Erin Reas Creates


Blog for graphic designer + photographer, Erin Reas. Based in Austin, TX, Erin shares stories from photoshoots, case studies on design projects, and tips and tricks for either profession!


5:00am. That’s when my first alarm goes off. Every morning. I’m much more of a morning person rather than evening, to the extent that I can wake up and almost immediately hop in front of my computer to start working. That’s usually how my mornings go: wake up, take a shower, work on my side hustles, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. If it’s a Sunday, I include running to the closest HEB at 6am to get groceries for the week.

This Sunday, though, was a little bit different. I was to meet up with Ruby at 8:30am for a professional portrait and bluebonnet portrait session at our Hilltop Home. As I’m driving to the St. Edward’s University campus, I remember when I first met Ruby. We both transferred to St. Edward’s, but at different times. She transferred in a few years after me, but we briefly met during her Orientation. I was one of the Orientation leaders at the time with a few other student leaders. The student leaders and I sat in a classroom with 30 or so new transfers doing our best to answer questions. Ruby was in that group. Transferring isn’t always the easiest experience. Every situation is completely different with different reasons for transferring. The student may just want to get in and get out with a degree, but others may want to connect. Ruby was one that wanted to connect, and she did. We became friends during the two years she attended St. Edward’s and were both in the Student Government Association for a time. Both of us consider St. Edward’s to be our home, and we both had difficulties saying goodbye after graduation.

Ruby now lives in Houston, and she travels up to Austin for weekend to visit friends whenever she can. When she contacted me about getting portraits done, I was wondering when and where since we live in two different cities; the girl made a day trip in Austin for her portraits. I felt so honored that she chose me to take her portraits, that she made a three hour drive for a one hour session, that she was excited for a morning session! Of course she made use of her visit to see friends, but I definitely got warm fuzzies when we started planning out her session.

We took the typical “red door pictures” that our alma mater is known for. St. Ed’s has a set of beautiful red doors that lead into Main Building. They are a symbol for home, and a portrait session is not complete without a series in front of them. We ended our session with a series in the bluebonnets. St. Ed’s is known for having beautiful bluebonnets across the campus, and in Texas we love bluebonnet portraits.

Ruby brought two props to use for her fun bluebonnet portraits: her grad cap and the flag she got when she went to Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is a huge international music festival in Belgium. It’s not only a music festival, but a complete experience. I love utilizing objects that my people bring! It helps to make the photos more personal and meaningful.