You are in for a treat this week. Cat is an amazing photographer as well as an awesome member of the FCA. So lay your camera down and enjoy getting to know another amazing photographer.
1. What is your Name?
Cat Ekkelboom-White (It's a bit of a mouthfull, but I wanted to keep my maiden name and take my husbands name to celebrate our different backgrounds (Dutch and English)).
I work under Ekkelboom-White Photography, but my wedding and travel photography is Wild Connections.
3. Where are you located?
I'm located in Innsbruck, Austria but I'm UK (Suffolk) born and bred. I've been living in Austria for almost 5 years and I love being surronded by the mountains.
4. How did you get interested in photography/how long have you been
I've always been one of those people who always too a camera away with me, but it was usually a little point and shoot (or a disposable film camera back in the day). When my grandfather passed away we found his old SLR cameras. My husband was interested in photography, so he inherited the cameras. I bought him a DSLR that worked with the old lenses, and he got really in to photography. I was always impressed with his pictures and it sparked my interest a bit. The real passion started when we were looking for a photographer for our wedding. I fell in love with how the images of people I'd never met could move me to tears, and I realised how powerful photography is, and despite the fact that I didn't yet own my own camera, I knew I wanted to be a wedding photographer. So after the wedding, I went out and bought myself a DSLR.
5. What do you shoot with (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc)
I shoot mainly with Canon (digital and quite recently film too), but I also have an old Olympus film camera and a Lytro light field camera.
6. What is your favorite lens?
It has to be my 24mm Tilt Shift lens and it's an absolute dream. You can be so creative with it, and being manual focus, you really have to take the time and focus on the shot.
7. How do you edit your photos?
I use Lightroom and only if necessary, Photoshop, as I don't really like to retouch images.
8. What is your favorite type of photography to shoot?
I absolutely love weddings, and my favourites are ones that take place in beautiful remote locations. But for myself, I also love taking my camera on a little hike and capturing some beautiful landscapes.
9. How did you find out about the FCA?
The FCA first came on to my radar during the European Wedding Congress in the Netherlands. I read a bit about it and signed up for the free facebook group. Everyone was so helpful and supportive. At first I didn't think that I had the funds to join shining lights, but after a couple of workshops that left me a little bit frustrated, I realised I'd be better investing my money on something that was going to really help grow my business.
10. What does the FCA mean to you and how has it helped you grow your business?
The facebook mastermind group has been an absolute godsend. There are so many wonderfully supportive women involved, and whether they are seasoned professionals or just starting out, everyone supports everyone else. There is no ego or bitchyness that you get in some groups. It's all about supporting each other, celebrating success, and helping us work through our problems. It's lead me to be so much more confident and assertive in my business, and it's given me direction when I felt like I was going round in circles with too much to do and not knowing where to start.
11. What are some good tips for upcoming photographers that are trying
to get started in the business?
Invest your money in to a mentor or mentorship program like Shining Lights which is gives you a program to work to and a network of support. Forget taking workshops, or limit yourself to only doing one workshop a year, as sometimes I think it's too easy to just do lots of workshops because you tell yourself you need to learn, but really it's just procrastination, and you need to be out there and shooting for REAL. I realized after 2 workshops (which cost me over €1000 in total) that I could probably learn just as much by shooting a wedding for free, and I would be less out of pocket for it! So offer to shoot a few weddings for free and don't be ashamed of it. You'll learn so much more from that than you ever would at a workshop.
12. Be creative and let your juices flow. Is there anything fun about
the type of photography that you do/what drives you to do
I absolutely love what I do. Put me in a room with a camera and I'll keep myself amused for hours. I put my heart and soul in to my photography, and I still cry at weddings! I love trying to find new ways to see things. I walk the same route to work every day, and each time I challenge myself to look for something I haven't seen before. It's the same at weddings. I like trying to find new ways to photograph things, so that every wedding album is different. Playing around with tilt shift lenses and double exposures are my uttermost favourite things to do, especially as I don't get to do that very much on a wedding day. I'm also learning to shoot film which is such a great experience, but it's quite an expensive hobby!
I'm also a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Our free weekends are usually spent skiing, snowboard, hiking or climbing via ferrata routes. I love wild landscapes and I'm always trying to translate the excitement that I feel in to my photographs. I'll pretty much do anything to get a great shot.
13. Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildconnectionsphoto
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