Cathy Rankin

I have had the pleasure of working with Cathy on a few shoots. This shot was taken during a shoot where we were trying to get as many different looks in one session. In just a few hours and using only natural light, we were able to get many different looks. Being resourceful is an important skill as a photographer. I chose to shoot at my parent’s house because their backyard has interesting walls and lots of greenery, which is rare in Phoenix. Overall, the shoot was a success and we both had a lot of fun.

Building My Portfolio

I’ve reached a point in my photography where I actually need a physical portfolio. Most portfolios, I have read, include anywhere between 12 to 24 images. Even though I have shot countless photos, I found the process of selecting images to be quite painful, and that’s not because I’m in love with all of my photos. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who can pick myself apart to the point of tears. I’m extremely self critical. A little self-critiquing is good, but I happen to be a zealot. In the end I had a couple people I trust give me their suggestions as to which images they think I should include. Sometimes when I’m too close to a project I ask others for their opinion. Oftentimes, they see things I haven’t picked up on because I’m too distracted with the technical aspects of the photo. Building my portfolio taught me that I need to appreciate the journey just as much as the final result.


Since I was a kid, my parents collected movie posters and 8×10 headshots of the glamorous actors of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Elizabeth Taylor was my mother’s favorite actress. We had so many photos of her and other actresses, that we started referring to the rooms by the name of the actress whose photos plastered the walls. We had the Liz Taylor room and the Marilyn Monroe bathroom (People always took extra time in there). I spent my childhood surrounded by these pictures. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can remember the way the tilted their head, the shadows, the colors, the piercing look in their eyes. Headshots are fun for me because I don’t feel there’s a right or wrong way of doing it. I go with my instincts, and I also take chances or experiment. Most importantly, I have fun with it.