I first stepped in front of a camera for my senior photos two years ago. I was shy and awkward, attributing it to burn scars all over my body and lack of experience. I had such little confidence in myself, and it was so obvious in the photos. While I struggle with myself sometimes now, since then, I realized I loved being in front of a camera. The confidence boost I get after I finish a shoot is easily the biggest reason I continue to pursue it. Confidence is key when you’re modeling. Otherwise, your photos won’t turn out! So I try hard every day to love and better myself.
Nearly a year ago, I purchased my camera and decided to take some time behind it. To my surprise, it helped give me a new perspective on being in front of the camera. It’s so much fun to be able to think both ways and find myself in my style, both as a model and a photographer. I plan on taking a photography course, but until then, I am working on getting published.
My style focuses a lot on the body, or I’d like to call it “poetic photography,” although sometimes I just do portrait shoots because you can’t get enough of those!
That being said, I’m in the Bellingham area of Washington, and I am 19 years old.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Summer. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I am so shy, especially at first. I struggle opening up to a lot of people, but once I know you, we’re solid. This does make it tough sometimes to model, especially with my burn scars. Which those in and of itself make me pretty unique. I was 13 when my house burnt down, and while it happened six years ago, I still am reminded every day when I glance at my arms. I’ve been told they’re a great conversation starter, or that they’re pretty. I just have gotten so used to them at this point that when I model and a photographer notices them, it always takes me by surprise. Like, oh! I forgot I had those! They make my shoots so interesting and open the conversation about model norms and societal standards.
Summer, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I’m not sure where I want to go in life, but right now I want to further myself as a photographer and progress as a model. I want to continue doing these things because I’ve always loved art. These forms are so attainable yet require so much skill that I know I do not yet have. I want to be better.
I started as a model two years ago, and since then I’ve been incredibly active in the modeling community. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough, or pretty enough, but I know my anxieties are just anxieties and nothing to prevent me from going where I want to.
Who is your inspiration in life Summer? How do you keep inspired?
It feels honestly ridiculous to say, but Instagram and Pinterest are my go-to’s for inspiration. There is so much quality content on each, DIY’s, How-To’s, step by steps, examples, filters, etc. on these pages that I have complete access to, and it’s so awesome haha. I’m able to create an idea in my head, but I will go to these sites often to find inspiration that will flesh out my ideas.
We all make mistakes Summer; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
My first studio shoot I brought a bunch of clothes and for some reason was so awkward. I wish I had been more normal for that! My photos regardless turned out incredible but I know I could’ve worked better with that photographer had I not been so shy.
Summer , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
It depends on the client and the gig at hand. Am I working with multiple models or photographers, or both? In all cases, I just want everyone to be comfortable. That is my biggest priority. If everyone is silent and awkward, then turn on the music! Dance, laugh, everyone needs to work together comfortably for it all to go smoothly.
Please tell us Summer, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
I truly cannot think of a specific time, but I do know that safety and comfort are some of my biggest priorities when modeling. I was asked recently online to model and after stalking their profiles, asking specific questions about time, location, the “can I bring a friend”, portfolio, etc., I realized it was legit. You hear all the time about women and girls being asked by “photographers” to do paid gigs but then come up missing. That’s horrifying to me, and because it’s such a problem I have to ask a bunch of annoying, tedious questions haha.
Summer, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I collaborate with models and photographers a lot of the time. Nothing is ever just up to me, and the same goes for the model or photographer I am working with. I like to focus on everyone’s wishes, and I haven’t necessarily met anyone who wasn’t willing to do the same.
Summer, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want with share to everyone. What is it and why?
I think my proudest moment was when I first started modeling two years ago. I was in such a chaotic ball of life and at such an age to be permanently disfigured was hard on my young mind. I was finally feeling acceptance with my scars, and so I modeled FOR them. I was anxious as ever and so nervous to show them off in such a vulnerable way. The photos didn’t turn out only because you could see how uncomfortable I was but knowing that I did that, for the first time when I was such a mess, I realized I could love myself. That’s my proudest moment.
Summer, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
It’s so hard to convey emotion as a model! Especially doing it the first few times. But I want my style to carry so much emotion, to make the person witnessing my art to feel it really. I worked with a guy who wanted to shoot solely in black and white and focus on emotion. He had me think of all these different scenarios where I would feel something. It was so hard! Trying to imagine on the spot that my boyfriend was gone for ten months and he’s just now coming home, and we’re about to embrace and convey that on my face in front of someone I don’t know? So hard. But it’s really fun
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Work hard, shoot all the time. Love yourself every day, and work on yourself every day. Modeling is about working together, meeting people and loving every part of yourself. Don’t be shy! Collab with local photographers, get your name known locally- that’s the best and most fun part.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I’m looking for opportunities to meet and collab with all kinds of creatives. It doesn’t matter to me if I am paid or not; I just love going new places with new people and shooting. Any opportunity where I am also working for a brand or fashion talent is icing on the dream cake.