Photos by Paul Flessland
Olivia Erickson is a Fargo-based photographer and the founder of a local nonprofit, Well Water Fargo, which focuses on outreach to women in the sex industry. Here’s a snapshot of a recent weekend, including both a photography gig and an outreach for Well Water.
Erickson’s afternoon consists of heading downtown to White House Co. to pick up a couch and some props for styled photo shoots on Sunday. With the help from her fiancé, Caleb, the couch is loaded into the car and hauled a few blocks over and up two flights of stairs to her studio.
Afterward, the two go to the grocery store to buy a few final ingredients to make brownies for the Well Water outreach. “This outreach is a little unconventional,” Erickson says. “Monthly, we bring in gifts, notes and treats to the local strip club. This is our way of building friendships with amazing people who are often overlooked and to sprinkle kindness in an unlikely place.”
We pick up with Erickson here.
The “mini team” of Emily, who is my co-leader, Caleb and I go over to Burning Hearts where they are hosting The Burn, a citywide worship event that happens about every other month. They’ve partnered with Well Water Fargo to pray and support us as we go out.
Get to the strip club and see our friends! We see the same employees as usual and are greeted by smiles, hugs and a few comments about how we’ve come to wreck their diets. The conversations are just like normal friends.
We drive back to the church and I head home to rest and prep for tomorrow’s wedding. Most weekends, I like to take it easy after outreach, but with wedding season being in full swing, the weekend is far from over!
Alarm goes off. I get all “wedding fancy” and pack my bag with the essentials—from extra batteries to bandaids (in case of emergencies).
I head out for coffee and breakfast downtown at Bernbaum’s with the planning team for a new young adult’s service at my church!
I drive to the bride’s apartment to take getting-ready photos. We then head to Orchard Glen for some outdoor photos before the ceremony.
From this point on, my day is completely absorbed into the wedding, rolling with the slight tweaks in the timeline and helping move things along. After photographing dozens of celebrations of all sizes, traditions, and schedules, it comes naturally to plan our days to run smoothly while also remaining adaptable.
I’m done with photography coverage, and it’s time to go home! My unwinding routine includes resting while watching “Parks and Recreation” in the background. I back up images and pull out a few favorites for previews.
Erickson is asleep by 11 p.m., never realizing how tired wedding days make her until she slows down at the end and sets her alarm for the next day.
This hectic weekend for Erickson, though, isn’t over yet. Her Sunday starts with volunteering at her church, Burning Hearts. She then has scheduled photography sessions in her studio, partnering with a makeup artist and vintage styling from White House Co.
After a full weekend, Erickson goes to bed early, getting some rest so she can wake up for a meeting Monday morning with a 2018 bride. She says, “the weekend is work and then the work week begins again!”