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.

 

what?

 

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?

 

no!

 

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.

 

x0x0

~summer~

 

(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. )

 

<3

 

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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 (info@summerlynphotography.com subject line BLACK FRIDAY 2017) or text (516.241.1191) to secure.

black friday promo I

BUY ONE GET ONE

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

50% OFF ANY COLLECTION

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

FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

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

mentoring

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

NEWBORN MENTORING WORKSHOP

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!!

xoxo

~summer~

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

 

never.

 

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?

 

pictures.

 

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!

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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!

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that being said, here we go!

** do take note that these spots will be limited.  to book you can email me at info@summerlynphotography.com, sumlynmad@yahoo.com, 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.  **

 

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SPECIAL ONE-  TWOFER! BOOK A SESSION GET ANOTHER FREE! (SAVINGS $2150!)- BIGGEST SAVINGS! NEVER BEFORE OFFERED!

– 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

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SPECIAL THREE-  $700 (SAVINGS $200!!)

– 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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the olders just got on the bus for school.  and the baby is still sleeping.  i contemplate what to do with my next, 15/25/30/60 minutes bc who knows when the baby is going to get up.  i could lay back down under my heated blanket and just close my eyes, i could clean, i could answer emails, i could make the baby breakfast so its ready when she’s up- which is probably what i should do to avoid her hunger pangs as i try to make eggs and she pulls at my sweatpants to “hoe me” (hold me) and now i am cooking with one hand and feeding her bites of banana just to keep her satisfied.

 

but i don’t.

 

i walk into the bathroom and look at my shower.  do i feel like being wet? and going thru the whole getting dry process of lotion and deodorant and brushing my hair? no, not really.  thats like work.  but the shower.  oh, the shower.  it feels so good.  and when you are clean from taking a bath with your baby last night you think, “i don’t even have to wash myself. i can just stand there”.  shower wins.  i turn the knob to scalding hot°.  i let my pajamas fall to the floor.  and by pajamas i mean whatever tank and sweatpants i pulled off the top of the clean pile in my laundry.  i step in.

 

i don’t want to get my hair wet bc i don’t want to deal with that, so i angle the shower head as i lean against the wall and let the water hit my face and envelope me in its warmth.  we are moms.  we need showers.

 

and i let the shower do to me what a shower does.  takes me into deep thought.

 

my older girls got a step mom this past weekend.  my ex got married.  and for a while i would cry about this.  cry about another woman taking a motherly role for them.  it hurt.  and it hurt so damn much.  to know that my girls will and may have already gone to her for something before me.  to know they ask her to help with their hair or borrow one of her shirts.  basically any possible reason you can think of- if you are a mom, stop for minute.  if you are blessed to be in the same marriage and never divorced and don’t have to deal with these thoughts, just stop for a second.  imagine your daughter going to, i don’t know, say your sister with a boy problem.  or they want to talk about their period and they talk about it with her instead of you.  it hurts.  i want to be everything for my daughters, and God knows i am not perfect but i am trying my damn hardest over here.  wondering if i am doing the right thing, giving in on the right things, standing up and discipling on the right things… who are my daughters going to be when they get older? and now factor in that half the time they spend in a completely different household.  and so as hard as i try and how i beat myself up every day some of what i do doesn’t even matter bc they aren’t here.  i have two other people helping to raise these girls.  and thats when it hits me.  I’m lucky.  i am lucky that their father is happy and they have another woman to go to.  they have so many hands in raising them that they are really getting the best of everything.  it takes a village right?  and so I’m not sad.  but as this water pounds my body this is what i think of.

 

i think of my business.  my ups and downs.  my failures.  how hard it is to even run a business and raise kids and basically be there for hundreds of people.  but to try and be a mom first and be a wife first.  its hard and i fail constantly.  even now in the middle of my hardest pregnancy i am failing.  i have a list of things to do and only so much time to do them.  and artistically?  forget about it.  i hate myself and my work every damn day.  i struggle every damn day.  i have been so blessed the last eight years i feel like my time is running out.  that people are bored of me.  they hate my work.  that it isn’t moving anymore.  that i am not creating anything that makes anyone FEEL anything anymore.  that i am standing here in the shower wondering what the eff i am doing with myself.  that wasn’t i born to do this?  i feel so blocked and bogged for time and creation i cannot convey the struggle to you all.

 

i think of who i am.  how i was raised.  how i am such a closed off person.  that i am a lover of people and i love everyone but i keep my distance.  that no one really knows me.  who i am.  what i am afraid of.  i could tell you how my mom was one of eight kids- how she was never taught love so she didn’t know how to show it.  her mom was so busy working and my mom was the oldest girl of the eight kids so she became the mother.  so i was never shown love.  i don’t know what it feels like, what it looks like.  my husband literally has a second job in just showing me every day he loves me or else i would be blind to what the signs are.  i am trying to be better than my own mom with raising my daughters- isn’t that the cycle? we always try to be better than what we are taught and shown?  so i am a mush with my kids.  but it ends there.  i have to work at showering my husband with love bc it doesn’t come natural to me.  i could also tell you i got the belt as a kid.  for a lotta years.  for every reason under the sun i got a belt on my bare ass by my step father.  my real father left my mom when she was pregnant with me, but my mom was lucky to have found a man to marry and love me like his own and they been married for 30-something years now.  but the discipline thing?  back then?  our parents were hit, and so i got hit.  and i never cared.  i somehow built up this wall as a little girl and didn’t care.  i turned to sports.  and i excelled at them big time just to be out of my house and have something to do.  bc if i was home there was a reason to find to get the belt, and so i was better off gone.  i remember not getting A’s and my punishment would either be “you are going to miss your soccer game or the belt you choose”.  i chose the belt.  every.  single.  time.  and i never cared.  bc at least i got to go to my games and practices.  that all stopped though- the belt thing.  i am not sure what the turning point was way back when but i remember becoming best friends with my dad (my step dad but he is 100% dad to me).  we played catch together every single day.  he took me to the batting cages.  he was my guy and when i left for college (on nearly a full scholarship for soccer and softball!) i had always called him to talk to him.  anyway, who i am.  who anyone is is a lot of who they are when they were growing up.  so I’m kinda tough.  and you’ll never get in.  and if you get in you are in for life but not one person to this day has broken that down except my husband.  he’s in.  he doesn’t know it yet but he broke it.  lol.

 

the shower.  its still so hot.  we got this system put in by our plumber when we moved in that basically he made it so water will never get cold.  which is perfect for me.  bc i am still standing here.  deep in thought about everything under the sun.  my skin has turned a hue of pinkish red that you only see on from a piece of Big Red gum.  maybe its too hot and i am actually burned but i don’t care.  i love it here.

 

my thoughts are broken as i hear laughter from the monitor.  the baby is up.  i lift my face to the stream of water for the last time.  i shut the water off and open the door.  the cold hit me and embraces my body like that first 30 degree day that you step outside like WOAH.  i smile at the monitor and grab my towel and dry off.

 

i’m me.  i am not even sure why the blog post.  something made me come over to the computer and write.  i like my blog.  and i love my business.  i love sharing who i am with you guys.  bc i know, or at least i tell myself, that there are thousands of you out here just like me.  who went thru shit as a child.  or who are struggling being a mom.  or who are battling custody sharing.  or who are struggling as an artist.

 

I’m telling you its all normal and its all real.  this is life.  we are real people.  fuck the people that are fake and act like everything is amazing and only post amazing stuff bc their lives are awesome.  excuse my language but fuck that, they are lying to you and us.  they stand in the shower just like us and cry.  oh.  i didn’t tell you i cried.  i did.  i forget what thought i was in when i did.  possibly it was the whole how does my husband put up with how tough i am and still love me so freaking much thought.  I’m not sure.  but be real.  we all have real stories.  real shit has happened to us.  the real effed up stuff is the best stuff.  its what molded us into the humans that we are.

 

embrace realness.

 

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me and number three early in september when olders were at school.  baby sister number four is in my belly here too.  and yes, for those that never saw, that is a camera tattoo on my leg of the nikon D80, my first camera… the camera that started it all.  it’s my most favorite tattoo.