ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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THE BLOG HAS MOVED! October 29, 2009

Filed under: ericamay business updates — ericamay @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , ,

After launching the new site earlier this week, I’m so excited to tell you that the new BLOG is also now online! :) It will feature bigger photos, easier navigation, and all-around coolness. There are even two brand-new posts waiting for you right now!

If you read this blog with an RSS Reader or my favorite, Google Reader, make sure you subscribe to the new feed!

I’d love to know who’s reading! If you’re feeling sweet, leave me a comment over there to say hi and welcome the new blog to cyberspace.
The new blog is located at a really easy place to remember:

Go check it out. :)  

(FYI: This blog will stay up, and eventually I’m going to import all of these posts to the new blog so your features stay up! For now, get ready for some awesome new stuff on the awesome new site!).


The NEW! October 28, 2009

You have no idea how excited I am to tell you that the BRAND-NEW website is now live!! :) It’s a whole new look, an entirely new logo, and makes me feel all happy inside. All of this has been in the works since earlier this year, as I tried to pinpoint what it is that makes your photography experience a great one. And it all came down to one thing — joy.

True, unadulterated joy. That kind of happiness that wells up in your heart and springs out to everyone around you. :) I know it might sound cheesy, but it’s not. Because I witness joy in your lives every time we meet. I witness the excitement and passion in a wedding day, the silly and fun relationships between family members, the newly experienced love in a home with a new baby. Life is all about these things. Life is meant to be spent sharing joyful moments with the people you love. And since photography is about capturing your life — photography is all about joy!


I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank some awesome people for their help with this big long process:

Jeff – for putting up with long nights of working on this and for previewing the site a billion times with me. :)

Lindsey with Element Creative Studio – for your awesome work on my new logo. You’re an amazing graphic designer, and you were able to take my muddled thoughts and make them into something beautiful.

Nick – for being my personal IT consultant. :) Thanks for spending time sorting through all of this web lingo with me. 

Showit – for creating an awesome tool that people who don’t know how to write HTML code can use to design a custom website from scratch. Amazing, amazing, amazing. 

Everyone else – for being cool people. :)


I’d love to know what you think about the new site and new look. You can send me an email through the contact page on the site, or just click on Comments below and leave a little love here on the blog. :) Okay, now what are you waiting for? Check it out!


Oh, and did I mention a new BLOG is coming your way? :) It is. I’m just full of surprises today! Stay tuned!


Product Spotlight: Leather-bound albums September 21, 2009

I love photographs. I know right now you’re all saying “Yes, yes, Erica, we know!” And it’s true. I love pictures… but I also love tangible  photographs. Objects that you can hold in your hand, and remember a moment. A day. A person. I love albums of photographs, and love seeing albums in people’s homes displaying their favorite memories. One of my favorite things to do when I was younger was hunt through this big long skinny closet in my house growing up for old albums of my mom as a teenager. And I found them, because back then, that’s the way to display and share photographs.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the digital age. I love providing clients with digital files so they can share their images that way, since most people communicate online now it seems. But nothing — nothing! — beats an album. It’s a family heirloom, a way to share your memories with future generations (or with yourself, on your coffee table!). Albums preserve images long after the zeros and ones and bits and bytes (what does that even mean?) are gone.

So, will I only be offering albums and prints now? Of course not. But I offer both — because I believe that both are equally important and both types offer a unique way to experience your memories. And, of course, so you can decide which is important to you. :)

One of our most popular products is a custom-designed, leather-bound wedding album. My favorite part about the albums is that they tell the story of your day, after it happened. I always design albums in a way that helps the viewer relive the day, whether they were there or not. We use favorite images from brides and groom (or parents!) and create a design using mostly wide panoramic photographs, a simplistic design, and showcasing the images from a wedding day.

I recently designed an album for Allyson and Rafe, and wanted to share photos of the finished product with you here so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about when I’m talking about albums. :) And let me tell you — these are not your run-of-the-mill, loose 4×6 photos stuffed inside clear plastic dividers types of albums. These are gorgeous. Seriously works of art.

I took these photos on my dining room table late at night… not the best time for light, but the album still looks lovely. :)

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I like my album designs to showcase BIG photos, but also incorporate moments and events with little details. Here you can see one of the “getting ready” pages, featuring Allyson and all of the details of her dress.

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The pages of the book lay flat, and don’t have seams in the middle that cut off details. The edges also have this beautiful silver gilding that looks awesome! The spread below is also in all black and white. We design an album to usually be a mix of color and black and white — but with all black and white on a spread or all color. Or, we’ll do an all color album (or all black and white, if that’s your thing!).

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The books are leather-bound with various textures and colors of leather available. This was a soft brown variety, which matched their outdoor wedding and colors.

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So, if you’re considering an album to showcase your wedding images — just do it! :) Facebook albums are awesome for sharing photos in a quick and easy way with friends… but for yourself in 20 years (or your kids!), order a professionally designed album. I bet you’ll be glad you did. :)

If you’re a bride or groom who has ordered an album, leave a comment to share why you love your album! 

And stay tuned — I have a few different album styles that I offer, so I’ll showcase the other options soon! :)


Featured on the Pictage Blog! August 22, 2009

I get e-mails fairly often from people who are aspiring photographers or who have recently decided to take their photography hobby and turn it into a business. I absolutely love hearing from people who have a passion and a desire for the art, and who are seeking advice and help and direction from other photographers.

When I started getting serious about my business and providing my clients with a first-rate experience, I began looking for inspiration from other photographers who had been there before me, who were willing to share, and who had a community-focused mindset. I was also looking for a company that could help me fulfill several different areas of my business, including professional printing, high-quality albums, and online hosting. I found both in one place — Pictage.


I’m featured today on the Pictage blog talking about these things and how the Pictage Forums were so instrumental to my development and growth both as a creative artist and a business owner. If you’re a photographer who is looking for a great company to partner with, I highly recommend checking out Pictage. They even have a new service for “Lite” members that is great for people just starting out.

Anyway, to read my post (which I highly recommend for photographers!), head over to the Pictage blog and leave a sweet comment. :)


(Reminder: I’m in New York City right now, enjoying life in the big city. I’ll be back next week!)


Photo Coaching Session… Featuring Lauren and Mark August 7, 2009

This week, I had a “photo coaching” session with Kasie, whose work you’ve seen a little bit of on the blog already! I am super excited to have Kasie in training with the ericamay team. You’re going to hear a LOT more about what she’s going to be doing with us, and you can look forward to seeing much more of her work in the future. More on those details later. :)

For now, I want to share with you a coaching session we did together, where she got to learn how and why I do the things I do and then test them out for herself. It was so much fun to explain (and have to put into words) what I’m thinking when I set up a couple in a specific location or why I choose a certain spot because of the light that’s reflecting there… photography is such a fun art, and the coolest part is that two people can be in the same moment at the same location and still come away with completely different “takes” on the scene. 

Below, you’ll see photos that both Kasie and I took of our fantastic models, Lauren and Mark (thanks for letting us practice on you guys!). I’ll put a photo credit before each photo Kasie took, so you know which are her shots and which ones are mine. Sound good? :) Okay, here we go…

Lauren and Mark were too much fun. They’re dating, after becoming reunited after they finished college at different schools — but they first met as high school students! How adorable are they? :)




We met in downtown Kansas City, and most of these photos were taken in a 2-block radius from the central library location at 10th and Baltimore. Speaking of the library, how awesome is the library parking garage? I love the big book staircases and the book spines on the side of the building.


Here’s my take:


And here’s Kasie’s:


Another one of Kasie’s (I love this one!):


Right across the street was a cool alley, and Kasie switched to the wide angle lens to capture the whole scene in this shot:


In a random event of happenstance, we met the super nice owners of The Sawyer Room (a sweet downtown venue!) on the sidewalk as we were walking around. Eric and Jodie were so kind to point us to an awesome rooftop location that they use during weddings that take place in their venue. How cool is that? Thanks so much for the tip! :) If you’re looking for a great venue in downtown KC, I’m going to bet that Eric and Jodie are just as awesome helping people plan their events as they were helping us find great photo locations — we didn’t even ask! :)

These next few shots are mine, taken on the rooftop area:




The setting sun was giving us some awesome light to work with — both with flare and with shadows! :)




A few of Kasie’s shots on the rooftop:




After we were back safely on the first floor, we stopped at a street corner for a few more close-ups. So much of photography is about the light in the location — not necessarily about the location itself — and this was the perfect example. We were really standing on an very un-cool street corner, but I love how these turned out. :)


This one is Kasie’s view:


And my view (goodness, Lauren, you are just gorgeous!):


A huge thanks to Lauren and Mark for volunteering to participate! :) I hope you both had fun, and maybe learned a few of my “secrets” of photography along the way… I hope you have an awesome rest of the summertime!

Leave a comment here and tell Kasie how awesome you think she is. :) I promise I’ll pass them along… aren’t you excited to see what else she’ll do? I know I am!

Also, if anyone’s interested in participating in any type of photo coaching/group workshops/etc. leave me a comment here, too. I’d love to coordinate some of these in the future for other aspiring photographers — if anyone would show up. :) Let me know if it’s something you’d be interested in doing!


We need some models! :) July 28, 2009

Guess what?!

Next week I’m doing  a one-on-one coaching session, and we need awesome models for a really fun shoot. I’m looking specifically for a couple who is:

  • Madly in love
  • Super fun
  • Adventurous
  • A little stylish
  • Comfortable with cameras :)
  • Available next Monday night

For a shoot that will be:

  • Extra super fun
  • Somewhere really awesome/urban in KCMO
  • A time for teaching (this is a coaching session)
  • Fabulous
  • FREE!

We’re planning to start around 7 p.m. on Monday, August 3rd. If you’re available and interested in a free and fun session with yours truly, e-mail me as soon as possible at this address: me[at]ericamay[dot]com (replace with symbols), or a leave a comment here with your e-mail address. Attach a photo of the two of you and tell me a little bit about yourselves. Your session will include an online gallery to view/share images, the ability to purchase professional prints if you’d like, and a disc of low-resolution images to share online with your Facebook friends! We will only be able to take one couple, but stay tuned — we’ll be doing more of these in the future. The chosen couple will be notified via e-mail, and provided with more details! :)

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(The photo is an old Kodak camera and flash unit from my camera collection… it’s pretty cool, but I’m sure glad I don’t have to shoot weddings with it!). :)


Coming Soon… Headed to HOBY! June 9, 2009

Filed under: ericamay business updates,portraits — ericamay @ 9:10 am

We’re heading to HOBY this evening through Sunday, so if you try to reach me and don’t hear back — I’ll respond early next week! We are so excited for this year’s youth leadership camp, and ready to see this past year’s worth of planning come to life. It’s an awesome organization, and I’m anxious to get going this year… but also not wanting to leave all of my faithful blog readers without some entertainment while I’m gone. :) I’ve prepared a few posts to automatically publish while we’re gone — so you’ll see new material, but I’m not actually there behind the computer… tricky, huh? :)

I want to thank all of the people who participated in our awesome portrait special to benefit HOBY Kansas — we raised over $1,000 in just a few short weeks! Thank you, thank you, thank you. :) That’s all going directly to the organization, and it will make a huge difference!

I have tons of great blog posts coming your way over this week and into next week… you might have to be patient for some of the bigger ones, but it will be worth it. :) Here’s what I have in the line-up:

Katie and Aaron’s wedding:



Oliver’s 2-month session:


Mallory and Kylan’s engagement session:


Laura and Nathan’s “just because” session:


Matthew’s 8-month session:


Stay tuned! :)