Hi! I’m Erika! I’ve been in love with cameras and photography since I was in the seventh grade. I learned how to shoot on 35mm film, and today I’m a hybrid shooter, which means I shoot on both film and digital depending on which medium lends itself better to the situation. I’ve been shooting weddings since 2009, and it’s absolutely my favorite thing. I shoot about 50% of my weddings every year in New Orleans, and the rest are scattered throughout the US, and around the globe. I’ve been featured in publications like Style Me Pretty, Wedding Sparrow, Brides, Magnolia Rouge and lots of others. In print you can find me in the 2017 fall issue of Destination I Do.
What is your favorite thing about weddings at Stella Plantation?
I think saying that Stella is a gorgeous location is a given. I love oak trees, especially the massive ones at Stella, and I think it goes without saying that ceremonies and portraits there are just beautiful, plain and simple. Beyond that, I really love the team at Stella. The people you work with makes a big difference, and every experience I have ever had there has been a positive one. The team works really hard to make the wedding day the best ever, but they are also a group of people I call friends, who make shooting weddings there that much better.
What advice do you have for couples getting married at Stella Plantation?
I think for any wedding, it’s important to have a solid timeline. It’s always great to work with a wedding planner, who can help keep things running smoothly, but if you’re not, it’s ok. Regardless, it is important to have a timeline that makes sense, one that takes into account travel time, traffic, and provides a buffer just in case something unexpected pops up. The more prepared and organized you’re able to be beforehand, the more relaxed you’ll be on the actual day.
What do you love about weddings in general?
Oh gosh, there are so many things it’s impossible to narrow it down. I love telling the story of a couple. Usually I’ll get to know them quite well in the months before the wedding. On their wedding day, their closest family and friends surround them; people who love them so dearly and I love being able to document that. You can feel it in the air. Everyone is so excited to be there to celebrate this incredible day with them.
Also, I’m kind of an emotional girl. My favorite part of the wedding day might be the first dances. I love watching the reactions from the parents. It’s just so sentimental. Most times the father daughter dance makes me a bit teary. If you catch me at the right moment, you just might see me wiping my eyes.
Tells us something you don't like about weddings in general?
I don’t like feeling rushed, or not having enough time to get things done, and this is especially true on a wedding day. Really, this translates into having good communication. From day one, I’ll start talking with my couples about the timeline and flow of events. This way we ensure that we have enough time to get to do all the pictures the couple would like to do. If we have all the pictures worked into the timeline, then it makes things go much smoother on the day of, with less for everyone involved to worry about.
From a bride: "Erika, words can't describe how very grateful we are for you. You're so professional. You made us feel so comfortable. The compliments and rave reviews we get on our pictures has been so exciting! I wish I could record people's responses to show future clients of yours. Thank you for being a true light in our planning process. We loved you and your work from the moment we met you. My mom talks about you like you're an old family friend! I wish there were more ways to say thank you and express our gratitude."