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Check Out Erin Fox’s Story

Photo by Jenna Henderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Fox. 

Hi Erin, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in recording studios, as my dad worked in the music industry. From a young age, I was always a creator. I painted, drew, played music, wrote. There was never a moment I wasn’t getting my hands into something creative. 

I picked up an old film camera my mom had in the closet at a young age and started taking photos of recording sessions and live shows. What was a hobby throughout my childhood has turned into an exciting, passionate career today. 

I saved up from my first “real” digital camera when I was a teenager and started taking my friends photos in high school. that evolved into family photos, and eventually weddings. I started photographing weddings with other photographers and learning more. 

I went to Lipscomb University for undergrad and studied journalism and graphic design. While I was in college, I was photographing around 15-25 weddings a year. At first, I really loved weddings for the excitement and romance, but now I have entirely different perspective on weddings and wedding photography. 

I graduated from Lipscomb and continued running my business. I have run a volume-based photography business for the last 10 years. But over the years I have honed in on my craft, returned to using film as my main medium, and found a niche of wedding photography I love. Now, I photograph around 10 weddings a year and build strong relationships with my clients, so much so that most of them become friends after the wedding day is over. 

I only take around 10 weddings a year so that each client receives a very personal, high-touch experience. On a wedding day, I simply show up and let the day speak, allowing my clients the space and freedom to be present, in turn allowing me to document some of the most raw and unexpected moments in an artful way. As I lean into this style of photographing, I am returning to my early days of being able to create freely and have so much fun with art and experimentation. To me, wedding photography is not a formula and it’s not always perfect. There are so many intricacies and stories to unfold in a single day. I love that part about it. 

One of my biggest influencers is John Dolan. This summer I went to a workshop in Sewanee where he led a group of photographers in a week-long experience. That week completely changed the direction of my work for the better. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Being an artist never involves a smooth road. It is a constant road of rediscovery, changing your mind, changing your mind again, and paving your own path. I think the biggest challenge for me has been honing in on my craft. 

In the beginning, I was offering so many different types of photography – portraits, music, wedding, family… it was all too much. Niching down to just weddings and families has been so life-giving. Niching down to clients who value art and legacy has been huge. Finding the right people to work with is always evolving, but early on was the biggest struggle. I have finally found my people and it is so freeing as an artist. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in wedding and family photography. 

I never try to show up as a wedding photographer though – my mindset going into a wedding is I want to be the guest with the camera. I want to give people the space to be themselves. I never want to force an agenda on a day or a person. Giving people this freedom in front of a camera allows me to create my best work. 

As for my family work, I adore documenting real and timeless family photos. Family photos shouldn’t be stressful, but oftentimes I hear they’re one of the most difficult things to do together. My biggest goal in working with families for photos is for it to be a relaxed, stress-free time. And to be able to capture authenticity in each family session. Not all families look the same, therefore a cookie-cutter photoshoot is the furthest thing from what I offer. I want to show personalities, seasons in life, and real moments together. 

I shoot 70% film and I think this sets me apart. Although film photography is making a comeback in the wedding industry currently. I love the nostalgic, timeless look of film of course. My clients see that and hire me for that reason a lot of times. But what I love even more about film is that it forces me and whoever is in front of my camera to slow down and be present. With digital, I could snap 1,000 photos and find 200 that are great. With film, I can snap 4 rolls of 120 film and each photo is its own work. Each photo has so much more meaning. As an artist, it is especially exciting waiting for film to be processed at the lab and not having the instant gratification of looking at the back of my camera. It’s always a happy surprise when I get my film back from the lab. It challenges me as an artist and reminds me that good things take time. 

I like to compare shooting film to listening to a vinyl record. There is nothing quite like it. When you listen to an lp record, you get all its little imperfections, the cracks and pops, the soul of the music. Film is like that. It is imperfect, it ages and only gets better over time, and it has more feeling. 

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I find that when I take a higher risk, I get my best work. My job would be so boring if I didn’t take risks. It’s the only way I grow as an artist. 

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