I recently had the opportunity to shoot with Cathy Baron of Cathy Baron Photography and I absolutely LOVED the experience. The session was fun and relaxed and I was so ridiculously happy with all of the photos we got. Her eye is amazing, and I wanted to share her incredible talent with you all. So may I introduce you to…. Cathy Baron!
When did you fall in love with photography?
I fell in love with photography at a young age. I can’t remember being without a camera, even if it was a disposable one. I have always admired photos that stir emotion in me and I strive to continue to be better at doing that for others.
When did you decide to take that love and become an entrepreneur and start a business for photography?
Well, I have had my own editing and videography business for 5 years now. I shoot and edit videos for entrepreneurs who have online businesses. So, I was working with a Canon 5D Mark II for quite some time taking video before I decided to venture into the photography world. I was doing a lot of photoshoots coming off of a recurring role on a TV show and I enjoyed having photos of me that weren’t headshots. That’s when I decided I wanted to make others feel great about themselves too with beautiful photos. I started my photography business at the beginning of 2015 and it’s been incredibly fulfilling and fun.
What are your favorite types of photo shoots?
My favorite types of shoots are where I have freedom to be artistically creative. I once had my friend pour water over her head while I took her portrait- those photos came out FANTASTIC. If she wasn’t down to play then we would have never captured that amazing moment. I enjoy collaborating with people who are open minded and just as excited as I am about this art form. The best shoots are the ones where everyone is charged with excitement and positive energy about what we are creating.
Your photos are so powerful and have an almost ethereal feel. Is that something that you have spent a lot of time cultivating, or is that an aesthetic that comes to you naturally?
Hmm…I think it’s something that has come to me naturally. In post I take my time with each photo and edit it based on what filter or settings look best for that specific photo. Of course, that means what looks best in my opinion. 😉 I’ve always experienced life through somewhat of a fairy-tale lens. I am drawn to color and beauty in interesting ways. I find that color evokes emotion for me and I am quite enamored with anything magical, ethereal, or even hauntingly beautiful. I enjoy photographing people because we are multi-layered and embody so much more than what we show on the outside in our everyday lives. I find that the camera captures those layers with intensity and vibrancy. I love capturing strength in vulnerability. After all, the more vulnerable we are, the more valuable we are to others.
I love that you have packages that you offer on your site! As an actor, I’ve always found it really great to have photos in my portfolio that aren’t just traditional headshots, but look like they are from a magazine layout or stills from a film shoot.
As far as marketing for actors and as an actor yourself, do you have any advice for getting headshots done?
Yes! My advice is to get your sleep, drink a lot of water, and maybe even say some positive affirmations on your way to your shoot. During your shoot, do your best to embody certain characters. If you are shooting a commercial shot- actually laugh out loud while smiling! You get the best smiling shots that way. If you are taking theatrical, dramatic shots- think of a sentence that may help your face make a subtle change. For instance, if you are wanting to be strong and sexy, think to yourself “YOU WANT ME. YOU CANT RESIST ME” or something similar. If you are taking photos with the intention to be a businessman think to yourself “I AM POWERFUL. I AM STRONG. I OWN THIS SHIT” haha Remember your intention in each look or shot.
Also, move around slowly during your shoot. Make sure you aren’t stiff. Think long neck and emotion through eyes.
I recently saw an amazing wedding photo that you took. It looked like it was straight out of Vanity Fair Magazine. I absolutely love it. And it went viral too after Adam Levine put it up on Instagram. What was your inspiration for this photo? The tiger is genius by the way!
Thank you! Yes, that whole thing was insane. It actually went viral without Adam Levine’s help on reddit as well! Someone else posted it to imgur and it just took off. Unfortunately I hadn’t watermarked it and got no photo credit!
This was a photo from a wedding I photographed in November. The wedding party didn’t want the cliche silly, cheesy wedding party photos so I said we should try some editorial style shots instead. I knew I wanted them to be something one would see in Vanity Fair, but that’s the only thing I knew for sure. I really enjoy creating photo art by compositing images into photographs. I can create fantasy worlds in this way and it’s a service I offer to my clients. After going home and looking through the wedding photos, I decided I wanted a white tiger in the photo. I’m not sure if it was the strong posing and expressions, but it’s where my brain went! So, I found white tiger overlays and created the image. I also made one with a baby giraffe that I think is better 😉 Adding pieces to photographs that weren’t originally there can create or enhance emotion, symmetry, or add color that wasn’t there before. It’s one of my favorite things to do!
What has your journey been like as a creative in the entertainment industry and do you have anything that you’d want to tell 18-year-old Cathy, any words of wisdom?
Whoa, could be this glass of wine I am enjoying but I just got choked up thinking about talking to 18 year old me! What a great question. As far as my journey goes, nobody else in my family pursued the arts (except for my grandfather who has passed) so I really did this acting thing on my own. I danced professionally for many years before a car accident put a stop to my dance career. While healing from the neck injury I suffered from the accident, I fully immersed myself in acting. I do think it makes sense that I picked a career where I could be emotionally free considering I am an empath, and didn’t always feel safe to be completely open and artistic as a child. When I made the decision to follow my dreams and pursue the arts, I really busted my ass to gather as much information and knowledge as possible. I’ve been afraid, frustrated, and exhausted along the way but none of that compares to the joy and freedom I get from creating art in any medium. I have learned so much about myself and others along the way and here are a few things I would tell 18 year old me.
- Hey you. Trust your gut more. Don’t do things because you think it will make others happy or because you think it will make them like you. You have to take care of yourself and people will like you more when you are authentic.
- Hey 18 year old Cathy! Be kinder to yourself. Your inner thoughts reflect your outer self.
- Be aware of the people you are attracting into your life and think about what you’re doing or why you’re attracting those people. You have the power to change your situation. You are more powerful than you could ever imagine!
- Everyone is afraid. Nobody completely knows what they are doing. We are all just giving it our best. Comparing yourself to others does you no good unless you are drawing inspiration from it in positive ways.
- Hi 18 year old Cat, some very painful things will happen to you in the next few years. You will be okay, though. Trust the Universe. Trust life. Find the positive in the pain and learn to use it to help others and help yourself while you have precious time left on this planet. You will be okay. Find beauty in the feeling. It will be valuable in so many ways later in life.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far as an entrepreneur in entertainment, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced so far is probably myself. Being in my own way… self doubt…being fearful that I can’t deliver…fearful that I’m not being creative enough or good enough. I have been able to overcome this by just accepting that it is a fear not based in reality. I’m pretty good at putting myself out there so I realize I can come off as completely confident and put together…but I have fears, too just like everyone else. Pushing through the fear and reminding myself that nobody else is thinking about me as much as I’m thinking about myself really helps. I have learned to trust myself a lot in the past 5 years and I have grown more than ever. I trust my art more. I trust the process. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do that. If I couldn’t get past my own anxieties, I wouldn’t be able to create beautiful photos for people or embody characters in film or TV that people enjoy. Accepting that what I have to offer can be a gift to others changed my life. Accepting my empathic nature as a gift more than a curse has also helped me to really SEE people in my photos and create something beautiful for them.
And now… rapid fire!
- Favorite film? Blue is the Warmest Color- I love fly on the wall feel in this movie. Great acting!
- Favorite book or author? Any self help book!
- Favorite band or musician? Oh man, I can’t answer this. I really can’t.
- Favorite food? Sandwiches from a food truck in NYC called The Cinnamon Snail. I think they have shut down, but I have never tasted food so good in my life!
- Favorite podcast? Stuff You Should Know. Woohoo Josh n Chuck!
- Favorite TV Show/Digital Series? Whaaaaaaaaa I can’t answer this either.
- Person or subject you most want to take a photograph of? My Granna and Papa. (my mom’s parents) They both have passed but I often wish I had beautiful portraits of them in the way I remember them as a child.
- Place you want to explore and journey to but haven’t yet? Thailand