Erica Peerenboom

Erica's passion for photography is easy to see in her vibrant and dynamic images. Based in rural Ohio, Erica has been photographing people for as long as she can remember. Her raw talent combined with a casual, documentary style approach makes her a photographer to keep your eye on.

Using Zenfolio as her main website, Erica loves how easy the system makes it to be creative with customization. Her eye for design has helped her to create stunning web pages that make a great first impression on potential clients.
Never having learned how to program HTML, she was surprised and delighted to realize that she could create a unique and fresh design for her Zenfolio site without having to learn the coding language.
Erica uses Zenfolio as her main portfolio website and for all client proofing and ordering.

Where were you born and raised? Where have you settled?

Born and raised in Central Ohio. Lived in Gahanna, Westerville and Marysville.

What type of photography do you shoot most often? What type of photography are you most passionate about shooting?

Most often I do portraits with the occasional landscape. My absolute favorite portraits are high school seniors and engagement sessions. Both are all about fresh starts and exciting beginnings in a person's life. Fabulous emotions to capture! I recently started doing Pinup/Boudoir photography as well and that has been amazing. Nothing like showing a client how beautiful she truly is.

How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?

I have always been "that" person that had a camera in hand for as long as I can remember. It's funny to look back on my earlier days of arranging our families for group photos. It just seemed to come naturally to me. What led me to do this for a profession is my love of photography and the support and encouragement of friends and family.

How has Zenfolio helped your business?

It has allowed me to be very creative with my web design without having to know a lot about the technical aspects of coding. I was able to design my own site and updating it is a snap. I also love the quality of my prints through MPixPro and the turnaround time is lightening fast! They also have amazing customer service.

Tell us about your work flow, what editing program do you use?

I always shoot in RAW and use DPP (Digital Photo Professional) for my uploading/review. I make minor tweaks such as white balance or adjusting lightness/darkness and a slight sharpen as RAW files can be soft. From there I open in Photoshop CS4 where I will edit the image, change it from a TIFF to a JPEG and save it. I have figured out how to make my own "actions" in Photoshop which saves a lot of time with my editing.

Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?

I am a definite Canon girl ever since my first point and shoot many years ago. Canon is all I've ever known.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

The Outsiders! I have seen it so many times I lost count. Read the book many times as well. I was definitely an obsessed teenage girl!

Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?

Mostly self taught but I have taken many on-line courses and in person classes. I also belong to several photo clubs and network with other photographers a lot. It's nice to hang out with other creative people who get you and understand your passion.

What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?

First and foremost follow your heart and don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. Learn all the financial aspects of starting your own business. You would not believe all the paperwork involved! Get a good accountant or financial planner to help you out with the start up stuff and maintaining your records. Unfortunately a lot of starting your own photography business isn't related to photography at all.

What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?

Life inspires me. My children inspire me. Other photographers inspire me.

What are your thoughts on using a Blog as part of your website? Does it help drive business?

I love to blog so I say yes, definitely blog! It helps your customers get to know you on a more personal level. I also use it for "sneak peeks" for clients as well upcoming specials and promotions.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to spend time shooting to your heart's content, where would you choose to go?

Italy! Without a doubt. My great grandparents actually came from Italy so it has a personal connection for me as well as being absolutely beautiful! There is a Flickr group for Italy that I check often. It's like a mini vacation to browse all the amazing images. Someday I will make it there with my husband to take my own photos...

What is the very first camera you ever owned?

The first camera I can remember using was my parents' Polaroid instant camera. Loved that camera!! From there I had many different cameras. My first DSLR was the Canon Rebel XS. I was in love instantly! After 2nd shooting at a wedding I realized it's limitations with low light and terrible noise at high ISO. I did a lot of research and upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark II last Spring. I absolutely love it!

What piece of equipment or doohickey do you have with you on every shoot?

My eyes. They track the light constantly. Photography is all about the light. Finding the light and using the light to the best of my ability. I am always commenting if there is "sweet light" and getting rather excited when it's perfect for a shoot. My favorite sessions are sunset shoots in romantic flowing warm fields with lots of sun flare.

Do you have any final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?

Do what you love! If you love what you do, it shows in your work! Have fun with your clients. When they leave a photo shoot with me I want them to think of me as a friend. Treat your clients as you would expect to be treated and always give 110%. Last but not least never stop learning and try to shoot every day. Have fun with it!

Erica Peerenboom

Senior Portrait Photography, Marysville, OH

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