Erika Ray Photography » blog


I get a lot of emails and comments that sound like this:

You are so real.  You don’t find that often online

Of course this is extremely touching to me.  I take great pride in portraying myself on the blog exactly how I am in real life.  If you run into me at Target, I’ll either be talking too loud or disheveled trying to leave the toy aisle   But I won’t clam up.  I’ll talk your ear off until one of my kids drags me away.

On the blog, you’ll hear about what’s bugging me and what’s making me excited.  You’ll see photos of my life exactly how it plays out.  Why?  Because I believe that realness offers a connection.  And for all the shittiness the Internet breeds,  the ability to connect outweighs it all.  And I think being as true to ourselves online strengthens that connection.

But sometimes, the comments give me pause.  Why isn’t the Internet full of Real people?  Everyone has the ability to photograph their lives exactly as they unfold.  They have the ability to connect on a deeper level.  You don’t have to constantly spill about how you hate that your husband sucks his teeth after eating an apple.  You don’t have to only rant about your snotty children.  You don’t have to be so honest and tell the world that you’re cheating on your spouse or that you have herpes.  But it’s ok if you want to.

I had no clue what to write about in my Breakout session.  None.  I use my blog to spew.  What could I teach people?  Plus I’m a self-taught photographer.  I asked a few photography friends who I really trust.  They all said, “Be you.”  I got pissed at them.  How am I supposed to type 12K about me?  Come on, Pals.  I needed more.  And then I got another Real comment.  Light bulb.

I write here for selfish reason.  I write here because it feels good.  But what if I wrote how I got Real and how someone else could do the same?  What if I stopped being selfish and shared that info with other people?  We all have the ability to be real.  We just have to do it be willing to be confident and vulnerable at the same time.  We have to be willing to share and connect.  We have to be willing to comfort other people and to accept other people’s comfort as needed.  We have to be willing to be honest because I believe that life gets a little better when we become Real.

Head over and sign up.  You have until Wednesday to ask me any question on the session.  The breakout session is a mini book and will help you see why being honest in photography is important.  It will help you bring that honesty to your photography and to your blog.  You’ll get 4 videos of me editing photos: Why black & white photos should be special photos and not made special by simply converting to B&W.  Color photos made a little more real by editing them in LR and how to add text to your photo in Photoshop.  Plus you’ll get to hear my voice.  What do you think I sound like?

Go on and buy it.  Pour yourself a stiff drink and cuddle up with me all weekend.

Don’t worry.  I took a shower so I smell good.

  • Lisa - I’m thinking it was good of you to shower! xApril 12, 2013 – 4:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachael May (Portland Family Photographer) - I get the Clickin’ moms newsletters all the time about the break out sessions and I browse the photographer’s blog when they pop up and after that I never really am interested in hearing much more from them.

    Then yours came up and after I browsed your blog for like….30 minutes I was like. Yeah….I think I’d like to buy a friendship with her :) So I did. Reading through the PDF now has really has made me stop and think which….well….it’s refreshing. lol.

    So…anyone who blogstalked THIS comment….Go buy her breakout session. You won’t be made into someone else’s style….you’ll find the beauty in your own.April 12, 2013 – 4:44 pmReplyCancel

    • MissySue - You’re pretty much awesome. Thinking I’m gonna head on over to CM and buy that friendship :-)

      love + luck + bliss,
      MissySueApril 13, 2013 – 9:00 amReplyCancel

  • skeller - haha. As one of those twits who told you to be YOU, I think I also predicted that you would be able to sit back and soak in the love and accolades you would receive. I was sooo right. Wasn’t I? Go ahead. Say it. Susan was so right. [insert sarcastic winky face]April 13, 2013 – 2:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Andrea Meisgeier - Gosh darn it! I think I’m going to have to sign up for your breakout session now! Sounds too good to pass up. And I do love that you are real and honest in this space and in your photography.April 13, 2013 – 5:03 pmReplyCancel

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