With a father who was an artist and an art professor and a mother who was an astrologer and a teacher, and a childhood spent star gazing, painting and playing instruments, it seems that being an artist was really the only option for Canadian Born photographer Erica Reade.
While her education put her on a path of international development work for several years, she was most inspired when taking pictures. It was a natural evolution to use photography and media in her social justice work, which then led into her committing to a career as a photographer. She is now a full-time photographer, with a background in youth development, women’s empowerment and human rights, both locally and internationally, with a focus on using photography for social justice and advocacy. Erica is the founding director of the “Camera of the Month Club”, a New York City photography collective. She was a 2017 Nikon Scholarship winner at the Santa Fe Photography Workshop, and is an Artist Member of SoHo Photo Gallery.
Her work focuses primarily on the beaches of NYC, with a focus on Rockaway and Fort Tilden. For the last five years, she has been working on her current series, Beach Lovers, which documents love and intimacy on the beaches of New York. In her own words “I spend a lot of time observing NYC beach-goers; their bodies swaying in the waves, or splayed out half-asleep on sandy towels. We are raw and exposed on the beach, stripped of our clothes, our makeup, our status markers. There is something about being on the beach that emboldens couples to enjoy more affectionate freedom, their inhibitions less hidden than anywhere else I've observed in the city. My involvement with my couples is one of an observer, recorder and sometimes, voyeur. My intention is to capture the human experience of love and sensuality in public places, blending both street and documentary photography approaches to the beach.”
Growing up under the Montreal stars, seeing the world through a camera lens and eventually settling on the shores of Rockaway Beach to try and capture the small moments of love in that busy New York Life; Erica Reade is a natural born observer with a unique artistic eye. With her camera in her hand, and untold love stories unfolding in front of her lens clicking in black and white, it seems that Erica didn’t fall far from her artistic family tree.