About Cate Black
Cate grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and immediately found herself in Santa Barbara, California at age 18 to go to Brooks Institute Of Photography. “I always knew this is what I wanted to do.” recalls Cate.
When Cate was little you could often find her running around with a plastic yellow camera in her hand fascinated by showing the world how she saw it in one composition. She went on to consume her time in high school with photography projects; bouncing from the darkroom to cheer practice, Cate was always somewhere after school.
Fast Forward, Cate now owns Cate Black Photography which was established following her graduation in 2007. After running her business in Southern California for 6 years, she put her permanent roots down in Austin, Texas in 2013.
She now resides in Leander, Texas (a small suburb just north of Austin) with her husband Chris & two dogs, Parker and Zeke. She built her first house in 2019 and has been busy furnishing and styling her new home with all the amazing tips and inspiration she draws from her many talented clients. You can often find her on the weekends strolling showroom floors hunting for the next perfect piece for her space! Or enjoying a chilled cocktail on a patio somewhere in Austin.
VoyageHouston’s Interview With Cate Black
Today we’d like to introduce you to Cate Black.
Cate, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story begins in a small suburban town somewhere between the Amish Land and Philadelphia in 1985. To some, it’s called Bucks County, but most have never heard of it. I grew up being the child that was always trying to earn a buck, learn something, or accomplish something. At age six, I wanted to be an architect when I grew up. Then as a teen, an interior designer. And at some point, before high school I ended up with my dad’s old film camera in my hand and found myself spending hours upon hours in the photo lab. I was instantly hooked on photography.
Fast forward 35 years, and I now own an award-winning boutique architectural photography firm that serves both architects and designers – the two other professions I had a passion for growing up. Coincidence? God incidence I like to call it. But we have lots of STARTS in life. And the start that’s the most riveting, happened four years ago. Let’s rewind a bit…
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."
"There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are."
"Black and white are the colors of photography. They symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is subjected."
How We Work Differently
I’m not just a photographer to my clients; I am truly a content creator that delivers imagery that feeds right into your unique marketing goals and plans. This is the critical piece I think a lot of architectural and interiors photographers miss. Without the knowledge of where the imagery will go, how can a unique shooting approach be created to ensure you end up with content that can be used for each marketing platform?
Here’s what I mean:
There are three main marketing platforms in which you typically promo creative content:
- Website & Social: To showcase your portfolio
- Industry Award Submissions: To increase credibility
- Publications: To increase exposure & reach the masses
It’s my job to ensure every photo I deliver feeds right into the marketing plan.
Want to promote on both website & social? I’ll take a mix of horizontal (best for website displays) & vertical shots (which show up larger on a cell phone for viewing).
Plan on doing an editorial submission? I will ensure we have 2-3 vertical money shots available for a possible cover.
Want to submit for an industry award? We’ll review the submission requirements and make sure we capture everything you need to submit.
Have an advertorial coming up? Let’s talk about “dead space” in an image for the text you plan to overlay.
These are the things that matter. Discussion begins once the shoot is scheduled (to get marketing + project details) and then continues in more detail during our walk through day-of. I never want you to end up with idol imagery. I want you to have high impact creative content that serves a specific purpose in your marketing plan: every. single. time.
Serve God first. We know that God flows through all things, and every business relationship we have is an opportunity to serve as an agent of God.
Honesty and integrity. We hold ourselves, and every member of our team, accountable to a 100% honesty policy. Try us—ask us anything.
Clients over profit. We will always act in a way that best serves our clients, even if it’s at the cost of our profits.
Provide a legendary experience. We always go one more step than what’s expected, to ensure our clients always have a legendary experience with us.
Always be collaborating. We are always finding ways to collaborate with businesses to see them succeed and find ways we can serve them in their business vision, as they are a part of us achieving ours.