The variety of incredible work we see in the TAP community is amazing! We are huge fans of Erica J's photography as she is one of those photographers whose work really stands out. Her classic, clean editorial style works perfectly with film and The Archetype Process profiles. Once you are done reading her TAP Photographer Profile we highly recommend taking some time to look through her website and blog to experience her beautiful work!
Where are you based out of: South Florida
What camera gear do you use?
Digital: Canon EOS R6, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Pentax 645. The 50mm f/1.2 is my go-to lens.
How long have you been shooting?
About 13 years.
What inspired you to shoot professionally?
I became inspired to learn photography while flipping through a friend’s
wedding album. Her photographer was doing things with photography that I didn’t even realize were possible at the time and my creative curiosity was piqued.
What is your favorite place to photograph?
I get excited to photograph at places with beautiful architecture or scenic
landscapes. I also love exploring new places and looking for ways to use familiar places in a new way.
What place would you love to shoot but haven’t had a chance yet?
So many places: Big Sur, the Amalfi Coast, and the Swiss Alps to name a few. Really anywhere with a scenic backdrop.
What do you look for in a session? (Light, location, interaction, etc)
Good light is always a priority. But I also help my clients select locations that reflect who they are and how they like to spend their time. A location that speaks to them not only makes the photographs more special but also helps them to relax into the familiarity of their surroundings.
What is your Archetype and why? (Which profile is your go to?)
I typically use Fuji 400h +2 Frontier. It gives me those soft, creamy tones to counteract the harsh Florida sun.
What are some of your editing techniques or tips and tricks?
I always apply my go-to preset (based on the Fuji 400h Archetype profile) to every image upon import to Lightroom. This helps with image consistency as well as cuts down on the time I spend editing each image. Batch editing is also a huge time saver!
What are some of your biggest challenges in running your business?
Work/ life balance. The to-do list is never-ending and it feels like there is always something that needs to be done or could be done to make the business better. Imposter syndrome can also be a major threat to approaching the business with a healthy mindset.
Who are your creative influences?
I actually find myself often being creatively inspired by movies. It’s easy to reference a movie scene when I’m directing my clients and cinematic lighting is just so good.
What are some mistakes that helped you to grow as a photographer? I feel like a lot of my growth as a photographer has happened in front of a computer screen where I was able to look at my images and settings with a critical eye and analyze what I did wrong in camera and strategize how I would approach things differently next time.
What inspires you to stay creative?
I try to challenge myself to be better than the last time I picked up my camera whether that’s trying a new technique or viewing things differently than I normally would.
What goals do you hope to achieve this year?
I hope to find and/or generate more opportunities to create work that I am excited about.
Is there anything you’d like to share about the creative process or editing that you feel would be helpful?
I’ve found that when I take time to clear my mind, I’m in a much better creative headspace. In a similar vein, when I’m editing sometimes the most effective thing is just to take a break and walk away from the computer for a little bit so I’m able to return with a refreshed perspective.
What is something you would have loved to have learned from another photographer early in your career?
We photographers tend to be our own worst critics by default. I spent so much time disliking my work but not being able to pinpoint why. Having someone teach me how to be constructively critical of my own work was so needed. Thankfully there are educational resources like that available now.