while these pictures are a gift for myself and a marketing adventure to see how to better serve my clients, they are really a gift for everyone that loves me. The ones that don’t go out as holiday gifts will stay nicely tucked away because c’mon…who needs a dozen matted 8×10’s of themselves hanging all at once? Some will go into my studio and yes Mom, some to you too 😀

boudoir photographer - on the other side of the lens - asheville

What have I learned? I’ve learned that I already offer a pretty great experience for my clients but there are a few details I could improve upon. I’ve learned that in order for me to be a better photographer and business person for my clients that I needed to be as brave as I expect them to be. I’ve learned that it is important to value mySelf. To make sure that my own needs are met and that I can look in he mirror and be comfortable in my own skin.

How is a beauty or boudoir photo shoot empowering? How is that now that I’ve accomplished this, that I’m a better person for it? Because I am staring at images of myself that are beautiful. They aren’t over-edited. They are of me looking my absolute best at the time they were taken. They are of me at an incredible time in my life and that deserves to be celebrated. I love that in this imagery, I define my own beauty and that it isn’t defined by some Hollywood faction of commercialism. Of how someone else thinks I should be viewed. You can see, plain as day that I have curves and I am beautiful. Period. Discovering that for yourself is something every woman should experience at least once. Thank you Jesseca. This experience has been eye opening and I hope to give that to each and every woman that reaches out about a beauty or boudoir shoot. To remind them that they are beautiful too, on their own terms and in their own skin.

sensual - beauty and boudoir pictures - asheville photographer


The versatility in shooting for everyday women in Asheville {Asheville Portrait Photographer}

As a photographer who shoots primarily for women, I occasionally have a client that is so incredibly versatile that it blows me away. Destonie is one of those clients. She photographs as though she should have been 25 years old in the mid 70’s, her wardrobe is filled with beautiful pieces from different eras and seemingly all over the world and she is, well just gorgeous. Take a look for yourself below. She is one of those photography clients here in Asheville that gives a photographer a liiiittle bit more room for artistic expression. Thank you Destonie. Glad we could finally get together (we’ve been planning this shoot for almost a year)! Hope you love them!

Are you considering a photography session here in Asheville? I’d love to shoot for you. We’ll work together to plan the perfect shoot for our vision. We are accepting new clients for September and October of this year. Call Cat today. 828-275-9932 View more of our portfolio at the Studio 828 Photography website

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Model Call Asheville {Asheville Beauty Photographer}

I’m doing something a liiiiiittle bit different this summer. I am opening up Studio 828 Photography for a total of ten portrait sessions, for ten lucky winners between July and August.

I know, I know…what’s the catch? A pre-shoot consultation, free photoshoot with 4-5 outfits of your choosing, an in-person viewing of all of your edited imagery and a fully edited 8×10 from your shoot. All for no charge. I’ll even throw in a gift voucher for $100 towards a folio collection just in case you’re interested in more than one image. That is a $280 value. For ten people.

How do you throw your name into the ring? You’ll email me ( or using the form below) BEFORE 12:00 noon July 4th, 2014 with a picture (or link to your personal social media page*) and your personal story. How would a session benefit You? Prefer to nominate a friend? Awesome! Be sure to tell me WHY and send along their contact information. I may even consider a BFF’s shoot as a winner! Go ahead, give yourSelf permission to embrace your own beauty.


Thank you so much for your interest in Studio 828 Photography! I can’t wait to shoot for you!



*Your personal information will be kept confidential. Never will we give away or sell your personal information to anyone for any reason

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Photography for women from all walks of life.

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

modern beauty group headshots
Glamour marathon event August 25th. Email 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!



Rising Models in Asheville and Florida {Sarasota and Asheville Fashion Photography}

When Malana first called on me to shoot for her modeling portfolio, we had discussed what shows she as participated in and which photographers she has shot with here in Asheville. As she has just graduated from high school, she has hit the ground running! The Class of 2013 doesn’t mess around! We have put together her modeling portfolio and enrolled in school in Fort Myers at the Paul Mitchell Academy to earn her esthetician’s license. Why Fort Myers? This location includes classes not only with the hands on training in skin care but also for the business aspects. An entrepreneur after my own heart! Go get em Malana!!!



PS – On a side note, when we met to shoot Malana was very quiet and shy. I must admit, I was a little nervous that it would take some coaxing to achieve our goals for her shoot. While it took a few minutes for her to warm up, when she did…Oh my Goodness! This transformation always takes me aback! It reminds me why I shoot for people, women especially. The empowerment a shoot brings for a woman at any age is almost magical. To catch that moment when she goes from shaky hands and blank face, to remembering that she IS beautiful and this time with me is an opportunity to showcase herself, her brand, her BEAUTY…I couldn’t ask for a better job. That moment when she realizes she will now have these images forever…it makes my heart smile.

Each of these images has a bit of advice on why we chose the shot and things to think about when building your modeling portfolio. Are you in Asheville & interested in building or expanding on your work? Email We’ll chat about your vision. Sounds like fun to me!

Think of ways you can bring a little glam to an otherwise boring scene. A construction site and a broken window...make it gorgeous! Think Vogue!!
Think of ways you can bring a little glam to an otherwise boring scene. A construction site and a broken window…make it gorgeous! Think Vogue!!
Your smile not only showcases how you light up when you're happy, but also that your teeth are in good health and can sell that Cover Girl look!
Your smile not only showcases how you light up when you’re happy, but also that your teeth are in good health and can sell that Cover Girl look!
Smiling in a "not so pretty" location brings the focus even moreso to the model. Work that juxtaposition!
Smiling in a “not so pretty” location brings the focus even moreso to the model. Work that juxtaposition!
Interact, even if only with yourself. This pose is timeless.
Interact, even if only with yourself. This pose is timeless.
Fierce, strong poses in a portfolio showcase your versatility and grace and your age range, from teen to  20 something!
Fierce, strong poses in a portfolio showcase your versatility and grace and your age range, from teen to 20 something!
When you bring your A-game with your personality & understanding your angles, you're on the right track. Practice in the mirror!
When you bring your A-game with your personality & understanding your angles, you’re on the right track. Practice in the mirror!
smiling model in asheville
Bringing personality on set is paramount to a successful photo shoot!
casual full body portrait for modeling portfolio
Modeling agencies want to see the following with your portfolio: closeups, full & 3/4 shots as well as variety in your outfits…What can YOU sell?
professional modeling headshot
A modeling portfolio should always include at least TWO headshots. One smiling & one not and BOTH images should have connection with the camera
beofre and after of a young model in asheville
Always ask for a Before & After transformation

Holiday Gift Tip for the Gentlemen {Sarasota Boudoir Photography}

Are women my target market? Absolutely. Does that mean I should exclude the gents? Absolutely NOT! Guys…are you having trouble finding that perfect gift for your best gal? Your wife? I’ve got your back. Sure, we all love jewelry, of COURSE we do we are women after all. What else is there? You got her heart-shaped everything for last Christmas, Valentine’s, Mother’s AND her birthday! Enough already!!!

Sarasota Boudoir Event Advertisement
Limited Appointments available. Email for your appointment today.

How about treating your leading lady to a Boudoir Photography Experience?  The Femme Frames.

“Hmm Cat, I don’t know…”

It is a win win guys!

“How’s that?”

Simply put, for this holiday treat her to a real experience. A boudoir photography experience in Sarasota provides her with:

  • a supermodel afternoon
  • pampering in an upscale hotel suite in Sarasota
  • professional hair and makeup application
  • a professional photography session so that SHE is the Star!
  • reminding her how sexy, amazing and powerful she is! Let’s reignite her confidence! Maybe her confidence has been  lacking a bit because the holidays are running her over like a train? the kids have been insane-o-town? she’s working two jobs? (insert any number of reasons here)

Maybe you need a few reasons why it might be a good idea for the experience to be FROM you?

  • Perhaps you’d like a few sultry images of her by Valentine’s Day (See, your holiday gift keeps on giving!)
  • What might the reaction be from her towards you knowing you gave her such an amazing and empowering experience? (I’ll let you ruminate on that one for a minute)
  • Wrapping this gift is easy…Her appointment card fits in an envelope

Guys, go ahead make an appointment for her. There are only a few left as it is an extremely exclusive event. Feel free to check out a few images and the details for the boudoir photography event in Sarasota here. Email Cat to snag Your woman a spot on January 20th, 2013.

The Femme Frames {Asheville Boudoir Photography}

Another fantastic weekend of boudoir and glamour photography here in Asheville. Oh my goodness! For this session I invited Destonie from Lola Salon again and Wendy from Blush by Wendy Ballance! Wow! These ladies worked seamlessly and transformed each of my clients so quickly and so beautifully right before my eyes. I was so excited to shoot these ladies…What a fun day!

Feel free to get in touch ( as the next luxury boudoir event is in Sarasota, Florida just in time for Valentine’s Day! January 20th, 2013 and the next Asheville event is February 24th, 2013!

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“The Femme Frames” Boudoir Experience a HUGE Success in Asheville!

I cannot even begin to write this post without GUSHING!

Everything ran smoothly with my team of professionals, all of my clients were an absolute DREAM to work with and it was an AMAZING Day! Here are a few images from the boudoir event (I can’t show them all…some of them are holiday gifts! We can’t go and spoil the surprise now can we?)

One of my clients enjoyed her images and the boudoir experience SO much, she has created an incredible buzz at her workplace which in turn has my inbox overflowing with inquiries for the next Asheville event. That being said, we are scheduling another event for Sunday December 9th.

Get in touch quickly as I don’t expect these limited boudoir and glamour appointments to last for very long!

Woman in sitting roomWoman on bedWoman at penthouse windowWoman on bed in black and white

Boudoir isn’t Scary, It’s Empowering, Beautiful and Amazing

Boudoir Definition: (boo-dwär) A woman’s bedroom or private room

So many women believe that a boudoir photography session instantly means they need to rush out and buy the absolute sexiest lingerie right off the rack! Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve booked your session and feel compelled and comfortable to do that, by all means, we will have a fantastic time! However, there is also a large market of women, in many age groups that immediately feel like they shouldn’t book a session because they are NOT so comfortable with that particular idea.

Let me just say, that with the definition of boudoir, it is simply a private photography session. An intimate session. You are letting a photographer through the doors of the most private and personal area available to you. What might you do in that area? Dress for your special someone (of course), relax, dress for an event close to your own heart…and the list goes on.

My point is that your own boudoir isn’t JUST about getting into your skivvies and having your picture made. It is about revelling in this very moment in time, looking and feeling your absolute best! Whether in a bra and panty set, a corset, a tutu, your most amazing dress you haven’t been able to wear out somewhere yet, or jeans and a white button down, it all comes down to you feeling amazing and documenting that connection you have with YOURSELF. There is nothing more beautiful than a confident woman, period. You decide what you wear. Don’t worry, I’ll be there for you. We’ll take some wonderful images. You can keep them for yourself or gift them to your special someone. It is about time you did something just for you isn’t it?

Asheville Boudoir Promotion from Studio 828 Photography

Appointments still available for the Boudoir Photography Experience in Asheville November 11. Get in touch today.