Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
I approach photography very much like how I approach a lot of my life….by the seat of my pants! I like to think of my self as a laid back planner – I like to have an idea of what I’m going to do for a session but I love the element of surprise and I often need to feel out the mood of the family or couple before I truly get a vision in my head for what makes them tick and how I’d like to proceed. For me, inspiration often happens in the moment and is sparked by something unexpected. I have to read the people and gauge what we’ll go from there. It’s at times a bit chaotic but that’s often where I thrive. I’ve been officially in business for 2 years, however, I have always had a camera in my hand. I was very much the family and friend documentarian growing up, photographing travels and daily life with everything from cheap disposable cameras to polaroids and film. I grew up in a small, rural mountain town in the Catskill Mountains of NY, spending a lot of time lost in my imagination within the forest. This love of the outdoors is a huge influence in my work. Once I had kids, I started photographing them every day and re-found my voice and motivation as an artist.
What makes you the most nervous during a session?
That they will look at the camera the whole time and awkwardly try to pose, Pinterest style. I’m always worried that they won’t loosen up and play along!
What about this session was most memorable?
The golden light streaming through the trees and how relaxed everyone was. It was almost like I wasn’t there at times, they were all so in-tune with each other and their surroundings.
Were there any hurdles?
We rescheduled this session at least once due to heavy rain and thunderstorms. On the day of our session, the mother did not feel well and I was headed back home to WA in a few days, so I was worried about getting this done before it was time to fly home. She rested, the kids napped and she decided to go through with our session a few hours before as the weather was beautiful – although it was extremely hot and humid. We did their session on the property of their future homestead, the main structure was completely under construction and I had never laid eyes on the property but it was beautiful and had a lot of variety. I also had a constant fear of TICKS as we mostly shot in the woods and within the tall grass but they were not worried one bit and even offered to check me afterward, ha!
Your best photographer/session advice?
Let the kids be kids. If they are happy, I’m happy (and so are the parents!) I like to let the kids ‘think’ they are running the show and make them involved in as many of the decisions as I can. This helps build trust and gets them to listen to you – turn anything that you can into a little task or game. I would also suggest changing up your angles and approach whenever possible. If things feel forced or stagnant – move to a new area or get people moving. I find so many great details and connections by never staying stationary. It’s all how you see things so get low and up high whenever you can!
What is one goal for your business?
I’d love to continue to build my ideal client base, people who love the outdoors and will be themselves with me. It’s so nice to have people trust the vision and talent!
What gear was used to achieve these?
Canon Mark III, Sigma Art 35 mm
Any presets used or hand editing?
I used SMAL presets as a base and did a lot of tweaking and hand editing to achieve my final look.
ABOUT THE ARTIST :
Bio: Summer Hughes is a storyteller at heart. Her work is driven by the fleeting moments of life, childhood with elements of adventure. Summer is based out of the PNW but grew up in the Catskill Mountains of NY. She is a small-town mountain girl at heart, a laid-back hippy with NY flavor. Her art is playful, genuine and has a cinematic/artistic vibe. Summer is a natural light photographer and is the visual artist behind Wit + Whimsy Creative. Aside from being a photographer, she is a wife and a mother to two adventurous kiddos + one westie pup. She lives for shenanigans, last minute plans, road trips, getting side-tracked, pretty light, and taking the road less traveled.