visionary, blogger, CNY lifestyle photographer

Hi, my name is

Erica Manners.


drink choice: salted caramel & banana iced latte with banana cold foam & caramel drizzle -Simple Roast

fav food: a pasta girl, all things pasta, just no seafood!

what i wish i did more of: painting

favorite color: purple, yellow, bold burgundy, black

My Work Style

I'm a lifestyle photographer! So what that means is I like to capture people as their true, authentic selves. I prefer a shoot that's unscripted, unposed. We'll of course get some of your standard shots and poses but then I let the rest flow naturally! I like a bold contrasted color often times paired with heavy grain and a vintage feel and I LOVE black and white!

I'm from the small town of Auburn, about 30 minutes from Syracuse. I was born and raised here and moved away for a bit when I was 18. I recently moved back home, bought a house, had two babies, took this full time and as of lately flipped my life upside down in the best way! It's been an exciting few years this way.  I like to keep pretty busy so when I'm not juggling the kiddos, I'm a full time.. wait a minute-PHOTOGRAPHER, I quit my FT job in August, 23' to do this shit with you! Taking pictures, writing blogs, making crafts, traveling. I also like to collab and have worked with a lot of local businesses like Devon Rodriguez Art, Ambellished clothing line, Cayuga County Tourism, Divine Coverings bedazzled, Gwen Inc, In Our Words Apparel, Chantelle Marie Lake House, Melody's, Cocoa's Candles, Auburn Public Theatre, and so so many more. I've been interested in art and taking photos for as long as I can remember but just recently started venturing off into my own business. I've always struggled because I'm very honest, and like to live on my own terms, freely and unrestricted, which is what I love so much about being an entrepreneur.

When I had my son, I had a lot of self-reflecting to do. Growing up, my mom was a single mom who was constantly working and it put a hard-ship on our relationship, but it was a sacrifice she had to make to make sure we were always more than okay. I'm eternally grateful for all my mother did and everything she was. I especially admired how she too was a straight shooter, who unapologetically lived life on her own terms and always spoke her mind. I've since made it my #1 goal to create a business and lifestyle that allows me to be the person I am, and the mom I want to be; one who always keeps it real, and can provide but still always be there for everything. I want my work to speak for that too. So I capture people as they are and encourage them to be authentically them. I'm so honored to already have so much success and support in my small businesses and I can't wait to look back on this in the future and see how much it's grown!

*Branding photos by Becca Howland Photography


city council auburn rhoda overstreet wilson

“Im not photogenic, so I hate taking pictures, which is why I never post any, but these are beautiful. You captured the best pictures of myself that I can remember❤ Thank you Erica!!”

6 month photos

“Erica was very kind, attentive and patient with my 6 month old daughter. She got some great shots and giggles out of her. I would highly recommend anyone with kids to her! We got our photos back in a super timely manner as well. Loved the experience!”

michele baran establishing joy auburn photographer

“I’ve been wanting a “real” headshot to represent my work, style, and personality for a while and finally made it happen in time for a writing project with my friends at Establishing JOY. Essentially Erica was easy to work with, accommodating, and gave me some great shots in nature to help craft a clearer picture of my personal and professional brand. Thank you Erica. I look forward to working with you again.”

biracial family photos

“I'm always the one behind the camera so I love that Erica has been able to take such amazing pictures of the two of us for me to look back at! She always knows how to get Camila to smile.”

special needs photographer

“Erica is genuinely one of those photographers who wants your family to enjoy their session. She goes above and beyond for the kids and is a true advocate for her buinesss. Not even to mention the calm energy she offers! As someone who gets nervous by just stepping outside, Erica gave praise and encouragement to myself and my son during our session which believe or not, brought in so much comfort during our session. Highly recommend Essentially Erica to anyone in need of a photographer 💜💜”

cayuga tourism karen kuhl

“Erica has been contracted by Cayuga County Tourism on various occasions as a photographer and we've been very happy with her delivery. Her vision and direction have been critical in some of our projects. She is amazing at capturing the personality of the individual she's photographing and weaving the story together. I highly recommend her for any photography needs.”

hot cocoa bath

“Erica was so professional and was such a natural getting our uncooperative girl to cooperate! She’s done our Christmas pictures, birthday pictures, and mother day minis! I recommend her to everyone!”

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