Meet Brooke from Brooke Summer Photography!
1. How long have you had a passion for photography?
The photography bug bit me very young, I have had a passion for taking pictures for as long as I could remember. I went to Washington DC when I was about 12 with my purple Advantix camera – it was a BIG deal because the film advanced mechanically lol! That was the trip that I took about 15 rolls of film, and ended up with only 2-3 pictures of actual people. I went a little crazy with pictures of the monuments and sites, and that made me sad. I had these beautiful pictures of buildings, but not people. That was when I decided I wanted to capture people.
2. What is it like having a home studio?
It can be interesting. One week I will be itching for a commercial space, and then a client will tell me that she feels more comfortable being in someone’s home. There is a certain level of comfort when you’re in someone’s home that is hard to duplicate elsewhere.
3. What has been the most surprising aspect of doing boudoir photography?
Boudoir is an amazing journey, and I love everything about it! The most surprising thing has been to discover that while the photos can be pretty racy and sexual in nature, the session itself is really more about intimacy. For a woman to undress and bare everything in front of you really requires a level of comfort that takes a lot of cultivating beforehand. A boudoir session is amazingly empowering, and my clients walk away feeling like they can “conquer the world.”
4. Your business platform is based upon women feeling great about themselves no matter their size. When will you be expanding your online portfolio to include plus size examples?
ACK this question is so appropriate and I’m SUPER excited to announce that my new website will be live by July 1. The galleries will have curvy women, skinny women, and women of a variety of ages. All photos that are shared on my website or on Facebook are always released by my clients, and all photos are private unless they choose to share. For this reason, building a portfolio that I can share that has a large variety is not as easy as it is with other genres.
5. How do you choose your photography session locations?
Session locations are highly personal and will really depend on the session, and the subjects! Sometimes my clients have a location that is highly personal to them, even if it’s not the most picturesque location. That is when the professionals are separated from the amateurs – to rock a session in an odd location is difficult!
6. How do you get women and men in your boudoir sessions to relax and get the perfect shots?
I work for weeks beforehand to help my clients relax when they’re here! We talk for quite awhile to discuss clothing, ideas, and other things, because I want to make sure that they are 100% comfortable when we’re working together. That, and we laugh a lot about highly inappropriate things.
7. What is your favorite boudoir photo session accessory to use?
Sheer fabric or curtains. To use some beautiful fabric to hide the parts that a client wants to hide turns into a beautiful portrait!
8. What do you consider to be your personal fashion style?
I’m SO not a stylish person, this one is hard. I’m pretty much a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, with lots of bling. I love sparkly things, so if an accessory sparkles, I will add it!
9. Firefly is one of the best Science Fiction shows ever. Are you a fan? If so, what is your favorite episode and why?
I have never seen it. Our favorite show is Big Bang Theory, and my husband and I always joke that he has to explain the geeky show stuff to me, and I have to explain the computer geeky jokes to him. My geekiness tends to extend more to superheroes and computers.
10. The zombie apocalypse is upon us and you have to choose one method of documenting your point of view what would you choose: writing, still photography, or video?
First still photography, and because my camera does both which means maybe I can get away with both, I would add in some video.
11. What is your favorite organization/cause to support and why?
I have a heart for domestic violence victims and safehouses/women’s shelters, as well as unplanned pregnancy centers. I believe so strongly in helping women. We are so powerful and diminish our own value far too often.
12. What age do you think children should start being introduced to photography?
It really depends on the child. My son has had cameras since he could walk. He didn’t know what he was doing, but sometimes those snapshots are fun. I believe that if a child shows interest in something, trying those things at a younger age can be beneficial and help them learn a little more about who they are, and who they want to be as they grow. Whether it’s a camera or a hobby or sport, learning what they like and dislike, their strengths and weaknesses, can really benefit them as they grow.
13. What is your biggest photography pet peeve?
This is a can of worms, it will be hard to pick one! Lately we have seen a rash of “professional” photographers that use stock images, or steal others’ images, to build their websites. This is not only unethical, but illegal, and misleads clients into thinking they are purchasing something they are not. This is especially true of boudoir, potentially because of the intimate nature of the photos. I would caution women to really do their homework before trusting someone with private photos. Look into someone’s Pinterest, Facebook, and reviews online. I have personally “fixed” several badoir sessions – yes, that’s BADoir, not boudoir. I have had several clients that went elsewhere because it was cheaper, and had a horrible experience, so they came to me. There are a lot of weirdos out there, work with someone that you trust.
14. What is your current guilty pleasure?
I just started watching Mad Men on Netflix, and while I wasn’t super interested at first, I’m now hooked. I watch it on my iPad while I’m editing!
15. High heels or sensible flats?
Everyday, sensible flats. In situations where I don’t have to walk or stand much, high heels with bling baby!
Check out Brooke and her work at www.brookesummer.com!