We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The first thing I took into consideration when starting my business was who I intended my audience to be. I wanted to make sure my business catered everyone and not be based on someone’s social or economic abilities. Figuring out my audience helped me to also determine my mission for my business and what I wanted my business to mean for my community. My mission is to be able to provide a service for everyone, point blank period. Growing up, I only knew of two photography studios, one that took school pictures and the other a family studio, so there weren’t as many accessible places to go get pictures taken and if there were, my family couldn’t afford it. So that was one thing I really took into consideration when strategizing my business. Making sure that my studio is a affordable space where everyone is invited to come have fun, feel comfortable and also can get their services met. I also want it to be a place of learning where individuals can get hands on experience practicing with equipment that not everyone has an opportunity to have. When I was in high school, we were fortunate enough to have a studio and dark room available on campus so that we could practice with studio photography and film. Having those resources accessible to me at a young age helped me find my passion, which is exactly what I hope my business will do for others.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art specializes in portrait photography, but not limited too. I love capturing faces because faces tell stories, but every now and then it’s nice to step out and capture nature’s beauty. Some may say that my artwork is melanin focused and they aren’t entirely wrong. When I set out on my photography journey, I noticed something in the industry- not everyone can photograph people of color correctly. Black and brown skin would appear lighter in magazines than in reality and that was something that really bothered me. Therefore, I proudly took it upon myself to learn how to take pictures of us because black people deserve to be showcased as black people. It definitely hasn’t been easy, even getting to this point in my career, I’d still say I’m in the beginning stages. There’s so much to it when taking a leap of faith on yourselves and pursuing your dreams. I’ve encountered many challenges along the way as many do, from financially to physically, but nothing has stopped me from reaching my goal because I know what I have to offer is something that expands beyond my business, but is needed for my city. No matter what I face, I remember my mission- this is a space for everyone and everyone deserves to have a space for them. And one lesson I’ve learned along the way, that my cousin told me, there can’t be a testimony without a test. That has stuck with me through everything I endure whether my business or personal and is what continues to keep me going. One thing I want the world to know about me, my brand and my story is that no one is going to believe in you than you, so do it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First spot we’re stopping at is El Mil Tacos by the infamous La Gran Plaza. They have the best tacos and horchata in the city so of course that’s a no brainer. With me being an outgoing person, I love doing activities like bowling, hiking, movies, etc. so while my best friend is in the city, we’re definitely going to Andretti to race fast go karts and laser tag, go to Trinity Park to relax and enjoy the scenery over a nice picnic, maybe get tickets to the Coyote Drive In, but sneak in food because who wants to be pay $20 for popcorn. I’ll take her downtown at night to enjoy Sundance Square and the live music they have playing on the weekends and continue our music night at The Scat and enjoy the smooth sound of jazz over a couple of Cuban cigars. There are so many places in Fort Worth to visit, even though it may not seem that way- you just have to know where to go. From looking at masterpieces at the Modern Art Museum, to seeing the animals at Fort Worth Zoo, to ending your day with a couple or maybe three drinks on West 7th, there is always somewhere to try, something to do, and an experience to be had.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost I want to thank God, none of this would be possible if it weren’t for Him. I also wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my family and friends. I am blessed to have big support system, but I personally have to shoutout my parents who have been there for me since day one when I first set out on my path as a professional photographer. They have been in my corner when people doubted me and my choice to pursue photography and even bought me my dream camera. So to mom and dad, thank you and I love you guys. And lastly to my sister, friends and family a huge thank you to you guys. Y’all have made a huge impact in my business with your support- whether it’s by word of mouth, social media or handing out my business cards at restaurants, y’all have gotten the job done and then some. They are constantly re-posting photos, sharing behind the scenes footage from my shoots, and a big thing for me is that they hold me accountable. They never let me slack off and are always reminding me my purpose and that I am more than capable of accomplishing whatever I set my mind to. To say the least, I have a pretty great team.

Website: www.througherinslens.com

Instagram: througherinslens_

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/erinhill62723

Facebook: Through Erin’s Lens

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.