2016 Year-in-Review

By: Erika Dietrick, Pirate Portraits Founder and Lead Photographer


It’s always a great day to be a pirate. 

Pirate Portraits was little more than a question mark at the dawn of 2016. With the exception of our first two clients, who took a chance on us in 2015, 2016 was essentially the foundation for a year of creative senior pictures, candid event photography, and unique special requests.


Sarah, our second-ever client

I had been toting around and annoying my family and friends with my digital camera since I was 13. At the time, I wanted a camera because some of my other friends had thumbnail pictures of themselves on Yahoo messenger. However, taking pictures quickly became a passion–a way to encapsulate cherished memories, people, and places forever.

I began to take my photography a little more seriously as a student at East Carolina University. I worked 2 years as a coordinator of marketing and another year as a director of marketing for ECU’s Honors College, where I frequently took pictures at our signature events for social media. By chance, I received a Nikon D3100 for my 18th birthday, and sunny afternoons were sometimes spent creeping around campus, secretly taking pictures of people and blatantly taking artsy pictures of flowers. The summer before my senior year, I wanted a way to make a little extra cash but danced around the idea of a photography business. Doubtful, I posted a handful of my outdoor portraits to Facebook and basically asked, “Anyone interested in senior pictures?” I was surprised and exhilarated by the comments and messages I received then and in the following months, praising my photography and asking if I could take their pictures.


Spring of my senior year, I enrolled in a non-majors photography course at ECU to hone my photography skills, gain technical expertise, and learn Adobe Photoshop. With some experience and instruction under my belt, Pirate Portraits was officially on the map.

As I turn Pirate Portraits from a side business into a full-time endeavor in 2017, I look forward to meeting a diverse set of people through the lens of my camera, capturing their personalities and finding innovative ways to tell our human story.

Interested in booking a session with Pirate Portraits? Schedule here or e-mail pirateportraits@gmail.com with questions.