Posts Tagged 'About P39'
I was asked recently to sit down for a little Q&A with Chris from La Brisa Photography…here’s a re-post if you didn’t see it on his site last week. Happy reading!
Happy Friday everyone! To continue our photographer Q&A series, I am extremely delighted to have the fabulous Cathy share with us what makes her tick and her photography “story”! She’s an incredible person with an amazing heart. You can, and will, learn TONS from her…I know that I have! Thanks Cathy! =)
CHRIS: Let’s start with a little background info, tell me about yourself.
CATHY: Thanks, Chris, for the opportunity to share my story with others! I’m humbled and grateful to have a few moments to talk about my life in front of, and behind, the lens.
Where do I begin? I am addicted to Dots. Pick out the green ones and we are BFFs for life. I love too much. Sleep too little. Indulge at Starbucks more than I should. I have a weakness for handbags. I could burst with pride every time I hear the Iowa State fight song to the roar of a packed stadium at the start of a Saturday morning football game. Seriously, it brings tears to my eyes. I would like to pack my suitcase and move into an Anthropolgie store. I may appear like a tough nut, but I’m so soft at heart. I get to know my clients as if they were part of my own family. I love pretty things on paper–the touch of letterpress as it graces an envelope with a handwritten note makes my day every single time.
I’m a native midwesterner. I understand the value of hard work and a sometimes-stubborn attitude. I created Cathy Mores Photography to provide my clients with a portrait experience that is about more than making great pictures. Currently based in Manhattan, KS, we serve clients all over Northeast Kansas, the Kansas City metro and some of our favorite places across the midwest and beyond. My website is www.cathymoresphotography.com and I keep a blog of current news, sessions and ramblings at www.parallel39blog.com. I’m on facebook too at www.facebook.com/CathyMoresPhotography; my twitter handle is twitter.com/cathymores.
I’m pretty much an open book at this point. You can read about what I had for lunch, see my latest session, or find my latest flea-market find at any one of those.
CHRIS: How did you become a photographer?
CATHY: I have always been a creative person; I took a huge fascination to the magic and mystery of creating beautiful images as a child. My dad had a Canon AE-1 and a couple of good lenses. He wasn’t a professional photographer, but was a huge influence as I began making pictures at a very early age. I took that camera to college, where I studied photography as part of my major, and I still have it today as a reminder of where I’ve come from. (It proudly sits next to my collection of vintage Kodak Brownie cameras from the 1930′s and 40′s.) I didn’t lose my love for photography after college. I knew I’d ultimately come back to it :: the smell of darkroom chemicals were too embedded in the fabric of my life. But it took a burner to my work in the advertising industry, in nearly ten years spent in ad agencies across Iowa, Colorado and Kansas. I did a little commercial photography during that time, and it energized me. I saw a need for photography that did more than capture the physical attributes of a person, and instead photograph their emotions and interactions. It was the underlying premise and desire to create Cathy Mores Photography.
CHRIS: Why should I book you as a photographer?
CATHY: I listen. I hear your story and turn that dialogue into imagery that you’ll have your entire life. Generations from now, those images not only share what you looked like, but who you are as an individual. Who you are as a family. Your story is so unique, and you deserve to have someone behind the lens who you trust to tell that story. I am your trusted partner through each step of the experience. I’ll help consult you from the first time we meet to discuss your session to selecting the right portraits and products for your home. I develop long-term relationships with my clients; when I photograph your family, you become part of mine. I take the responsibility of being your family’s storyteller very seriously. It’s a great honor and privilege to be able to document your family’s story through photographs.
CHRIS: How would you describe your style?
CATHY: I call my style “photoartistry”. It’s kind of a mutt of traditional portrait photography turned on its ear and blended with photojournalism and strong emotional ties. Basically, it boils down to this :: I want you to feel something when you look at my photographs. Joy. Warmth. Love. Comfort. Family. Respect. The moments you remember most between you and another person aren’t necessarily the ones that involve “tip your head this way and look at each other like that”. It’s the moments that happen in between posed shots. The way dad swings his little girl around or the comfort of mom’s warm embrace. The kiss on a nose between a new bride and her groom.
CHRIS: If you had to pick your favorite piece of equipment, what would it be and why?
CATHY: You’re killing me with this! I can only pick one? I would be lost, completely lost, without my prime lenses. I like that I have to force myself to move to get a great shot–that I can’t just zoom in and expect that to be good enough. Right now that includes the 50mm f/1.4 and 105mm f/2.8. Tack sharp and buttery-beautiful all in the same breath.
CHRIS: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
CATHY: Connect with others. No man is an island in this business–connect with others on SOME level. Online, through a mentor, workshops. There are so many useful resources available to help you succeed. But also don’t be afraid to think outside the box and blaze your own path–those mentors and workshops are merely available to offer you their opinion. It’s hard work, but worthwhile and humbling too.
CHRIS: Care to share 5 recent photographs?
CATHY: Oy!! That’s like asking a mom to choose her favorite child.
This remains one of my favorite images to date. My husband and Little Man were playing in the grass one night, laughing and being silly. I still hear Little Man’s giggle when I see this image.
I went to San Francisco a couple of years ago to study with four photographers who changed my life. (Not to mention the other photographers that I still connect with!) It was an incredibly intense, emotional weekend of discovery and art. In one exercise, we were matched up with a member of the Stinson Beach, CA community to hear their stories and photograph them, with the images donated to the community’s historical records. I was matched with a woman who recently retired and was finding her new wings of freedom, and trying to re-discover what inspired her. We were blocks from the ocean on a chilly early May morning, so we grabbed our shoes and walked to the beach, one of the places where she feels most alive.
This little guy totally wasn’t sure about me at first. Think about it to a two year old–you’re a new person with this big black box in front of your face and telling him to smile? Yeah, right. So he stayed where he was comfortable, right between mom and dad–and all of a sudden he was hamming it up. We’re totally BFFs now, minus the Dots.
This image feels like childhood! Fresh, free, unabashedly chasing after a dream. You can’t make moments like this up. It screams happiness. And summer.
This is a really recent one–if you’re a regular blog reader, just a couple of weeks ago. We photographed this beauty at a fresh five days old; I love newborns because you have to be SO patient and calm and it’s a wonderful step back from my usual pace. I didn’t learn until I arrived at the session that the baby’s dad was about to leave a few days later for his first deployment overseas. Knowing he was holding her for the first and last time for the next several months still pulls at my heart. I cried while editing this session–this is what I talk about knowing the deep responsibility that I have as a photographer–that these are some of the few photographs that he’ll have while he’s away from his family. It’s so humbling, and incredibly gratifying too, to share those gifts with others.
In the wake of the conversation that last week sent me slightly a-shakin’ in my boots…I am finding clarity. Who I am and why it makes me the right photographer for you. How we fit together, like chocolate chips and cookie dough.
As such you might see a few changes here on the blog, my website, and my Facebook page. It’s exposing. I’m giving you 100% me. Raw, real, authentic, honest. Just like my images. Some will like it, others might leave it. But I can’t deny the person who I am and let only the art do the talking — I’ve come to realize it’s important for you to know who I am, too. Because, really, I’m fun. I like to laugh. I make your portrait experience fun, comfortable, and stress free.
And it’s kind of fun too. I think this is my new favorite self-portrait. It takes me back to nearly eighteen months ago at Me Ra’s Discovery Workshop and the self-portraits we shared. A lot has changed since then. Oooooh boy, a lot.
Love me or leave me….at least you can say you know me.
I came across Silicon Prairie News today and thought it was a great collection of blogs, news and life from the Midwest…and check it out :: P39 is included! The entire site is chock-full of excellent resources and information for entrepreneurs and creatives in the central states.
This month’s Pay it Forward is going to be a fantastic event, and we’d love to see you there to help adoptive families!
Kansas Adoptive Families is a new organization to our community :: created by and for families who are welcoming home a new family member. The organization warmly wraps around new arrivals, providing families with essential baby items, education on adoption and support throughout the process—which creates a rich, loving community where children can grow and thrive.
I’m proud and honored to be part of the Junior League membership who is sharing this event with our community, and Parallel 39 is making a generous donation in addition to providing design services and support for the event. Our membership is humbled to help families give their children the best possible start in life and hope you’ll share in the community baby shower this Saturday, January 9 at the Manhattan Public Library.
* And as a side note, there are fabulous door prizes :: including a gift certificate from Cathy Mores Photography! *
When I first considered starting the studio and developing design and photography businesses simultaneously, one of the hallmarks that I wanted them to be founded on is a truly boutique experience—in every sense of the word. As such, I often write notes to clients and vendors alike to share news, and often, my appreciation for continuing their partnership with the studio.
Being the paper junkie that I am, I thought it would be a great tool to have some new stationery printed. (So what if I’m always looking for an excuse?! ) Enter, the fabulous-ness of Sycamore Street Press, a letterpress paper goods shop. I’ve long adored Eva’s work and craft as seen on Etsy, Paper Crave, and several other paper/ephemera sites (of which there are several, ahem). I also admire their dedication to be eco-friendly in an industry long seen as traditionally less-than-responsible.
I am so over the moon with how they turned out. Simple, yet so authentic to the brand I’ve created.
I can’t thank Eva at Sycamore Street Press enough for her awesome work. She was fantastic to collaborate with on this! I would highly recommend her—and I hope we get the opportunity to create more beautiful things together in the future.
This is a post that I’ve debated hitting the “publish” button on because it’s becoming a hot topic among the design community, both for and against. But I feel that it’s only fair to share and voice an opinion, as such—I feel there’s a strong argument to be made, because of the passion I have for my craft and the desire to see it move forward successfully into the future.
iStockPhoto (a Getty company) recently announced that they would begin selling stock logos in addition to their widely popular offerings of photography. For anywhere from $100 to $1,000, already-created logos will be available for purchase and download for consumer use. While iStock can be an excellent resource for creative elements, this move by the company creates a sense of what I would call the “Wal-Mart mentality” :: where boutique, customized solutions are unnecessary—where an answer is good enough because it’s cheap.
It’s also another example of how crowdsourcing is deteriorating our design industry. Designers who are willing to create work on spec (for no pay) undermines those of us who strive to create thoughtful, purposeful design solutions for our client’s specific needs. It really hurts our industry in two ways—by lowering the perceived value of our work, and also hurts the individual designers who are being grossly taken advantage of for their one-size-fits-all design.
As a member of AIGA, I think it’s important to consider their position on the matter ::
[iStock's announcement] “…is counter to the professional ethos of design, since it results in design being created without a clear understanding of its purpose and effect…The real losers, however, will be clients who will not receive the strategic value inherent in a successful design or branding engagement, in which designers do not guess at visual options that might be acceptable, but rather counsel enterprises on how to embody their brand values visually and differentiate their product.”
What successful brands are made of is research, client input and strategic thought to arrive at the best possible solution. Knowing who you and your company are as a client—what your brand’s challenges, strengths, purpose and ambitions are—are the pieces to creating successful brand execution. And, quite often, the right solution can be arrived at on a reasonable budget. By someone who cares about you and seeing your business succeed.
(Photo credit: The Donut Project)
Updated to add :: I’ve thought even more about this since…and the case is exactly the same for boutique, custom photography. Why would you let a one-size-fits-all photographer capture something so intrinsically unique about you, your special someone or family? Just like with creating a unique brand, great photography tells who you are, not just what you are.
Welcome to the new blog home of Parallel 39 Design and Cathy Mores Photography. Over the next several weeks I’ll be giving you insight on where I’ve been and what’s gotten me to this juncture in my businesses. Perhaps you’re a new follower, or have been a fan of either of my ventures for some time—in either case, I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey together.