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

•Capture the Adventure•

Exclusive Birth Photographers 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.

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.
 

Paige's Maternity Session|MATERNITY Photographer Covington LA Mandeville LA Madisonville LA Northshore New Orleans NOLA Birth Photographer

Paige is so very special.  I just adore her.  I followed her through her journey for a long while now from a wedding, to birth announcements now maternity, and soon to be Birth Photography.   I honestly just love Paige and her husband to bits. 

Here are a couple of photos from our afternoon together.  More to come for sure!  And can you even believe this is right in Covington, Louisiana?!  It looks so dreamy.  I just love it. 

Welcome, Baby Adelaide! Birth Photographer Covington LA Mandeville LA Madisonville LA Norhthsore New Orleans NOLA Birth Photography

Adelaide came into this world FIERCELY!  She arrived so quickly.  It was truly amazing to see.  Holli photographed this birth for Chelsey and her husband at their home in New Orleans.  It was a whirlwind homebirth!  Seeing her brothers and sisters cry tears of joy when she arrived is nothing short of precious.  Chelsey was so strong!  

Here are some highlighted moments from the day AND a video that shows how beautiful the experience was for everyone.  

Welcome, sweet Adelaide!  You are loved to the moon and back by such an amazing family. 
 

Jennifer's MaternityICovington LA Mandeville LA Northshore NOLA New Orleans Maternity Photography

Jennifer is so naturally stunning.  

She effortlessly looks elegant.  I surely wish I had whatever it is that she has.  She owns it.  We started our session with terrible overcast at Fountainbleu State Park.  Honestly, I love overcast sessions for maternity photography.  Something about it transforms the area to an enchanted forest every time.  Sure, it's an enchanted moss covered oak tree forest in Mandeville, LA, but enchanted nonetheless.  

The sun finally broke through the clouds for the last 20 minutes of our session.  It created pure magic.   Our time together was full of laughing until I snorted, winds so strong it could blow you away (but instead created major Beyonce moments), cuddles between these two lovebirds, and so many tender moments.  

I hope you enjoy!

Happy Halloween 2017| Covington LA Mandeville LA Northshore New Orleans NOLA- Birth Photographer Whimsical Photography Children Family

"You Remind me of the babe..." 

"What babe?"

"The babe with the power."

"What power?"

"The power if Voodoo."

"Who do?"

"You do,"

"Do what?"

"Remind me of the babe!"

L A B Y R I N T H

We have had SO MUCH FUN this year!  Halloween is my FAVORITE!   Believe it or not, the kids chose our costumes this year after I showed them one of my FAVORITES, "Labyrinth".  And can we just take a moment to raise some jazz fingers that I could be Jareth, The Goblin King himself, David Bowie?!  Woohoo!  

I randomly had a good portion of what I needed.  And yes, I could not find a costume nor did I feel confident enough in my sewing ability to tackle a Ludo costume for my husband.  Therefore, he is not in in.  It is a statue.  Sad day.  BUT I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Here is the full collection:

I especially love our Sir Didymus!  lol That belly button was not intentional, but super charming.   And our baby Toby?  Phew.  My baby buddy was not having it at all!  So cranky!  

 

Special thanks to the amazing Bailey & Ava for our gorgeous Sarah gown.  It was AMAZING!  Trying to design and create the headpiece and necklace to do the gown justice was overwhelming at times.  I think our efforts definitely paid off.

Also, a special thanks to team member Holli Howard for photographing us when I couldn't... I tried, but couldn't be in two places at once.  And to my husband for catching blown away hats and flying props, you were the best! 

 
Also, side note:  That dress is my DREAM dress.  I used to have dreams of me wearing it as a child.  So happy my baby girl could wear it.  

 

Please share you costumes with me!  This is my favorite holiday!  I'd love to see all the festivities and costumes!  You can find me on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE!  

FRESH 48 PHOTOGRAPHY| Covington LA Mandeville LA NOLA New Orleans- Birth Photographer

Thrilled to announce that Erika Pearce Photography is now offering Fresh 48 Sessions!  

What is a Fresh 48?  

Fresh 48 is an intimate session that documents your life within the first 48 hours of birth.  This session lasts an hour and is held either in your home or your birthing facility.  Pictures of teeny tiny toes and sweet neck rolls are documented along with the bond that is flourishing.  Holy hormones!  They are floating all over the place making falling deeper in love more easily than you can ever imagine.  

Who might want a Fresh 48 session?

While anyone and everyone will love this session, most clients that book are the ones wanting to keep traffic to a minimum during their birth experience or wanting the beauty of those first moments captured while having a modest investment.  

Who will take the photos for my session?  

I have been able to grow leaps and bounds because of birth being celebrated and documented from this great community!  Thankfully, this has opened doors to bring on another team member to document births AND have Fresh 48 sessions on the calendar.  Holli Howard is now on the Birth Team!  She is amazing and has years of experience.  Her attention to detail and skill are impeccable.  Thankful to have the BEST at Erika Pearce Photography! 

H O L L I   H O W A R D

What is included?

As mentioned earlier, the session lasts for an hour within the first 48 hours after baby is born.  The price does include a gallery of 20 images.  It also will include a digital birth announcement to share on social media platforms.  

What is the price point?

The price for a Fresh 48 session is $600 plus tax.  It includes a digital gallery of 20 images for you to download.  The first THREE clients to book and pay their $300 downpayment will receive a 20% discount on this service!  That is a saving of $120!  


 

Please contact me for more info to have this session booked.  I so look forward to speaking with you!  You can contact me by clicking the button above to complete the form. 

Christmas Sessions|Family Photographer- Children Photography, Covington LA Mandeville LA Northshore New Orleans NOLA

"It's that time of year,

When the world falls in love, 

Every song you hear seems to say,

'Merry Christmas.  May your New Dreams come true!"  - The Christmas Waltz

 

IT'S HERE!  Details are below!  I so hope I can photograph your family this year.  Last year, these session sold so wonderfully fast.  So if I am not able to answer, don't worry.  I return calls in the order I receive them!  :) 

Samantha's Home Birth| Covington LA Mandeville LA New Orleans Birth Photographer- Home Birth Doula Midwife Photography

This birth is so special to me.  Not only did Samantha fiercely bring her new little girl into this world, but it was my first home birth.  Home birth is not a common practice on the Northshore of South Louisiana.  In fact, our region of Louisiana has the highest cesarean rate in the state!  Wowsza!  So when Samantha hired me, I jumped at the chance.  

Early on a Tuesday morning in Mandeville, LA, I got the call.  Samantha called me HERSELF and talked through her contraction.  I had an amazing young lady shadowing me for this birth.  We met and traveled together.  We got there just as Sam's water broke.  Within 30 minutes, sweet Hazel Grace was born.  It was beyond amazing.  My heart swells just thinking of it.  

This birth will forever hold a place in my heart.  I think the world of Sam and her husband Bryant.  I did before this magnificent birth and even more so after.  The midwife, Sally Acosta, and her two apprentices (shout out to Ashley and Grace!) were so kind and never doubted this mom's ability to birth AND to follow her wishes.  Her doula, Kayla Judy, is truly a joy to work with.  I always marvel at a birth with Kayla.  She knows what the mom needs and when she needs it.  She works in and out of the ebbs and flows of birth seamlessly.  Well done, birth team!  

And Sam, you are amazing.  You listened to your body.  You bravely surrendered to the pains.  You used them to bring your baby into the world.  Not only did you do all of that, but you are helping pave the way for other mothers in the Covington/Mandeville/Northshore Louisiana area.  Because you chose alternative to mainstream care, it brings us closer to helping unnecessary medical intervention and surgeries go to a place where they deserve to be... far away from our sweet mamas that birth here.  It helps them know they don't have to travel over an hour to have someone listen to their wishes.  There IS a place where medicine and having a voice can live harmoniously.  You're proof of that.  Midwifery care is gloriously beautiful.  I'm so glad you had the care you wanted and needed.  You are outstanding.  

A Mama's Guide to Choosing a Birth Photographer| Birth Photography Covington LA Mandeville LA Northshore New Orleans- Birth Photography

A Mama's Guide to Choosing a Birth Photographer

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While chatting with people throughout my day, I will get pretty much the same looks and responses every time I tell them that I photograph births.  Awe.  Disbelief.  Confusion.  Wows.  Pretty much any exclamatory response you can imagine, I've heard.  Birth Photography is a foreign concept on the Northshore of South Louisiana.  It is uncharted waters here.  All over the country, Birth Photography is a wonderfully accepted practice.  It is a special way to preserve one of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime. 

So why have a Birth Photographer? 

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Let's start with thinking of this in terms a little bit more familiar; a wedding.  Would you ask your family or friends to photograph your wedding?  I'm sure they could take photos for you, but it probably wouldn't be exactly what you'd want.  You'd want a professional.  Someone that knows how to photograph weddings beautifully.  Someone that knows their craft and equipment.  Someone that can capture beautiful images whether it is sunshine or rain outside.  You want someone that knows how to confidently photograph your special day because you only have one chance to capture those precious moments.

The same holds true for Birth Photography.  I'm sure your spouse or family or friends could take some photos for you, but a Birth Photographer is a professional that knows exactly how to photograph a birth so your family and friends can be there for what matters most; focusing on mom and a sweet life being born.  More often than not, a mom likes her spouse and family present and available while her body is doing an amazing work.  Those we trust most should be able to focus on being that support and encouragement. 

Birth Photographers know how to shoot in tricky lighting and limited space.  They know the perfect ways to work quietly and without being seen.  They know their equipment and know it well.  They know how to serve their clients in a way that no one else can, so that everyone else in the room can focus on being with mom while she's bringing a beautiful little life into the world. 

How do I go about choosing a Birth Photographer?

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First and foremost, it is important to find someone that specializes in Birth Photography.  Every photographer specializes in something; families, weddings, children, landscapes, animals, etc.   Making sure that the person you hire specializes in birth is important because like I mentioned earlier, the conditions can prove tricky and being on call is no easy feat.  It's a lifestyle commitment.  

Secondly, find someone whose style you like.  Every artist has their own kind of beautiful to share with the world.  Birth Photography is no different.  Find someone whose point of view catches your eye.  There doesn't have to be rhyme or reason as to why you admire their work.  Just go with what speaks to your heart.  

Personality is a vital component too.  The person you hire to witness such an intimate moment will more than likely become a friend... sometimes even like family.  I know with my clients, we form a bond that is so special.  Making sure you click with the person you hire is key.  Stress or pressure can make birth really tough on mom.  Someone that brings your heart peace and comfort is a big deal.  

Finally, find someone that fits your budget.  This is a tough one.  No one likes to talk about it.  While it is very important to find someone that is in your budget, it is so incredibly important to not choose someone based on a bargain.  The price of Birth Photography is higher than other forms of photography (again much like a wedding).  That is for a few different reasons: 

  1. Being on call.   It's 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  It's dropping whatever you're doing at a moment's notice to rush out the door once the babysitter gets there to photograph a birth.   It's 3AM phone calls and 40 hour labors.  It's GLORIOUS and so fulfilling, but it is most definitely a commitment.  
  2. The hours.  Some labors are 3 hours.  Some are 40.  It's unknown and can be a long time.  
  3. It's a lot of photographs.  Everyone structures their business differently.  So whether a photographer's fee includes images or only covers their services and skill, it's a lot of photographs to take and edit.  That means hours of editing time once the birth is over.

When should I hire a Birth Photographer, and is there anything else I should be mindful about? 

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As soon as you're ready to choose someone, that's when you should reach out and make arrangements.  Someone might wait until the first trimester is over while someone else might start looking as soon as they see their first ultrasound.  That is a personal decision for the couple to make.  Birth photographers are only able to take limited clients a month.  The sooner you are ready to hire them, the better your chances to get your first choice.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • To secure that your date is "on the calendar", make sure you ask what steps need to be taken.
  • Make sure you include your spouse in the decision.  Your spouse might have reservations or be nervous at the idea that a "stranger" might be in the room when your baby is born.  Your spouse will be much more comfortable with meeting and helping in the decision making process when hiring a birth photographer.  
  • Be sure to ask what is included in the services.  With the way I structure my business, I like to give my clients options and make it a custom experience.  I have a Birth Photography fee that covers my services for photographing, being on call, editing, and a credit to go towards the different Collections I offer and a la carte items.  However, everyone structures things differently.  Make sure you ask for as much detail as what is included in the price you're paying.
  • Make sure you ask if they have a back-up photographer in place.  This is HUGE.  You need to know that who you're hiring will be available when the big day comes.  

I certainly hope this helps you on your way to figuring out the ins and outs of Birth Photography.  It is a calling.  It is a joy.  It is magnificent.  I pray your birth is full of love and wonderful memories.  I hope you find the perfect match for capturing every single moment of you bringing a precious life into the world.  If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them for you.  Please feel free to contact me.  I would truly love to be a part of this journey with you.