Photographer Spotlight: Meet Cat Ford-Coates!

Get to KNOW Cat Ford-Coates! She is the Principal Photographer and Owner of Studio 828 Photography based out of Asheville, NC and our very own KNOW Asheville Photographer.

Cat Ford-Coates is an accredited Master Photographer with The Portrait Masters working to achieve Fellow status in 2020. Her studio has become a hub wherein she has a team of three Photographers to serve western North Carolina and the surrounding area. She specializes in Portrait Photography and creating boutique, next level Branding campaigns for entrepreneurs and businesses all over the world, and is an expert in posing, and direction.

Cat first got into photography in a darkroom course in 1997 at a community college in Florida. She learned how to shoot film and create cameras out of oatmeal containers.

“It was something I always knew that I wanted to pursue but before the launch of social media, I literally had no idea how that could even be a possibility,” she said.

Fast forward to 2012 when she was paid $50 by two bar regulars—she was a bartender at the time—to take pictures of them for their dating profiles, did it dawn on her that it was the time to revisit that dream.

“A couple years later I discovered my mentor Sue Bryce and the rest is history. 828 was born,” Cat said.

Capturing many of the amazing Asheville women and more, Cat has been an incredible leader and role model for empowering the Tribe.

“I am SO grateful to have photographed the inaugural Asheville book,” Cat said when asked about her experience as the KNOW Photographer. “I lead my business on the philosophy that rising tides lift all ships and to have the opportunity to personally connect with all of the women involved and help bring their business brand to a new level was so inspiring. It was my honor.”

It’s been an honor to KNOW to her.


We asked Cat to share THREE FUN FACTS in order to get to KNOW her better:

1. She is a Certified Sake Professional with the Japanese Education Council and former sake brewer. She was a founding member of the fourth micro-Kura in the US
2. Cat is a recovering Opera Singer…but seriously, performed and taught Opera for several years before going to school for…drum roll please…sound engineering in Boston, MA.
3. She often refers to herself as a “Bull in a China shop at life”.

Follow along with Cat by connecting with her on:
Instagram: @studio828photography