BE INSPIRED SESSION feature by Kate Fretland photography


Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

KF: My love affair with photography has had many chapters. I applied as a receptionist at age 19 to a fine art Newborn portrait studio in Los Angeles and was generously given the opportunity by the owner to train as a photographer.
When I left LA, and came home to the Sacramento area, I began photographing weddings and while I still do take a few weddings a year – about 5 years ago, family portraiture became my passion.

What about this session was most memorable?

KF: I love the connection and bond between parent and child, and I hold a deep appreciation for the unique affection parents develop through the years of becoming parents. This is what fuels my current work. I am moved by relational surrender, the way a new father looks at his bride holding their first wrinkly newborn in her exhausted arms, the way a father snuggles his shy 8 year old son. Family sessions are not calm, or easily controlled, and yet the real and organic moments that present themselves during these sessions are my preferred medium.
My husband Cory and I run a portrait studio here in Rocklin, Ca where we specialize in Newborn, Maternity and Family artwork. We are a full service studio, and our goal with each client is to leave them with quality canvases or framed prints for their walls or an archival album to leaf through for years. Since we homeschool our 4 little ones, traveling for family sessions, mentoring and weddings are a part of our photography adventures. I must admit, it is chaotic but exactly what I was made to do. I love people. All of them are unique and beautifully made. Being a story teller feeds my soul and I consider myself so fortunate to be invited into so many different walks of life.

Were there any hurdles?

KF: This particular maternity session was here in northern California during another rainy February week. The clouds threatened a reschedule, but we all agreed it was worth a shot. The sun peeked out at the perfect moment and the little baby girl that was still finishing up inside her mother will now forever have a glimpse into her early beginnings. She is loved and we created some beautiful proof.

What gear was used to achieve these?

KF: For this session I used my Nikon D750 & Sigma Art 35. I am most known for my sun drenched images with deep tones that almost always include a snuggle or a kiss.


Your best photographer/session advice?

KF : As a professional photographer of 16 years, if I were to give a small piece of advice – I would say to make sure you are making time and preparations to be photographed as well. Hire a professional, and one whose work you love. I would even say is it actually hard on my soul to neglect my own families story being artfully captured and told, while I ironically earn a living bottling up other families love. It is so important and helpful to realign your motives when being trusted as a family portrait artist. When I prepare for my own family sessions, I am reminded how each client is a person who wants to look beautiful and be in portraits with her loved ones. Being photographed is such a great reminder and when I receive my own galleries, I am also reminded that what I am providing people with is so much more than a picture of a time. I am showing them what I see and a glimpse of the love they share that year, that moment. Hopefully they will see something new in each session and be reminded how lovable and loved they are.



Kate Fretland is a destination family photographer who loves people and conversation. She runs a Newborn and family portrait studio alongside her husband Cory in Rocklin, Ca, near Sacramento. When she is not traveling with him and their 4 children, you might find her snuggling/photographing a newborn baby, browsing Expedia, planning a party, ordering her daily double espresso with a half pump of toffee nut at Starbucks or chatting about home birth or breastfeeding with her slightly hippyish sister and friends.

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