At this time Erika Michelle Photography is no loger taking new bookings. 


Erika Michelle will no longer take new bookings.  If your session is currently booked, we will proceed as scheduled. 

I have decided to go back to my career as a special education teacher.  Due to the demands of this position, I need to take a step back from the buisness.  

Thank you for your support. 

Outside Cake Smash | Charlotte Cake Smash Photographer


Baby boy Reyansh turned the big one in February, but Mom really wanted some outside first birthday portraits of her baby boy. They just moved from Chicago, which as you may now can be winter through May.   We picked a day early in May and we got one warm day for!  It actually felt like a day in June rather than May.  It was hot, and humid.  The poor smash cake did not make it through the drive and the set up outside.  All the frosting melted off the sides of the cake.  I could see it happening slowly and was so sad.  But, I just used my wooden spoon and slapped it back on.  It may not have been pretty, but it served it’s purpose.  Luckily, baby Reyansh tore up the cake in mins.

Mom also wanted my hot air balloon photo.  Baby Reyansh, at 14 months old, was the size of a three year old. He had to squeeze into the basket.  The basket is a good size for a typical 10-12 month old.  My plan now is to get a larger basket to accommodate the taller babies.

Baby boy had some stylish sunglasses which looked perfect with the hot air ballon.  He gave me a big grin and knew that was the shot I would make into a “flying” balloon photo.  The flying balloon photo is a two to four images composited into one.  It typically will take me 1-3 hours to make on photo.  I have yet to find an easier way to do it.  It’s always the background that is hard to match up.  With an outside photo, I have lots of things in the background to consider with composting images.  I have to look at the trees bushes, etch and make sure they line correctly . a studio photo with a hot air ballon would be much easier to make “fly” . But, the hot air balloon looks better outside than inside in my opinion.

After the hot air balloon photo, we moved into the cake smash.  baby boy wasted no time getting into his cake.  He did not take on bite, but he really enjoyed getting messy.  I think he really enjoyed begin outside watching all the people walk by, the trees blow in the wind, and the geese swim in the water.  He was super calm for the whole session despite being close to his bed time.

Last we finished with some family photos.  Usually I do family first, but since we were nervous he would get fussy, we decide to do the cake first to ensure we have those images.  But baby Reyansh was a dream and just loved being outside with his family.