Let's make something meaningful together
      FAQ
      Info
      Weddings
      Births
      Portraits
      What will it be like to work with you?

      I begin all of my sessions with a video call or in person meeting, to give us a chance to get to know one another. Together we will plan the location, lighting and timeline of your session, whether it's a portrait session, wedding or birth. I’ll give you some wardrobe tips and we will finalize the details of our time together. If you have questions or ideas after our conversation, I’m just a phone call away. I offer my clients unlimited planning assistance with every package
      On the day of your session I will direct you and give you small cues for interacting with your partner and encouraging authentic expression. I will guide you but not place you in strict poses. I want to document your natural way of being, alone and with each other.
      We will take breaks throughout our shoot to allow you drop back into your natural state.
      Your session will be relaxed, fun and easy.

      Will my images be in color or black and white?

      The majority of your images will be in color, but usually around 25% will translate better to black and white. I will make an artistic decision on the tones of each image so they radiate the feeling of the moment captured.

      We’re awkward in front of a camera. How do you work with this?

      It’s ok! Everyone says that, trust me.
      I know it can feel vulnerable to have a camera in your face. The best remedy I can offer you is to be present and relaxed myself, throughout our experience together. I will do my best to create a calm environment and connect with YOU so you feel as though you are interacting with a friend instead of just posing for a camera.
      My hope is that you feel comfortable, confident and alive during our shoot, and that you walk away with images that are meaningful to you.

      When will we receive our pictures?

      Between 4-8 weeks after our session, depending on the type of session we had.

      How will we receive our images and what is included?

      After our session, your edited images will be delivered in a private online gallery and will include both high and low resolution files for printing and sharing. You will have full personal printing rights and your images will not be watermarked.
      Your gallery will be connected to a high-quality printing press for easy print options if you choose. I believe that photographs can only be fully appreciated when printed.

      Where are you located? Do you travel?

      I’m based in Nevada City, California but am available for weddings and portrait sessions worldwide. Get in Touch. I would love to talk travel plans with you.

      What are your travel fees?

      If we shoot within an hour of my hometown, I don’t charge a fee for traveling to and from location. Beyond that, I charge $60/hour with flat rate offers to some large cities. For farther destinations or late night photo coverage- accommodation fees may apply. I often create custom packages and offers for my clients that include travel and accommodation fees. Please don’t hesitate to ask. I seriously love to travel! And, I am always excited to get on a plane.

      If you are up for an adventure and want to be photographed in new, organic scenery, may I suggest my hometown of Nevada City, CA? It’s a cute little Boho-Victorian Mountain town in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Beautiful river, adorable town, stunning natural environment.

      That all sounds great. What are your rates?

      You can find my rates by navigating to the wedding, portrait or birth tabs at the top of this block. Can't wait to talk to you more about your project!

      How would you describe your shooting style during a wedding?

      My style of documenting weddings could be described as photojournalistic. As much as possible, I photograph your day naturally, as it unfolds, without altering details or posing you or your guests. I focus on both the large picture of your wedding event, and the small details that make your day unique. I make sure to capture the expressions of your guests and the ambience of the room. I try to keep formal family portraits to one designated time of the day so that you and your partner can enjoy as much of your wedding as possible.

      What are your wedding rates?

      2019 wedding packages begin at $2000 for 6 hours of coverage. To request a copy of my complete 2019 wedding pricing guide, get in touch here and tell me a little about your wedding plans. If my listed packages don’t fit your wedding needs, I am always happy to discuss custom packages that include less or more coverage on your wedding day, or engagement, portrait or bridal sessions.
      For locals: I offer one free additional hour of wedding day coverage or a complimentary engagement or portrait session to couples who are getting married in Placer or Nevada Counties. For travel rates and info, check out the "INFO" tab above.

      Will there be time for couple’s portraits on my wedding day?

      I hope so. I highly encourage my couples to put aside an hour of their wedding day for couple’s portraits. Usually when less time is planned, unforeseen wedding details end up taking part of our portrait time. Couples portraits are often the most treasured images of your wedding as they capture the genuine excitement, relief and sweetness of you, alone with your partner, on the biggest day of your life.
      Some couples even plan for two portrait sessions if they are booking all day photo coverage. One session will be shorter and planned during the day ( and will often be a "first look") and the other will be slightly longer and planned around sunset to take advantage of the pristine light during golden hour.

      Do you shoot Elopements?

      Yes! I love the intimacy of a small commitment ceremony. Elopements packages scheduled Monday- Friday are $1000 for 3 hours of coverage.

      -Will my photos be in color or black and white?

      The majority of your images will be in color, but usually around 25% will translate better to black and white. I will make an artistic decision on the tones of each image so they radiate the feeling of the moment captured.

      How many images will be included in my package?

      You can expect 60-80 images per hour of coverage.

      How will we receive our images and what is included?

      Your hand edited wedding day images will be delivered in a private online gallery and will include both high and low resolution files for printing and sharing. You will have full personal printing rights and your images will not be watermarked. Your gallery will be connected to a high-quality printing press for easy print options if you choose. I believe that photographs can only be fully appreciated when printed.

      When will we receive our pictures?

      No later than 8 weeks after your Wedding or Elopement.

      What is a birth story and what is included in your birth story sessions?

      A birth story is the photographic documentation of your active labor, delivery and precious first moments after birth. It is your birth, told as a beautiful story of photographs.
      I am on call for my birth clients from 37 weeks on. During this time, we meet in person if possible, or schedule a video call to get to know one another and to discuss their birth plans. They keep me updated on changes and progressions as their due date approaches. As soon as labor begins, they call to inform me, day or night, weekday or weekend. Together, we decide when it's best for me to arrive to the birth space. I typically will make my way to the birth as soon as the midwife/doctor has checked my client and determined that they are 7 centimeters dilated for first time mothers and 5-6 centimeters dilated for experienced mothers. Every woman is different though, I stay in close communication with my clients and their birth team throughout their birth experience. I usually have time to pick up special items for the birth team if requested, etc. I consider myself an integral, loving and humble part of my client's birth team.
      Upon arrival, I document as much, or as little of the experience as my client requests, paying attention to both the small details and the large picture of the day. I stay and photograph until around 2 hours after baby is born, telling their birth story through honest, artful imagery. They receive a private online gallery of their edited birth story images 4-6 weeks after their birth. The images will not be watermarked and will come with full personal printing rights, so they can share images with their loved ones and have the opportunity to remember their rite of passage for the rest of their life.

      What is your rate for a birth story?

      For births that take place in Nevada County or Placer County, my fee is $800.
      Sacramento births are $1000.
      Bay Area/Marin County births are $1200. The varied fee takes into account- travel time and the potential need for me to stay over night.
      If you’d like to see an example of a full birth story gallery, get in touch with me here. I’d be happy to show you my birth work.
      I’m also currently running a model call and offering discounted sessions to my birth photo models.

      Do you have birth photography training?

      Yes. I trained under the fabulous birth photographers and teachers of the Birth Becomes Her network. Monet and Jennifer taught me and my classmates everything they could about their years of experience as birth photographers. We studied how to hold space in the birth room as photographers, the progression of labor, hospital and cesarean ettiquete, camera and flash settings, inclusion in the birth space and our business practices, and so much more. The following quote from my class syllabus sums up their teaching style, and what I learned deeply from the course:
      “Being a great birth photographer is not just about knowing how to use your camera, understanding different lighting situations and capturing monumental moments artistically in a situation that is completely unpredictable. It is recognizing the sacredness of birth, understanding the birth process and being supportive and accepting of each mother’s individual choices. Every birth is unique and special, as that mother will only ever have one experience of bringing that baby into the world, this is why it is so important that we honor and respect her wishes and ensure that our presence is a positive one that she is grateful for”.

      If you aren’t already familiar with the work of my teachers, please check them out here on Instagram.

      Tell me more about your model call.

      In order to build my online portfolio, I am currently offering full birth story sessions for $400. In exchange for the discounted rate, the client must sign a model release and be comfortable with her images being shared on social media. If the client is uncomfortable with images of certain private body parts being shared online, we can discuss the specifics and include them in a contract so the model feels fully comfortable during her brith. If you are interested in chatting about this model call, please get in touch here, I’d love to talk with you more and share examples of past work.

      Will you ask me to pose or change my position during my birth?

      No, I will not ask you to change your position to get a better picture during your birth.
      Your birth is your sacred time and it’s completely up to you to decide which positions you want to be in. I may suggest opening a window or turning on a lamp as baby is being born, because the extra light will provide a crisper and more detailed image. My top priority is your comfort and I will balance that priority with your desire to get important images during your birth.

      What if I live out of town or have a history of fast labor?

      With enough notice, I can make it to a birth several hours from my home, and I have done it successfully before. In fact, I have never missed an out of town birth because I stay in close communication with my client's and their birth team and am not afraid to arrive to a birth early and wait.
      If, by chance, baby arrives while I am travelling to the birth space; I will begin documenting the birth story as soon as I arrive. I will capture as many details of your birth story as I can, including mama and papa’s relief and excitement, baby’s first moments, tiny details and family members meeting baby for the first time.

      What if I have a really long birth? Will you stay?

      If the doctor or midwife is waiting for you to progress, sleep or rest for an extended period, I may leave for a while, but I will still be on call and keep closely in touch with your birth team. I will return to your birth as soon as you are in active labor to document your story.

      Do you photograph hospital births & cesarean births?

      Absolutely. Every woman has the right to choose how she wants to birth her baby.
      I am supportive and honoring of every mother’s individual choices.

      Will my images be in black and white or color?

      The low lighting conditions of some births often translates best to black and white images.
      For this reason, if your birth takes place in a dimly lit room, it is likely that I will deliver a significant quantity of your images in black and white, which have the added benefit of a more photojournalistic feel.

      When will I receive my images?

      You will receive a "sneak peak" image within 1-2 weeks of your birth. Your full gallery will be delivered 4-6 weeks after your birth. These are the longest timeframes you can expect. I always try and deliver sneak peaks and galleries much sooner.

      This all sounds great, but I'm still on the fence about having a birth photographer in the room during my birth.

      I completely understand.
      Birth is a very sensitive and unpredictable time in life, and you need to make sure you feel comfortable with who is in the room during your birth.
      May I suggest meeting in person for a coffee?
      This would give you a chance to meet me, feel my energy, hear my approach to birth photography and share any concerns or questions you may have. After meeting in person (or video call if that’s easier for you), and getting to know me, you may find it easier to make a decision. I am always happy to set up a meeting to introduce myself.
      My hope is that you feel comfortable, confident and alive while I’m documenting your birth, and that you walk away with images that are meaningful to you.

      Do you offer separate newborn sessions after the baby is born?

      Yes. I love to photograph new families.
      Check out one of my favorite in home newborn sessions here.

      What will it be like to work with you?

      I begin all of my sessions with a video call or in person meeting, to give us a chance to get to know one another. Together we will plan the location, lighting and timeline of your session. I’ll give you some wardrobe tips and we will finalize the details of our time together. If you have questions or ideas after our conversation, I’m just a phone call away. I offer my clients unlimited planning assistance with every package
      On the day of your session I will direct you and give you small cues for interacting with your partner and encouraging authentic expression. I will guide you but not place you in strict poses. I want to document your natural way of being, alone and with each other. We will take breaks throughout our shoot to allow you drop back into your natural state.
      Your session will be relaxed, fun and easy.

      What are your portrait rates?

      My portrait packages begin at $400 and include 1.5-2 hours of coverage and a minimum of 60 images. Get in touch for other package options.

      We’re awkward in front of a camera. How do you work with this?

      It’s ok! Everyone says that, trust me.
      I know it can feel vulnerable to have a camera in your face. The best remedy I can offer you is to be present and relaxed myself, throughout our experience together. I will do my best to create a calm environment and connect with YOU so you feel as though you are interacting with a friend instead of just posing for a camera.
      My hope is that you feel comfortable, confident and alive during our shoot, and that you walk away with images that are meaningful to you.

      When do you recommend adding additional hours to a portrait package?

      I recommend adding an additional hour or two if you are booking a family session and have toddlers or active children, if you are having a large family photographed or if you and your sweetie want to go on an adventure during our session. If you want an extended portrait session or are interested in booking a half or full day lifestyle session, please get in touch; I’m happy to create a custom package just for you.

      Will my photos be in color or black and white?

      The majority of your images will be in color, but usually around 25% will translate better to black and white. I will make an artistic decision on the tones of each image so they radiate the feeling of the moment captured.

      How will we receive our images and what is included?

      Your hand edited portrait images will be delivered in a private online gallery and will include both high and low resolution files for printing and sharing. You will have full personal printing rights and your images will not be watermarked.
      Your gallery will be connected to a high-quality printing press for easy print options if you choose. I believe that photographs can only be fully appreciated when printed.

      When will we receive our pictures?

      You'll receive your private online gallery no later than 4-6 weeks after your session.

      That all sounds great. How do I book a session?

      Sweet. Get in touch here and we’ll get started.

      TESTIMONIALS

      "Cathlene was the perfect choice to photograph our son’s birth. She completely understood what we were looking for. We weren’t sure how comfortable we’d be with a stranger sharing such an intimate time with us, but from the moment we met Cathlene she felt more like an old friend than our photographer.

      Cathlene has a natural and contagious peace about her.  With all the stress and emotions running through the day, her calming presence and encouraging words helped us relax and fully experience the miracle before our eyes. When we received our completed gallery a few weeks later, tears streamed down both of our faces as we moved from image to image. Cathlene captured each moment with a depth we didn’t think possible.  Her photographs included instances we expected and so many we didn’t. The sweet beauty of our parents as they became grandparents for the first time, the anticipation and then intense joy as we witnessed our child’s first breath. We are extremely grateful for the care taken in capturing the sweetest moment of our lives."

      -Patrick & Savannah

      TESTIMONIALS

      "I have been photographed by Cathlene many times. Each time I have come away with a collection of images that capture the very essence of that time in my life, and it is truly wonderful to be able to look back and see these chapters so beautifully framed.
      Something about her as a person cuts right to the core, her gentle intelligence and bold compassion create a space which allows emotions to come to the surface and be photographed. Joy, tenderness, vulnerability, surprise, excitement, satisfaction, humor... and love. All the feelings that come up in these great moments, are right there in every image. Her dedication to her art, her integrity as a person and her natural talents combine to make her both a joy to work with and a consummate professional who will always deliver a beautiful image."

      -Hannah

      TESTIMONIALS

      "We loved every moment of working with Cathlene! She is truly a gem; a skilled photographer with an exquisite eye for beauty. Our experience with Cathlene was fun, comfortable and relaxed - and gifted us some of our favorite images ever! Thank you so much for sharing your passion and talent with us all!"

      -Kirsten & Peter

      TESTIMONIALS

      "As a crochet fashion designer, I am constantly taking photos of myself and others wearing my designs. However, I sometimes feel I can only go so far with photographing myself. Cathlene has photographed me a number of times wearing my designs and on those wonderful occasions, I get to be the model and let someone else take care of the photography. Her photos have a relaxed, spontaneous quality; they are professional but fun. She has the magic ability to put her subjects at ease. Her images receive tons of likes on my Instagram account, and lots of positive comments. I always look forward to sessions with Cathlene and the final results are always a hit."

      -Schuyler Ellers

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