We had the good fortune of connecting with McKayla Erin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi McKayla, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
McKayla Erin Edits was born after I realized the power I held with my lens. I used to take photos of friends for fun outside of my 9-5, and they would always say “wow, is that ME?” in disbelief. I saw that I can show them what I see, and how beautiful they are in my eyes. I think we all struggle to see ourselves the way our friends do, and I want to use my lens to shine that perspective back onto my clients and empower them to feel like they are art, even when mentally they might not be there yet.
I also noticed that Boudoir photography had a reputation for being somewhat taboo, and primarily for the heterosexual male gaze. I wanted to change that. I saw the need for an experience where women (identifying) can see themselves through another female perspective and feel sexy for themselves first and foremost. While many of my clients are engaged, the experience of working with me is truly for them!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is special to me, because it is a reflection of what I want to see more of in the world. Boudoir is not only fun, but truly a healing and empowering experience for all of my clients. We grew up with the narrative that (as women) we need to be small. Physically small, yes, but also emotionally – we often feared being “too much” and sexually, we certainly did not have a healthy way to express ourselves without shame being thrown at us. I wished to see real women on sites like Tumblr and Pinterest that felt relatable, and not overly sexualized. My goal is for my clients to feel safe, awaken their sensual side and recognize that they’re the art themselves.
I cannot say that this path was easy. Like many others, I was laid off from my 9-5 during the Pandemic and moved home to live with family (I was living in NYC at the time). It was in quarantine that my desperation to use my creative energy led to my website creation and dreaming of being a boudoir photographer full time. I moved to LA fall of 2020 and hustled outside of my 9-5 to work with clients and Sorry Dad Co in order to build a portfolio. To this day, I still work part time as a recruiter to have some stability, but it’s something I truly enjoy as well. I think if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you won’t get to where you want to go if you aren’t enjoying the process day-to-day. Sounds so cheesy, I know! But when you are the energy you want to attract, the opportunities will present themselves. You simply have to be patient. Little by little I am seeing more eyes on my art, and more clients come along with that. While i’m thrilled to be booking more, my focus is on feeling abundant in the present moment to attract the growth I’d like to see!
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.
Oh, this is a fun question! For me, the best itinerary always has to end with sunset views. My friends know that sunset and chill is my favorite activity, and LA’s beaches are great for this. At some point, I like to bring friends to this overlook spot in the Palisades with views of both Malibu and Santa Monica. Ideally we bring wine and soak it in through golden hour!
For drinks, I have this coffee shop that I adore in Silverlake – Broom Street General Store. The shop is inspired by New York, which was what enticed me about it from the start. It’s an adorable general store with unique home goods + amazing coffee and homemade scones. Walking around this neighborhood is fun too, Silverlake is my number 1 go-to spot for home manifesting (haha).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to mention Cali Rockowitz, founder of Sorry Dad Co – her creative portfolio of unapologetic art. We met online during the pandemic when I came across Sorry Dad. I could tell she shared my passion for not only female empowerment, but changing the narrative around the way we talk about sex. Plus, she is an incredible artist. I was so impressed with her work.
After moving to LA we met in person and immediately clicked. The way she uses art to bring an idea and/or message to life is inspiring. I was lucky enough to work with her on creative projects, as well as a few product photo shoots for Sorry Dad Co. I could talk for hours about the way she inspires me and leads by action, but I will keep it short and sweet. She is so unapologetically herself, and feels so passionately about things, that she lives at a high vibration and it pours into everything she does. She attracts not only opportunities but people and experiences into her life that align with her energy. You can see it in her art. I will always admire her for this!
*for personal image of me* Jessica Wood Photos @jessicawoodphotos