SmugMug Spotlight: Erika Seress.

A baby dressed as the U.S. President standing behind a desk in a mock Oval Office.

A newborn baby is one of life’s most precious additions and the source of many joyful moments. But how to capture those moments, fleeting as they are? Enter LA-based photographer Erika Seress, founder of The Pod Photography, a modern portrait studio specializing in helping make parents and their little ones look their very best. We sat down with Erika to talk to her about the work she does, why she does it, and what advice she can offer anyone new to SmugMug.

SmugMug: Hi Erika, thanks so much for chatting with us! Your work shows off such wonderful passion. Please, tell our readers more about you.

Erika Seress: Hi! So nice to chat with you today, and thank you! I’m Erika Seress, and I founded The Pod Photography in 2008. I had a vision of creating a modern portrait studio for today’s sophisticated clientele, and I love photographing people—especially tiny ones! I specialize in documenting baby’s first-year milestones. I’ve also authored The Parent’s Pocket Guide: Taking Kids’ and Family Photos, am a photography workshop teacher, and appeared on Lifetime, Hollywood Access Live, and various celebrity reality shows. I’ve also been published in Cosmopolitan magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Photo courtesy of Erika Seress of The Pod Photography.

SM: That’s incredible! You’re one busy and successful photographer. Our readers always love to hear this part, so please tell us how you got started in photography.

ES: I started taking pictures to document my travels while living abroad in Thailand and Germany. I loved capturing the culture, people, and my daily life so I could look back on them. When I moved home to Los Angeles, I got a degree in photography on top of my business degree and then started my portrait studio in 2008.

Photo courtesy of Erika Seress of The Pod Photography.

SM: Amazing. Thailand and Germany are two incredibly stunning areas of the world. Another insight that our readers like to know is what equipment do you use and why?

ES: I am a Nikon shooter. I love how intuitive the gear is as well as the sharpness of their lenses. I shoot 90% of my photography with a Nikon 70–200mm f/2.8 lens since it is perfect for really flattering portraits of people, plus I can zoom in and out to take both full lengths and close-ups of a child without moving my body. You've got to be quick when it comes to kids!

Photo courtesy of Erika Seress of The Pod Photography.

SM: It’s so true! They definitely change and move in a blink of an eye, but It sounds like you enjoy the challenge and have mastered it. Your photos definitely reflect how good you are at capturing that moment. Could you tell us more about the type of photography you shoot and why?

ES: Sure! As mentioned, I am a portrait photographer specializing in newborn, maternity, babies, kids, and family photos. I have always loved photographing people, and at the beginning of my career I did mainly fashion and commercial work. I came to realize that I felt much more fulfilled by working with private clients and creating art for their families, so I have shifted my business toward that focus. 

Today, my company, The Pod Photography, has really flourished in Los Angeles where we focus on a mix of modern natural-light portraiture and elaborate set design. I love the art of creating custom sets that reflect a family’s or child's hobbies or personality or just bring some whimsy to the portraits. I was recently commissioned to create intricate sets recreating a Starbucks store, the Oval Office, Star Wars, as well as design elegant tea-party sets for my newborn and first-birthday clients. We have a lot of fun at my studio!

Photo courtesy of Erika Seress of The Pod Photography.

SM: What brought you to using SmugMug for your photos?

ES: I've been using SmugMug since I created my very first website in 2008. I love SmugMug because of its integration with sales, and how I can seamlessly sell digital and printed products through my website. I'm also a big fan of the unlimited storage!

Photo courtesy of Erika Seress of The Pod Photography.

SM: That’s awesome! OK, one last question: Do you have any advice for someone who’s just starting to use SmugMug themselves?

ES: Get creative designing your website! Start with a template but don't be afraid to customize it so your website stands out from the rest. SmugMug makes it so easy to have a unique website.

SM: What a wonderful tip! Thanks so much for sitting down with us today and for sharing your story with our readers—we really appreciate it!


For more about Erika Seress of The Pod Photography, visit her website at https://www.thepodphoto.com/ or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.