Capture stories of love and maturity with Northern Pearl Photography
Photographer Erica Bishop believes weddings, senior photo motifs and graduation day hallelujahs should reflect a couple’s or individual’s story. Sure, she can shoot the traditional set photo piece to please the elders. And, the owner of Northern Pearl Photography wants couples or individuals to look at photographs in 10 years, and still love the captured memories.
In every wedding collection, Erica includes an engagement session at a location that speaks to each couple’s shared interests and passions. “This session is to put the couple at ease and tease out how the tapestry of their love unfolded. Did they share a passion for being near water, for enjoying sports, vintage books, individual talents? “I want to tell the story of their relationship, “says Erica, “from the moment they got engaged to their departure from the wedding.
“I casually ask what photographs will make their day special. Can we be creative with wedding party photos at a location, perhaps different from the wedding site? What is the story of their proposal? Why did they pick certain colors or a special site for their wedding? Who should I be sure to include in the photos? What do they envision as the timing for their wedding day?”
Erica learned to love photography while sitting in an attic with her grandmother, sorting through family photos. “My grandmother always had a story with every photo. She was particularly fond of the rolling hills and Kentucky mountains, and would tell stories about visiting her grandmother, whose modest little home sat near a creek in the Kentucky mountains. I realized I was touching history, sensing, smelling and feeling a strong connection to my family.
“I talk with couples about creating some type of tangible showcase book or wall portrait that allows them to tell the story of their love to others. Flipping through 250 wedding photos they have downloaded to their phone is not that appealing. They do get a USB drive in a box, yet there’s something special about sharing actual photos.
Erica encourages seniors and graduates to identify a setting that tells their story. “The setting can almost be anywhere – with their car, on a wilderness ledge, in full sports gear, in a field of lavender. We can still take a formal portrait if needed. Most seniors like the freedom to express what makes them happy. For trade school, community college or college graduates, I suggest showcasing their talent. An electrician might show how electricity sparks. A dental hygienist could be creatively shown wielding tools of her trade. A chemistry major might wear their cap and gown in the lab.”
Erica started out with a red kids’ disc camera. Now, she has several Canon cameras, format lenses and filters. “It can be less expensive,” she says, “to rent equipment I may only use once for a specific occasion.” She trained under D.C.-based photographer, Tony Turnage. Her corporate name, Northern Pearl, suggests rustic, yet classical images. “I love telling stories visually, and revealing the individuals beneath the image.”