Behind the lens

Erin Hoffstetter: What is of lasting value?

How old are you?


Where are you based?

Greater Los Angeles Area

How do you make a living?

Full time photographer

What camera do you use?

Contax 645 + Contax G2

How has travel made an impact on your life?

It has made me realize what is most important to me, what is illusory and what is of lasting value.

What does adventure mean to you?

To me adventure is a state of mind. You can travel half way around the world and find none and look to see what’s in front of you and find the adventure of a lifetime. Adventure is more about perception and seeing the possibilities of everything around you.

Disco Inferno

I was hired by a very wealthy, eccentric couple to photograph their 25th wedding anniversary that was themed ‘Studio 54’. The couple had converted the entire bottom floor of their mansion into a club and they went pretty hard with the theme. I felt like I was in a time warp and the entire scenario was pretty bizarre.

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley.

It was very hazy out that day and the sunset was very intense, casting color out onto the eroded rock. I took this quickly without much thought and cross-processed my roll by mistake. Otherwise known as a ‘happy accident’.

Ferry to Mukilteo

Seattle, Washington. I was in the process of helping my oldest and closest friend move up North. At the time this picture was taken, I didn’t think much on it. But now looking back this photograph continues to reveal itself to me and is one of the most important photographs I have taken.


Last year I decided to drive around Iceland in a camper van by myself. It was quite an ordeal to get to this location but probably one of the most exhilarating moments of the trip. This photograph hardly does it any justice but after hiking over a snow covered lava field you arrive at the caldera with a natural hot spring in the middle.

I-5 Rest Stop

On the way home from Seattle to Los Angeles. Off the I-5 coming down from San Francisco there is a small rest stop and the first good look at the golden hills of California. This is when I can smell home.

Grandmothers Hands

Upstate, New York – my grandmothers hands in her open casket. Her last great wish was to be buried in her hometown of Utica.


My uncle at the airport upon our late arrival to upstate New York to bury my grandmother. He hadn’t been back to his hometown in many, many years. It was hard to know how he felt, but some things you just know.

Johnny Fishing with a Line

Mammoth Lakes in Inyo National Forest, California. Johnny’s favorite fishing spot, trying to hook a fish with just a line.


Myvatn area in Iceland. I was following a Russian man and his two sons all with matching camouflage jackets for a long time, trying to get a decent photograph of them. I was unsuccessful, but the boiling hot pools were pretty interesting too.

Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley

My favorite photographs are always of the people in my life being as they are in front of my camera.