Katie Gaeta Photography documents birth stories, maternity, babies, families, and photographs real estate in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area and is available to travel.
Built single handedly and run by Katie Gaeta, Katie Gaeta Photography is a lifestyle and documentary photographer in St. Louis, MO set out to preserve this stage of life you’re in. I firmly believe some of the best moments to preserve for a lifetime aren’t just the ones where people are perfectly posed, but rather interacting with their loved ones and embracing a time with family or friends around. This is what I aim to capture in my client’s sessions every single time.
I’m passionate about pregnant mamas, babies, the birth world, and breastfeeding. It is such an honor and pleasure for me to photograph my clients through those life stages and beyond, and it’s something I never take for granted!
And now for a little Q & A with Katie!
Q: How would your friends describe you?
A: Besides a photographer, probably a red-haired, average height, kind of "crunchy", fun-loving, sarcastic, funny, athletic person overall, but I’ve got quite a few titles. Those include wife to Tony, Mom to Zoe, Finn, and Emma, sister, daughter, sister-in-law, aunt, and daughter-in-law.
Q: How did you get into Photography?
A: I’ve had a passion for photography for a long, long time. When I was in high school, I decided to find a school where I could pursue photography but still have other types of courses I could take for a potential minor. I went to Webster University to study photography. After freshman year, I decided photography was more of a hobby. Although I enjoyed doing it, I didn’t enjoy the time I had to spend in the dark room. At the time, I got headaches very easily and the dark room was a breeding ground for headaches for me. I loved photography, but couldn’t see myself spending my life torturing myself in the dark room. I switched to Media Communications with a minor in Marketing and Advertising. A couple years, a few jobs, a husband, and one child later, I decided it was time to get back to what I loved and really go after it (with some major encouragement from Tony). I’ve always loved kids and especially babies, so that was a natural progression to start photographing them. Upon discovering birth photography, I knew it was where my passion would grow along with maternity, babies, breastfeeding, and families. And on a totally different note, I also love to do Real Estate Photography. It's nothing like the rest of my photography and I enjoy changing it up and challenging myself with this.
Q: Who are your photography icons?
A: My wedding photographer, Lisa Hessel, is one of my top icons. Not only is her work STUNNING but she is also one of the nicest, friendliest, kindest people ever. Time and again she has let me pick her brain and taught me a lot along the way. You should check her out. I also love Melissa Cate, Georgia Brizuela, Jade Beall, Monet Nicole, Jennifer Mason, Emily Lucarz, and Stephanie Cotta to name a few. I love learning new and exciting tricks and these people are a wealth of knowledge!
Q: Do you shoot Nikon or Canon?
Q: What’s in your camera bag?
A: A Nikon D750, a Nikon D5100, a 12-24 zoom lens, a 24-70 zoom lens, a 35mm prime lens, a 50mm prime lens, an SB-700 external flash, batteries galore, lots of extra memory cards, then occasionally a 70-200mm zoom, and probably some delicious snacks.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of photography gear you own?
A: Currently, my 35mm prime followed closely by my 24-70 lens.
Q: Do you have a studio or do you shoot on location?
A: I shoot on location and mostly natural light. On location can mean a park, a client’s house, a place meaningful to a client, a hospital or birth center for births, a wide open field, a trail, a lake, or an urban landscape, you name it. I travel to you and we make it happen.
Q: What’s the coolest thing you’ve photographed?
Birth. SO many people give me the crazy eye when I tell them I do birth photography, but it is absolutely the coolest, craziest, most awe inspiring and amazing thing I have ever witnessed. Birth stories are SO interesting and each one is unique. I love to tell birth stories and I love that my photographs offer an opportunity to provide that story. It gives the parents a chance to relive moments they may have forgotten about or weren’t even able to witness depending on the birth circumstances. I am in love with birth photography. If you think I’m crazy and you think birth photography is crazy talk and you have lots of questions, ask me!! I love it and I love talking about it even if I am getting the side eye ;)
Q: Let’s get personal. What were your labor and deliveries with your own kids like?
A: My first was in 2012. It was an epidural, vacuum assisted, episiotomy hospital birth. My water broke at home and labor was 4 1/2 hours start to finish. My second in 2014 was a hospital induction with Pitocin, but otherwise pain med free. It was through much research, the support of both my husband and Doula that I made it through my 14 hour labor with my son who was in the OP (occiput posterior -- sunny side up) position. My third in 2017 was a precipitous labor lasting 3 hours start to finish. Contractions started at home, my water broke in the car, and I had her in the Old Navy parking lot in the front seat of our minivan with only my husband and Doula supporting me!
Q: Did you breastfeed, formula, or a little of both?
A: I've breastfed all three of my kids, but not without some struggles along the way. I breastfed my daughter until she was about 17 months old when I got pregnant with my son. She weaned herself. My son weaned around 21 months. I am really prone to getting clogged ducts and mastitis and with my second, we battled thrush many times, but powered through. Breastfeeding is one of my proudest accomplishments in life. I have a serious passion for breastfeeding and I love to be able to help out new mamas with advice who might be struggling with breastfeeding and/or the “Baby Blues” as they call it. If you have questions about either, I'm your girl and I'm completely open and honest about both! Someday, I think it would be amazing to get certified as a Lactation Consultant!
Q: What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies?
A: Free time? What’s that? Just kidding! When I’m not out meeting clients, shooting photo sessions or home editing those sessions, I can be found doing a plethora of things. My kids and husband get the most time devoted to them. Otherwise, I like to get out of the house and enjoy the weather when it’s nice, go out to eat, hang out with friends, and I try to stay in shape and workout. My favorite type of workout is one where I’m not “working out” per say—something like indoor or sand volleyball, a pick up game of soccer or basketball or a game of catch.
Q: What kind of food do you like?
A: My absolute favorite food is probably French Toast or cereal. Breakfast is always a win in my book. If I could eat it for every meal and not gain copious amounts of weight, I totally would. Also, lots of eggs. In fact, we actually have our own chickens – 4 to be exact. And because everyone asks, we got them for the purpose of having eggs as well as a fun pet. The kids love them and they’re super friendly.
Q: What do you drink?
A: Non-alcoholic? I’d say my favorite is coffee. I used to drink sweet coffees, but as my coffee obsession grows stronger, I mostly just drink black coffee! Mmmm….again, WHY does it have to be so tasty?! And WHY do donuts go SO well with coffee?! It’s a blessing and a beautiful curse. My favorite alcoholic drink is probably a good craft beer or something like Shock Top on draft.
Q: What’s your short list of go-to places to eat?
A: We probably frequent Bread Company, Joey B’s, Billy G’s, Onesto, Noodles & Co. or McAlister’s.
Contact me at KatieGaetaPhotography@gmail.com