Young Heart, Old Soul // Downers Grove Boudoir Photographer
Earlier in September I headed down to St. Louis with my pal Lisa for a photography conference. I split my time between classes and a few sessions at our awesome AirBnb. That's where I got to meet Cat.
I did a little IG research to find some up & coming models in St. Louis. There was something that instantly drew me to Cat. Aside from her amazing hair, there was an authenticity and kindness that was quite obvious in her posted images. When she enthusiastically responded to my email and wanted to work together, I was pumped!
Needless to say, we created some gorgeous images in our short time together. I got to try a few new techniques and poses while creating some great new content for Cat as she continues her modeling journey. She's a body positive champion, ray of sunshine and wanted to share that with the world.
Here's her story:
"I was born Caitlyn Nicole Blassie, but everyone knows me as Cat. I am 22 years old and I was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri. I currently live with my boyfriend Robbie and his two kids. I am a personal trainer and part-time model. I graduated with my Associates Degree in Musical Theatre and I am a U.S Army Veteran. I have done a lot for 22, but I kept my humbleness through it all. I come from a hard past so I was determined to make a bright future.
You know when we are the ages of 4-17 everything is planned out. Going to school, participating in hobbies or extracurriculars, but when I graduated college the world was my oyster. I joined the U.S Army, and unfortunately I was medically discharged due to a back injury. I was contracted for 5 years, so when that was taken away I needed to not give up. I needed to find something else for myself, to fulfill my life.
I decided to turn my love of fitness and my transformation story into a career. I became a personal trainer. Currently, I am preparing for a bodybuilding show. As a personal trainer I felt it was beneficial for me to go through that process as it opens me up to more clientele. Continuing to better myself and work on my career.
I was also discovered on Instagram for modeling, and I will be forever blessed for that opportunity. I originally started out as an actress and singer. It was only a matter of time before I became a model. Being a model is an acting job within itself.
I am learning how to play guitar, being a role model to my boyfriend's two awesome kids, and continuing to book work as a model and clients as a trainer. I do not know what the future holds, but I do know one thing, I will always be along for the ride."
I always ask my client what they love and appreciate about their current bodies. Funny enough, some of the things Cat loves about herself, were the exactly things that caught my eye esthetically. I'm a sucker for freckles.
"I love my freckles. I used to hate them truly. The older I get the more appreciative I get of the traits I have been given. Both my parents have black hair and olive skin. Being a redhead has definitely changed the game.
I embrace my stretch marks. When I was 15 I was 300lbs. Yes, 300lbs. My stretch marks I tell people are my battle scars. I worked hard on myself physically and I still continue to do so. I have put my body through a lot. I mean a lot. So I appreciate by body changing with me and growing with me. I powerlift now, so I appreciate that my body can squat at least 205."
Being a model that has been photographed in the boudoir genera before, Cat understands what it's all about. Although every boudoir photographer is a little different "being myself and focusing more on my inner story and the environment is way better than thinking about how my boobs look or if I am positioning my butt right. If you are just being natural and being in the moment, you appreciate the work more. I also learned that this is my body. This is what I present everyday, it is a treat to myself to feel sexy, my inner love came out in this shoot."
When I asked Cat to provide a little pep-talk for my readers.
"No one looks like you. No one is you. What makes you different? Really answer that question for yourself. When you figure that out? You get your way into grabbing that confidence for yourself.
Do a photoshoot. You do not have to be a "model" to get in front of a camera and discover things about yourself. Do not worry about things that you cannot change."