Scheduled to teach:
Erin (ErinMariePhotography.com) is a freelance photographer specializing in travel and documentary photography, with years of experience shooting events and portraits. Growing up in Pennsylvania, she started her career in the visual arts as a cinematographer and filmmaker, releasing numerous festival favorites and starting her own video and editing business.
Erin?s love of photography grew alongside her love of travel. She describes her personal philosophy as, “there is no greater joy in life than traveling, getting out of your comfort zone, and diving into the unknown, the unknown comes with a risk, but I believe it is much riskier to forget that there is a world far bigger than your own daily grind.” Erin is passionate about using photography to highlight the colors, challenges, uniqueness, and surprising similarities of life around the planet.
Erin’s work has been featured in several shows such as Viva La Muxer and Save Art: Picture the City. She is a winner of the Adventures Within Reach Travel Photography Competition. Currently she is preparing for an interactive exhibit at Gravy Studios in Philadelphia, where she is working with a local musician to create original tracks to accompany her photos. When she is not traveling or shooting, Erin teaches for several fantastic photography non-profit organizations, Las Fotos Project and LACP.
Erin resides in Los Angeles and is currently planning her next trip.
Erin Marie Davis Portfolio
Julia Dean Interviews Erin Davis
LACP Founder and Executive Director Julia Dean asks Erin Marie Davis ten questions about her background, career in and beliefs about photography.
Julia Dean: What kind of photographer are you?
Erin Marie Davis: I am predominantly a travel photographer, although I find inspiration in a wide variety of subjects. I live for fantastic light and colors to help bring to life whatever story I am trying to tell. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, so nature and wildlife has always been an important part of my work. After spending the last 15 years living in major metropolitan areas and city-hopping all over the world, my work has expanded to include architecture, people, urban landscapes and more. One of the more challenging aspects of travel photography that I love is that each destination offers something unique, so the subjects of interest are ever changing. For this reason, I find great value in being as versatile and skilled in as many different styles of photography as possible.
JD: How long have you been shooting?
ED: I have been shooting all of my life, but it really wasn’t until my first trip abroad, when my passion for photography really began to take off. I spent years teaching abroad and leading international adventure programs. I was often asked to document the trips for the companies I was traveling for, and I soon began to look forward to the photography aspect almost as much as the trip itself. One year, I won the company contest for my set of images from Peru and I realized I was just getting started.
JD: Where did you get your training?
ED: I was trained at Temple University in Film/Media Arts. It was during this program where I was first introduced to lighting, color, and composition, which set the groundwork for my life behind the camera. I went on to get a Master?s Degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, finding great value in being able to communicate in my travels. I started a video production and editing business, which I still own and operate here in Los Angeles: Reel 9 Productions. The art of cinematography employs many of the same principles as still photography and I have found the transition to be seamless. I have taken a personal vow to be a lifelong student, so my education and professional development is ongoing.
JD: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
ED: I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue filmmaking. After working on several feature films, television shows, and in the commercial world, I began to get a creative wandering eye and decided I needed to explore that further. I purchased my beloved Canon Mark III 5D and took a photography class at UCLA with Amanda Konya Keller. She was such a motivating force for me and introduced me to the photography community in Los Angeles. It was around then that I knew I wanted to devote my life to photography.
JD: Did you ever come close to giving up?
ED: No. For me, photography is a passion and I will find a way to continue doing it with or without financial reward.
JD: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
ED: By working in the arts, I suppose I have sacrificed what is considered to be a normal life. No, I don’t have a standard 9-5 job with PTO and health insurance. But for me, photography and film have been a springboard for many of the jobs I have now that bring me the most joy and fulfillment. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
JD: What have you gained by being a photographer?
ED: By being a photographer I have gained a new way of looking at the world. I know that many people rush around every day, blind to the beauty and stories that are happening around them all day long (I know that because I was one of them). I feel fortunate to have had an artistic ‘awakening’ where, as long as I have my camera, I am in a constant state of observation and awareness, waiting for that decisive moment. That state of presence keeps me on my toes, and has me learning and improving my craft every day.
JD: What classes do you teach at LACP?
ED: I am excited to be teaching a brand new Self Portrait class for LACP’s teen program.
JD: What do you love most about teaching?
ED: I have taught at the University level, for adult programs, for high/middle school students, and even coached track and cross-country teams across the US. I have also been teaching youth photography in Los Angeles since 2015. Even though the subject matter isn’t always the same, every teaching job I’ve had always has one important thing in common: the opportunity to make a positive impact in someone’s life. This might sound clich but as I wrote above, I had a very inspiring teacher who helped to flush out and shape a passion that was already inside me and I am so grateful for that. I look forward to every chance I have to do that for someone else.
JD: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
ED: I have a few students every semester that come to me wanting to pursue photography further, whether it be in college or outside of the classroom. I always tell them the same thing: shoot as often as you can. The more you shoot the better you will get, the more you will learn, and the faster you will improve and find your voice. If you don’t have a class or job thats giving you work, give yourself personal projects to work on and make sure you follow through. My students who have been with me for multiple semesters have grown by leaps and bounds. It’s just a matter of practicing what you learn and challenging yourself.