Above image (c) Kate Hopewell-Smith
The Sisters, Vogue Italia, May 2017
About the Artist
Catherine is an award-winning portrait photographer, known for her refreshing, relaxed lifestyle approach, she has seen her work published by Vogue Italia, Digital Camera Magazine & Professional Photo magazine. In 2017 she won The Smallish Magazine Design 'Gold' Award for Best Photography brand and has featured on the world renowned Seamless Photo Be Inspired Podcast.
Hi there, thank you so much for stopping by. Hope you're having a beautiful day.
If you'd like to know a little about me, I'm an artist, a yogi, a visual story-teller, a dreamer and a slightly bohemian beach bum at heart. I live in the beautiful little village of Silsoe, Bedfordshire with my family.
What else can I tell you? I love wearing yoga pants at any given opportunity, and adore blue cheese & a chilled glass of wine, ideally on a summer's evening...(& if it's going to be a perfect summer's evening let's throw in a little John Mayer on vinyl too!)
I'm also a mum to two highly energetic little superheroes (& one of the canine variety) who keep me on my toes. And when I'm not busy taking pictures I can often be found hanging out in the local park chasing little tails.
I specialise in creating beautiful photography with an effortless, light, emotive and soulful quality. I really want my clients to have an experience not just a photograph, and for my pictures to capture a sense of life and spirit. Essentially I photograph people, and tell a story.
The beauty of photography is that every story is different, every moment is different.
With a relaxed approach, I'll aim to capture your kids, family and magical every day moments in the most beautiful, refreshing way.
I also love shooting lifestyle fashion, editorial and commercial work particularly for brands that want to bring a sense of life & energy to their imagery, as well as personal branding shoots (usually for business owners in the creative or lifestyle sector).
My work tends to have an effortless, lifestyle thread going through it and I really hope that there's an authentic engery that comes through.
There's a quote I love which is; 'Don't shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like,' by David Alan Harvey which pretty much sums up how I feel about photography.
I shoot private sessions for clients and commercial and fashion commissions, as well as hosting private tutorials and beginners workshops.
I'm genuinely passionate about creating beautiful tangible artwork, we live in an age where we take more pictures than ever before yet so many spend their lives sat in our computers, our beautiful memories are getting lost, personally I'm a big believer in bringing back photographs as prints and love nothing more than creating something beautiful for a client to display and enjoy up on their wall.
Besides my love of taking pictures - which I do with all my soul, here's a few things to help you get to know me a little better.
1. I drink a whole lot of tea, yet somehow never seem to finish a cup...
2. I do a little yoga every day - even if it’s for a minute in the shower.
3. I’m slightly addicted to popcorn & blue cheese (though thankfully not at the same time).
4. I am the mum of two highly energetic little men who keep me on my toes, make me laugh, make me cry, & keep me energised on a daily basis.
5. Before life as a photographer I spent my twenties and early thirties finding my feet in other creative roles; I’ve been a magazine editor by day, and a waitress by night, a features writer by day, and a face-painter by weekend, a creative consultant, and a teacher... phew... thankfully I'm now sticking with photography! :)
6. Ironically I first really 'noticed' my (now) husband through my camera when I took a picture of him at a best friends wedding in Menorca (he was the best man). This was way before I became a professional photographer.
7. I love listening to records; something stirs my soul with that old scratchy sound.
8. My favourite place to be on earth is on the beach at sunset, or snuggling up with my boys on our giant sofa.
9. I'm a believer in love at first sight, because I've felt it... when I first looked into those deep brown sparkling eyes, he had me, I fell in love in an instant, & we've been together ever since! (my rescue pup Alfie & I that is) :)
10. The most amazing thing I’ve ever done (prior to having children) was to sleep under the stars in Kakadu, Darwin, Australia, if you ever get a chance to visit you must, it makes you feel very humble and realise just how small we are on this great, big amazing earth we share.
How the obsession began
So... I've always loved taking pictures, as well as painting and drawing, but when I had my first baby five and a half years ago I became slightly obsessed with photographing him, although I'd taken pictures for forever, it turns out I didn't really know that much about what goes into photography at all, I had an SLR that I'd used for years that I'd pretty much always kept on auto... so I set about the long task of teaching myself how to actually use it, (as well as going on many a workshop).
So to cut a long story short, my passion grew and grew, and around the same time a friend of a friend asked me to photograph their wedding, although petrified I agreed, then another friend of a friend asked, and then before I knew it I started getting approached by people I didn't know, all the while trying to teach myself more and more, and things kind of spiralled from there, and many late nights - several cameras - and many wonderful people met later - and here I am, busier than ever, with a portrait business and a job I love…
Life can be a juggling act sometimes as I work around my two favourite little people, and quality family time is so important too, but I genuinely feel very lucky to do this for a living.
I was also fortunate enough to have been mentored a few years ago by the amazing fashion & portrait photographer Mary Rozzi when I won a competition through Marie Claire magazine which was a hugely valuable experience and looking back a real turning point for me.
As well as shooting for clients I feel very lucky to be able to photograph my own little people and capture their journey, and see the little people they're becoming and their brotherly bond forming - it's all going by far too quickly! It's now a real privilege to be able to do this for others.
Motto to live by;
'Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.' Theodore Roosevelt
Favourite photography quote;
'Don't shoot what it looks like shoot what it feels like.' David Alan Harvey.
What inspires me
Oh so many things; breckie outside on a summer's morning, being by the coast, people watching in coffee shops, painting, watching films outside in the summer, listening to records, flicking through back issues of Vogue, my children.
Some of my favourite Artists;
Pamela Hanson, Bruce Weber, David Farrant, Sam Taylor-Wood, Bryan Adams, Peter Linbergh, John Mayer, Mario Testino, Craig Fordham, Ray Lamontayne, Monet, Picasso, Tamara Lackey, Simon Claridge, Mary Rozzi, Ameilia Troubridge, Lara Jade, David Venni, Herb Ritts, Jack Vetriano, Sue Bryce, Simon Winnall, Patrick Demarchelier... and so many more!
But enough about me, I want to know about you!
I'd love to hear about you. If you like the sound of my approach and think you'd like to work together, I'd love to connect & let's create some beautiful art.
Have a wonderful day.
Winner of Best Photographer 'Gold' Smallish Design Awards 2017 - Smallish Magazine
Published work/ Commercial Clients includes:
Professional Photo Magazine
Digital Camera Magazine
Little Baby Boutique
Gillen De Alwis Solicitors
Bridal Adornments - Spring/ Summer 2017 campaigns
Fashion Show Live
Raring 2 Go Magazine
The Salt Cave
Whitespace Yoga Studios
Dice & Lola
Lesley Clarke Style Advisor
Glynis Kozma Coaching
Mumpreneures MK Coaching
Technology Law Alliance
Daniell Design & Construction
Pets 2 Places
The Firs Best of British Ball
RLS Venetian Ball
Charities & organisations I support or have collaborated with who all do amazing work;
Fashion Show Live
Please get in touch
Info@catherineodonnell.co.uk +44 (0)7816 527031
Winner of Smallish Design Award 'Gold' Best Photography