I had the great pleasure of meeting local photographer and mom, Erin Dietrich. I had the even bigger pleasure of hanging out with her toddler during our time together. Not to take the focus of what this post is really about, but she made me miss having little ones. Somehow when you’re the mom of a toddler, it’s nearly impossible to keep perspective. But when your youngest is seven, you delight in their lack of inhibition that shows in a sweet little swagger and funny comments. Stuff like that makes my heart happy.
I came upon Erin and her work on the mother of all social networks, Facebook. We belong to a mutual Myrtle Beach Area Moms group. It was a mention of a special mini-session that led me to her website and business fan page.
Let me begin this by saying I’ve always wished I was a better photographer. I have an appreciation for it but not the equipment and patience to make it happen. Yet, when I see good photography, it takes my breath away. After looking at Erin’s site I almost needed mouth-to-mouth. I knew, immediately, I had to meet her.
We got together on a sunny, warm morning at her new studio located at 926 E. Iris Street in the Market Common, a dream come true, Erin shared. Originally from New York, the Dietrich family came to Myrtle Beach after living in the San Diego area as her husband served in the Marine Corps. (Shout out to Camp Pendleton where my niece, her husband, and my great-nephew live!)
Erin is a professionally trained photographer and has been doing it since 2008. In October of 2011 she was able to make it her full-time career.
Erin’s studio is airy and bright. She’s got lots of adorable props and backgrounds. It’s geared towards children and babies. And while she’s over-the-moon about having a place that’s her own (well technically it’s a shared space with Crystal Lee Kiser, photographer of babies and weddings), she prefers to take photos on location.
Erin finds a meaningful or fitting location for each session. The Riverwalk in Conway, Atalaya castle at Huntington Beach State Park, and farmland out in Loris are among her preferred spots. As far as favorite poses – she has none. She’s all about catching the personalities, uniqueness, and “the moment”.
When I asked her if she ever had the photo shoot from hell, she mentioned only one couple that seemed to have no chemistry. So I rephrased and asked what keeps her up at night with regard to family photography. She said, “a family insisting on all wearing khaki pants and white shirts wanting a generic picture on the beach.” There’s nothing wrong with that photo, of course, but I’ve perused the portfolios of many local photographers and that pose and wardrobe is pretty prevalent. Something I loved is that Erin will actually go shopping with her clients to find the perfect outfit.
One thing to note that is that none of this comes inexpensively. Though, when I had a pretty frank talk with her about the prices, she made several good points.
There has been a huge increase in “family photographers” pop up in our area. Several are friends of mine and definitely take beautiful photos. However, while they are talented, they are often minimally trained. Erin also talked about how these photos are an investment. “How many times a year do you go to Target and leave with a cart full of things you didn’t know you needed? Add a few of those trips together and you pay for photos you’ll treasure forever.”
Erin shoots maternity, babies, children, teens, and couples. Her sessions begin at $300, with $150 as a talent fee and $150 going towards prints ordered within two weeks of the session. She also offers a multi-session plan, taking you from maternity to first birthday. While she caters to locals, she’ll gladly accept requests from visitors. Each of her clients will preview their photos online in a password protected gallery, so even if you’re only in the Grand Strand for a week, she can take care of you.
You can see tons of her gorgeous work on her site, blog, Twitter, and Pinterest. To keep up with the latest from Erin Dietrich Photography, “like”her Facebook page. In the past she’s offered mini-sessions and (I need this) photography classes, both great ways to begin a relationship with her, sometimes at a fraction of the cost of a typical photo session.
When you meet her, I’m certain you’ll enjoy your time as much as I did. Erin, thank you for spending the morning with me, telling me all about your business. Like so many other Grand Strand moms, you’re doing such a great job providing a beautiful service to our families.
Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.