Erika Pearce Photography|Northshore, Covington & Mandeville Family & Birth Photographer

Capture the Adventure

Exclusive Birth Photographer specializing in all things motherhood. Birth, Maternity, and lifestyle newborn are our specialties. We service Southeast Louisiana Northshore including the Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs and surrounding areas and travels to New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Marissa's Maternity Session | Louisiana Birth Photographer - Covington LA Mandeville Northshore NOLA New Orleans Photography Fountainbleu State Park Belly Pics

Marissa’s

Maternity


Oh, Marissa!

You are so GORGEOUS! Growing a baby looks absolutely stunning on you. You are confident and bold. You are strong and generous. Motherhood looks beautiful on you and so does pregnancy.

We shot in Fountainbleu State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana. Fountaintbleu is a staple in Southern Louisiana. The beautiful oak trees dripping moss is usually what brings most people this way, but the little gem of a beach on Lake Ponchartrain is certainly something not to miss.

Marissa wanted to showcase her tummy. That was a genius decision on her part. Her baby belly is stunning. The dress the look… it just worked. The beach was really the perfect place to make it come together.

A few things about this day. It was almost night by the time we got there and settled. It wasn’t due to scheduling but the crazy dark storm that was on the way. My goal for clients it to help them remember the feelings of their moments. I don’t want the weather to cast a “cloud” over how the moments they are documenting. This resulted in a bit of magic made on my end, but I really translated beautifully. I actually love to shoot in overcast skies because they create a dreamy lighting. HOWEVER, it was so cloudy, that it really did look all but night. In the end, that doesn’t matter. What really matters is that the end product perfectly preserves this beautiful and capable strong mama that invokes all the warm fuzzies she felt and will now always be able to remember vividly with the images.

What I Learned About Adoption from Miss Marley | Louisiana Birth Photographer - Covington La Madeville Madisonville Northshore New Orleans NOLA Baby Pics

Miss Marley’s Story


Oh, Miss Marley. You are treasured and held so closely in love, sweet girl.

Marley was born fast and furiously into this world. So fast, in fact, that she was born in the car, in the parking lot of a Louisiana police station, and into her mother’s arms. Right after she was born, her birth mama looked at little Marley’s mother and said “Happy Birthday” and put the little 4lbs and some oz body into her mother’s arms like the precious gift that she is. Marley was born in a car, in a New Orleans police station parking lot, and into her adoptive mama’s arms on her mama’s BIRTHDAY!

I was on standby for the birth itself, but I had a call from the birth mother’s sister while I was at another birth. Maybe within 10 minutes I had another call that Miss Marley was already here… born in the car. I made plans to go the following day.

I haven’t had my own journey intertwine with an adoption story like this before. I didn’t really know what to expect or what I should prepare my heart for. The way it had come about left some questions of understanding how everyone that would be there would all fit together. That doesn’t really matter, but not knowing what to expect, I wanted to make sure I was mentally and emotionally prepared.

Once I was there, I understood. The adoptive parents were there, the birth mom was there, and the birth mom’s sister as well. It was room full of joy, tears, grief, and blessings. It was one of the most sacred events I’ve ever been a part of.

I won’t go into details about everything and everyone. It really isn’t my place, but I will tell you this:

Adoption often celebrates the joy and open arms of those receiving such a blessing. I’d not really seen the sense of loss and wounds that would take time, prayer and much mercy to heal. You see, adoption is very joyful. It truly is SUCH a blessing. However, there are also many layers of other complex emotions that take so much time and thought and the hand of the Lord to mend and grow and change.

What did I learn from Miss Marley? Far more than I expected.

I learned that beauty from ashes is one of the most precious gifts we have on this earth to experience and there is joy within the tears of loss. There is grace that surpasses anything anyone on this earth can give. There is a love letter written within the ebbs and flows of grief.

It was the most selfless, life-giving, sorrowful, and gorgeous love story I’ve seen in first person, aside from own redemption in Christ.

From the love that flowed from the birth mother to the child as she said goodbye in front of my eyes, to the love overflowing onto Marley from her mother and father in that room, then to the unconditional humility and gratitude from these parents towards the birth mama, to the deep heart-felt connection between these two mothers, and the silent & joyous yet grieving eyes of a sister that loved her niece so much that she reached out to make sure her niece AND sister were cared for fully in the most selfless way by the two new parents…

… I saw the love of a Father that redeems and pursues His children in a purposeful, forever way and cascades love that ripples farther than any of us can see.

Thank you for helping me learn so much, Marley. You’ve taught us all so much about the One from whom all blessings flow. Thank you, sweet one.

Laura's Birth Story | Covington Lousiana Birth Photographer - Mandeville LA Madisonville Abita Springs New Orleans NOLA Northshore Photography Labor & Delivery Pics Baby STPH St Tammany Hospital

Laura’s Birth Story


Birth Photography isn’t a “thing” everywhere. We are in one of those places. A lot of clients don’t know what to expect or even if it is something that they truly want until they have had time to think it through. Laura was a sweet client that decided she really wanted relive the birth of her second child. She contacted me and then some time later decided it was time to book.

Her birth was so sweet. Once it was time, Baby Catherine couldn’t want to come out. She came so quickly! She had so much glorious hair! The amazing nurses at St Tammany Parish Hospital (Covington, Louisiana) were AMAZING with her birth. I was completely blown away.

Because she came so late at night, I came back the following morning in between births to catch her oldest, Conner, meeting his sister for the first time. Connor was not too pleased! He has since warmed up beautifully. It can be so tough on little ones when they meet a new baby.

Congratulations to the sweet family! So happy I could document your baby girl coming into this world!

A Busy Season | Covington, Louisiana Birth Photographer - Mandeville LA Northshore NOLA New Orleans Photography baby pics new life

It has been a welcomed and treasure busy season. ALL THE BABIES! I am so excited and truly honored to be a part of so many births. I truly cherish what I do. Here’s what I’ve been up to the last several months. I’ll catch up with allllll the babies and sweet mamas I’ve been serving.


I’ve known Alli for a good long while. She has always been so dear and kind and eager to help. She was a Labor & Delivery nurse for some time, so this was a really fun and full-of-energy birth. She contacted me after for her 3rd little one. This baby’s sex was a surprise, and quite honestly watching people find out if they have little miss or sir is just so special.

I have a good bit of nurse clients for some reason. They are always SO fun. At one point, her birth space felt like a party! There was laughter and visitors and kind words floating all around her room at Woman’s Hospital (Baton Rouge, LA).

Alli labored beautifully. It seemed that even tho she was progressing nicely, things were manageable. Then, WHAM… like it usually happens, it got real very quickly. Her husband was such perfect constant support. Her nurse/friend was so attentive. She powered through with the amazing support.

It seemed like out of nowhere it was time to meet this little miracle.

EVERYONE WAS SO EXCITED! Alli and her husband were truly overjoyed with the thought of either a boy or girl. They truly were so happy to simply have the missing piece of their puzzle with them.

AND THAT PUZZLE PIECE WAS A GIRL!

The doctor cheered! The room full of nurses, techs and other hospital workers that just wanted to be in on the fun all screamed! It was precious!

Alli did so well. Her brothers love her so much. The entire family was overjoyed.

Kathryn Cecilia is here and is just so well loved!

The Kids in Color | Covington LA Birth Photography Mandeville Madisonville Louisiana Birth Photographer Styled Lifestyle Photography

This was a very special and personal project for me. I had wanted to update some things on my site and dreamed this little dream up a long while back. I knew it would take a lot to execute it so I kept holding off, but I knew now was the time.

So we have always color coded our children’s cups, placemats, plates, towels, bean bags, chairs, etc. We did this for two reasons: 1. We wanted to keep germs spreading to a minimum. I mean, if one gets strep throat, I really wanted to give the others the best shot possible to not get it. and 2. I wanted them to feel like they owned something that was completely theirs. I wanted them to be confident that in a family of 6 people, they would have their bean bag and it belonged to them only. I know the latter might seem silly, but it was never forced. They have never fought over objects that are “theirs”. Everyone has been content and happy with their colors.

First was my daughter. When she was itty bitty and her baby brother (they are 18 months apart) started crawling and could pull up on things, he started stealing her sippy cups. Our response was we could give her a special color and him one and then they would know what belonged to each person. She picked her color, and naturally picked pink. If anyone knows Ella Joy, you’ll totally understand that choice.

The pink session was the most fun and off the cuff to plan. I happened to have everything in my closet already. I didn’t buy a single thing! The shoes, I had bought for my little yellow lovin’ boy, but them came in and were rose gold rather than yellow gold and it was perfect. Also, those puppies were only $10 on amazon prime! WOW!

I had remembered a pink house in NOLA when visiting City Park. I stopped and knocked on the door to see if they minded us shooting on the stoop/sidewalk. They were so kind!

Ella Joy and I also share a HUGE love for cats. I thought it was the perfect shoot to incorporate our cats. I added them in post processing for sentimental reasons. Ella Joy thought it was funny how the second image alluded to our cats running away, so I just kept it. LOL

Up next was my oldest son, Britt. He picked blue when he was teeny tiny and it just stuck. I had wanted a grafitti wall, but with my Birth Client Schedule, I thought it best to keep it simple. We started in front of a random blue building. The treat was supposed to be a snowball afterwards. When we pulled up to our favorite local snowball stand (Cold Rush Snowballs), IT WAS BLUE! It just clicked. That’s one thing I’ve learned so much from birth photography, you can’t force anything. You have to just let it flow.

This just “clicked” . This is very much my fun-loving buddy.

The outfits were pretty easy. The dress was $10 on amazon. My jacket and shoes were more than I had wanted to spend, but they were so perfect (from amazon too… notice a theme here?! lol) . My sun actualyl owned everything already. Idid have to change some colors on his shoes and vest in photoshop, but it was pretty easy.

On to my middle son Jenkins! This was by far the most challenging. Everything was more challenging in fact.

Yes, Jenkins chose green as “his color”. He was very small and always loved it.

I have an ongoing joke with all the kids. I always mention how I want someone to buy me a pony. Even now, one will say, “Mom, guess what?” My response is often, “YOU BOUGHT ME A PONY?!” They laugh and laugh. Jenkins, however, will find me little toy ponies around the house and bring them to me. My nightstand is full of toy ponies. Sweet boy!

Finding a pony was really tough. It took weeks. I finally stumbled upon and called Splendor Farms in Bush, LA, and they were PERFECT! They were so kind and accommodating. We showed up SUPER early in the morning because of impending weather. Beautiful, clear skies and sweet little Buckshot were there. He was the sweetest pony!

Jenkins was in heaven.

The natural setting was kind of throwing me off. All the other kids were in a more urban setting. The natural greens and light made the shoot different than the others. Editing was tough too… . The settings of the other sessions naturally flowed like images from the same series. The nature made this stand out. Making it fit in would be a challenge.

I actually had to edit and step away. I shared it with my friend, and after looking at it several hours later again, I knew how I could refine it, make it more whimsical, and more in tune with the rest of the series.

These outfits were by far the most pricey. My dress had a corseted back. Jenkins suit was way too small… . lol . BUT IT WORKED. These actually might be my favorite!

And last but not least, my little Dumplin’-ee-doo!

Ark Harrison has always LOVED yellow (well, I should say “lellow”). It was a no-brainer. He was SO EXCITED! He was more excited than any of them to wear his lellow clothes in a lellow place and take his lellow photo.

I have shot in this yellow alley before. It actually one of my favorite spots in Downtown Covington. The sun is perfect. The dreamy lighting is always on point.

I had to purchase his shoes and suspenders… together it was $16. Then I purchased the shirt, leggings and shoes (together around $40), From where? You guessed… AMAZON. lol

This is my husband’s favorite session. He loved it.

SO HOW DID I SHOOT THIS?!

My husband pretty much always snaps any photo I’m in. I find the spot to and POV I was to shoot from, set my camera with all the settings, taught him how to focus, and he clicks the button. I run back and forth a lot, but it’s pretty easy now. I prefer a person behind the camera for some reason. In my mind, it helps you feel the photograph better. That being said, you should have seen us on our first shoot for my headshots! LOL . It was hilarious!

I so hope you enjoyed these as much as I did creating them. This is so special to my heart. I really am hoping that the kids enjoy it as much as I do. I hope it’s a sweet heirloom for their kids and grandkids.

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE!? I’d love to hear in the comments!

BONUS: Stay tuned for a special monochrome session with my husband! It’s in the planning phase now!

Lifestyle Newborn | Covington Louisiana Photographer Mandeville LA Abita Springs Madisonville Northshore Birth Photography - Little Jolie

I'm asked about how "late" is too late for a Lifestyle Newborn session?  I don't think there is really a time to not have a lifestyle session in your home.  Ideally, a baby between 5-14 days old is probably the best time.  They will be squishy and cuddly and sleepy.   When you get a little older, tummy troubles creep in and they might not sleep as well, BUT it is still a perfect time.  They only stay tiny once.  Don't blink, or it will be gone.  So sad, but so true.   

Little Jolie Marie's parents scheduled their Lifestyle Newborn session right at her 1 month birthday!  She is so GORGEOUS!  The whole family is beautiful.  Jolie was wide eyed and discovering so much around her.  It was just precious.  Her parents just ADORE her.  It's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.  

Welcome, Jolie!  You are such a joy and treasure!   And your pup, Mr. Bingles, loves you so much!

Rachel's Florida Maternity Session | Louisiana Birth Photographer- Covington Mandeville New Orleans Northshore NOLA

Oh, Rachel!  You are such a beauty.  Not only that, but apparently always ready for an adventure!  

Rachel and I met through our love of handmade clothing.  Our daughters both modeled for an amazing brand called Maisie Jayne.  The clothes are so gorgeous and beautiful.  Through that online introduction, we formed a sweet friendship.  We messaged and chatted regularly.  We just clicked.  Needless to say, it left a lasting impression on me.  She's just amazing.  

Rachel let me know that she was expecting another little darling!  It's a BOY this time, and I'm so excited for her.  I knew right away that I'd love to photograph her, but making happen was going to be a little tricky.  You see, Rachel lives about 10 hours away from me in Florida.

BUT WE MADE IT HAPPEN! 

And I'm so glad that we did.  It was just beautiful.  We even saw a snake that scared me sick.   lol  It was a wonderful time.  Plus, I finally got to meet my friend face to face.  She is amazing.  I wish you, Shaun, and big sister Ava the BEST while you wait to meet your little fella.  

Why Do I Do What I Do?| Louisiana Birth Photographer- Covington LA Mandeville LA Northshore New Orleans NOLA

I hear this a lot...  

"You do what?!" 

And yes,  I do. 

I LOVE IT SO MUCH!  

...  And here is why...


So this is me.   Yeah, right up there.   I had updated head shots recently while visiting my dear friend in Austin.  I decided to take advantage of this gorgeous green house with some updated images. 


Now, on to the good stuff.  

How on earth did I start photographing births?  Why do I do this?  Do I really photograph everything?  Even the... "private places"?   

To answer briefly, YES, but it is so much more than private places and intimate moments.  

Let me start from the beginning.  

Before I ever picked up a camera, I was a birth advocate.  I worked constantly with a local nonprofit to expand birth options in my area, the Northshore (i.e. all of St. Tammany parish in south east Louisiana).   I had 4 cesareans myself.  Sparing you from much detail, just know that of the four, only one had a true emergent reason to warrant a cesarean.  I have never been against the amazingness that is science and modern medicine, but if a woman does not need intense medical intervention, I do not believe she should have it.  

While working for this amazing local group (you can find their website HERE), my heart for women in childbirth grew tremendously.  Having their stories preserved became incredibly important to me.  Having their voices heard whether they choose natural birth or an epidural or a cesarean became pivotal in my journey.  

And then came the photography...

Photography pretty much blindsided me out of nowhere.  My daughter was modeling for a designer.  She was about 5-6 months into modeling when the photographer dropped out.  I sheepishly asked the designer if I could try my hand at it because I would be able to keep trading photos for clothing at the time.  She agreed, and GOODNESS.  I have no idea why.  My first images were terrible.  They truly were awful.  BUT the Lord is good.  I slaved away making sure a piece of machinery would not win over me.  I was determined to master it, though had no intentions of going into photography professionally.  However, about two months into working with a camera, I shockingly fell in love with it.  I truly did.  It came out of nowhere.  

My first session compared to me at 18 months worth of experience and hard work.  My current portfolio is in my galleries on this site. 

It was a natural progression to flow in Birth Photography once I knew I wanted to dive head first into this art.  It was really a no-brainer.  Helping women capture the empowering work of bringing their child into the world matched with lifting them up to see the strength of their bodies the way God designed them was truly where my heart was led.  So yes, I photograph private places and intimate moments.  

...  But it isn't always photos of crowning and graphic images.  It's how you want your journey captured.  I can keep things as raw or modest and intimate as you'd like it.  I am there to serve you how you need it and to capture the journey privately or openly as you'd like.  And no, I never share images that have mother's ask me not to.  It is your story and yours to share how you like.   


F U N   F A C T S :

•  My kiddos are one of my FAVORITE things about this planet.  They shine brighter and brighter with their sweet hearts every day.  Super duper cheesy,  but oh-so-true! 
•  I love hot tea.  I have a cuppa every morning.  Strawberry Shortcake is my favorite.  
•  I legitimately thought I was a "dog person" until about a year ago.  Nope.  I'm totally a cat lady.  
•  Birth Photography falls in line with maternity and newborn photography to me.  I love sharing with mamas how their heart can grow in a moment.  It grows perfectly in all three of those realms... growing a baby, birthing a baby, and falling in love with a baby.  
•  My husband is legitimately my favorite person.  
•  Halloween is my favorite holiday!  
•  The older I get, the more and more I value sweet friendships.  Those relationships develop my character and help me grow in invaluable ways.  
•  Seriously, I crack jokes all the time.  It's kind of how I cope with social anxiety too.   If you see me in a social setting, no doubt I am running my mouth...  making a fool of myself.   
•  I love adventure and being outside.  I love climbing, lifting weights, hiking, strolling through creeks, etc.  
•  I'm a big science fiction/fantasy nerd.  I love reading books and watching films where the impossible is possible and magic exists.  
•  Yes, I'm a Christian.  Absolutely.  God has delivered me from so much and is better than all the things.