Shifting Focus – Q&A with Erika Pearce on Female Empowerment

erika pearce headshot

Erika Pearce an Iris user and is the owner and stylist of Wild Clementine. She is a wife and mother 4 children. We chatted with Erika recently about her decision to shift her focus as a birth and motherhood photographer to a female empowerment photographer. Check out what she had to say about making the shift, her constant pursuit to balance motherhood and business, and see some of her beautiful work!

Have you always focused on female empowerment portraiture ? How did you decide to specialize? 

From the moment I picked up a camera and decided to be a photographer, I knew I would specialize in empowering women.  I began as a birth photographer and still take returning clients for birth stories.  While focusing on birth, I had a deep desire for creative shoots as well.  I knew a “female empowerment” session would be challenging to market.   Traditional boudoir did not hold anything alluring for me as a creative.  I wanted something else.  Something beyond boudoir.  It took me over two years, but I finally developed the concept of Wild Clementine as an intimate art brand dedicated to showcasing not just woman’s curves, but designing a session around her heart as well.  

erika pearce female empowerment

What advice would you give to someone looking to specialize in particular genre of photography over photographing multiple specialties?  

I’m a huge believer in shooting what makes your heart sing.  I feel deeply that photographers may spread themselves too thin trying to keep up with all the beautiful photographs floating around on social media platforms.   You really have to develop a way look inward and see what feeds your soul.  It isn’t about what anyone else is doing or what the customers are looking for as much as finding a way to balance what you love and providing the best that you can offer to the clients that come to you.  You have to love what you’re shooting.  If anyone out there is considering photographing any sort of empowering female session, whether birth, maternity, 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 what you’re shooting. 

How have you grown your business in the last few years?  

This is a weighted question for me.  COVID-19 drastically changed my business and how I run things.  Overnight, the birth brand I worked on for years was completely gone.  I had started Wild Clementine the year prior with plans of growing and pouring into this business.  While I was broke hearted about the birth business I had created, it truly let me spread my wings with my intimate art brand.  It has not disappointed.  My clientele has grown 10 fold.   I have sessions scheduled around the country and even a workshop this Fall because of the growth.  It really does show you that what could be a negative can very much be shifted to a positive if you put the work in.  Life AND your business are what you make of it.  

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 almost 14 years, four gorgeous children, and menagerie of pets 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.  This year has posed even more challenges with a cancer diagnoses.  I have learned to let certain things go and to acknowledge my own limitations.  It is okay to expand and shift the way things are done even if it means my hands are not in every single aspect of my business (i.e.  social media presence or emails that my assistant might be sending for me).  

What’s your big business goal for 2020?  

My goal for 2021 is to grow my business to be a beautifully working machine if I’m unable to physically operate at my best due to my health.   I am determined to find a way to continue to pursue and grow my craft even if my body is weary.  I truly believe there is a way.  Onward and upward in every way!  Truly, I could not do this without Iris Works.  They have elevated my business and helped me become the most efficient business owner I can be.

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