5 Questions with Santa Cruz Photographer Tim Cattera


 | August 26, 2014

Swinnerton:  How did you get into Photography?

Cattera: I took photography classes at Santa Cruz High and loved it. It was one of my favorite classes throughout high school. Back when it was still film and digital cameras were just coming around. A few years later I met Gene Higa, who showed me so many things about photography. I was hooked. In 1999, I bought my own camera equipment and went out and photographed anything and everything. I would show Gene my photos and he would explain things that I needed to do. From then on it was all about going out and teaching myself what to do and what not to do. That is how I learned. My advice to anyone looking to get into photography is to just get out there and take photos. Read books, research things online, watch videos, and tutorials, but get out there and shoot! You will never learn anything sitting inside and wishing you could take a photo like this or that.

Swinnerton: What are your favorite types of photography projects to work on?

Cattera: Lately, it’s been composite photography. It’s a whole new realm for me in the photography editing world. I enjoy photographing quite a few things, places, people, sports and events to give a few, so it’s hard to pin-point one thing I like specifically. If I have a camera in my hand when you see me, I’m happy with whatever I’m photographing.

Swinnerton: Have you always thought of yourself as an entrepreneur?

Cattera: It has always been a dream of mine to become a talented and fun to work with photographer but I never look at it as becoming a business owner. I just wanted to take awesome photos of places and people. I photograph because I have fun with every shoot and I love to see the faces of my clients when they see their photos for the first time. Seeing their faces light up with a smile or a tear; that’s why I love and do what I do. The day I feel like I’m making this a job, is the day I move on.

Swinnerton: Does living / working in Santa Cruz County influence what you do?

Cattera: I was born and raised in Santa Cruz and I love living here! There are so many amazing locations throughout the county that people haven’t seen. Even I haven’t been everywhere, but I want to explore more. I enjoy that I can just walk to the cliffs and take photos of our beautiful coastline or drive up the coast to catch some amazing sunsets. It definitely doesn’t hurt that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Swinnerton: What are your future plans for Tim Cattera Photography?

Cattera: My future plans are to become more involved in sports photography. For the past few years I have been working for the Santa Cruz Warriors, NBA and the San Jose Giants which has given me some great experience in that realm. That where I see focusing on expanding my portfolio. But I don’t like to limit myself to just one style or another; I am still going to offer my services during the off season. I can’t put my camera down for more than a few days.

To find out more about Tim Cattera and his work go to his site –

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