ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

The photo blog of

Chris and Brisa in Brooklyn, NY August 30, 2009

One week ago tonight Jeff and I were hanging out in Brooklyn with two temporary locals, Chris and Brisa. :) You might know Chris, whose fame lies with La Brisa Photography (which was, of course, named in honor of his wife!). Brisa is a veterinarian, and she’s doing an internship at a clinic in Brooklyn, New York. When Jeff and I planned a trip to New York City, we had to meet up with these two and do photo shoots for each other! Chris helped me cross off #11 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, and I’ll post about that later!

For now, I’ll share a few of the images I took of Chris and Brisa. These were all taken in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). It’s a neat park-like area that sits underneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, and provides an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline.

Aren’t these two so cute?

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This is the Mahattan bridge in the background.

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Part of the skyline with the two bridges… Chris and Brisa are super fun — I didn’t even suggest that they get in the water before they were already rolling up their jeans. :)

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I like the next two a lot. They feel so romantic.

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Editing these photos made me miss this city! I think I could sit down there and stare at the skyline all day long.

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I took a few quick headshots for Chris, like this one:

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Brisa is so pretty. I wish they’d live in Kansas City so Petey could call her his vet. :) She has, very nicely, answered a frantic Erica call in the past when Petey was super sick. Thanks, Brisa! :) 

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I’d like to transplant this location to Kansas City. :)

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Aww, so sweet! :)

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Chris and Brisa, thanks for hanging out with us, doing a double photo shoot, and showing us your little corner of Brooklyn (including the amazing sushi place! Yum!). You are great — enjoy your time in Brooklyn!!


Manhattan Skyline: Complete Blog Post Coming Soon! August 27, 2009

Sneak preview of my shoot with Chris and Brisa. This was taken from Brooklyn, looking towards the Manhattan skyline. You see the Brooklyn Bridge on the left, and the Manhattan Bridge on the right… a gorgeous city skyline in the background… and two cute people in the water! :)



New York City: Alison and Chris, Late Night Around Times Square August 26, 2009

I know you’re all waiting to see photos from New York City. Well, I’m going to kick off the series of posts with a photo shoot I did for Alison and Chris on and around Times Square. This session was something very different for me — it was after dark (probably around 11 p.m.), and I didn’t use a flash at all with these. For you photographer types, I have the high ISO abilities of the D700 to thank for that. :) Anyway, they wanted something different and fun and very urban, and I wanted to try my hand at something a little unique. These photos are the result!

We started off the shoot in the lobby of the W Hotel on Times Square. First of all, this is only the coolest hotel… they thought of everything. With a tagline of “whatever, whenever” — it’s a hotel focused on service, and creating a super cool environment for the guests. Seriously, with a lobby that looks like this, how could you not love it?

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Then, we headed out to Times Square, which was still bustling (of course) at almost midnight. :)

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I love the sense of closeness and warmth in the mix of chaos and commotion in the next two. :) 

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We walked a few blocks to get a bustling street filled with cabs for the next several shots. I’m going to show you some in black and white and in color, so you can get a feel for what it was like. I can’t decide which processing I like better, so you’re getting both. :)

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I love this one — the person and the car blurred with motion, the cute couple being all sweet, Radio City Music Hall in the background…

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Again, these were all taken without a flash. Here, to  make sure that their faces were illuminated, I had them sit on the side of the fountain facing a street corner, which provided ambient light and glow to brighten up their faces. Tricky, huh? :)

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We liked all of the lines and patterns in this closed-off stairwell.

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And, finally, back to the hotel… :)

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I’m still working through my more touristy photos of the city and our trip, and I’ll be sure to post those when I can. I’m also working on some B-I-G projects right now, which you’ll find out about later (oh, the suspense!) so don’t worry… if I’m not posting, it’s because I’m working an all sorts of awesome things. :)

Alison and Chris, enjoy your photos! :)


Senior Photos at Kansas City’s Union Station: John August 15, 2009

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I have the extreme privilege of meeting some of the best and brightest high schoolers — through senior photography and my volunteer involvement with HOBY, I get to know the people who are students now, and who will be leaders in our nation in the future. And it makes me excited. Because let me tell you, for those of you who don’t already know, we have some of the best young talent right here in the midwest.

John is one of those people. When I met him — just before his session — I knew right away that he was going to impress me. He was polite, engaging, smart, and I had a great time taking his senior photos. John is in the middle of his college search right now, with plans to go to law school in the future. Last year, he qualified for Nationals with Debate, and I could tell why. He was well-spoken and thoughtful, and a senior who has obviously developed his skills as an effective communicator.

Anyway, John is the kind of young leader that makes me excited for our country’s future. But, as I told him during the session, if he decides law school isn’t for him, he could always have a career in modeling. :)

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We took John’s photos in front of (and inside of ) Union Station in downtown Kansas City. It was perfect for the style of his senior photos.

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One of my favorites:

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Inside Union Station, we did photos of John in what he spends most Saturdays wearing — a suit and tie at debate tournaments!

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And then, John put on his glasses, which he wears during tournaments. I love the next three.

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And I’ll leave you with what I’m calling the “Undercover Superhero Shot” — this reminds me of Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent. :)

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John, have a great senior year, and I know you have a very bright future ahead of you!


Kansas City Senior Photos: Kyle August 13, 2009

I was the kid in elementary school (who I am kidding… in HIGH SCHOOL, too) who begged my mom to pleeeease take me to the store as soon as the school supplies came out so I could get the good stuff before it was all gone. I was the girl who revised her teacher’s school supply list and added just a few extra college-ruled (psh, don’t give me any of that wide-ruled stuff!) notebooks, and a teal and purple Trapper-Keeper just for fun. Who’s with me?! :) I was devastated the year they told us we weren’t allowed to have those. 

Anyway, I loved school. So every August, I would get very excited to label my things (with my initials… “EMM” back then), pack my bag a million times, and decide which Mickey Mouse stretch pant outfit I would debut on the first day of school. You know you wish you were my friend back then… :)

Now, when August rolls around, I get that nervous-excited feeling again when I see the aisles lined with school supplies in all of those bright primary colors. But, alas, I’m a grown up now. And the best part is, I now get to photograph students who are entering their SENIOR YEAR of high school. What a fun time. So August has a new excitement now — meeting and capturing photos of soon-to-be high school graduates, eager to start their last year of high school. It’s so much fun to be  a part of that.

Where is this going, you ask? :) Well, I’m excited to share with you our first senior in the Class of 2010! Kyle kicked off our senior photos for the year, and he did an awesome job.

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Kyle might very well have been the easiest guy EVER to photograph. He told me at the beginning that he’s not really into having his photo taken… but I’m not buying it. :) 

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What a great smile!

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We took the first part of Kyle’s photos at Antioch Park. It’s a neat location for diverse backgrounds.

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After the park, we headed to his high school for more photos!

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Kyle is a soccer player, so we were even able to access the field for photos in his soccer uniform. I think one of the best things a senior can do during their photos is incorporate things that make them who they are!

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I love this one! What a handsome guy (watch out, K-State!).

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Kyle, thanks so much for having me take your senior photos. I hope your senior year is awesome, and that you enjoy your time at K-State next fall — it’s a great place to be! :)


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!


Tilly the Pug Stole My Heart July 21, 2009

I love it when my wedding clients celebrate the fun changes that life often brings, like expanding a family… I am so excited for Beth and Geoff and their new addition — a puppy! :) Jeff and I went to see them this weekend when we were downtown at City Market, because you know me and puppies… I just couldn’t stay away once I heard the news!

We got to hang out with Miss Tilly for a little while, and I think she and Petey are long-lost canine relatives. I’m not sure how that works, but they’re both such lovers. Who are loved by their human parents. :) Anyway, I’m so glad I had my camera with me. Tilly had her first professional photo shoot outside of their loft building. She’s already a model.

Seriously. Look. at. that. FACE.



Sometimes, life is just better when you cuddle. Petey agrees.


Tilly with her mom…


And with her dad…


Her little scrunchy, wrinkly face was just too much for me to handle.


And I’ll leave you with a photo I’m calling “Tilly in the City.” :)


Congratulations, Beth and Geoff! :) Tilly and Petey need a play date!