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50 Essential Portrait Photographers: Cathy Empey

50 Essential Portrait Photographers: Cathy Empey

We’re in full swing with our 50 Essential Vancouver Portrait Photographers series. We’re specifically looking for photographers who demonstrate a high calibre of talent, as well as cover family, maternity, baby or kids – along with other subjects. If you know anyone who might be a fit, please email contact [at]

Today, we’d like you to meet Cathy Empey, a mom of six who delivers modern, clean and beautiful photography. She specializes in artistic and tasteful boudoir photography, and she also provides wedding and event photography. We think you’d agree that her photos are nothing short of Hot-with-a-capital-H – and for any mom out there looking to spice it up, Cathy’s style just might be your ticket!


Why did you get into photography?

I think I have always been into photography. There are photos of me when I would copy my dad with his light metre, and hold it up to my eye and pretend to take photos. I took courses in high school,  but didn’t realize I wanted to be a photographer, or that this could be an option to me until after the birth of my six and final baby in November of 2007. I had my own pregnancy photographed (and the birth too) and realized that I felt amazing, even though I weighed a lot and I didn’t really like how my body felt! All I knew is that I wanted to share this amazing feeling with other women – every type of woman. All women deserve to feel beautiful just as we are today! I feel it is important for us to love ourselves the way we are. Especially the moms. That is how I got started. And of course, over time I have not only photographed boudoir, but many other types of photography along the way. It is my passion that is for sure. I often refer to my camera as my “seventh baby!”


Tell us a bit about your company.

My company is me, myself and I. Although life can be hectic with six beautiful kids, a husband and a business to nurture, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Because while it all sounds somewhat complicated, it’s really quite simple. I do what I love, and I love what I do.

How would you characterize your style of photography?

My style is simple, natural, clean, modern and fresh. My five words about my work are timeless, modern, warm, delicate and simple. I believe that the best, most genuine and authentic images are the result of spontaneous moments – a sudden giggle, a surprise, or a passing emotion.  Those unplanned, candid pictures usually end up being mine and my client’s favourites!  I love the use of classic white in images, with pops of fresh colour, but I’m also a fan of the sexy, moody black & white images. With our BC climate, this works out very well!  My composition is clean and simple, with an infusion of editorial style, similar to what you might see in a fashion magazine.



Who are your clients?

My boudoir clients are of course, women. They know who they are, and they know what they like. They want to feel beautiful and sexy! My couples are in love, they know what they want, they have fun together and want memories capture them today. They are comfortable in their own skin, and love little details that make their wedding all about them. I want to take amazing photographs of everybody I meet!


What should your mom clients expect when working with you?

My mom clients should expect to feel very comfortable around me. They can ask questions, they can expect to laugh a lot. To tell stories. I have been there, and I can support them in any way the need me to. After all, I too have been there six times with my own kids. That can be a relief if you are not used to having a photograph taken! I am there to make their experience memorable, and to get those amazing shots. I love working with mom clients. It is amazing to meet and connect with other moms. And so important for moms to get in front of the camera too. As moms, we are usually the ones taking all of the photographs! Teach your children about photography too. That way they can snap photos of you as well!


Anything else to add?

What is most important to me are my clients! I am very passionate about my clients. I personalize each session/event to suit them. Getting to know, understand, and have fun with my clients makes me smile from the inside out.  My goal for each session is to ensure my clients have a great time, relax and enjoy themselves; so in turn, I can provide them with vivid images that reflect their true selves. Photography is my passion!

Cathy Empey, Photographer | Twitter: @cathyempey | Facebook | Tel: 604-613-8639

All photos are © Cathy Empey.

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