About | Erica & City Lights Studio

City Lights Studio, LLC is a modern wedding & portrait photography studio specializing in elegant images with a creative twist and photojournalistic flair, located in the heart of the downtown Buffalo inside the Hotel @ The Lafayette.

City Lights Studio was founded in 2008 by photographer Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer (say that three times fast!) Always fascinated by art, light and color, Erica has had an interest in photography since a very young age. The first time she saw an image appear in the developer in her high school darkroom, she was officially hooked.

She bought her first ‘real’ camera when she was fifteen, had a photograph published on the front page of The Buffalo News by sixteen and has won various awards and contests since, including the Olympus/Photo District News VisionAge Award. Erica’s work has been featured in Buffalo SpreeAuxiliary Magazine and on the cover of Artvoice. She has a BFA in Fine Art Photography from RIT and has taught several photography workshops and teen programs.

Erica is a portrait photographer to the core. Whether she’s photographing friends, family, celebrities or total strangers, she enjoys the chance to connect through the lens & capture the experience. Each shoot is different, filled with new challenges, new chances to create and new people to meet. Because of this, she stays fresh and excited about the work that she does; a passion that translates into her images. She feels especially lucky to have such an incredible client base. She treats her clients not like customers, but like dear friends (so don’t be surprised when your session ends in a hug!) You can read some of their remarks here.

Erica is also a big believer in community, and is full of Buffalove! For years, she’s worked to boost Buffalo’s art scene by promoting other local creatives, hosting pop up art openings and musician showcases, organizing murals and public art pieces. In 2011, she worked to transform the 500 Block of Main Street by founding a gallery & performance space at MAIN(ST)UDIOS inside a once derelict building. Currently, she is one of the co-founders of Buffalo Indie Weddings, an indie bridal organization that showcases over 150 local businesses, connecting them with creative brides and grooms through fun, fresh bridal shows, styled shoots, and an inspirational blog. She loves this city so, and wants to show it off every chance she can!

When she’s not working, she spends her time with family. They enjoy exploring WNY, working on their 100+ year old home, walking Elmwood with their pitbull pups and fulfilling their ever-growing wanderlust. Some of their favorite adventures include visiting an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand, swimming in the bioluminescent bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico and snorkeling the Silfra divide in Iceland! Follow her personal account on Instagram @littleherdadventures and family blog to see more!



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