Erika Pearce is an Iris user and an incredible motherhood and birth photographer based in the Northshore of Louisiana. I recently chatted with her about how she knew from the start that birth photography was her inspiration, her constant pursuit of work/family balance while growing Erika Pearce Photography, and why she just might sing you a song in an evening gown about what she had for lunch. As you will quickly see, her work is breathtaking. Meet Erika!
Have you always focused on motherhood and birth photography? How did you decide to specialize? From the moment I picked up a camera and decided to be a photographer, I knew I would shoot birth photography. I was a birth advocate working with a local group for women’s rights in childbirth. Once photography grabbed my heart, I knew I wanted to continue that same heart-felt advocacy in my own way. While I was no longer meeting with hospitals and starting petitions, I was now preserving priceless memories of women in the their most powerful and glorious moments of their lives. From the very first birth, I knew a focus on motherhood would be my speciality. While I honed my craft, I did shoot more of a broad spectrum of subjects, but about two years ago, I really refined my niche to women in birth and motherhood.
What advice would you give to someone looking to specialize in motherhood photography? If anyone out there is considering photographing any sort of empowering female session, whether birth, maternity, newborn, or even boudoir, I would let them know to dive in fully with the heart ready for uplifting and reaching women. Your heart has to be burning for the difference you will make. That is not to say the technical side of things is not very important, because it very much is. Especially for birth, you have to know your equipment inside and out. There are no do-overs. You have to know lighting and to dance in and out of tight spaces and around people without worry or stumbling. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to know to be confident in your ability to capture something sacred that only happens once.
How have you grown your business in the last few years? My business has grown tremendously in the last few years. I have had to educate an area that had barely even heard of “birth photography” as to why it is something priceless. I have had to hire an employee. My client base is loyal and I currently photographing repeat birth clients welcoming their new babies. To be asked to photograph a birth is an honor. To be asked again by the same family because they wouldn’t do it without you, is such a deep humbling honor that I struggle to put it into words. The fact that I am called and hired before some partners even know they are expecting another little bundle of joy is precious. I hold that honor in my heart tenderly and with such respect.
How do you balance family and work? Balancing work and family has been a struggle for me. I am growing and learning every day how to do better. I am not sure if that is something that I will master, but i will certainly pursue it. My husband of 12.5 years, four gorgeous children, and menagerie of cats and a pup give me much grace. I give so much of myself to my clients, that turning it “off”, especially being on call, is a challenge. Currently, I keep office hours and reserve my weekends for family only. That has been the biggest help.
What’s your big business goal for 2020? My goal for 2020 is to find a perfect fit space to make into a sales studio for my clients. I have always loved the idea that in share their birth stories with them in their homes, but the fact of the matter is that the drive time alone can wear me down. My goal would be to finally be intentional with finding the perfect space that suits my brand so that I can provide the perfect experience for my clients from start to finish.
How has using Iris changed your business? Iris has elevated and changed my business. I tell the photographers that I mentor that it is almost like “insta-professionalism”. The sleek design and easy to navigate emails impress my clients again and again. On my end, the information I’m able to organize and save, the efficiency of the platform, and being able to customize every form, contract, questionnaire, etc. is priceless. My clients are always blown away that I know their children’s names, personal details, etc, and it’s because Iris is in my tool belt. I would not be able to function without it!
BONUS: What are three random things that people might love to know? (1) I am a pro at impromptu singing in my every day speaking… so expect a random serenade about my lunch for the day or asking you how you are! (2) I’m the most outgoing introvert you’ll ever meet. Which basically means that when I get super nervous, I talk more and more and usually make far too many jokes. (3) I overdress for literally everything. I think it’s a a way to channel my anxiety at gatherings and events. So yeah, I show up to dinner sometimes in a ball gown, but I always say a prayer it comes of endearing instead of embarrassing.
You can find Erica’s work at @erikapearcephotography on Instagram and on her website HERE (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE check out her “about” page to see some epic color blocked photos of her own family… I snagged the screen shot below because I love them so much… thank me later. -mc).
Ready to let Iris help you with your workflows? From automated booking to contracts and invoices to email templates, we’ve got you covered. Click HERE to start your free 14-day trial now and see how you can make your business better just like Erika.