Katie Gaeta Photography photographs maternity, birth, newborn, families, seniors, and life events in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area and is available to travel.
Katie Gaeta Photography specializes in capturing life as it happens naturally. I firmly believe some of the best moments caught 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. The great thing about those three is usually there are a few things that precede them – love, proposals, engagements, weddings . 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 and Finn, sister to Melissa, Todd, Erica, Jill, Jeff, Drew, and Doug, daughter to Scott and Karen, sister-in-law to Kenny, Rob, Ernest, and soon to be Mara. Aunt to Jordan, Jared, Josh, Abby, Lilly, Bradly, Elise, Liam, Bella, Ernie, and Lucas. And that’s just my immediate family! I’m also daughter-in-law to Joe and Connie and sister-in-law to Mike.
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. I found out about birth photography and knew I had to get into it. It’s my biggest photography passion, but I still love photographing other exciting things like proposals, weddings, families, and events.
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 (not to mention she’s got hair to envy!). 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, Cole Joseph, Jane McCrae, 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 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. I also usually have my Neewer reflector on me. Eventually, my dream bag will include a 35mm Sigma ART lens, an 85mm lens, and some more lighting gear.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of photography gear you own?
A: Definitely my 50mm prime, but I also love my camera strap scarf that I got for Christmas. Not only is it pretty, but its WAY more comfortable than the Nikon strap I had been using (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
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: With my first, my water broke at 3am at home, I took a shower, did my hair (I had a bob at the time and I was not about to go in with some funky looking hair! Ha! My husband thought I was nuts considering I was having contractions) and we went to the hospital. I had back labor and got an epidural about an hour after I got there which was 2 hours into my total of 4 1/2 hours of labor. I had an episiotomy and delivered my daughter with the help of a vacuum. I had Zoe at 7:43am on 8/4/12. I think if I knew the whole ordeal would only last 4 ½ hours start to finish, I probably would’ve tried to avoid the epidural. My knowledge and understanding of labor pain management was slim and I didn't have a Doula to help coach and encourage me. I didn’t have a birth photographer and I SO wish I did. My second was quite different. It was also in the hospital, medically induced with Pitocin 17 days early due to the baby’s heart rate dropping every time I had a practice (aka Braxton Hicks) contraction during a regular checkup. I went all natural (no pain meds), with the help of my husband, and my ever-so-amazing Doula, Nicole Mazanec. My son was delivered in the OP position (occiput posterior – aka “sunny side up”…which basically means some serious back labor because his bones were pushing on my bones) with no complication and no heart problems thereafter. I had Finn at 8:20am on 8/20/14. I had a birth photographer and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Q: Did you breastfeed, formula, or a little of both?
A: I breastfed both 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. I am currently breastfeeding my son who is 18 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 J 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 followed closely by the sweet kids I babysit during the week. 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. But, alas, I don’t always get to go out and do those things, so I do a bunch of different in home workouts and occasionally a 5k run. My favorite workouts are a lot of the Beachbody programs or Jillian Michaels. I’ve never been so fit as I am when I follow their in home workouts and eat well. And no, I’m not a rep nor do I know one J
Q: What kind of food do you like?
A: My husband calls me picky. I like to say I just prefer plain foods. Ha! I am getting more adventurous as I get older, but 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. But, alas, that’s not really feasible. We kind of, sort of, lean towards a clean(er) eating style and just try not to keep all sorts of processed crap in the house because if there is an Oreo or donut in sight, I have a hard time saying no. They’re just so tasty, you guys.
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. Although, we vacation in Gulf Shores every year and they have this delicious chocolatey drink called a Bushwacker. Now THOSE are tasty, friends. If you get down there, get your hands on a Bushwacker (if you can take a sweetened alcoholic drink).
Q: What’s your short list of go-to places to eat or do you only eat at home with this clean-ish way of eating?
A: We probably frequent Bread Company, Joey B’s, Billy G’s, Onesto, Noodles & Co. or McAlister’s more than I’d care to admit. BUT—I can cook (and by that I mean, I can look up and follow a Pinterest recipe really well!), and I’ve been trying to do that more often because it’s just way healthier and cheaper than buying something. I also like to bake. Most things I bake, I look up Paleo recipes for so I’m not just baking a bunch of terrible-for-you, sugary things and ruin any workout I have done. We use Almond flour, Almond milk, Almond butter (see a trend here?), Coconut Oil, and eggs. Lots of eggs. In fact, we actually have our own chickens – 5 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.
Contact me at KatieGaetaPhotography@gmail.com