Our featured artist this week is Summer Rae, a lifestyle photographer located in Escondido, California
The wife to a pastor, and mother to these beautiful children is Summer Rae
Q: What inspired you to become a photographer?
A: Well, I have always loved capturing those genuine moments that really give you a feel for the love, emotion, and reality of the moment. To be honest, I didn’t get a “descent camera” until I had my first son; that’s when it all started. This was before Facebook and Instagram, believe it or not! Following my toddler around with the camera, trying to capture the emotion of the moment, so I could remember it forever was part of my day in day out.
Knowing that I had a descent camera a friend of mine asked if I could snap a few shots of her intimate, simple wedding on the beach (my first gig). I jumped at the opportunity and probably went a little overboard. The pictures turned out pretty good, in my opinion, and she loved them!
Soon, friends and family were asking me to do shoots for them and their families. That was a few years before I actually launched my business. It’s a pretty vulnerable and scary thing to put yourself out there. With the support and push of my husband and praying through the process, I know this is what God has for me right now and I LOVE IT! Being able to capture those moments that are full of emotion and give you a glimpse or memory of that treasured moment is awesome. I love editing, going through ALL the photos and finding those photos that capture our time together and saying to myself, “Ah, there it is.” That’s my job, and I love it!
Q: What are your favorite shoots to photograph?
A: I would have to say my favorite shoots are more moments than shoots. I enjoy all types of shoots but absolutely love shoots with genuine candid shots prompted by emotions or circumstances by my clients. I love when children play, parents kiss in the midst of the children screaming, the joy and wonder in maternity, parents holding their babies (whether that be a graduating senior, or fully grown and about to get married) extra tight with the hearts full and eyes teary. I love those moments in a variety of shoots because they’re all different seasons. I feel humbled and privileged to share these special moments with my families.
Q: What, would you say, distinguishes your work from other photographers?
A: I guess I would have to look at the consistent feedback I receive from my clients. I’m told that I’m creative, have a good eye, make people comfortable, very easy to work with and great with kids. All of these things working together to capture great candid moments.
Q: What tools or gear would you recommend?
A: I was taught on a Canon 5D, so I’m a little partial to the Canon 5D series. My first purchase was my 50mm 1.4 lense. I love the 50mm and it was a great investment to get me started.
Q: What is your style?
A: I would probably say I am more of a lifestyle photographer, within that I love being creative and getting candid shots. To further explain, learnmyshot.com describes, “The term ‘Lifestyle Portrait’ refers to portraits to where emphasis is given to suggest the style of living of the individuals depicted. Technically it is a combination of environmental portrait and candid portrait. More weight is given to communicate the feeling of the life experience of the subject. Style has numerous implications in commercial and fine art photography. Editorial, fashion, pharmaceutical, and food industries often use lifestyle images to provoke emotions in viewers by depiction of desired life styles. It is common to see this style used in wedding and family portrait photography as well.”
Q: Are there any photographers that have influenced you, your process, or your photography?
A: As far as influence, Danielle Zacharias mentored me for six months. I believe she had a lot of influence on my photography foundation. She is the co-owner of side-by-side video with her husband. I’m not sure if there is one photographer that has influenced my style, however, I love looking through different photographers images and creativity to broaden my perspective.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
A: The hardest step is the first one. Be willing to put yourself out there. Yes, it’s vulnerable and yes, it’s scary; but it’s worth it! Never stop learning your art. It’s an expression of you. With each shoot there is always something to learn or someone to learn from.