ericamay | photography blog. bio picture

welcome to the ericamay blog!

Hi! I'm Erica May Short, and I'm so excited you're here. This blog will show you my current work with a few fun personal things mixed in to help you get to know me better. I am a wedding and portrait photographer in Kansas City, and I love my job. I am so blessed to be a part of so many stories. I care more about people than pictures, because it's your story that provides photo-worthy moments.

Besides photography, I love my husband Jeff, our miniature schnauzer Petey, movie theater candy, and the color green. You can visit my main portfolio website at!

All of the fun photos in the blog header are of Jeff and I recently -- taken by our amazingly talented friends Jeremy and Ashley of! We have them to thank for capturing us exactly how we are.

February Photography Basics Class!

If you’re still reading this blog on, you must have missed the announcement (below!) about the NEW BUSINESS and NEW BLOG! Don’t forget to update your bookmarks and/or blog reader settings to go to our NEW blog:!

But, I wanted to post about the February class for beginner photographers, because there are still some spots open and this is the year you need to learn how to use your camera!! :)

A really big announcement!

No, I’m not pregnant. :)

(Sorry, Mom…).

But I do feel like for about the last nine months, we’ve had something almost as time-consuming, new, and exciting to focus on. Today is the day that we officially announce the launch of our new brand, Anecdotally Yours!

For those of you who don’t know, my husband Jeff is a filmmaker who mainly creates wedding films. He and I have been operating two separate businesses for years now, and found ourselves more and more wanting to share a business, share a website, and share in the journey of telling stories about people. For the past five years, I’ve used as my internet home base, and so many wonderful things have happened during that time through my business. I’ve met incredible people, witnessed heartfelt moments between loved ones, celebrated growing families, and have seen countless couples dedicate themselves to each other in front of families and friends. I can honestly say that I had no idea how blessed I’d feel — every day — to call this my job.

So, you can imagine that I’d want to share all of that with my husband. And we wanted our new joint venture to be really focused on what it is that we love: telling stories.

That’s how Anecdotally Yours was born. We hired super talented people from a design firm to walk us through the whole process, which started (as it should) with us writing our own story about what we wanted our new brand to be about. That story dictated everything else we considered for the new brand — names, logos, colors, website designs, and on and on until everything came together in a way that we could not be more excited about!

For those of you who know how much I love the color green, don’t worry — we worked in some green accents on the website. :) But the whole site isn’t green anymore (shocking!), and it’s not called Erica May (although I’m still the photographer!). Because although I love the color green, and I love the name my parents gave me, the truth is that this work we do has much less to do with me and everything to do with YOU, the people whose stories we get to tell. So while we want our personalities as individuals and as a couple to shine through on our site, we want the stories to speak louder. We want to continue to know people well. We want photographs from a family in their home, or a film about a couple on their wedding day, to tell an authentic story about who those people are. We want our blog readers (that’s you!) to connect with pieces of a story about strangers, or to feel moved by what you see, or to laugh out loud at the funny parts.

Life is a series of anecdotes. A series of short stories about people that give you a glimpse into who they are. And we want to be even more committed to telling those stories as we launch this new brand!

So, it’s with great excitement that I ask you all to join me on our NEW website and NEW blog starting today, which combines both photos and films! Please bookmark our new blog or change your blog reader feed to reflect the new place where you can see my most recent photos, as well as beautiful films, and lots of other fun things we have in store for you.

The new blog address is — you don’t want to miss the blooper reel of Jeff and I trying to welcome you to the site. :)

When you visit, take some time to look around, check out the videos and photos, and leave a little note in the comment section on the new blog so I know you found it okay. I can’t wait to continue telling your stories, and to share this fun journey with you all!

Click here to see the new website!!

January 9, 2012 - 11:14 pm emily olafsen - this is insanely exciting! i literally shrieked! and now...i must go "follow" your new blog.

January 9, 2012 - 7:52 pm Melissa - Very excited for you both but will secretly miss "ericamay!" :-)

Photography Basics Class for Beginners! :)

Did you get a new camera for Christmas? Maybe you’ve had a digital SLR that you bought when your kids were born to take better photos of them, but then never learned how to use it. Or maybe you love photography, but find it hard to master all of the settings on your camera (what do all of those buttons do??). Fear no more, my friends. :) And join me for a small group class designed for beginner photographers! Yay!

I’ve been doing one-on-one mentoring sessions for a while now, and have been hoping to do a class-type of setting for people who would benefit from a detailed, yet quick lesson in the basics of camera controls and shooting techniques. I figured the new year is a great time to help you learn how to document your own life and start preserving your memories! So, I’m excited to announce the first class available:


Photography Basics (a class for beginners)!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kansas City, MO


Topics covered:

1. Manual camera settings (what all of those buttons are for!) and understanding them so they’re not so scary (I promise, it’s not as hard as it sounds!).

2. Exposure basics (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and how they interact to produce the look you want.

3. Basics of light (since photography is all about light!) and how to use available light and turn off your flash for natural-looking photos.

4. General photography principles to give you a good foundation, like compositions and finding the right kind of light.

5. Making the most of the equipment you have, as well as information on camera gear that can get you different results for a fairly low cost.

6. Practice shooting! Bring your camera with you, this will be a hands-on time! This class is designed for beginner photographers with a digital SLR camera.

7. Q & A… whatever else you want to ask. :)


Cost: $150. This class is limited to just FIVE people, so don’t wait! :)


To reserve your spot and find out all of the details, just send an email: me[at] — replace the [at] with the @ symbol. I’ll reply to let you know how to register!

Let’s start 2012 off right — mastering something new (or something that’s been sitting around your house!). :) Now is a great time to start preserving your life story, no matter what stage you’re in. I can’t wait to help you get started!

January 3, 2012 - 5:47 pm Ronna Lundberg - Do you still have room available in this class? You were recommended by Dana Obermeyer. Thanks, Ronna

Katie and Chuck’s engagement session in downtown Kansas City!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! It has been a while since I’ve posted any recent shoots — things have been a little crazy around here, and are not letting up as we approach the new year. :) It’s a good place to be, though. I like to be busy, and I’m super excited for the new year and all that it will bring!

But right now, I’m excited to share Katie and Chuck’s engagement session images with you. Well, just a few of them. They braved the cold (it was freezing!) but are so sweet to each other that they didn’t mind snuggling up outside for some fun engagement photos in downtown Kansas City. The morning light was amazing, and Katie and Chuck couldn’t have been more fun to get to know. Here are just a few images from their session:

Katie and Chuck, you’re awesome! Thanks for a wonderful shoot, and for being such good sports in the cold! It was worth it. :)

Anakin at the park!

He’s totally adorable, was super great to photograph, full of smiles and funny comments, and he’s the nephew of my sister- and brother-in-law! :) Anakin did such a great job during our photo shoot — he practiced smiling earlier in the day at Yogurtini! Here are just a few of the photos I love from our session.

December 18, 2011 - 6:54 pm Alison - You are so talented! These are treasures.

Maci is 1!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year of photo shoots with little Maci! :) She’s the cutest, and was hilarious during her one-year session, where she got to wear her birthday outfit and play with balloons and big swirly lollipops! She always has the cutest outfit changes and tutus for her sessions. Here are a few that I loved of little Maci!

I also cannot get enough of this adorable hat on this adorable baby! How cute is this?!

December 19, 2011 - 9:36 am Cindy Spreer - She posed and looked so beautiful in all the pic. She's my adorable little 1yr.old baby girl.

December 19, 2011 - 8:41 am Meghan - I can't stop looking at them! I love them. I can't imagine the rest:)

2011 Story Shoot: The Wilsons

Big things happened to a lot of couples and families this year. Some people, like my sister- and brother-in-law, took a leap of faith, sold the first house they bought together, moved to Kansas City, both found new jobs, and bought a beautiful and historic home. Here’s their story this year:

Have you heard about the Christmas portrait special that ends one week from today?? There might be one or two last-minute spots available! Here are the details!

Layne’s 2011 Story

There’s still a little time to take advantage of the Christmas portrait special this year, 2011 Story Shoots! :) The special ends next week, but if you’ve put off a family photo this long or still don’t know what to do about a Christmas card, I’ve got you covered! We’re doing these with super fast turnaround times, so you’ll have them in time to use them for Christmas!

If you missed the details the first time around, click here to see all about the shoots!

Here’s cute little Layne’s story this year:


December 8, 2011 - 11:35 am Jami Nato - yay!! isn't he the cutest? or at least his eyes! ha. thanks for doing this. it's such a sweet memory.

Another 2011 Story Shoot!

I got to photograph our good friends the Parsons for a 2011 Story Shoots. They have a wonderful story this year, which started out with a bunch of unknowns and questions that come with starting the adoption process. But in May, their family grew to include a tiny little baby boy… who isn’t so tiny 6 months later. :) Their family story is rich, heartfelt, and full of ups and downs this year, but they’ve arrived at the holiday season with happy hearts and thankfulness for the journey. I wanted to capture their family in the warmth of their home, with their cozy fireplace, decorated tree and mantle of knitted stockings. And with all of them piled in together, loving each other and laughing together like they often do. Here’s their big story this year.

If you haven’t claimed your spot for the awesome Christmas portrait special happening right now, click here to read the details and get in touch today to reserve your date and time! It’s not too late, and it’s totally worth it. What does your home look like this year?

December 8, 2011 - 11:36 am Jami Nato - ZION!!!! i will eat you. these are fab!

December 5, 2011 - 7:23 pm allyson - oh my GOODNESS!!! i love all of them, but i can't stop staring at that second image down. it is just too much sweetness!!

December 5, 2011 - 1:47 pm Emily - SUPER cute!

What’s your story this year? (Christmas portrait special)

Happy December 1st! I just love this month — the anticipation of Christmas, and the end of the year is on the horizon. It’s always a time of joy, thankfulness, and reflection on what 2011 held. A year in the life of a family, a couple, or a child is often marked by something big that happened. I can’t think of a year that has passed without something memorable happening, either a big occasion or just a funny story that will forever remain in the chapters of my life story.

So, this year, I’ve been thinking about how to give you the chance to capture your story right now, and preserve what it was about 2011 that sticks out the most to you. What is it that happened this year that defines who you are? How did your family’s story change and grow this year? What kinds of things are your kids doing right now that they haven’t done before and might not do in the future? Was 2011 exciting, challenging, fun, or heartwarming?

It’s time to tell your story — right now, as it’s happening. Now is the time to preserve your current reality, which becomes your family’s history.

My Christmas portrait special (available only through December 16th!) will do just that. I’ve never done this before, and I can’t tell you how excited I am!


2011 Story Shoots!

What are they?

30-minute mini-portrait sessions preferably at your home in the Kansas City metro area or a location that is connected to your story this year. Each session will include a small chalkboard for most of the shoot, which will have your 2011 story written on it (in your words, as long or as short as you want it to be). Imagine skipping writing that 10-page Christmas letter (ha ha), and instead sending an adorable photo with your story told in a concise, clever way. Your Christmas card recipients will love it, and it will be so much easier for you! :)

What is included?

The 30-minute session, an online gallery for easy viewing/sharing, AND a disc of the edited high-resolution digital files!

What’s the special price?

The cost is just $200, including the digital files! It’s a steal!

Will I have the photos back by Christmas?

Yes! Your disc of photos will be ready for pick-up in Kansas City just FIVE DAYS after your session! The portrait special is only valid December 1st through 16th, 2011, but schedule early to get the photos back sooner!

Are there any other details I should know?

Since I’ve promised a super fast turnaround time, I can only do a limited number of these special 2011 Story Shoots! Email now to reserve your date and time. Also, don’t worry about the chance of inclement weather — we will either shoot indoors at your home (which is so much fun!) or brave the chilly weather for a little bit, since the session is only 30 minutes long!

Click here to go to the contact page and send me a message to schedule your session! Type “Story Session!” in the subject line on the contact page. Or, email me directly at me[at]ericamay[dot]com.


Rachel and Ryan got married this year, got their first dog together, and have had a really big year. These are from their 2011 Story Shoot!

Click here to request your session!

December 5, 2011 - 9:26 pm Connie - Such a fun idea! You are so creative. Love it! :)

December 5, 2011 - 1:37 pm Kayley - Awesome idea! LOVE the dog's story :)

December 2, 2011 - 7:30 pm Melissa - A very sweet idea...

December 1, 2011 - 8:25 pm Rachel Ross - These turned out great Erica! Love them!!

December 1, 2011 - 7:38 pm Betsy Jo - Oh, Erica, I love this. Really, really love. So sweet and full of contemplation and reminiscing. What a lovely and heartwarming idea. So wish that it could happen to have you photograph us in this way. Maybe next year we need to visit KC in December...? :) Hope you're both doing great!

December 1, 2011 - 7:13 pm Amanda - I LOVE this idea...I wish I lived in Kansas City...

December 1, 2011 - 1:55 pm Emily - What a GREAT idea, Erica!!! So perfect.

December 1, 2011 - 1:36 pm Victoria - I don't need this but I LOVE IT.