A Mother, Wife, Outdoor Enthusiast, Cancer Survivor & Bicycling Junkie.  A Special Conversation With Professional Photographer, Catherine Davis.

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A professional photographer for more than 20 years, Catherine specializes in location lighting with an editorial twist and work with families and businesses to create images that tell their story.

Q: At what point did you know photography would be your career path? 
CD:
 Spring semester of my senior year in college, I negotiated a contract as a photographer for a project with a riverfront development company. I found that working independently while being part of a team suited me and pursued opportunities to work as a freelance photographer. 

Q: Can you share with our audience the types of services you can provide? 
CD:
 I specialize in personal and business portraits with a customized approach. I get to know my client as they talk about their family or business and determine if they want a collaborator or navigator.  A collaborator is a client who has a strong vision for her images and needs my expertise in bringing them to life. A navigator is a client who knows her business and needs my creativity and guidance to translate it into images. From there, we create a session plan tailored to them combining their resources with my local knowledge and experience. 

Q: Do you get requests to have photos of family pets? 
CD:
Pets are furry family members and make great ice-breakers for their human counterparts. If one is camera shy, the other can help them out. 

Q: What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? 
CD:
Working with people and organizations that are authentic and creating images that have a positive impact. 

I also love supporting people who are passionate about making a difference, like Veronica Alston, who coaches couples to financial health DV Alston Consulting, LLC: Financial Freedom , and Ron Hamner who created a non-profit organization, to raise money for cancer support and empower women to ride bicycles. http://www.letourdefemme.org    

I also volunteer at the food bank every week which makes me feel like I am doing something to help families with food insecurity. 


Q: What is it about your job that most excites you? 
CD:
I love partnering with small businesses to tell their story in images. Sometimes it is as simple as photographing what they do or what they make. But many times, it is the abstract, in how they make the client feel. I love hunting for good locations and then on session day, finding the angle, crafting the light, and creating at least one image that is unexpected.  

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? 
CD:
One of the most memorable moments of my career was in meeting a woman with ALS. The mother of three girls in middle school, just a bit younger than me, and still in disbelief, a friend suggested she contact me for a session. It was December and she loved Christmas time, so we agreed that a lifestyle session would be perfect. Keenly aware that she would lose all of these abilities, I captured video clips and stills of her walking, laughing, brushing her daughter’s hair, making muffins, playing a board game, and of course, loving her family. It was a great day and the beginning of a friendship with her and a lifelong connection to her family. 

For the remainder of her life, I was a tiny part of her care team and we had great conversations. As she declined, she remained steadfast in parenting her daughters and seeking the greater good from her suffering. She was a gift to all who met her. I photographed her with her family every year and when she passed, it was the portraits from our first session that memorialized her at the service.   

I believe that every family session I have is the most important photography I do, but it is the families, like this one, that remind me to cherish the little moments as much as the big ones and stokes my passion to keep my skill level high for family portraits. 

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? 
CD:
 You may be an expert in your field, but we can all learn from one another. 

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? 
CD:
Helen Moses - author of Voice Unleashed because I was lucky enough to meet her along her journey to rediscover her innate value and see her transformation. She inspires me to take a deep dive to rediscover my value. 

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? 
CD:
Women can have it all, but they can’t do it all equally. Career, Relationship, Motherhood, Self-Care, Community 

The biggest challenge is learning how to navigate your choices, and the pathways that follow. 


Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? 
CD:
 I am more intentional in the photography work I do and when I schedule it. I am less prone to canceling a personal commitment for a photo session.  I make time for self-care, dedicate quality time with my husband, our adult children and greater family.   

15 Things About Catherine Davis

1. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee? 
Tim Senesi, a yoga teacher with a big video library, gave me a structure to practice yoga at home. I’d love to hear his story and to thank him for the gift of yoga through COVID and beyond. 


2. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? 
Bicycling, paddleboarding and audio books- (not while bicycling or paddleboarding!)  If you’ve got a long road trip coming up- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, will make the miles fly by. 


3. What was the last book you really got into?
American Dirt - I found it relevant and thought provoking in light of current events concerning refugees, it is a fictional story of a family who are successful in their own country become refugees. 

4. What’s the most amazing adventures have you’ve ever been on? 
When I was 22, I spent 10 months traveling solo by bicycle (called bike packing today).  As a woman traveling alone, it was easy to meet people and have great conversations and adventures. I bicycled around Hawaii & Fiji but spent the bulk of my time in NZ & Australia.  Tired of the bike, I used every other form of transport to explore Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal & India. That was before the internet and cell phones, so I navigated with a big paper map book and stayed in touch with home through letters picked up at American Express offices and occasional phone calls. 


Since then, we’ve had many more adventures, including trips to Japan and Alaska and just last week Montana. 


5. What’s your favorite international food? 
Nasi Goreng 

6. What’s your favorite app on your phone? 
Strava 

7. What TV shows did you watch when you were a kid? 
Gilligan’s Island, MASH, The Love Boat. 

8. What’s your favorite quote or saying? 
Carpe Diem 

9. Are you a morning person or a night owl? 
Morning 

10. What would your perfect vacation look like? 
Exploring by foot, bike, boat or board in the morning, napping, strolling, and eating fresh local food in the afternoon. 

11. Favorite Dessert? 
It is a tossup- Carrot Cake or Double Chocolate Cheesecake. 

12. Do you read reviews, or just go with your gut? 
A little bit of both.

13. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play? 
Bicycling 

14. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? 
Sight 

15. Would you rather cook or order in? 
I’d rather go out, but I am king of the ten minute meal.

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