Entertainment companies are flocking to Georgia to fulfill the needs of the state’s expanding film industry and the people who work for them are following. Count among them still photographer Erika Doss, who moved to Marietta in 2015 and is happy to have found a place where she and her family can finally settle down.
“We want to stay in Georgia — we like it here and we’re tired of moving,” says Erica.
“We love our house, the beautiful weather, and all of the opportunities for work. Georgia’s film industry is booming and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
California and New York have long been the go-to locations for filming movies and television series. Now Georgia is the third busiest state for filming, a $7 billion industry.
To follow the entertainment industry, Erika and her family moved back and forth from California to North Carolina several times. While in California she started doing stills for short and independent films. She also started her own portraiture and life documentary business. When the family moved back to Raleigh again she had trouble finding film work as the film industry began to dry up in North Carolina.
“Many people from North Carolina were moving to Georgia because they were following the film industry,” says Erika. “Once the North Carolina tax incentives were gone, most of the film industry was gone, too.”
Originally from Brazil, Erika moved to Los Angeles to study film. She graduated from Columbia College Hollywood in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in cinema. She was in film school during the transition from analog film format to digital images and was one of the last “lucky ones” who got to work in a professional photo lab for part of her career.
“Photographers are painters who use light instead of paint. Learning film made me understand how light and composition work together to make a photograph without the digital help of manipulating the image,” says Erika.
She now works on TV and film sets as a still photographer. Her job is to create film stills, which are photographic images intended for use in the marketing and publicity of feature films and network television productions.
When Erika moved to Georgia she joined the International Cinematographer’s Guild (Local 600). She’s one of only five female still photographers in the Atlanta region.
Erika has worked on many film and TV series like “Brockmire,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “MacGyver.”
“William Fichtner was one of the best actors to work with,” she says. “On the set of “Finding Steve McQueen” he was very relaxed, polite and gave me a lot of good shots. It’s actors like him that I love to work with and makes my job enjoyable.”
Erika and her family hope to stay in Georgia permanently. “As long as Georgia keeps the tax incentive we’ll be able to stay,” says Erika. “Our careers depend on the entertainment companies staying here and we’ve grown to love living in Georgia.”