Love on a Sunday, Part 1

It was such a treat to wake up with Natalie and Zach because there’s never a time they aren't saying something wildly funny and outrageous, even first thing in the morning. Their dynamic is addicting - they constantly build on what the other is saying in such a seamless, humorous and tender way.

I’ve only met one other person that loves love as much as I do, and it’s the woman I’m collaborating with on this series. Her name is Brooklyn Sherman and she has a way of telling people’s love stories that TRULY does them justice. Take a look at her Instagram or her website to find out the hilarious story of how Natalie and Zach met! 

Hope you enjoy these snapshots from the morning, too!



I love when people are uninhibited, and I love when that realness translates into a daily ritual of some sort. I feel like it’s easy to go through the motions, ignoring the beauty of those precious in-between moments. The moments where you roll over only to find the person you love drooling on the pillow next to you. Or even the moments when you hear the sound of a snore, which at least lets you know that your partner is alive and safe. 

When I asked Kaitlin and Harris if I could capture them in this way, they agreed and allowed me to literally trespass into their home and creepily snap photos of them sleeping! Harris had Kaitlin in a tight embrace, arm warmly draped around her waste. It was such a sweet sight to witness. How often do you wake up fully spooning your loved one? I feel like I’ve become an opposite-side-of-the-bed kind of woman. Maybe that’s what being single will do to you. 

I think it’s hard to meet a couple with a truly solid foundation, but Harris and Kaitlin make it seem easy. They started off as friends, but we all know how rare it is for friends to remain platonic. So when Harris introduced me to Kaitlin as his “friend” in 2014, I grinned inside KNOWING that their friendship would be short-lived, and most likely evolve into something exceedingly more beautiful and intimate. When I asked what the real turning point was, Kaitlin told me they were at a party where she approached him and said, “I have to make sure this is pretty real because I could definitely love you.” Harris’ response: “Well I DO love you.” 

I think part of what carries them is this collective-growth mindset that they each wholeheartedly embody. They couldn’t wait to tell me about their newly installed reading lights next to their bed! I love that they are making a bigger effort to read with one another. I know I’m mushy, but it’s wild how the simple act of reading together translates into the simple act of eating green, of rising early, of keeping the apartment extra tidy - all lifestyle choices present in their relationship. The little things add up to become the big things, and when those big things align, that’s when the magic really happens. I’m very excited to see how the rest of their relationship unravels. If my predictions are correct, I'll hopefully be re-creating this shoot in the elderly stages of their life!



My parents were robbed of a conventional love story. The love story that involves two people meeting, agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together, and then actually doing it. Their story is different. They met in 1987, got married in 1990, had me in 91, conceived my sister in 92, and divorced in 2000. At 24 and three quarters, I’m just beginning to understand how the shift impacted me and how it has contributed to my abiding infatuation with love and family.

My father quickly linked up with another woman, but my mother didn’t have the same luck. Though she was a magnet to men, nothing stuck, and at 9 years old I was completely aware of how ravenous she was for this sense of “wholeness.” The type of wholeness that would make us a party of 4, not 3. The type of wholeness that would prevent her from saying she was a “single parent.” (You get where I’m going with this).

When I was 21 she married her new part to our new whole, my beloved step-father, whom I couldn’t imagine life without. And yet I can’t help but think about the 12 years that preceded their union. The 12 years of absent wholeness that made up so much of my becoming. I think this is why I crave the unity of other people’s families and lives. I think this is why my appreciation for good, reliable, sustainable love between all sorts of people, runs SO deep.

If someone asked how I spent my Saturday two weeks ago, the simplified version entails capturing the morning ritual of Jenna and Mason with their new baby Fitz. But to me it was so much more than that. It was documenting their wholeness, their marked partnership and calm love and respect for one another, along with their mutually deep love for their new son.

In true Erin-fashion, I probed them about their relationship: What it’s like to create this extension of themselves, how they balance time with one another, how their priorities have shifted... All the questions I’ll keep in mind when I experience what they’re experiencing, in a desperate attempt to carve out a different life for myself. Different from my parents, that is. Different in a sort of elite, I’m-not-going-to-get-a-divorce, kind of way. In an effort to be with someone that really lets me be ME.

Well Mason lets Jenna be Jenna, and Jenna lets Mason be Mason, and the whole thing is overwhelmingly beautiful. They told me having Fitz initiated the most intense bonding of their whole marriage. “I thought we were as close as we could be before the baby,” Jenna rehashed. If I remember correctly, Jenna told me that Mason literally had to put her underwear on her for an entire week after she gave birth. She spoke of the lingering pain and the perpetual bleeding that ensued after the fact. “Nobody tells you how much you’re going to bleed,” she added. Mason agreed, fully present with every aspect of the conversation, which naturally I loved. (Jenna if you are reading this, I’m sorry for being so personal, but it’s all so raw and wonderful to me). Their candor struck me because of the necessary dependency that took place during the weeks and months after her giving birth, and the simultaneous welcoming of that dependency. Mason’s presence is so felt that it’s as if he had the baby too. I’m not even kidding.

My favorite moments at their apartment were the moments they forgot I was there. The moments where they really just went about their morning the way they naturally would. In observing them I felt like I got to experience a part of my youth that I’ll never get back. And a sense of hope, oh the hope, for what I have to look forward to. If it looks anything like the family Mason, Jenna and Fitz have created, I know I’ll die happy.



I feel like there is a disconnect that exists between the young and the old - a divide like a median in the road. A platform that can’t be crossed by a vehicle, but can be traversed on foot. It just takes a little longer, and there’s a degree of intimacy involved that some may not feel comfortable with. Since I was little I’ve marched toward that median with pride, holding the belief that it represents everything I have experienced and will experience, welcoming me with ancestral hands and tired cashmere sweaters. There isn’t a topic that goes unaddressed with my grandfather, and while our discourse sometimes meanders toward morbidity, it flows in the most habitual way, like folding an old t-shirt. 

Recently I asked how he was feeling - what it’s like to be 84 years old. “I’ve done just about everything there is to do,” he remarked with contentment. That statement transported me to a session I had a couple weeks back with some young children. I felt grateful to have witnessed two extremes in such close proximity to one another. Katie and James wore their innocence like a sheeny yellow raincoat - obvious, endearing and bright. The world was their playground, and hope and possibility engulfed them. The idea of not knowing what their lives will bring totally excites me. And yet, I am as intrigued by the beginning of life as I am by the end…



This past weekend I was reminded that love comes in all forms. What started out as an ordinary Sunday turned into an extraordinary one, when a group of us came together for a read-through my dear friend Taurean hosted. He’s been spending the better part of 2015 writing a short film, and Sunday was the day we got to literally feel it come to life - everyone in character, reciting words he spent so many months meticulously choosing. 

I felt proud to document the process - the evolution and ultimate delivery of a dream. Each time the script was read, I could feel the energy of the group bolstering. Applauses grew louder, laughter grew harder, expressions became more pronounced. It almost felt like everyone showed up in their warmest winter gear, and left naked. It’s amazing how the power of time combined with open, kind and passionate people can create such an intimate and positive environment. 

The mission was to support one friend, but it shifted into supporting everyone. The day became an avenue for people to share a creative side of themselves that they don’t always get to share, and emphasized the importance of feeling apart of something, of feeling a sense of community. It was one of the first times I felt a sense of unity in a city that feels so disjointed. 




love (n)

     1. an intense feeling of deep affection 

I’ve always had a deep infatuation with love. I remember being in the 6th grade and going to my friend Rachel’s pool party in Pacific Palisades, CA. There I met her grandparents (whose names are escaping me now), but at 24 I can still remember how the conversation unraveled. I stared directly at Rachel’s grandmother, noticing her hand grazing the shoulder of her husband. I don’t quite know what compelled me to start a dialogue, but at 11 I was still just as fierce and direct as I am now. “How long have you been married?” I asked inquisitively. Her lips curled into a proud smile. “43 years,” she replied. “Wow,” I exclaimed in disbelief. "What do you still have to talk about?!” I was seriously mystified. How do you maintain good conversation with the same person for that span of time? It was a turning point for me, and I became engrossed with love ever since. 

Cheryl Strayed, one of my favorite authors, says it best. “The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of love.” And it’s true! I firmly believe it’s the main reason we’re here, and love is the only rational act out there. Especially in light of all the tragic things happening in our world. That’s why I think it’s important to capitalize on it, to treasure and preserve it. And that’s why I do what I do. There is something so magical about raw, uninhibited love, and I intend on spending much of my life capturing that for people. So I’m making a commitment to you, virtual world, vowing that you can expect to read my jabber on love HERE, once a week, accompanied by pictures of course, depicting adoring couples and families. 

See you next week!