methere were three different routes she could have taken home. normally, it was the route with all the crossing guards because thats the route her mom and dad had told her to always take.

today was different. today she got her report card. mostly A’s. she was smart.  and, well, it was third grade in 1987 how hard could it be?

but there it was. the comment section. “summer can sometimes cause a disruption in class that affects the other children”.

it was true. she liked to talk. and be funny. maybe to deflect from the pain she was always feeling.

but that comment would lead to something she had felt all too common.

a hard, cold, leather belt to her bare bottom.

so that day she took a different route home. she cut through some yards and took the road less traveled. but it was the road she had always liked.  it wasn’t a straight shot to her school like the other roads.  there was a bend and at that corner was a  house with a huge pine tree in front of it. you know, those pines trees that are so large and so old and big that there is space under it you can almost just walk right under it without ducking?? but it wasn’t the tree. it was the front porch she had always looked at. it was a grey stone front porch and built into it was the mother mary… or was it jesus… all dressed like a ninja and looking down on the people with her or his arms spread open. who was that? she could never get close enough to see but she knew it was something having to do with God. she knew enough from all the bible studies and church meetings she went to with her Gramz that it was a statue of someone that could help her.

so that day with that report card she took that road and stopped and that house. it was sunny and cold. like a late spring day or early fall day when the sun can make you feel so hot that the sweat builds on the bottom of your back from your backpack but a wind in the air that can make you shiver and feel like it was a mid january day. you know, that kind of day.

she stopped at the house and went under the tree. she was wearing a long sleeve dress that hit just above her knee. and she crawled under the twigs snapped and broken under her boney knee caps. her backpack, all tattered and torn, came off and she unzipped and took out her report card.  and read and read and read. and knew she was a good kid. “I’m a good girl” summer thought. “A, A, B, A, A-, A+, B+, A, A”

why? why did the teacher have to tattle?

her eight year old eyes filled with tears and she stared down at her report card. the twigs her beginning to hurt as they stabbed and stuck onto her legs. she looked up at mary or jesus or whoever it was and prayed.

“dear god please. please don’t have my dad hit me for this. he is going to be so mad. god please. please. i pray please. i don’t want to get hit today. please”

she kissed her fingers and blew the kiss up to heaven. praying praying praying that this would be a day she could avoid the belt.

some of her tears had dropped off her cheek and fallen onto the coral colored report card. the wetness smeared some of the ink. she opened her bag and put the card back in and crawled out from under the tree.  the twigs had left imprints on her knees.  she brushed off some of the ones that had stuck to her and continued home.

it was only six or seven houses away. she could see her house from that far but she couldn’t see the driveway until she got closer.  she walked slow but she knew he would already be home. stopping and praying had delayed her arrival by a few minutes and she knew he would be home when she got there.

his truck came into view as she walked past the last house. she took a deep breath, crossed the street, walked up the driveway, opened the garage door and up the stairs to kick her shoes off on the porch. mom never let anyone wear shoes in the house so the side porch that was in the garage was always cluttered with shoes. moms sneakers- a couple pairs- covered in dark black grease from her factory job, dads old a scuffed up timberlands he wears for cutting down trees.

she showed her report card. ashamed at the comment and wondering if her prayer would work this day.

this was the first day she really knew there was a God. because he came through for her. she didn’t get the belt this day.


she was me. and this was my childhood. and my life as this child shaped who i am today.

shaped who i am in good ways and in bad ways.

growing up like this made me strong. made me have to be the best at everything i did. i never wanted to give my parents a reason to ground me or punish me so i excelled in sports. in school. in everything. it made me independent. i started working when i was 14 just to be out of the house. to make my own money to buy my own things. i relied on no one but summer.

and in the bad ways? sheesh. i don’t know how to love. i dont let anyone in. i don’t show emotion. i live in a bubble. i deal with things internally. on my own. i don’t ask for help from anyone for anything.


thats how i crashed.

i spiraled into a depression.  and you all should know that. you should all know this is where i have been.

and i am ashamed.  i am fucking ashamed God damn it bc i am fucking summer lyn, right?!! i have my shit together right?!! i am a mom to four girls, i run the show, i run the house, i run a business. i cook. i clean. i do it all right? i inspire people, right? I’m summer. i don’t fail. I’ve never failed at anything. what the actual fuck happened to me???

everything happened to me.

after taylor was born it kind of started. and i ignored it. i kept it together. i figured it was some post partum crap. hormones! how crazy are hormones and breastfeeding and life with four kids. so i plugged along…

then my nanny left at the end of the summer. take note my nanny is also a sister to me. she is my best friends and the god mother to luccia. she’s a rock to me. but she needed full time and i supported her and that. but losing her absolutely killed me. and so my downward spiral continued. i was now flying solo and trying to do everything alone. bc i am summer and i don’t ask for help nor do i tell anyone that i think something is happening.

stephen took a new job in the fall. as a supportive wife i was so proud to be there for him to pursue something else. but a job on commission means pressure for me to make sure i do well and i can feed my kids and put clothes on their back….

my mom went into the hospital in january and nearly died. her kidneys shut down and her body became toxic. she was about eight hours from dying.

and, well, i don’t know. i just know that the winter became the spring and i was fucked up. i stopped caring about everything.(and funny enough, i kid you not, the only time i cared about ANYTHING at all was when i was holding a camera. i swear on the life of my four children the feeling i have when a camera is in my hands is undeniably euphoria… more on that later). but i couldn’t stop my brain from this feeling.  i would sit there and think “what the fuck i want to smile right now and play with my kids” but my jerk off brain wouldn’t let me!!!!!! you know what that feels like??!!! to have the mental capacity to want to something but your brain couldn’t connect to anything to let you do that??! this funk of mine now was no longer a funk.

it was depression.

i came to terms with it and saw a doctor and told her how i was felling. how i was just so “blahhhhh”, and i started medication.

well, for me the medication was shit. i plunged to rock bottom. suicidal thoughts filled my head constantly. id leave my house and go on a drive and find myself parked at the brooklyn bridge. just sitting and waiting for the guts to just get the fuck out of my car and go and just jump. to just end it and stop being a burden to everyone, that everyone would be better off without me…. and i thought the medication was supposed to make you worse before you got better or something. i didn’t know that i was supposed to say something if there were thoughts like this.

this is june now, and bam. i was rock bottom. an unsuccessful attempt at taking my life woke me the FUCK up.

who am i!!!! where am i???!!!!! how did i get here?????!!!!!!!

i stopped medication. I’m getting my God damn act together. because for crying out loud, i AM SUMMER!!!!!!

my girls need me! my husband needs me! my clients need me! everyone that needs me, i need them right back.

I’m sharing this because i know there is someone out there just like me. who had it all together and then life just crashed. I’m here too! i am with you and i understand the shit show that is life.

i am healing. i am taking life day by day and doing my talk therapy. and meditation. and talking. and exercising. and talking. talking. talking. talking. if you know me you know I’m not much of a talker of my feelings. well. not anymore. talking makes me feel so amazing and now i will talk to anyone who will listen.

i am climbing out of the dark hole that is depression. and life looks so different to me. when you think and attempt to end life and find yourself still here, you become a different person with a real different perspective. for real.

i mean, its tough to admit this to you guys. not going to lie, i hate even saying it. being weak. seeing it as weakness. i feel like a loser and a failure at life. i don’t want you guys to think I’m some loser.

i want you to accept me for this change. and love being here and stick around. i went through some SHIT.


i am still here.

and i am still shooting. i postponed a lot of you. you all didn’t know why and now you do. all of you that have emailed or texted or messaged but never heard back now you know why.

as i mentioned before, having a camera in my hand is my therapy.  shooting is my therapy. i need it.

im a new person with an insane outlook on life.

this past week has been an amazing week for me. things are just coming together. healing after something like this is incredibly intense. and i want to share my journey with you. and let you know you are not alone. if anything i said tonite was sounding familiar to you YOU ARE NOT ALONE! don’t ever think it ever ever ever ever ever.

so, um…. ya. this is where i have been.

i am still alive, and on this earth for a reason. bc i am a mom. bc i am a wife. i am still alive bc i am a daughter, and a sister, and a friend.

and honestly?

i am still alive bc i am a photographer.




i woke up this morning compelled to write this. i like when things like this happen to me, the need to sit and share life and thoughts with you all. its therapeutic in some ways.


i woke up this morning thinking about winning. about competition. why? because my daughters basketball team acquired their eighth straight loss in a row yesterday. a season of no wins. and as i was watching them yesterday, a close game, i started to think about the competition in my life, throughout my life. i thought about these ten year old girls, and what drives them.  the girls had their first lead ever in playing in the third quarter.  I’m that mom on the sidelines freaking out bc i FEEL it. the spirit inside of me playing competitive sports will never go away. i jump up, i jump down. i cheer for the other team when they steel the ball and i see skill in girls at such a young age. i was emotionally involved in this game.  heavily. maybe even more so because stephen coaches the team. I’m invested.  sincerely invested. and the game started trickling away from these girls, and as the buzzer went off with another loss i got tears in my eyes.  and i looked at the girls wondering if they felt what i felt. that natural gut instinct that if you are an athlete you feel it. that close win.  the drive.  the way they ran up and down that court with more heart than i had ever seen and coming away on the losing side. i was crushed.


these girls weren’t.  loss doesn’t affect them. its just another day.


this was amazing to witness. competitiveness and the will to win is on my blood. in my heart. and so that little tear in my eye was bc my heart was in that game with them and i simply felt it.  but to them?  their losses are bringing them that much closer to a win. a victory that they will remember for a long time.  its a win that won’t come easy.  i think about the couple teams they have played against that are powerhouses. the teams that have lost no games.  they don’t know what its like to be defeated. to have to come together every week at practice and work together and mold together.  winning teams don’t come together like losing teams do.  i have been a part of a lot of winning teams in my life, and boy oh boy, when we have our asses handed to us by that lesser qualified team? the look in their faces bc they always lose and they just beat us? those are faces i will never forget. these are the teams that have nothing to lose. they step on that field or court and just do it. and pour their hearts into it.  and hey- if they lose, it is what it is, they come together every week and pick each other up and are just so positive when sometime good happens.  when they score they freak out and cheer each other on.  sweet, sweet victory for the teams that are always losing, and i believe that.  even taking losses these girls are learning, and building character, and learning to just keep going.  they keep getting back up and working harder knowing that one day sweet reward will come.  and i love these girls.  i envy the fact that their losses don’t affect them the way a loss would affect me.  me? i would have been crushed.  and would have gone home and internalized what i did wrong for the team. how can i play better to help us win. i would put the weight of the team on my shoulders and wondered how can i be better the next time so that we don’t lose another game.  the will to win. sometime that cannot be taught and isn’t in everyone.  the will to win that is in your heart and your gut and simply devastated your entire being when you fail.


and on the flip side of that?  when i would win a game i still wasn’t happy.  because maybe we won the war but maybe during the war i lost some battles.  in soccer? maybe the player made a move and got by me.  which would make my blood boil and i would chase them down like no ones business.  or maybe i made a bad pass and it got deflected to the other team.  or in softball, we could have walked away with the win but maybe i went 2 for 4, but i would be so pissed at myself for not going 4 for 4.  or maybe a made an amazing double play but the next ground ball i overthrew first base.  i was never happy. ever.


where am i going with all of this and what the hell does it have to do with photography?


well.  because i get a lot of messages and texts and emails on how did i get good.  or how did i get success.  and i am saying that in the LEAST STUCK UP WAY POSSIBLE.  anyone who knows me knows i am the most humble person ever.  i get incredibly shy and embarrassed when someone comments on my work because quite frankly, i am not successful. and i am not good.




ya. i really believe that.  i haven’t made it.  and i never will.  and this attitude is who i have always been. I’ve never been happy or satisfied with my work.  but every game (or every session) i get out there and pour my heart into it. because i know i can do better than the shoot before. i know i can think of a unique angle and push myself. i look at shoots i did a month ago and i hate them.  and i cannot wait to get out there again and push myself to be better.


i compete with myself. and that is my motivation and that is what drives me and thats what should drive you all.  constantly comparing yourself to others is horrible. and think about that for a minute.  really think about how deep that is.  by losing yourself and comparing yourself to someone else you literally inhibit yourself from developing the best artistic version of YOU.  everyones art is distinct and unique because every ONE is distinct and unique. and you can only develop your best when you look inside yourself.


put it into perspective: say you are comparing yourself to so and so.  and you want to achieve that same creamy bokeh of a little girl in a forest/ that chin in hands pose / that amazing backlight / that family connection.  and maybe after practicing and practicing and practicing, you do it.  yay for you, right? you win, right?




how boring is that?!!!  competition with others makes you ordinary, boring, and limited.  you reached and reached to achieve something and then you stop. you become stagnant. you stopped because you were competing with someone else, you worked hard to do what they do, and poof. now you’re done. you’ve plateaued. and you’re happy bc you achieved what someone else did because that was your goal.  where is the drive inside of you to just be YOU, be a better YOU.


compete with yourself! find yourself, find your voice, and you will be heard.  never try to be better than someone else.  always try to be better than you.  if you are looking outwardly and worried about how many likes a photo got, or how many fans she has, or how many people book her then you just lost.  worrying about what other people accomplish and what other people has will make you 1- incredibly insecure and 2- never happy because you’ll feel as though you can never keep up.  spending hours scrolling through other photographers feeds means thats time you lost is finding you and digging into you and honing in on who YOU are and how you can make YOUR mark.


so get your camera and go win, but don’t win. think of yourself as constantly losing bc then you’ll want to  BEAT YOURSELF every day.  maybe you pose newborns “better than her”.  stop that train of thought! pose newborns better than YOU. push yourself to stop being the same photographer and pose a newborn in a better way than you did at the shoot before. compete against yourself.  because then, and only then, will you constantly grow and evolve as a photographer.


and in life.


be you. be raw. be real. be honest.


comparing and competing against you makes you such an incredible version of you. and whats more appealing than that? nothing. in this world of so many fake people and people that display their lives all over social media in such a fake way its sick, whats more refreshing than being yourself and stepping away from the mold? nothing. the weight is off your shoulders to keep up with everyone else when you start to compete with yourself.





(thats me. raw. no make up. showing my varicose veins on my leg. the stretch marks on the backs of my thighs. wrinkles on my forehead and face. some bags under my eyes and some crows feet on the outside of my eyes. oh well. I’m 37. i am who i am. love it or leave it. )












so here we are, everyone!  last year was the first year i ran black friday promotions, and my gosh, it was the most amazing thing i ever did.  the deals were such a hit and they were so great for me, personally, because i got to meet a lot of new families and see a lot of my past clients too!  so this year i am going to jump off and do the same thing, just more of it!  some of the same specials, some different specials, and this year a LOT of things for photographers!  that being said, here we go!  non-refundable deposits for black friday deals must be received on or before december 1st. please contact me via email ( subject line BLACK FRIDAY 2017) or text (516.241.1191) to secure.

black friday promo I


yes, this is one i ran last year as well, but it was the number one booked promo so i decided to do it again.

simple and easy, you are getting two shoots with me for the price of one!

all-inclusive full sessions, all high resolution files in color and black and white

normal price for two shoots: $4300

black friday promo: $2150

(each session will be $1075)

a lot of you did an amazing beach shoot and then came back for a fall foliage shoot, some of you took advantage and did a maternity shoot and then a newborn shoot, and a couple of you even decided to use this and split it with a friend so you each got a shoot with me for half off.  i am simple and easy when it comes to this, you may certainly use this as you wish, just let me know!

black friday promo II


this is new!  book this black friday promotion and get half off of ANY collection with me! yes, even collection four!

(you can view my pricing list in full by clicking the pricing tab above)

i have never ever ever ran 50% off so YES, jump all over this!!!

this makes my collections $700, $900, $1000 and $1250

black friday promo III (biggest value!!)

newborn sessions that are booked with this promo must be due on or before april 30th, 2017

ALL INCLUSIVE session (sitting fee plus all images in color and black and white, a $2150 value!)

(up to) 75 custom made birth announcements ($180 value)

11 x 8 custom designed soft cover book ($425 value)

normally: $2755

black friday promo: $1400


any class i teach i like to do it one on one or a one on two setting. this allows for me to really teach you.  i have found a lot of times in my bigger group settings that sometimes my mentorees are shy and embarrassed to ask questions in front of other photographers.  so this past year i have been doing a lot more of the one on one or one on two (meaning you come with a friend) so that you have the opportunity to learn more.  if you are local, my classes can be done in person, and if you are out of state or (often) abroad, FaceTime and or Skype sessions are available.

art of composition class

this is a two and a half hour class strictly devoted to training your eye to compose your images stronger and more effectively.  its my most popular class because it answers your questions as to “how can i get someone to stop and just stare at my photos instead of scrolling past them bc there is nothing to them and they are boring”.  in an over-saturated market and the age of “the scroll”, what is going to make a potential client stop at YOUR photo?  what is going to make them stare in awe at a photo you took, making them want to hire YOU among a million others to choose from.  THIS is that class you need for that.  its also wildly popular bc even if you are not a professional and not even remotely interested in shooting professionally and you just want to shoot on auto and have nice photos, this is what it teaches you.  you will go from taking snapshots of your kids to taking professional looking images. an all around amazing class for beginners to professionals.

normal price: $300

black friday promo: $225

bring a friend 2fer: $400


typically one on one, my mentoring classes will teach you everything you need and want to know about everything you need or want to know.  this are incredibly custom classes for every level.  beginner and want to learn to shoot on manual?  know manual but want to learn better lighting?  have a handle on both your camera and lighting but want to be better with kids? have a handle on all that but want to grow your business? or need to get better and master editing and photoshop? every little bit and piece to whatever you need to know is taught with me.  i get to know where you are at and gage your level and then we go from there. classes are an hour and fifteen minutes.

one class

normal price: $250

black friday: $200

three classes

normal: $600

black friday: $500

five classes

normal: $1000

black friday: $900

(inquire if you are interested in anything more than my five class workshops.  and yes, often i have people that want to combine a three class workshop into one day, and that is fine with me.  it basically becomes a four hour class.  same with the five classes.  if you want to condense that down to a day with me, you can, and its a six and a half hour day)

and last but not least


this is an insane all day one on one class with me, where i teach you EVERY SINGLE THING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT SHOOTING NEWBORNS.  i bring in three to four models, and we shoot all day.  i teach you posing, lighting, bean bag posing, prop posing, hanging stork posing, camera settings, angles, photoshop.  yes, EVERYTHING.  this is a 9am-7pm class.

normal price: $2200

black friday promo: $1500

know a friend that want to shoot newborn better? or if you aren’t opposed to coming in and sharing time with another photographer and myself i do offer this workshop as two on one as well. should you have a friend that wants to or you don’t mind learning along side another student, i do offer this class at $1300.

thank you all ahead of time for always being here, for following me, for wanting me to shoot you and allowing me to teach you.  these last nearly ten years of this business have been completely amazing.  i have been beyond blessed and i want to thank you all for always being here and supporting me.  my black friday promotions are really my way of saying THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH.   so again, pick what you want above, and you can either use paypal below (if you do, please also email me and or text me and make sure in the message of paypal you put your name, email, and what you are sending the deposit for) or email or text me if you want to send payment another way (check or Chase QuickPay).

and again, thank you!!!! cannot WAIT to see what is in store for 2017!!



when do you get out from behind the camera and get into photos with your kids?




will your kids even know what YOU looked like at every stage in their life? or, when they get older will they only have thousands of photos of themselves with their siblings and, *ahem*, their father.


it’s so sad.  the burden we put on ourselves as mothers.  we help our kids with homework, we pull out our hair at common core and google step by step how to help them with division… we cook, we clean, we pick up dirty underwear, we clean sheet after stomach virus throw-ups at 3am… we race them to bus stops to be on time for school, we youtube “cool braids” to give them something different… we bust our butts working so they can wear a “so nikki” shirt or get a new pair of converse… we freeze our butts off in the rain to watch soccer… sometimes we do all of the above while breastfeeding their newborn sibling LOL…. we do all this, and i am sure they are appreciative of it all…. but in the end what do they have?


my mother just lost her mother (my gramz that i spoke about on my facebook page)…. and she has all these memories in her head of her mother.  you know what she doesn’t have?




nothing is more upsetting than losing your parent and only being able to hold a single photograph in your hand of them.


so stop it right now.  GET OUT FROM BEHIND THE CAMERA!  #1- make sure you get into photos with your own mother and #2- GET INTO PHOTOS WITH YOUR KIDS!


and do it now.


before its too late.


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black friday, people!


never before have i ran black friday specials! so i am REALLY excited for these! 2015 was the most amazing year… i met and photographed the best babies and the best families ever i feel like (i know i say that every year too!).  we celebrated a first birthday in our house and then two months later we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test and we are expecting our FOURTH GIRL early march.  everything has been just crazy in the best way possible.  business-wise, i have pushed myself creatively and i think that this past year i have really found myself, especially in my family photography.  families have become my favorite to photograph, and for the first time in eight years my family sessions outweighed my newborn sessions!  i have always loved the family dynamic, capturing all the craziness, getting to know little humans and how to make them smile and connect with me.  it all paid off, too.  at the end of the summer i was honored to be named ONE OF THE TOP TEN BEST FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD by TopTeny.  what an honor!  before the year is out, i will be published by two amazing magazines…. its funny how i found myself and my work has grown and my images are getting better and better and then finally after years i am recognized by some big time magazines. SO freaking exciting!



so THIS is why i am running black friday specials.  bc i want YOU ALL to take advantage of getting photos done with me at an insane price… its a way of saying thank you for making me who i am, its a way of saying STOP PROCRASTINATING AND GET YOUR PHOTOS DONE FINALLY!  make 2016 a great year for both of us!



that being said, here we go!

** do take note that these spots will be limited.  to book you can email me at,, FB message my business page or text me at 516-241-1191.  in the subject line please reference which package you would like and you will be invoiced to make a deposit.  deposits on all packages will be a non-refundable $300. shoots will take place anytime from NOW until the end of 2016.  savings only available until midnight monday, november 30th.  deposits must be made by wednesday, december 2nd, 2015. should you want one of my beach sessions there will be an added $100 to the special price.  **




– use this for a newborn and book a free maternity/family shoot before baby is born

-use for an amazing spring session then get a great fall session with the foliage

– having a newborn in the next 6 weeks? use for their newborn session then their one year session!… basically, do whatever you want! you can even use one session for yourself and then give the other to a friend! ( which would mean each session would be half off!)

– both sessions are FULL sessions, all inclusive!

– all images in color and black and white given in a gorgeous online gallery to download

-sessions will take place in nassau county (traveling outside of nassau will be allowed but travel fees will apply)


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SPECIAL TWO-  $1300 (SAVINGS OF 850!!)

– for full newborn, child, or family shoot

– nassau county location (again, should you request travel, a fee will apply)

– ALL high resolution images in color and black and white are given in an online gallery






– mini session, normally $900

– 25-30 minute sessions

– 10 high resolution files given in an online gallery

So there they are people!  Three packages I have NEVER BEFORE OFFERED!  With savings I have never given!  Let me capture your family in 2016.  Come on.  You know you want to! 😉


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