“My first camera was a Christmas present when I was eight, a Kodak instamatic and I instantly loved taking photographs.. Of course that was back in the seventies, but I remember the excitement when the photographs came back from the developers; opening the packet to see those square images, which were mostly of our cats back then.”
We were lucky enough to work with Cath for our Spring/Summer shoot. She is a self-taught, up and coming photographer, with a very distinct and beautiful style. She has taken a hobby and made it into a successful business and we thought it was about time we found out a bit more about her…
WHEN DID YOU REALISE PHOTOGRAPHY WAS MORE THAN A HOBBY?
The real need to improve my photography skills came when I had my children and at that time I was still using film. By the time images came back too dark or blurry my babies had grown quite a bit bigger and the moments were lost, eventually I bought a digital camera and that’s when my passion really took hold.
I moved up to a basic digital SLR as soon as I could afford it and my photographs began to get better and better. By this time we had three children and I had posted photographs of them on Facebook. A friend of mine stopped me one day on the school run and said ‘Cath, you HAVE to start taking photographs for people, as your pictures are so lovely they will pay you’.
WHAT OR WHO INFLUENCES YOU?
I came across Amanda Keeys, an Australian photographer who had taken amazing photographs of children and babies and was also a mother of 4, herself. I thought ‘I want to take pictures like that!’
I had already been heavily influenced by a lot of American portrait photographers like Valeria Spring, Elizabeth Pellette and Shana Rae Rosengarten who were doing things a bit differently, taking the subjects out of the confines of a studio and working with natural light.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY PHOTOGRAPHING MOST?
All photographers have a favourite subject and mine is definitely faces (although I am very partial to photographing people’s shoes especially if they are red!).
I have always been a huge admirer of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron. Her portraits have such an ethereal quality, I love the expressions on her subject’s faces.. there is a real depth, sadness and almost pain at times.
I am a compulsive collector of old things and am always happiest browsing charity shops, junk shops and car boot sales. Recently I have tried to take a lot more photographs of ‘things’ rather than people. Last year I completed a project called ‘365’ where I took a photograph for every day of the year, although some featuring people they were mostly objects or details from my everyday life.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LOCATION?
I love the freedom and variety of backdrops you find outside. I am always looking for new locations, particularly old doors or gates, which I can’t resist (I have been known to squeal with delight at the sight of a pair of old wooden doors with rusty hinges). I would say my absolute favourite location right now is the Old Hills just outside Worcester; there are a lot of different little areas there, which provide a nice variety. I like to explore new places all the time and get really excited if we are going somewhere I have never been before.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PHOTO OF YOURS?
People often ask me if I have a favourite photograph, that is really hard to answer, but it is probably the one I took of my youngest daughter Daisy sitting in a shop in Hay-on Wye during the festival. She was wearing a big tutu and was really fed up of walking aro
und the shops, she is sulking in the photograph but I love everything about that image.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
More recently I have been spreading my wings and have been asked to do quite a lot of exciting things, including the shoot for Just Trade, which was brilliant fun! I had never done a fashion shoot before and I absolutely loved every minute of it. Seeing the final catalogues in print was an amazing feeling.
My dream project would probably be the latest project that I have been approached about which is to photograph a book about Vintage Weddings.
It is all incredibly exciting, but for now my plans are to build up my business and reputation and to complete the set of my own Photoshop actions I am currently working on, which will be available for purchase soon.
Cath is an impressive lady, being a mum of three, running the Regan house during the day, setting up her own business and honing editing skills late into the night. We wish her every success, and by the looks of her portfolio she is well on her way!
Cath's website - www.catherinereganphotography.net