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.



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.

i have about a million shoots i have never shared. :-/ life is just always crazy, and over the last five years my life has gotten flipped, crushed, flipped again, turned over sideways, bashed head first into a concrete wall, and now i am here.

and what that means, is that i have gotten separated and then divorced. then engaged. then had another baby. then found a house.  then bought a house. then we took our over a year long engagement and finally married.  then moved.  all while trying to maintain and run a successful business, and raise three girls.  and raising two of them while trying to maintain a healthy coparenting relationship with an ex-husband who basically considers you to be a no one, let alone a mother, was kinda hard. :-/

so I’ve been quiet.  bc I’m an introvert and thats what i do.  go ahead a google it.  i am CLASSIC introvert. that doesn’t mean i am shy- anyone who has ever met me knows i am not shy in the least. but i am most energized when I’m alone, and i internalize everything. so being faced with so many things over the last five years has made me sort of clam up, and crawl into my shell, and kind of just figure it all out.

and now? I’m feeling good.  the new studio should be up and running in the next month or two (get ready for a kick ass studio opening party)! the stress of a move has died down.  almost everything in the house is done that NEEDED to be done- the rest is just aesthetics. luccia turned one a couple months ago, and anyone who has kids knows that once that one year mark has been hit, ya can kinda breathe again. just everything in general has been on the up, and there isn’t anything that can weigh me down and boggle my introverted mind.

and that means I’m back. to share my life with you.  thru my personal life and the images from home, to all my shoots… you will see how much i have changed evolved.  i am a different person than i was all that time ago. going thru shit will always make you a different person.

that being said, i can’t wait to share my shoots with you.  newborns, families… its all just a little different. i hope you enjoy the evolved summer lyn. i am excited to say I’m BACK back…:-)

this sweet boy was amazing to photograph… i have been bringing the fire to my shoots lately- feeling so charged up.  my galleries are bigger than ever lately.  here is a recent “fire” shoot, lol. an insane gallery… and it should be noted i deleted about ten to fifteen images in order to not bore you all with photo after photo…



“you inspire me so much! you just have it all together!”

was a message in my Facebook inbox that made me burst into tears the other night.

tears.  i like to cry. i don’t do it often, and when i do, i let it rip. i get loud about it. i usually do it in the shower. we have a stand up shower in our room, and what i like to do is turn the water just enough so it falls over my head like rain.  and i sit. I’m pathetic. i hug my knees to my chest and bury my face and let the water hit the back of my head.

and i cry. for, like, hours.  and it goes from subtle crying to actual chest-heaving-cant-catch-my-breath crying.

so ya. it was one of those nights.

bc i don’t have it all together. more often than not i feel like i am crashing and burning.  more often than not i am behind on something, or i have a bill that needs to be paid, or a gallery that has to go out, or a child that needs me that i feel like i am neglecting.

i feel like i am a failure at so many things.

i scrolled thru my Facebook biz page and scrolled thru my instagram.  i wanted to know what made this woman message me and say i had it all together.

and then i got so angry at myself.  SO VERY ANGRY!

bc im all peppy and happy on social media. I’m all “oh, ain’t life great!? don’t cha just love sunrises!? i love working out! i love eating egg whites!” and, in real life dude, sometimes i really hate going to the gym, and sometimes i need really long breaks from being a mother, and WAY MORE THAN SOMETIMES i freaking eat chips.  and a lot of them. and i follow them up with a cookie. or a kitkat. or two. or three.

so i was angry- where had i lost my way in being ME!? who was i? when did i stop keeping it real??

so heres the deal.  the real deal.

i struggle.  every single damn day i struggle.  in different aspect of life, of course.  its not the same struggle every day, but there is always a struggle.

1- being a mother. i love it. but i am not going to sit here and sugar coat it at all. sometimes i wanna pull my daughters hair.  or lock them in their rooms for like a day and a half.  when its the end of the day and they start giving me lip. and i hafta repeat myself, and ask them to do the same thing that they have to do EVERY NIGHT.  or they are fighting with each other and come to me whining that “hannah just hit me” or “eddie is being mean”. some days i just want to run away from it all.

and you want to know what makes it so hard? is the fact that they go to their fathers 2-3 days a week. so i don’t see them. so when they are home with me i feel guilty for having to yell at them about something. raising children is beyond the hardest job in the world. and here i am, not being able to do my best or be at my best bc i feel guilty. don’t get me wrong, i yell and discipline when i have to, but it breaks my heart.  i don’t want to be the mean mom. on top of it all, i always wonder, “do they fight at their fathers house or are they angels? if they don’t fight there and don’t need discipline there is it bc they like it there better? what if they don’t want to come to mommys house and just want to stay at daddys?” believe me, thoughts like these go on forever.

want me to go on?

here are constant thoughts on how i struggle as a mother:::: what if the divorce (while its been 4/5 years) absolutely ruined them? what if they become serial killers? hannah has always said how she is never going to get married. is that my fault? did i ruin her? i found happiness and i married the wrong person the first time around, but does she know and see that? does she see mine and stephens love? and what if having Luccia drives hannah and eddie away and makes them want to not be in our house. what if they think i deserted them as daughters bc i am having more children and building our family? …………………………

so ya, the real me struggles as a mother. big time. and i don’t love being a mother every second of the day. my biggest fault is that i always feel guilty for taking “me” time.  stephen yells at me all the time about it, but i find it so hard to take time for me and do things for me. i still to this day will not go to the gym and workout if the girls are with me and not their father… i think i have done that once.  idk, i just feel guilty leaving them! i am doing the very best that i can in the only ways that i know how. and i pray that in the future they are thankful for the mother that i was to them and they say they always looked up to me.

or at least say they always loved my chocolate chip cookies.  even though i burnt the first batch tonite.

i struggle being a partner. bc i am like the wikipedia definition of introvert- which means i keep a lot inside, i work out a lot of issues internally. being an introvert means at the end of the day i need it to be quiet to re-charge. and when your husband gets home from work and wants to talk about the day or whats going on at the house, the mental stimulation that does to an introvert is indescribable. i struggle being a partner bc of the way i grew up. bc i never knew what love was, how to show it, how someone should show it to me, bc thats just not how i was raised.  bc i was raised in a house of physical abuse, i dont do confrontation. ever. so when stephen and i fight about something i just wanna run away. bc confrontation in my home meant someone got hit, unfortunately.  i met my soulmate in stephen and he knows everything about me and absolutely loves me and loves who i am, but i still struggle with these flaws.  for him, like with my children, i am trying to be the best wife only i can.

being a photographer….ahhhh.

wait, summer, you struggle being a photographer?!


i am so happy doing what i do. but the rainbows and butterflies it is NOT.

wanna know why?


this business…. if my phone doesn’t ring or if i don’t book sessions, my kids don’t eat. period.

that thought alone makes me cry.

i always say, “what if, what if, what if….what if people are over my work? what if they are bored by it? what if they think it aint nothin special?”

like, what would i do? id probably waitress i always say. or bartend.

no one can understand the pressure of running a business like this when your family relies on you to eat and have clothes on their back.

the weight that bares on your shoulders in tremendous.

why is it different from other jobs?

bc it is built from creating. it is an art business. it is a business that anyone and everyone can start up. just take some pictures, launch a website, and wah-lah, you are a photographer. it is a business of THOUSANDS OF OPTIONS, and that is just in long island alone.

so i put constant pressure on myself to create. to have a wow-factor. i struggle with finding my voice in photography every. because i reach and strive for the amazing every day. i have never arrived and will never arrive. i will never “make it”. every day, every shoot, is a growth as to who i am…

and my thoughts? do people like what i am creating? do they like this image?do they like who i am? am i “me” enough in this image? this image i really felt amazing about, will they like it? is it an image that a potential client will look and and be “wow-ed”? will this client love this gallery and recommend me? i can sit here and say “i don’t really give a shit whether my work is received by the public or not. i am who i am, if they like it, great, if they don’t i really don’t care”.

but i do care. the struggle IS real. i care what people think of me. if they don’t like me it bothers me and makes me sad. on the outside I’m tough. but when someone doesn’t like me it bothers me for DAYS! AND, if they don’t like me, i don’t work. if i don’t work, well…. that thought is just too unbearable. id be letting my kids down.

ugh, tears, again!!!

every time i shoot and discover more of who i am, i pray and hope my clients like who i am morphing into.

sorry this post is beyond long. but i had this breakdown. and i wanted to share with you all who i was. and to keep it real. for the first time in a long time- i have hid a lot of my heartache and struggles from y’all for so long. for me this breakdown was an insane intense self-reflection on who i am and how every day with every struggle i evolve.

i promise ill stop all the happy peppy life is all whiskers on kittens crap, bc it’s not. not always.thats not REAL. and thats certainly not ME all the time.  ill really start sharing more of ME.

because  who i am, who i was, who i will become, is huge for my ART. my SHOOTS. my WORK. my images should scream who i am…

and this breakdown will be an epic breakthrough in my work.

so i hope ya welcome me. the ME me. seen below. right now. in bed. by the light of my laptop. as my current struggle is whether to hit “publish”.

Photo on 1-14-15 at 10.24 PM #3



i have been meaning to share this session for forever, and since apparently i’m on a blogging roll, i will finally do it.




i used to shoot maternity sessions all the time when i first started out.  but a couple years into the business i didn’t really LOVE to do them, so i stopped.  they were REALLY posed, which is REALLY not me, so why do something i didn’t love to do, something that wasn’t me??  then, this past summer, i of course had and WANTED to shoot one of my best friends maternity pics… thankfully,  she totally agreed to let me shoot in the only way i knew how.  my vision of how maternity pics should be, which was really just all about her and her life, with a belly.


my approach to maternity is to make it all about you and your normal, everyday life.  i feel like keeping maternity in your home makes it more intimate, makes it more of a memory.  images taken in your first home, in the babies room, in your bedroom…  bc in 30 years you can look back and maybe laugh at the outdated decor, and maybe cry bc you totally remember laying in your bed and feeling your baby kick, and since then you have moved…. things like that.  we want photos of our bodies pregnant for ourselves, for our husbands, for our children so they can see what mommy looked like pregnant.  and i do that, just…




1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 1113 14 15 17 18 19 20 22 23 24 26 27 28and a maternity session in your home followed my a newborn session in your home means you can get some pretty cool before and afters….30 31