Teri Vance: Longtime photographer adjusts focus to personal pursuits
After more than three decades of professionally documenting the community through the journalism and marketing lens, Cat Allison is ready to adjust her focus to more personal pursuits.
“I remember the people who let us into their lives — sometimes it was at their highest moments and sometimes at their lowest — but they let us in because they trusted us to help tell their stories,” she said. “I took that trust very seriously.”
But she’s not hanging up her camera just yet. She will continue to tell the stories of the community and showcase the beauty and idiosyncrasies of life in Nevada for her Facebook page FotoCat Tales.
“It’s a combination of old images and the stories behind them as well as the everyday things I’ll continue to see and photograph including some of our family, friends, travels and adventures,” she said.
Cat started her photojournalism career in 1984 at the Chico News & Review, and later worked as the chief photographer for the Nevada Appeal until 2010, winning some of the state’s most prestigious journalism awards.
She was a regular shooter for the Associated Press and contractor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Her images have appeared in publications throughout the world, including Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
“Community journalism, at its core, speaks to the common connections between neighbors. I’m proud of creating something that people would want to keep and hang on the wall or put in a scrapbook and proud of the friendships that came out of covering Northern Nevada,” she said. “I run into people all the time who recall me taking their picture. I don’t always immediately recognize the faces but I almost always remember the photo or the situation.”
In 2009, she shifted away from journalism and started her own photo company, Nevada Photo Source. Over the years, she added more content creators — including me as a writer in 2015 — and it evolved into Nevada Momentum, with more than two dozen contributors.
“I’m proud of what we built in 10 years as our small photo agency evolved into a full-service content agency,” she said. “But the administrative and management duties kept me from my camera.”
Wanting to spend more time behind the camera and with her husband, Tim, adult daughters Emily and Erin, Cat merged Nevada Momentum with local advertising agency RAD Strategies late last year.
“I feel very lucky we were able to merge two very strong teams into something that improves on what we each built individually,” she said. “This new structure allows me to go back to what I love.”
Although she is taking a step back professionally, don’t expect Cat to disappear from the public eye.
“I’m still connected with the Nevada Momentum Fueled by RAD team on a regular basis and look forward to seeing everyone around town as things slowly get back to normal,” she said. “I also look forward to attending some of my favorite area events as a participant for a change.”
Follow Cat’s latest adventures at FotoCat Tales on Facebook.