Search
 

Featuring Cathy Nance

Featuring Cathy Nance

This week’s featured photographer is Cathy Nance of Cathy Nance Studios in Spring, TX

 
Where do you operate your business?

My studio is north of the city of Houston in Spring, Texas in the Old Town Spring shopping area servicing Houston and surrounding areas.

Your Website

Your Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/CathyNanceStudios/

Your Pinterest account

https://www.pinterest.com/cathynance/

Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/cathynancestudios/

Your Twitter account

https://twitter.com/cathy_nance

1

 

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

2 Canon EOS 6D

Lens choices

All Canon 24-105mm, 35mm, 50mm

Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)

Lightroom and Photoshop (Creative Cloud)

Do you use any actions?

I use my own, DMWL and sometimes NIK

Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc?

I do skin smoothing, clone and healing with dodge and burn on purchased images.

2

3

 

CLIENTS:

 
What most people want to know is how you market to your clients.  Have you qualified who is your ideal client?  

I love to photograph anyone who loves art. My goal would be to photograph everyone if I could. I have learned over the years that you really need to narrow it down to 1 person to be able to market to directly to them and this is your ideal client. My ideal client is a woman named Tracey. She is in her early 30s and going to be married in an intimate setting like an elopement. She is looking for someone to follow her for a day that is filled with fun which includes her vows, going to a restaurant where they feed each other followed by a couples session. She also is wanting to give a gift to her husband that evening in the form of an album. She is a nurse practitioner and business owner. She is a very busy person. She loves fine dining, she takes care of herself, goes to the gym and shops in her favorite boutique shops. She travels the world in her spare time an appreciates fine art. She spends time in art galleries. She sees herself as art.

I wish every woman saw herself as fine art. Most women though have some form of body dysmorphic disorder. I love to work with women to help them see themselves as beautiful. It is an honor for me to be able to help someone who is vulnerable and nervous.

I’d love to add into the article any inspiring client stories you might have.  Also have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share how you resolved them. That is always something that can hugely benefit the readers.

I love inspiring stories! One of my clients posted this “She made me feel like a model, like I was important and beautiful. Like I was famous! I thought all my photos were gorgeous! I could not believe it was me and yet it was straight out of camera on the same day! I broke down in tears but now I can now see the beauty in myself that I thought I didn’t have. It was an experience you don’t want to miss!” I get stories like this all the time. Many women don’t see themselves the way others see them and it is heartbreaking to me. I love to be able to connect someone with their real beauty so they can blossom with confidence.

Do you have a “welcome” product you give the clients and can you share that if you do.  Thanks.

After booking the client I send an email with a what to wear guide and a link to a private client site that is filled with information that helps prepare for the session.

4

5

 

SALES:

 
This is probably one of the most important things that the readers want to know.  How do you sell to your clients?  Can you provide info on your sales process and your pricing.  I’d like to be able to provide numbers on what you charge for a session and what your range is for your products, like albums for instance, but if you don’t feel comfortable sharing to much, just give me what fits your comfort level.


I offer 4 sessions based on time with most people coming into the studio for a 1 hour session that is $325. I start selling as soon as the booking happens when I send them to my private client information site. It is a content rich site they log into and then it directs them through all of the steps, the experience, products, pricing, my editing, what they can expect. I love that most clients sign a model release as soon as they log into the site. After the session I give them a packet of information that includes information on how to photograph their walls so when they come for their reveal they can see the images on their own walls. It also has an appointment card, a referral card, products for the wall and albums, a brochure on digital images. Clients come back after about a week for their reveal. I can do same day reveals where they see the images straight out of camera before but prefer they come back in a week. We go through their session images and look at products and my average sale at this time is $2500.

A La Cart digitals are 1-5 $150, 6-10 at $125 and 11+ at $100 each. They can purchase the whole collection at 50% off. I offer folio collections between $1000 – $3000, Albums are $450 – $3000, wall art starts at $250 – $1100, deckled edge museum mount water color prints $850 – $1100. I also offer custom framing.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 It is a toss up between folios, albums and digital collections.

8

9

 

STUDIO:

 
Best describe your workspace.  Do you have a studio or work from home?  How large is your space?  What are the challenges with it?  What works really well for you?  Can you please include a photo or two of it, if possible.

My studio is north of the city of Houston and outside Beltway 8 in Spring, Texas in the Old Town Spring shopping area. Many years ago the area became shopping mecca which draws tourists from all over. There are over 150 shops, restaurants, and art galleries! Many of the original buildings, some over a hundred years old, now house places to buy antiques, collectibles, clothing, and gifts. I tell my clients that when they come they should plan on spending the day just for fun!

My space is cozy and fun at only 9 ft x 20 ft! It is a challenge to work in a space that small! It is so hard to find the perfect space in this area and I love it though so I stay at least for the time being. All the foot traffic in front of my space is too awesome to pass up. There are events that happen throughout the year with the largest one being the crawfish festival. It draws over 50,000 people who walk right in front of my space.

I also do sessions outdoors, in the clients home and in hotels. I let it be up to the client and what they feel they are comfortable with. I really love to do sessions in the clients home. Its a challenge to play with different furnishing and lighting conditions but it makes the session more personal. I also stay stimulated and inspired by the experience.

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

I have always wanted a bigger place! If I could find the perfect location I could maybe even keep both spaces.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

I try to work only Monday through Friday however I will accommodate clients to help meet their needs if they can only come on the weekend.

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles? What’s your preference? What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?

I shoot both natural light and studio light (constant and strobes). My preference is natural light where I play with shadows. I love moody images!

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio?  If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship.  If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

I have several stylist that can come into the studio but only at the client’s request. I believe a woman is beautiful no matter if they are wearing makeup or none. I love bare face and with messy hair but I also love war paint. Rate for makeup and styling is $150

6

7

 

BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 
How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?

 I am in my third year with my studio. Prior to being full time in the studio I was traveling around the country investigating, photographing and filming the paranormal. I was speaking at conferences, and teaching cake decorating, sculpting and painting.

Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?

 Self taught! I have invested heavily in workshops in the last year.

Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?

  I have always had a camera and played around with taking photos. I never saw myself as a photographer because I identified them only as being at schools or in the mall. I had no idea how creative you could be or I would have pursued it deeper many years ago. I tore my shoulder which stopped me from doing elaborate wedding cakes so I decided to learn more about my camera. I took a class on video which led me to meet an amazing photographer that looking at their work made me cry and that was it… I was a goner.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

I believe everyone deserves at least one amazing photo of themselves but not everyone can afford it. People have no idea how much time, effort and financing goes into the final product. So my struggle is that I know my value and worth, people love the product and believe in it but in the end every call starts out about pricing. I get calls from people who believe they should only pay $50 or $100 and get a cd of all of their images. I know my competition is not with the shoot and burners on craigslist and I know these callers are not my clients but it is still sad.

Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre?  If you’re excusive, and/or recently went exclusive can you give the readers some insight into why you did.  If you’ve only ever done boudoir, again we’d love to hear why.

I think I do what people would call boudoir exclusively. If you consider intimate and emotional photography with or without various layers of clothing boudoir. I know there is a debate on what boudoir really means but to me I shoot boudoir. I shoot the way I see things though the lens of my experiences, my taste for life and I shoot the same way every time whether I am in private or public. I call what I do intimate editorial art. I thought about those 3 words for a long time before I decided to use them. The word intimate to me is connected, emotional, passionate, raw and vulnerable and is the essence of boudoir. Editorial for me is storytelling with details and crafting the story of who you are into an heirloom album or gallery wall. Art is very objective in what it is but it means I can leave the image as is or paint it, either way it is deserving of your wall. You are art to me and deserve to be honored by being on a wall.

10

11

 

ADVICE:

 
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

 I have been asked many times. I always say that anyone can be anyone they want to be, you can learn anything you want to learn. To get good at something you really have to immerse yourself into it, stay with it and you absolutely have to have a passion for it. Passion is suffering through all the negative things that come with anything in life. Every day there are new photographers who pop up and think they will be start a photography businesses but the truth is they wont stay in business for long if they are not passionate about it. Also no matter what you do in life do it for the pure joy of it because you love it don’t do it for whatever monetary gain you think you will get.

Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?

 I have done several and believe everyone should! I also think male photographers should do a dudoir session. It helps you know what your clients go through.

How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?  

I believe both make and female can do boudoir. There are woman who can only go to a woman and women who can only go to a man.

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

 I shoot for myself all the time. I also have fun all the time even with the camera in my hand. I travel, eat out, sing, stay social and active. Only time in my life I ever felt burnt out is when people are rude and don’t understand the value in art but everyone is different. Rude, ignorant, overbearing people are hard to deal with. Today I try to avoid people that drain me.

What do you love about the business?

 I love that what I do has such an impact on how a woman sees herself after a session. I have seen tears, marriages get better and woman walk away with such confidence. It is always amazing to see and I cant tell you how many times I have cried with clients. I feel its an honor!

What do you hate about the business?

I hate that there are people that think that what we do is porn when it clearly is not. I also hate mean and rude people who want to ruin your day by being judgmental but the world is full of them.

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI?  What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?

 I love networking with other photographers! I am almost finished with the CPP certification through PPA. I am also a member of AIBP, TPPA and Artists Alive and Well.

Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it?  AIBP runs contests regularly.  Do you participate?  If not, is there a reason you don’t?

When I have time I enter contests. I have won several with AIBP. I want to start competing at PPA

12

13

 

SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Center of the plate fine dining anything! If not that then I love a good cheeseburger

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Beer and karaoke

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

Yoga pants

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 I am still playing the whole 50 shades of grey cd all the time… earned it

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Drama

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Flip flops or none

What are you currently reading? 

  Start with Why by Simon Sinek .

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?   

 Anywhere because I adore travel but I have been dreaming of lunch in Paris lately.

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

 I would not waste time trying to understand why anyone is a mean human being. They just are and pondering it over will not change them into being nice people.

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

I have met many famous people but in all seriousness…. you!

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

 I was bullied as a child for years for no reason other than I was the new kid in school in the second grade. It had an impact on my whole life. I was stuck in a situation I couldn’t resolve no matter what I did. I was lonely and just wanted to be accepted. I used to pray and beg God for a friend. I moved around lot after that because of my dad transferring jobs to better our family. So I can say without a doubt that I hate and struggle the most with mean people who have no empathy for others, people you cannot reason with and confrontation. The good thing today is that I know many people, feel very connected and accepted. My other issue is with all the people in my life who want my time but I don’t have enough time or more of me to fit it all in everyday. I stay really busy with my business, my family (I have a handicapped child) and am really social. My relationships are important to me. I hate it when someone is hurt when I travel to their area and don’t have enough time to stop and visit. It hurts me that they are hurt. I know my purpose in life is to help others so sometimes I give too much of myself. I have to avoid toxic people who are demanding.

Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?

I am married with 3 children and 1 grandchild. Paul is my oldest and is handicapped. He is still at home and happy. Taylor is in the air force and my daughter just graduated high school and is now on her next adventure. My juggling act is trying to manage full time care of my son and balancing my business.

Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

I am a creator and so I am inspired by many things not just people! Just think ooo shiny! The rain, the smell of wet concrete or fresh cut grass makes me happy and my mind starts spinning. My clients are amazing! I am a people watcher where anyone being kind to anyone makes me happy and I feel inspired. I love watching people laugh. Give me a pallet of fresh paint and a canvas and I will play all day just from the paints. My children and their fresh ideas inspire me.

If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?

Dig deep and really think about who you are and what you want….. What makes you happy? What drives you? If there is something you want to do go do it! Live life to the fullest! Literally suck the marrow out of life. Don’t stay in a stagnant job that you feel unfulfilled…. find a new one. Know what inspires you and Be inspired! Live and inspired life! Be happy! Find your happy places and things no matter how small they are. When I felt like I was imprisoned by bullies and there was nothing I could do the only thing I had at that time was my imagination to escape into. I looked at the smallest thing around me to find some sort of joy. After all this and being a caregiver I can say I’m alive and well with use of my arms, legs, all my senses and I’m not going to waste a single moment nor should you.
Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

Follow:

1 Comment

  • Linda K Metz

    You are incredible, my friend…NEVER forget that! Cathy & I were inseparable best friends in High School and brought out the best in each other. We are still in touch and both wish we lived closer and had the time for a get together, but we understand each other and our personal situations, so we’re good. Cat ( as I call her) is amazing… always has been! She’s the best friend I ever had, and still have. Her talent and creativity is astounding. I’m very proud to see she got this recognition of her work. Congratulations, my friend!!!

    September 16, 2016 at 8:23 am