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Check out Erika French’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika French with EMF Photography in Glendale, Az.

Erika, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My love for photography has been a part of me since the dark room days in high school. A fresh roll of film looking to be exposed in a true craftsman like style of working with your hands, was everything. I guess that’s why I am always so drawn to black and whites till this day. It’s what I loved about film photography. Creating the art from a dark place and bringing life to it. For me, those are the portraits that tell a story. The ones that can translate into emotion and shows a glimpse into a moment of time.

Since my film days, I kind of took a hiatus from photography in college. You would still find me with a camera in hand every now and then, but I never really did much with my photography skills. It wasn’t until my hubby surprised me with my first DSLR camera that I started to toy with photography again. I really began to pursue my business and to work on my craft when I became a SAHM. I realized that I already loved taking portraits, so I decided to make this into something real and not just a hobby. I still love to learn new ways to improve my photography skills; whether that is taking online courses with some of the greatest or going to shootouts with other creatives. Ultimately, I want to show people that I’m a “boss” lady managing my business, motherhood, my household, and enjoying the blessings I’ve been given to create art.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’ve always been fascinated by cultivating my artistic side of photography and show people what we all tend to miss in life. The moments of unscripted, true in nature shots. The images people often don’t think about capturing because they feel a posed portrait shows off their family best. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good smiling portrait; but to me, the real, authentic moments are the ones I love the most. It shows how my clients interact with each other, their love for one another and that life is not always bubbles and rainbows. It can be stressful to get family portraits done. I get it. I have those same moments with my little family as well. To me, what makes the difference in how your portraits turn out is how the photographer interacts with you and your family.

They make you forget the stress it took to find that perfect family outfit. If your kid will smile or look at the camera, or if you are capturing your birth; that you don’t end up having your baby in a car or in the middle of a store. Although, as a photographer, that would be an amazing story to share.

I’m a boutique style photographer who provides families long lasting heirlooms with an ease that the portraits they choose are those they truly love. My hands on in-person approach helps my clients feel connected the moment we begin to work together. I love capturing my client’s biggest family milestones. Maternity, Birth, and Newborn photography is my jam, but I also like to do family and couple sessions too. Starting out, I would take on just about anything I could get my hands on. I even have a few weddings under my belt, but as I grew my business, and really started narrowing down my passion, I ultimately fell in LOVE with birth; and of course, the beauty of motherhood in general. After experiencing birth twice in my lifetime, each having a unique story of how they were born; I knew that birth photography was my calling.

I love the unapologetic rawness of birth. Embracing every phase of motherhood from pregnancy to birth, to having that little one in your arms is my “WHY”. Why I love to show women how beautiful and strong they are to bring life into this world. No matter how they choose to do it, for me, it’s ALL important. Even for families who choose to adopt or have a surrogate, “they” toodeserve to be celebrated, because ultimately their motherhood journey is often harder, with many heartbreaks, and if I can give them some light by capturing their story. I want to be a part of it.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
If I can offer any kind of advice, it would be to listen to your heart and find what you love to do. Pursue it. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Find a good mentor in your artistic passion. Be open to change, and open to changing some more. Be open to learning. Never stop learning. There is no right way to create art. If you do what you love, the job itself will not seem unfulfilling. It will only encourage you to push forward, and the blessings that come from it will only be a glimpse of what the possibilities are. And let’s just say they are “Endless.”

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I like to meet with my potential clients over coffee at a local coffee shop. We discuss their needs for my service, what I offer in terms of maternity, birth, and newborn packages, (or family sessions), and it helps us get a feel for one another and if I’m a great fit for them. I often guide people in my style of work, by showcasing it via my website at  orthrough Facebook or Instagram @emfphotographyllc OR if they are interested in my work in birth photography, I either show them a few videos in person, or I guide them to my Instagram account strictly for birth @births.needisaymore.

If you’d like to meet me and learn about what I offer. I will be at the Mom Made Market at Chapparel High School on February 9th and 10th from 10am to 3pm. It’s a great event for Mom’s, expecting Mommas, or Mom’s who want to shop for their friends and family. Lots of great vendors will be there, as well as myself. Come and stop by my booth and enter for a chance to win some goodies!! Hope to see you there.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Headshot; Taken by Simply Captured Photography, Edited by myself
Studio Maternity Image (Grey Dress) Styled/Coordinated by Acapello Photography, HMUA Yolanda Lake
Ballerina Maternity Images: HMUA Nataliya Kovchan De Sanchez.

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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