About the Artist
I have been a professional photographer since 1997 and received my nationally Certified Professional Photographer designation in 2012. Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) is a designation granted by the Professional Photographic Certification Commission, the world’s leading certification agency for imaging professionals. I am one of only 4 CPPs in Bryan/College Station, 1 of only 171 in all of Texas and less than 2,500 worldwide (out of a bazillion photographers!) so I am pretty proud to be a CPP. I worked very hard to achieve this professional certification and had to not only pass a comprehensive written exam measuring my technical expertise, but also successfully submit a portfolio of my work that proved I have technical skill and artistic talent behind the camera to a national panel of judges for review and approval. When you choose me to be your family or wedding photographer, knowing I am a Certified Professional Photographer ensures you will be dealing with a true professional who is dedicated and honored to provide you with the highest level of professionalism and expertise available. The Professional Photographers of America explains a little more about why it’s essential to choose a CPP when looking for a photographer here. For the full story of my quest to become a CPP, please check out this blog post, but get a nice beverage and a comfortable chair first because it’s a long one!
Treasure Photography is based in College Station, Texas but will travel anywhere you want to send me to capture amazing pictures! What is most important to know about what makes me me? I’m in love with Jesus. I’m blessed to be the wife of Tod Berkey and mom to two young boys who I like to call the Blonde Tornadoes. And I’m amazed I get to use my God-given talent as a professional portrait artist to bless others! Over there is a portrait of my family—myself, Tod and our sons, Paxson (10) and Preston (8). My sweet first husband Layne entered Heaven in January 2010 after a long battle with brain cancer. If you’d like the full story on that, please visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/laynecole. I promise it’s not depressing (God was–and is–so good to us through that trial!). I was a widow and single mom for 3 years until February 2013 when God used eharmony to introduce me to my Tod, who was serving as a missionary to youth and families at an ex-pat church in Santiago, Chile (yes, the one in South America!). We were married in October 2013 and love doing life together as Team Berkey. He is a godly man who’s also tons of fun and an amazing Daddy to Paxson and Preston. For more on our story, check out my blog here. It’s a goooood one.
A little about me, the portrait artist:
I LOVE being a photographer. My proudest moments are when I get to see my client’s reactions to the portraits I have created of themselves and the ones they love at their exclusive image presentation. I have seen smiles, laughter and more than a few tears, especially from Dads marveling at the beauty of their little girls who may not be so little anymore. Since 1997 I have been blessed to receive various professional photography experience such as working for a professional wedding and portrait photographer, serving as a staff photographer for the Texas A&M University yearbook, investing in lots of professional photography education, achieving my nationally Certified Professional Photographer certification (CPP) in 2012, photographing hundreds of fun folks and much more. I did not just recently buy a nice camera and decide I wanted to be a photographer. My passion is to bless my clients, whether families, brides and grooms or corporate events, with photographs they will truly treasure! I am also a member of the Professional Photographers of America and the Texas Professional Photographers Association and am working towards my fellowship degree with both organizations.
Outside of photography, I also love attending and serving at my church (Grace Bible Church) and the fellowship with amazing friends I have there; I caught the fitness bug through discovering Zumba in September of 2011 and now actually like working out usually 3-5 days a week and earnestly hunting down healthy but scrumptious recipes like searching for buried treasure (healthy and scrumptious don’t typically co-exist!); I have a passion for music though I don’t sing well (worship music, Watermark, Caedmon’s Call, JackOPierce, 80s music, Michael Buble, movie musicals and more!); I enjoy watching great movies (some of my faves are The Princess Bride, The Goonies, Braveheart, Inception, Center Stage, Legally Blonde and Ferris Beuller’s Day Off–and every other John Hughes 80s movie!–to name a few). I enjoy traveling immensely as well (who doesn’t!) and my favorite place I have visited is Israel … seeing where Biblical events actually took place was life-changing!
What’s in my camera bag:
I shoot with a professional full-frame Nikon D700 digital SLR and my favorite lenses are my 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF Nikkor lens (sharp as a tack!), my 70-200 f/2.8G AF Nikkor lens (creates a beautiful bokeh) and my 50mm f /1.8 prime lens. My next dream lens is the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G prime lens. I rented it and WOW, it’s like buttah. I also use two SB-910 speedlights when extra light is needed or I want to achieve some extra creative results. I also have a bunch of other random accessories–my camera bag looks like a carry on at the airport and is way heavier! You may also find me with toys and marshmallows for bribing that come in handy when I am shooting little ones!
And a little about my creative process…
My desire as your professional portrait artist is to capture the people you treasure in a way that shows their unique personalities and provide timeless and fun images. The pre-portrait consultation at your home provides me the opportunity to get to know you and discuss our vision for the portrait session, and allows me to visualize where your wall art may be enjoyed later. If there are children involved, I also like to meet them ahead of time so they can get to know me a little and feel comfortable during our portrait session.
I can create portraits on location or in a studio setting, depending on the style that will best communicate our common vision and give us the most successful shoot possible. I have several timeless props available for client use including white smocked dresses for girls (in every size from newborn to eight years old) and newborn to toddler boy classic rompers, and recommend we use any items that will showcase every client’s unique personality as well.
After the portrait session, I will professionally edit and post-process the digital files and have them ready for viewing in around 2-3 weeks. Clients come to my home studio for their exclusive image viewing and ordering session, where I will help them choose from many professional display options along with studio samples so clients can see the elegance and high quality of the products I offer. Treasure Photography does not cut corners and partners with the finest labs in the nation to ensure my clients receive excellence in service and products and will be proud to display and gift their portrait art. I do not “shoot and burn” and leave the client with the bazillion product and lab choices out there because I have heavily invested in professional education in portraiture, lighting, posing, software and design that allows me to create timeless portraits and desires to see that quality through to the final product. I have also attended many national professional photography trade shows to wisely select vendors to partner with who provide only the highest quality (and coolest) products.
Thank you for stopping by and for your consideration! Please contact me if you have any questions.
Erin Cole Berkey, CPP
(nationally Certified Professional Photographer)