A Father’s Day Tribute for Dads

Believe it or not we’re already mid-way through June and Father’s Day is just a couple days away! In the midst of our summer adventures and fun vacations, let’s take a moment to let the guys know how much they mean to us with this Father’s Day tribute.

Dad and son on jungle gym at Kiwanis Park in Hampstead NC

A Father’s Day Tribute for Dads

Dads are our first teachers

During my childhood, I remember my dad running along side me and holding  my bike steady as he taught me to ride without training wheels. I remember him taking the time surprise me with a doll and play with me. Looking back, I know he felt silly but I’ll never forget those times we spent together. Even through adulthood, my father continues to be my rock! He’s always there for me and even my little boy. So with Father’s Day pretty much upon us, I want to take a moment to recognize the man that taught me everything I know and who helped me become the strong woman and mother that I am today.

Father's Day Tribute

Dads play multiple roles

Just this one-day out of the year, we’ll let you take some credit. The guys of the household truly do help us keep it all together. Over the course of a single day, you go from playing superhero with the kids to a handyman that can fix just about anything…or at least give it your best shot! Whether they’re building a tree house in the backyard or a pillow fort in the living room, you give everything you have to even the smallest things.

Dad and son running on Topsail Island Beach in NC

We love family time with you

There’s nothing I love more than seeing my husband spend quality guy time with our little one! I remember being little and tagging along with dad, and I know that he will cherish those memories when he is older. Whether it’s watching a show or getting silly with a pillow fight, there’s nothing like spending quality family time with your dad.

Dad and kids tickling at the park New Hanover Arboretum in Wilmington NC

So to all the dads out there, I want to say thank you for being the person that you are! I know we don’t always give you the credit you deserve, but we are thankful for everything you do. Make sure you say thanks to dad this Father’s Day!

Are you interested capturing some special family moments with a professional photo session? If so, contact me today to book your session!

North Topsail Beach Family Vacation Photos | The P Family

This sweet family came to Topsail Island all the way from New York to decompress and enjoy the slow paced beach life for a week. However, their North Topsail family beach photo session was anything but slow! It’s safe to say I spent most of the session chasing little Miss Reese and Mr. Brooks around on the beach. I had them run races, search for magical shells, jump in the water and get tickled by mom and dad. They were full of energy and ended up totally soaked, but it was all in the name of making beautiful vacation memories!

North Topsail Beach Family Photos

North Topsail Beach Family Vacation PhotosFamily playing on Topsail Island beachA family vacationing on Topsail Island North CarolinaAre you interested in having beautiful memories of your family captured at the beach? Contact me and let’s make it happen!

10 Pictures to Take of Your Kids Before they Grow Up

Kids grow like weeds so it’s important that you enjoy them as much as you can during their younger years. While parenting can be stressful from time-to-time, you’ll appreciate the memories, the good and the not-so-good, when they’re older. As your children venture through their childhood, here’s a quick list of pictures to take of your kids before they grow up!

10 Pictures to Take of Your Kids Before they Grow Up

1. Sleeping

a toddler taking a nap

Taking photos of your kids while they’re sleeping may not be the first thing you think of, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. You’ll get a totally different perspective than when your child is active and full of energy. These can turn into artful photos that are perfect for collecting memories or decorating your home.

2. With their lovies

toddler holding stuffed animal

Young children often cling to a source of comfort like a teddy bear, stuffed animal or a security blanket for a year or two. It may not seem like much at the time, but when your child is older, you’ll want to look back on even the most intimate parts of their lives. Try taking photos of your kids with these objects that they love and cling to, and you’ll be thankful you did in the future.

3. Enjoying a hobby or a toy

toddler playing with train table

Another great photo opportunity for your child is capturing while they’re enjoying a hobby or a favorite toy. Whether it be a favorite game or playing t-ball in the yard, I love snapping quick photos of my son enjoying himself and knowing that I have those to look back on as he grows older.

4. Simple things they Love

For children, everything is new and everything is adventure. Kids tend to find so much fun in even the simplest things. From jumping in puddles to catching snowflakes with their tongues, you can capture beautiful moments by snapping photos of them enjoying the little things.

5. Reading

toddler reading a book

Story time is a wonderful time to capture your children as they immerse themselves into a book and allow their imagination to run wild. If you’re like me, you’ll also love to watch them make up words before they can read or help them as they learn. These are moments that you’ll be thankful to have when they are older and story time is replaced by homework and big kid things. So be sure to snap some quick photos when you’re able!

6. Engaged in creative activities

toddler playing with play dough

If your kids are into arts and crafts, taking photos of them drawing or coloring can be turn into a wonderful keepsake! I know I love watching my son get creative with PlayDough and I often even jump in and play with him! I encourage you to snap some photos or have someone else take pictures of you and your child working on small creative activities.

7. Exploring nature

toddler exploring nature

Kids are adventurous by nature, so why not capture some fun photos of them exploring the great outdoors? Get creative and snap photos of your kids letting their imaginations run wild as they play in the back yard or park. You’ll love the results and have the memories to cherish forever.

8. Their daily routine

toddler playing in bathtub

Your child’s daily routine may seem almost mundane by now, but in a few years, you’ll wish you could experience just a day of it again. I’m not kidding! Photographing your kids’ daily routine can help you do just that. It will allow you to look back on those precious memories and appreciate that time once more.

9. Playing with outdoor toys

toddler riding tricycle

If your kids are anything like mine, they love playing with their toys outside! Whether it be toy dozers in a sandbox or riding a tricycle in the neighborhood, it’s always fun to capture those giant smiles when your kids are having fun.

10. Experiencing firsts

toddlers first haircut at Manta's Cuts Kids Salon in Wilmington NC

Last, but definitely not least, capturing your child as they experience their firsts is a must! Your baby is going to be growing up before you know it and firsts are a fun way to capture any and every little victory and milestone they achieve in their younger years! Whether it’s a first tooth, first steps, first haircut or their first anything, those moments are precious and turn into keepsakes in the years to come.

You can also hire a professional photographer to capture some of these moments for you! If you’re looking to hire a pro, contact me to set up a session!

What You’re Paying for when You Hire a Pro Photographer

Photography session prices can seem a little expensive, especially if you don’t see all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. I know that it’s hard to understand why photo sessions cost what they do without truly being involved in the industry. Many look at a session price tag and see it as just an hourly rate. While it’s true that photographers are with clients for a set amount of time, it’s not truly an hourly rate. Instead, a pro photographer must make up for expenses and additional time it takes on the back-end to produce quality images that you can treasure.

That said, I want to help you understand why photography sessions are priced as they are and what you’re really getting when you hire a pro photographer!

Pricing Breakdown: What You’re Paying for when You Hire a Pro Photographer

Images provided by Willy Wilson of Life Unstill Photography


There’s a belief that seems to live outside of the photography industry–where anyone with an fancy camera can take great photos. While a professional-grade camera can undoubtedly help you take quality photos, it’s a lot harder than it actually looks. Generally, you can purchase a quality digital camera for roughly $500 to over $3000 with a couple kit lenses to get you started. But, having a good camera doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to get stunning photos. That takes lots and lots of practice and learning and true dedication to master.

This is where having an experienced photographer comes in. When you hire a pro photographer, you can expect your professional to know all the ins-and-outs of his or her camera, the settings, lenses and software. But that’s not all it takes. A professional photographer also understands how to work with natural or other light sources, color theory, posing, composition and other tools to help make you and your family look their best. Know that this took patience and years of practice.

Prior to becoming a professional photographer, I studied visual arts for four years and obtained my second bachelors degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I also spent over 10 years working as an Art Director in the advertising world. I loved every minute of it, and am pleased that I have been able to apply my skill-sets and art knowledge from one creative career to another.

an example of a pro photographer edit

Here is an example of one of my clean edits!

Editing time

When you leave your photography session, my job isn’t actually over. Most of the time, I will spend at least two to three hours, if not more, on editing the photos after your session to ensure your pictures are nothing less than amazing. Editing time can range from hours to days depending on each individual photographer’s style and editing workflow.  Regardless of how long it takes to edit a batch of images, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes including culling, retouching, and so on.

Photographers are mostly perfectionists, for lack of a better word! I know I generally pour hours into perfecting images for my clients. You’ve heard it before, and yes, it’s all about the details. For every photo I take, I spend time perfecting skin tones, smoothing skin, removing minor blemishes and much more to make sure that my clients are looking their best and have photos they can be proud of!

hire a pro photographer

Images provided by Willy Wilson of Life Unstill Photography.

Equipment and other expenses

Photography as you probably know, is an expensive industry to be in; we as business owners have to account for the costs we accrue in order to take your photos. We have to invest thousands of dollars into a single camera body and another thousand or more for each lens we use. Let’s not forget flashes and studio equipment. We also have to pay hundreds of dollars for professional software that we use to edit your images and even insurance in the case that our equipment is damaged or other issues that could arise during or after a session. We also have to make up for our costs of gas and vehicles for travel time.

professional wedding photographer at work

Image provided by Tahiry Humrich Photography

A professional service

When you hire a pro photographer, you can take a moment and de-stress. No longer is it your job to capture wall gallery-worthy photographs of your family! Your photographer is responsible for giving you a fun, relaxed and overall awesome experience that will leave you breathless when you receive your photos. That’s his/her job, so trust them to do just that. I’m not saying to hire a pro photographer every time you want a picture of you and the kids, but it’s worth it to have some quality photos of you and your family. Not to mention, if you’re the one taking photos, you will miss out on the opportunity to be in them!

Hiring a pro photographer should be a fun and exciting investment for you and your family! Yes, it can be expensive depending on your needs, but I hope this quick breakdown will help you to understand all of the love, care and customized attention to detail that goes into your photos. My goal as a photographer is to capture memories for my clients in an art form that they will treasure for generations to come.

Are you interested in a professional photography session? If so, contact me, and let’s chat!

Sweet Hampstead NC lifestyle newborn portraits | Baby Foster

All newborn photo sessions are special, but I especially enjoy the ones where it’s the couple’s first baby. It always makes me re-live moments from my first few weeks as a mother. Looking around at all the stuff that comes with having a newborn–the tiny diapers, the changing table, the swaddling blankets–really brings home the nostalgia for me.

When I arrived, baby Foster was totally alert which gave me a great opportunity to capture his sweet eyes trying to focus on the new world around him. Later, after we swaddled him, he fell into a pretty deep sleep which made for some sweet snuggle shots with mom and dad.

Take a look at these sweet Hampstead NC lifestyle newborn portraits!Sweet Hampstead NC lifestyle newborn portraits done in-homeDetail photos of a newborn at home with his parents


Are you interested in capturing those precious moments at home with your newborn? Contact me and let’s chat!


I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I'm also a mom to two cutie boys, wife to a handsome captain, lover of backyard gardening, wine and Amazon Prime.

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910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com