Friday, May 23, 2014

I am an X Man! ... For real!!

At least that's what I told my family! I told them that I am an X Man with a mutated gene! Let me explain ..
A little over a week ago I went to see a new family doctor in my new city and she decided to give me a through once over. We set me up for a pap smear, mammogram, physical and topped it all off with a lengthy visit with the vampires .. just your basic checking under the hood kind of thing. Well, most all of the results have come back and for the most part I'm a vision of health, except for one thing. In one of my blood works it has come to light that I have whats known as the MTHFR gene mutation. MTHFR stands for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (methyl-ene-tetra-hydro-folate-reductase). 

I know, that's a mouth full but in my research about this mutation I have come to read that the mutation means that my body can not metabolize folic acids so all those healthy dark greens that I have been eating has been for not. This gene prohibits my body from being able to break down and absorb the acid correctly. The biggest side effects that can result from lack of folic acids are things like depression, anxiety, and  affects clarity & memory

Well that explains a lot! 

That last word ... memory ... is the one that strikes a nerve with me the most. You see, my scatterbrained ways are practically legendary in my family. There are countless jokes and stories on my inability to remember the simplest things ... where I put my keys. What was the last location that I drove too. How long ago did I start the oven ... when was the last time I gassed up the car ... simple things just always seam to escape me ..

For years years I have always chalked of my scatterbrain ways to being a left-handed Leo (which I still stick to that claim!) but now with a little bit more digging I come to find out that their might actually be a medical reason for it! Some other trade marks of this gene disorder are sleep issues, lack of appetite, weight loss, body temperature (my poor hubby is always complaining how my body feels like a furnace at night) mood swings, irritability and poor clarity. 

Ok ... that all just described me to a perfect tee! Who knew that there is an actual medical condition out there that could explain why I am the way I am! LOL!

So how to I treat this? Well I am now under a doctors prescription to take daily folic acid pills ... A LOT of them every day! Basically we are gonna bombard my body with plenty of folic acids with the hopes that even just a little of that stuff will be absorbed into my body instead of just passing through me like it has in the years past. I have read that other folks that have this gene mutation notice a dramatic transformation in their lives just by ingesting more folic acids and so I anxiously await to see if we notice anything different about me. I will keep ya posted ... that is, if I remember too!!

And as a side note, my daughter went online and found a test for me to take ... "Which X Man are you?" i took the test last night but answered too quickly so this morning I retook the test and truly agree with the new results much better. Come to find out I scored as Storm ...

"You are Storm. You are a very strong person, but don't believe you have enough responsibility. You are very opinionated and are not afraid to show it, but you also have a compassionate side."

Yep, I totally agree with that! ... now where did I put down my coffee cup? ....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Name your price Special!!!!!

SPECIAL! Now till Memorial Day it's my 1st ever Memorial Day Name Your Price Special! That's right.... choose your portrait, senior, family photo or event that you want shot by Erika and name your price! In honor of our daughter Madasun V Pinkley who passed away a year ago from CMV I will accept any reasonable session & print packages offer. You must pre- pay and schedule your session by Monday the 26th. In addition we will donate a portion of your session fees to the CMV foundation. So don't wait!

Sessions can be pre-booked for up to one year. This offer also extends to businesses that need new head shots, location images and products shots for their websites or print adds!

You only have one week to send me your price offer and pre-book for this great opportunity, and help a great cause.

Please help spread the word! Read, like and SHARE!
Go to to read up on this organization with a cause.

Welcome baby Asher!

I fellow coworker and good friend of mine let me and my camera meet her newest little bundle of joy, baby Asher. I had the privilege of meeting him first in the hospital at less than 24 hours old and then again in my studio at 3 weeks old. He has the sweetest disposition! I strongly encourage all photographers to try and take the hospital shots ... they are almost always the favorite images that parents enjoy .. almost ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The only 3 things you will keep from your wedding day.

If you are planning a wedding, congratulations!  Now, I want you to think about something. Imagine in your mind 10 years from now when you will be celebrating that big anniversary. There are 3 major things that you will have from your wedding day ..

1.       Each other
2.       Your rings
3.       Your pictures.
 That's it. 

OK, you might still have your wedding dress but that thing will be stuffed away in a box somewhere slowly suffocating itself out of date. No, I'm talking about three things that you get to enjoy each and every day from your wedding event. You won’t have the church or the hall. Long gone will be the band, the DJ, those flowers, the dinner and that $3000 cake (yes, I've seen one wedding with that glorious cake and yet they went as cheap as possible on the pictures … are you kidding me?!?!)

Now think about this … What you WILL have during your anniversary celebration are the photos of said cake, hall and flowers, etc. so why on earth would you cut back on the only investment that you will get the pleasure of enjoying for years to come? Now I understand that you can’t blow half of your wedding budget on the photographer, although I have seen it done, you still could probably benefit from taking a step back from that wedding planning microscope that you are currently looking through and look to the future. When you prioritize your future, things should definitively start to become clearer.

There are a few sites available on line where you can get a ball park figure on how much you can expect to spend on a wedding. I ran across Cost of Wedding that says that an average wedding can cost around $25,000 and they go on to state that

                “Averages are based on spending of other couples not wedding vendor prices. Spending and prices can vary widely. You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. “

Notice how experienced professionals is first on their list. And for good reason. Too many times I have seen brides & grooms talk them selves down to the lowest possible priced photographer yet ironically, what's the first thing they start asking for when they get back from the honeymoon? It's not a re-visit of their church. They don't ask to hear the band play again. They don't go to the caterer and sample their salad dressings one more time. No, they start bugging the photographer for the pictures. Even if the contract says that they wont get a thing for weeks or possibly months, they still seam to find a way to start going after those images.

Over the course of over a decade of wedding seasons I have had the awesome opportunities to work with many budget savvy B&Gs as well as the impatient Honeymooners personally or I have at least heard of them through fellow colleagues. And I have often asked myself why do these couples insist on cutting corners where they should not be? And I think I have come up with a possible answer.

Photography is an emotional investment. It's not something that is tangible like most other things in your wedding. You can't taste it before the wedding. You can't smell it like your flowers. You can't hear it like your dj .. and so on ... you get where I'm going with this. I think for many this is the reason why people have a hard time sinking a major investment into the photography before the big day simply because B&Gs just aren't emotionally invested in it ... yet. But sadly, once the excitement is over and the every day realities of life start to come back into the scene, then they start looking for that emotional connection .. and by then it can be too late.

My hope in this post is not to ask couples to blow their entire budget on photographic services, yet it's to hopefully educate them into thinking about investing wisely in their big day. Photography is NOT the place where you want to go cheap as possible. When I sit with a bride and groom and start learning about their big plans. I begin to see the wedding through their eyes. I start to learn what the feel of the day is all about. I ask who is on their guest list. Are there going to be people coming that you haven't seen in years? Is there a family member that very possibly won't be around in the near future? Questions like these help me to find the important emotions that need to be captured. 

Another thing that I explain to my couples are is the speed at which I work. Nothing frustrates a couple more with their photographer is a 3-4 month turn around. I purposely shoot and work in such a way that before the plane leaves to whisk them away there are already images from the wedding posted on line. Not 3 or 4 ... more like 30 or 40! Why do I push myself to be so fast? Once again, it all goes down to that emotional investment. I want my couples to be able to ride that rush while they are still on that wedding day high and I can do my clients a much better service by posting images rather than spending time editing them! Can a budget photographer offer that? Usually not. 

More than likely they are spending all that time hard at work trying to tweak a so-so image in the hopes that it might be a decent image that the B&G won't notice all of it's visual or technical disasters. One of my calling cards is that I almost never edit an image ... I don't have too and I can promise you that clients truly just don't care about all of those vignettes, textures or selective colorizing (Why won't that atrocious fad just die already? LOL!)   If you have captured the emotion of the day cleanly and correctly, then there is no need to waste time editing and it's this style of shooting that allows me to share in the delight of the day quicker that you can say "You are free to move about the cabin."

It is my hope that if you are hearing wedding bells in the future and have read this article you will now have a little bit clearer understanding of the importance of properly and purposefully investing in a quality wedding photographer. Please don't become like so many of those other couples that come home from the honeymoon ready to cry those disappointed tears because they went the budget route with their imagery and now they have horrible, or worse, zero quality images of their beautiful day. 

Your wedding is art. Life is art. Invest in an artist.


If you live in or around the Kansas City area and are planning your wedding day, please contact Erika for a personal consultation by email.