Catherine reflects on life, current affairs and photography.
There’s a saying that behind every talented person is a talented teacher. If you think about it, it must be true, even if that “teacher” only taught life lessons. When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to have a professor who not only taught me photography skills, but who also encourage me as an artist.
I met Sky Bergman during my first year of photography classes at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She was one of my teachers, but unlike others, she was also a practicing (absolutely amazing!) photographer. She really knew how to cultivate our creativity and push us further. In her classes, I felt encouraged to try new things. Things I wouldn’t have had the courage to do otherwise. Another thing I admired about her was that she always knew exactly what to say to motivate us to do our best. She could pull out the greatness in everybody and pushed us to find out what makes us special. And while all of these lessons were valuable, the greatest lesson of all came when I graduated.
Sky really wanted one of my prints. Because I admired her so much, I offered to give it to her for free, as a gift. She wouldn’t accept it unless I let her pay for it. We squabbled over this until she finally accepted it, and much to my chagrin, mailed me a check for $250 (much more than I ever would have thought it was worth!). And while I was both upset that she had paid that much and grateful for the money, I realized her plan had been strategic. She showed me the value of my work, and let me know that it was ok to ask people to pay for it. That lesson about not underestimating my worth as an artist has stuck with me ever since.
Sky and I are now more friends than teacher/student, but thanks to her inspiration and invaluable lessons, she will always be on a pedestal in my eyes.
Photography by: MARCUS BELL
As a photographer, I look to other photographers for inspiration. When I need a little inspiration for weddings, I often turn to Marcus Bell. I admire Marcus’s work because of its purist nature and the way his love of photography shines through. He has an amazing ability to capture both the beauty of his subjects and the scope of their environment.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Marcus. I was very new to photography and a bit star-struck by some of the leading photographers. We were at WPPI and he introduced himself and I had to pause a minute–”THE Marcus Bell?” I was surprised by his down-to-earth nature and humble attitude. He has a wonderful spirit and does amazing work.
You may view Marcus’s work at www.marcusbell.com.
As an artist, I seek out inspiration everywhere. But I never it find it more than in the faces of the people who surround me. I’m fascinated by finding the beauty and wonder in everyone who crosses my path, and have decided to use this blog series, Surrounded by Muse, to recognize those special people whose lives have lit a spark of inspiration in my soul.It seems most fitting to start the series by featuring the most inspirational woman in my life, my mother, Linda Hall.
My mother is the most caring, free-spirited, kind woman I have ever met. Whether she is creating art, designing interiors of the rich and famous (such as NFL player Jeff George), or growing the yummiest tomatoes in our home garden, she never ceases to inspire me. In addition to being a phenomenal mother, wife, and daughter, at 66 she can shake her booty on the dance floor better than my friends less than half her age! She lives an honest and moral life, founded on integrity, and loves her family unconditionally. I could go on and on about what I admire, but perhaps the greatest lesson my mother has taught me is how to relate to others and earn their trust.
As I told Rangefinder Magazine, when mom “walks into a room, it just lights up. She seems to be able to do this with everyone, whether it’s a famous person or someone who’s homeless. She’s…very open, and people respond by directly opening up to her. They not only like her, they trust her.”
My mother also taught me that energy is contagious– a lesson that’s been indispensable as a professional who relies on good relationships with people. When I’m shooting, my positive attitude carries over to the subjects. Soon they get excited too. They see that I want to create art in a positive way and we end up with an amazing experience.
For this, and all the other ways she has so profoundly touched my life, I thank her. I love you mom!
Click here to view full CHS_Feature.pdf
At 81 years old, one of my favorite people from Tasmania, Theodore Castle, has passed away. Ted was an amazing man, full of life and humor. Just to give you an idea of his personality, three weeks before he passed a nurse came into his room with decorative feathers in her hair. “How do you think I look?” she asked Ted. He replied, “Gosh, you want to be careful, they might take you for a rooster and chop your head off.”