Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Williams.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have always loved all forms of art for as long as I can remember. Always in my room coloring or drawing. While attending high school, I took art classes all four years. When I graduated high school, I continued my studies into interior design. Art goes deep within my roots. I didn’t find my love for photography until I had my second child and moved to Arizona. In May 2008, I started my photography business and quit my full-time job at the bank. I always knew I wanted to do something with my art skills and photography found me.
I didn’t go to college for photography specifically. My art background and interior design background has helped me along the way. I am self-taught mainly but do take photography courses yearly to learn new things and stay inspired. I didn’t start as Woodsy Wonders Photography. I re-branded in 2014 right before we moved to Dallas, Texas. Re-branding and moving didn’t slow my business down. I started networking with local businesses and growing my business before I even moved. I started getting new clients about two weeks after we moved into our new home. We stayed in the Dallas area for about 3 1/2 years and decided it wasn’t for us. In the summer of 2018, we decided to move back to Queen Creek, Arizona.
It’s been almost 11 years since I started my photography business. When I am not taking photos, I miss it. It’s something that I am passionate about. Photography speaks to my soul. My children are my inspiration like many other lifestyle photographers. Documenting my own children’s childhood and embracing the time we have with them. Being able to offer that to others is something I hold dear to my heart.
Please tell us about your art.
I am a lifestyle photographer specializing in families and newborns. My main focus is on family connections. I am not your typical say cheese and smile photographer. I am more of a director, like in a movie. I give general directions to my clients and see what their natural reactions are. I want to capture them how they are, not some fake smiling photo. I want to capture their personalities, their love for one another. My favorite quote is, “If a photograph does not make you feel something, then what is it’s purpose?” It is so true!!
I want my sessions to seem as natural as possible. All my locations are, and I try to find the most remote locations. I feel like busy locations are too distracting for kids and adults. They can’t relax and be themselves. If we have to drive 2 hours into the mountains to find some peace and quiet, then we do. You won’t find me in a crowded downtown street. I also offer in-home lifestyle sessions. There is no better place to be yourself than in your own home. These sessions work beautifully for families with toddler or families with children affected by autism. The children are comfortable and more likely to open up.
My inspiration comes from my own family. I want to create beautiful moments for other families. It’s so important to document these times together. Children grow so fast. Seasons of life come and go. I want to tell your story!
I hope that people look at my work and feel something. Maybe they feel nostalgia? Maybe they feel happiness? That is my end goal, creating art full of emotion and connection. Every family is different, they all have their own unique stories to tell. That’s what is so beautiful about it; not every session is the same.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success to me is not how many sessions I booked that year or how much money I made. Sure, it’s nice to make a good profit, especially if this is your full-time job. Success to me is taking one session at a time and giving it your best. In order to keep my work high quality, I only book one session a day and only three sessions a week. I do not offer mini sessions. I don’t feel you can really capture a family in 15-20 minutes. To be a successful photographer, you need to stick to your values and policies, set guidelines to follow, don’t get burnt out on overshooting, take time off for your own family, practice saying no and always keep learning. Those are so important to staying inspired as an artist. It’s so hard being a business owner and the artist. Sometimes dealing with the business side can affect your creative side.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am a nationally published photographer. You can find my work in the Beauty Revived Magazine. I have also been published in Click Magazine. You can find Click Magazine in any Barnes and Noble bookstore. I am a Click Pro for the Clickin Moms community. Click Pro is a modern network of highly skilled professional photographers and independent artists. I have also published an online e-course for photographers wanting to learn about how to create emotion through their own work called Bold, Emotional, Colorful Lifestyle Imagery.
You can find my online e-course here:
You can support my work by following me through social media or if you are local, booking a portrait session or purchasing my online e-course.
- Address: Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
- Website: www.woodywondersphotography.com
- Phone: 832-444-1855
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/woodsywondersphoto
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/woodsywondersphotography
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/woodsywonders
- Other: https://www.clickinmoms.com/cmu/bold-emotional-colorful-lifestyle-imagery/
Jasmine Balderaz (Personal Photo)