ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

The photo blog of

Wednesday Whirlwind. March 18, 2009

Filed under: ericamay business updates — ericamay @ 4:04 pm

A few random, yet important things to share:

1. I will hopefully be updating this week. If you visit the site and it doesn’t load or things look a little bit “off,” please don’t panic. :) It’s just me, updating the site with some new and beautiful photos! Who doesn’t like that?

2. With this new site update, we’ll have two — yes, TWO! — wedding galleries, so you can peruse wedding “moments” that I capture separately from the creative portraits. This should help you understand what images are caught as they happen and which ones are more planned portraits — although all of my portrait sessions take on a very natural feel. It will be especially helpful for all of my new brides when you’re thinking about the bride and groom portrait session on your wedding day — the options are endless.

3. Spring portrait session time slots are getting booked up so fast! I just checked the calendar today and couldn’t believe that almost every weekend slot is taken between now and the end of May. If you’re planning a springtime family portrait session, get in touch as soon as possible to reserve your date (weekday evenings work great too… hint, hint!). :)

4. The calendar is officially open for 2010, and wedding dates are yours for the taking! I’d highly encourage you not to wait… booking before our 2010 rates are published is a great deal for you — and you’ll have your choice of wedding dates!

5. Did I mention that I have the BEST wedding line-up for 2009? Because I do. I can’t wait to work with all of these amazing couples.


You didn’t know I was this cool… March 11, 2009

Filed under: ericamay business updates — ericamay @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, now you do. :)

I take photos of other people all. the. time. But I hardly ever see photos of myself while I’m in “photographer mode.” When Chris Hsieh of La Brisa Photography shot Nick and Sarah’s wedding back in January with Jeff and I, he snagged a few action shots of us… and I have to admit, I laughed out loud (yes, I actually LOL-ed!) when I saw how crazy I look. Do I seriously make those faces all the time? No wonder you all are smiling so much in your photos…

Oh well, at least it shows that I’m having fun! :)

You can see more photos that Chris took from this wedding (including some cute ones of my husband!) on Chris’ blog.



(Notice how I’m not wearing a coat in the second photo — taken before the ceremony — and in the first — taken after the ceremony – I’m all bundled up? Yep, that’s Kansas weather for you!).

Thanks for the action shots, Chris! :)


Photographer Hang-out time with Sarah Jeanne Hill February 28, 2009

Today I got to have lunch and meet in person the lovely Miss Sarah Jeanne Hill, a photographer in Manhattan, Kansas, who is starting her career as a wedding and portrait photographer. Sarah is well on her way to having an awesome business with a great portfolio! She has been doing absolutely everything the right way — learning, learning, learning! She’s been shadowing our friend Chris Hsieh with La Brisa Photography since early last fall, and Sarah’s starting to shoot weddings for herself this summer! I was very excited to have some time to hang out with Sarah, share some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey, and encourage her to keep doing what she’s doing! :)

After a delicious breakfast-for-lunch, we headed back to my house to let my poor husband in (who I had mistakenly locked out of the house… oops!), and it turned into a great time to really show Sarah hands-on all of the things we had chatted about over our biscuits and gravy. :)

I was explaining to her how Adobe Photoshop Lightroom transformed my editing process, cut the turnaround time way down (meaning my clients get to see their photos faster — who doesn’t love that?!), and how easy it is to use. To demonstrate this editing tool and to show her a little bit of my post-processing workflow, we did an impromptu less-than-5-minutes portrait shoot in my office. 

Sarah looks just gorgeous for me asking her to get in front of my camera spur of the moment. :) So, Sarah, Lightroom makes the process easier, but YOU make the photos awesome!



And, some black and white processing:


My favorite… you can see her fun personality in this one! :)


Sarah, best wishes with your journey in photography! You are headed for such great things! :) 

Check out Sarah Jeanne’s blog and leave her an encouraging note! :)


Tweet, tweet. February 25, 2009

Filed under: ericamay business updates — ericamay @ 8:02 pm

After hearing from so many photographer friends how cool Twitter is and how it connects them instantly… I gave in. I created a Twitter account last night, and I’m just trying to figure it all out. It’s simple. I like that. It makes people accessible. I like that, too. And it only wants to know the answer to one question:

What are you doing?

So, if you care what I’m doing at random times when I decide to update my Twitter status, look me up! My Twitter name is, of course, ericamay. I’d love to find people I know on there, so I’m not just talking to myself… :)

Click on the logo below to sign up and look me up!


Also, does anyone know how I can add a twitter feed to my blog? Can I do it with a WordPress blog? If you have all sorts of technological secrets, leave me a comment! :)


New Photo Disc Packaging! February 20, 2009

I think I’ve always had a thing for ribbons. Rainbow colored ribbons on bike handles. Big shiny ribbons on Christmas packages. Blue-and-gold ribbons in my hair during my high school cheerleading days. I’m a girl. A very girly girl. And like any girly girl, I like ribbons and bows and all sorts of pretty things.

So why should it be any different when it comes to my business packaging? :)

I got this idea a while back from the awesome Justin & Mary (who are wizards at branding and beautiful packaging!) and I haven’t been able to let it go since. I wanted personalized ribbon. Beautiful, classy ribbon with my business name printed right on the strands… green, of course.


My business is all about personalization. On a wedding day, my clients know that their wedding photography experience is going to be customized and tailored to their personalities and their special day. My portrait clients know that we’ll pick spots that are meaningful to them or that let me capture their emotions in a relaxed way, so the photos are a true reflection of the people they are.

So I struggled with how to present these images in a way that is personal to me and my brand. As most of you know, I am a big believer in my clients having access to their digital files. A disc of the high-resolution, edited images is included with every wedding and potrait package I offer. So, I was left with this challenge: how do you personalize a disc? How do I deliver a final product that fits the entire experience?

The answer came in a spool of ribbon. :)


And some lovely and compact CD tins. And a new, beautiful printer.


So enjoy your packaged discs, wrapped up in ericamay photography ribbon.

Go ahead, it’s okay to tie it in your hair.  :)


Kansas City Workshop for Brides-to-be! February 5, 2009


Okay, all of you engaged ladies (and gentlemen)… I’ve got some fantastic news for you!

Plan to attend:


Saturday, March 21st

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Third Eye Event Space (2024 Main Kansas City, MO)

I am SUPER excited to partner with KiSS Events on the Engaged! workshop — an absolutely FREE event for brides-to-be and their guests. The event is bringing together some fantastic wedding vendors in the Kansas City area for an afternoon of candid conversation, tips from the pros, door prizes (including a free portrait shoot with ericamay!), food, drinks and FUN. :)


The awesome Sharon from KiSS Events describes the event like this:

“It is not a bridal fair, bridal show or open house and it’s definitely not a sales pitch.  Engaged! is a fun and inspiring hands-on event designed to equip brides with the tools to plan a wedding. The workshop will be more like an episode of Oprah meets Martha Stewart, all about weddings and insider tips!”

I am super excited to meet brides, grooms, mothers of brides, and help them learn a little bit about wedding photography and how to choose the best photographer for their special day. I would LOVE to see some ericamay brides attend — and who would want to miss the chance to meet other KC vendors, get their advice, AND also be entered for a FREE WEDDING COORDINATION package (with KiSS Events, of course!).

Here’s the thing — it’s totally free of charge. It’s only a few hours. And space is very limited. Registration is required to attend, so head on over to for more details and to register!


If you have any questions, leave a comment here and I’ll be glad to help you out! This is the PERFECT event for brides who are wanting to learn more about the options, ideas, details and necessary vendors for their awesome wedding day plans.

I hope to see you there!!

Click here to register for the event.



My kind of creativity. January 29, 2009

Filed under: Erica's Personal Life,ericamay business updates — ericamay @ 8:52 pm

I saw this quiz linked on another blog that is supposed to analyze your style of creativity. Basically, it was a series of images and a question like, and then you choose the photo that fits with your personal perspective on whatever best represents the question.

Usually, these tests come out all wrong, and I don’t put too much weight on any “quiz” I take online. This one was really intriguing though, and the results are pretty on target with how I approach creative situations.


I am now labeled as a person with “Eyes Wide Open” creativity. Here’s a snippet of my results:

About Me:

“…when it comes to your own creativity, you take inspiration from the world around you. Your eyes are always open to a new source of stimulation.”

How I Create:

“…it’s all about the ability to achieve dreams — the realization of imagination is something spectacular. Your strength lies in your ability to record what we all see, but from your own perspective.”

Want to find out which type of “creative” you are? Click here to try out the quiz for yourself, and come back to leave a comment — was yours accurate? What type of creativity does it suggest you have? :)


Kind words, cool blog. January 22, 2009

Last week, I shared with you a little tip about‘s Bride’s Blog. It’s a great resource for Kansas City brides (and non-Kansas City brides, too!) to get ideas, advice and follow someone else’s journey through wedding planning. I was so excited when ericamay bride Beth joined the bride blogging team… so imagine my excitement when I read an entry about how she chose her photographer — me! :)

Beth, your words are so kind and so sweet… and reminded me exactly why I love what I get to do. Being involved in your special day is one of the most fun, challenging, creative and rewarding things I could ever do. Thanks for trusting me with your memories.

Here’s a little bit of what Beth wrote (for the rest of her story and advice, click here!):

“…Pictures are so important and being on a budget, I wanted to leave room to spend what I needed to so that I would have the best pictures! I can’t tell you how many countless hours I spent online looking at people’s pictures. Just looking at pictures wasn’t making my decision any easier…I wanted to be able to trust my photographer…really know and trust them! This is where fate stepped in…

(click here to read about how she found ericamay photography!)

…Once I arrived home after a fun weekend, I hopped on the net, and there she was…my photographer! I could see in her photos that she was really capturing moments and memories, not just poses and fake, forced smiles! I love creative and personal shots…ones that are candid.

After Geoff & I met with Erica, we knew that she was perfect for the job! She is not only my photographer, but someone who I can trust and who I look to for advice about my big day…I am a lucky bride!”

Beth, you are too sweet! Can’t wait for your big day in May!

And a big thanks to Breanna for being a part of our “fate.” :)



An Unexpected Surprise. January 20, 2009

I received the best thoughtful gift in the mail today… all the way from Connecticut! :)


Several weeks ago (maybe a few months now!), I had the privilege of “meeting” Betsy through my blog. Betsy stumbled across my blog through another photographer’s blog and left me a few comments (including solving the mystery of what type of plant is featured in the photograph that hangs above our fireplace!). I sent her an e-mail thanking her for “stopping by” and providing me with the answer to a question that had plagued my thoughts for so long! :)

So we got to e-mailing back and forth, and I found out that Betsy is an aspiring photographer in Connecticut who also has a very full plate besides her pursuit into the world of photography. Through our e-mails, we started up a conversation about what it’s like to start a photography business, the steps she can take to kick-start her career, tips about photography in general, and basically just have a conversation about something we both love — photography, of course! :)

I am so incredibly impressed with the way she has embraced learning, trying and pursuing her dream. It’s an awesome reminder for me of what it was like to get started (and boy, would I have loved another photographer’s opinion back then!). 

So Betsy sent us these two gorgeous, original mugs (made by her dad, a potter — how awesome is that??), a lovely note, and a Starbucks gift card (I can already taste the chai tea latte waiting for me!). I was so touched, and so in awe of the gorgeous craftsmanship of these two mugs that I had to share with the rest of you!




Anyway, “mentor an aspiring photographer” is #31 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. When Betsy said that I could cross that one off, I agreed to do it as long as she started her own blog and promised to keep shooting and learning. So, Betsy, I’m crossing that item off the list even though it’s a continuing process. Even though I’m always here to help and encourage and share what I’ve learned so far in my own photography journey. And for the rest of you wondering if you can venture into the world of photography — please don’t hesitate to contact me (or keep contacting me!). A line through item #31 certainly doesn’t squelch my love for helping you learn and succeed. I’m available via e-mail… me @ (just remove the spaces!).

I’d encourage you all view Betsy’s blog, and keep an eye on her — she’s just getting started, and she’s already doing great things!! Congratulations, Betsy, and thanks for the super sweet gift. 



Kansas City Brides Blog! January 14, 2009

Hey, all of you brides! :) I know you are all in the midst of wedding planning — either just starting out (those of you who got engaged over the holidays!), halfway there (wondering what you should be working on right now!) or almost there (the end — er, beginning!! — is in sight!).

Have you checked out yet? They have this awesome feature — the Bride’s Blog! Guest bloggers — brides, just like you — write posts about their own personal wedding planning experiences. I am so excited to let you all know that one of our very own ericamay brides, the fantastic and funny Beth is their newest bride blogger (her engagement photos from last September are shown here)!


To read Beth’s first piece of advice, click here for the blog. She’ll be posting again in the coming months until her May wedding!

If any of you are interested in being a KC Bride Blogger and helping other brides sort through all of the details that come with planning a memorable and personal wedding day, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get you in touch with the wonderful people behind the scenes of!



Don’t miss Beth’s blog — and leave her a comment while you’re there!



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