Erin Pederson is a super stylish and talented photographer based in LA. We sat down with her to chat about her life after moving to sunny LA from Minneapolis. She gives us an insight to her inspirations and the drive behind her unique talents.
How are you?
Cold! But happy 🙂 I love the sun, however rainy days in LA are my favorite.
Who is Erin Pederson?
Just your average midwest gal living in Los Angeles, trying to be herself, have fun, and figure it all out I suppose?! She lives for music, adores her cat, and loves traveling the world (when she’s able to). Her family & friends mean everything to her.
When did you realize you were into photography and fashion?
I don’t think I had an aha-moment with either, really. My mother always had a polaroid or film camera with her and she had really amazing style, so I like to think it’s because of her. I’ve always been a very visual person and have always loved art and the act of creating something. Both outlets allow me to express myself without having to say anything out loud, and I like that, it’s freeing.
If you describe your style as a photographer, what would it be?
Nostalgic, and maybe wistful? I love the rawness and simplicity of film, but I also have a pretty obvious editing style for when I shoot digital. I mostly love capturing women in natural environments, and love when a photo makes you wonder or even feel what that person was feeling in that moment.
“Your hard work will be hard, but it will pay off. “
What tips would you give to people who want to start their career as a photographer?
Just go shoot. And shoot what you want to shoot, not what you think other people want to see. The number of followers you have doesn’t affect how talented you are or are not. Network, support other artists, be kind, and don’t work for free. It’s okay to have side hustles for your side hustles. Your hard work will be hard, but it will pay off.
You’re also a cool fashionista! Do you think you get more clients (like fashion brands) when they meet you in person? / Is personal style crucial when trying to get more clients?
(*blushes*) Thank you! To be honest, I get 90% of my work online, so most clients don’t meet me until we actually shoot, but how you present yourself is always important.
What are the best and worst things about being an entrepreneur in the fashion industry?
Best – It’s always changing and always exciting. It allows me to bring my ideas to life and work with and learn from other like-minded creatives.
Worst – Not being taken seriously as an artist. Getting asked to work for free.
How is LA treating you? Do you think it is the ultimate place to be for fashion photography, or would you prefer any other city over it? Why / Why not?
I love it here. I didn’t at first, but now I’m head over heels for this city and it’s energy. It’s expensive, often times work is a struggle, and there are a lot of not-so-genuine people… but those are just the obvious things that everyone knows about LA and other make-it-or-break-it cities.
It’s all about the life you create for yourself and the people you choose to surround yourself with. I’m not sure I’d say it’s the ultimate place for fashion photography, but it’s more my style and speed than most others. If I spoke better French (currently struggling through Rosetta Stone) I would love to live and work in Paris for some time. That city, too, has my heart.
“I want to strive to work with brands and clients that hold meaningful (and ethical) values”
What are your biggest career-related dreams? Have you achieved any of your biggest dreams yet?
My end-goal is to transition to being completely freelance and focusing on photography and art directing. I want to strive to work with brands and clients that hold meaningful (and ethical) values, and not just for anyone that will pay me.
When I moved to Los Angeles and landed a full-time position at a leading fashion company within just a few short months of living here — that was definitely a dream-come-true for me. I went to school for Graphic Design, (I’ve never actually “properly” studied photography) but even so, never really envisioned myself being a full time designer. This job has allowed me to expand my creative skills all around, really grow as a professional, and also become better at collaborating and providing direction, which are tools I will continue to use as I grow as an artist.
Is there any book / event / person that totally changed your point of view of the world, or gave you motivation for pursuing your dream career?
My mother. Cliche, probably, but never in her life has she questioned what she believes in. She’s the most selfless person that I know and never seeks validation from anyone except herself. Without knowing, she really taught me how to be my own woman, hone in on what I want and go after it.