IN THE NEWS: THE ASBURY PARK PRESS FEATURES CATE ON EMPOWERING WOMEN
To see the full article by luxury living features writer Liz Dennerlein, click here. Following are some excerpts:
When Cate Scaglione gets behind the camera lens, she becomes part artist, part therapist, part stylist.
"(My camera) is almost like a magical tool to help people come alive, and express vulnerabilities that they normally wouldn’t," Scaglione said. "When I look through the camera, I see the world in a little bit of a different way."
Scaglione of Middletown is the owner of Life As Fine Art Studio in Red Bank, where she captures stunning, sexy beauty and boudoir images of women. When clients walk inside Scaglione's studio space, "time stands still."
Her studio is built inside a 62-year-old church that has been converted into a sustainable building that is leased out to business tenants.
Inside her loft studio, there are 22-foot soaring ceilings, Gothic church windows providing beautiful, natural light, reclaimed hardwood floors, a hair and makeup room, and an in-house spa room.
It took Scaglione three years to find the perfect space — she said she looked at a dozen places before settling on this location.
"A big part of the process is creating this little oasis," Scaglione said. "I want (clients) to see the studio as sort of an escape. I want them to lose that sense of pressure, to lose that sense of schedule and to lose that sense of time so that they are really able to experience themselves."
The boudoir experience:
Before a woman walks through Scaglione's studio doors for a photo shoot, she sets up an in-depth phone conversation with her.
"I want to be fully prepared. When she walks through the door it’s almost like we’re friends," Scaglione said. She asks questions, like "What is your goal? Is this for a loved one or for yourself? What is your favorite part of your body?"
"I don’t ask them what they don’t love. I don’t want to hear about that. I want to hear about the positives. so those are the areas I can focus on during a shoot," Scaglione said. "You get a sense of how to shoot based on the emotions they’re telling you."
Nicole Otto, 42, of Old Tappan, decided to book a boudoir photo shoot as a gift for her anniversary with her husband. "He absolutely loved them. He thought they were so beautifully done and tasteful and artsy."
When clients first arrive at the studio, they'll step right into the hair and makeup room and experience a 90-minute pampering process. Then, they will look for their wardrobe at her in-store lingerie boutique. Clients will then receive a posing tutorial. From there, Scaglione will start shooting.
The entire process will feel very fluid — Scaglione wants plenty of movement so that the she can "get a true sense of sexuality, almost a realistic sense of emotion."
"(Cate's) just incredible. It's a very empowering experience — it's hard to explain. You feel amazing as a woman. Otto said. "(You realize) that you're a beautiful woman no matter what."
From Advertising world to Dreamworld:
Before starting her own business, Scaglione worked as a creative director of advertising at American Express. She often found herself traveling around the world, working on photography shoots with big names like Annie Leibovitz.
Creativity has always been a part of Scaglione's life, but when she entered the corporate world she felt it went dormant for a while. She soon longed to be behind the camera during photo shoots.
She ended up leaving the advertising world and pursued her dream of starting her own business full-time in 2009. She quickly became enamored with capturing intimate glamour shots of women.
"It became more of this process where I’d see them transform and their confidence would transform," Scaglione said. "They would become almost like a new person after the shoot. You’d see them walk out feeling so great about themselves."
Since working as a photographer, Scaglione also has developed her own personalized genre of work called "Dreamworlds." She takes clients' fantasies and brings them to life.
She will ask clients “What is something you always wished you could do or a place you've always wanted to go?"
"I started one day playing with different client’s photos, even playing with my children’s photos. I said what would it be like if I could put this person in a different part of the world?"
It's a living dream that clients can hang on their walls and look at every day.
The power of art:
Scaglione has seen firsthand how a photograph can transform the way a client views themselves.
"Art is very objective. People walk around with all these hangups — whether it’s 'I’m too fat, I’m too thin. I’m not pretty enough. I'm too average.' Art has the ability to see different perspectives."
"I wanted to do something that would make me feel good about myself and something that I would be able to look at and appreciate for years to come," Regan said. "We did the shoot at the end of September and I look at those pictures all of the time. It makes me feel beautiful."
"These women — it doesn’t matter whether it’s business or intimacy or beauty, (they're) capable of anything," Scaglione said.