My parents encouraged my siblings and me to follow our passions. I was especially drawn to art, travel and learning about food and where it comes from. In art school, I focused on painting and printmaking—unfortunately I didn’t take a single photography class, but in the end, my painting background has strongly influenced the photographs I make. Along with a BFA and MFA, I earned a BS in ecology. It wasn’t until my husband and I worked on organic farms in Europe for two years that I discovered a way to combine my passions. Living on ancient farms and working with such talented farmers and artisans led me to want to photograph the people and places I was experiencing, so I bought a film camera and shot hundreds of rolls of slide film.
Back in the States while working as a studio manager, I realized that commercial photography was a good fit for me. My background opened doors for me as an editorial photographer specializing in travel and food images for cookbooks and magazines. In the last four years, my work has expanded to include advertising photography focusing on food and lifestyle.
My life is centered around the things I care about most. I always try to tell an authentic story and engage with the experience of being wherever I am. The surroundings inspire me in terms of the story I tell. Whether I’m shooting food in my studio or photographing on location, my work has a strong narrative component.
When I’m not on assignment, my husband and I are often on the road exploring new surf spots, or working on our house in San Francisco. We recently built a backyard art studio that we think of as our beach house, even though it’s only 10 feet away. It’s a great place to get inspired about the work I’m doing.
Take a look at some of Erin’s nourishing work on the F+J website.