To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet Vanessa Summers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Summers.

Hi Vanessa, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
As a child, I was always creative especially with my imagination. But I can’t honestly say it’s been since I was a child that I’ve been into photography with a passion. In high school, I loved taking photos of my friends with disposable cameras (literally the only kind of camera I could affordably get my hands on). I’d always be snapping photos of everything and everyone at that point. But once high school was over that fascination kind of died with adulthood. I would always see really good photos and think, “I wish I could do that.” But it really wasn’t until I was pregnant with my firstborn that I pushed myself. I started out with a phone like I’m sure most do in this day in age. I eventually got a camera. And really, what I was doing at this point was following my kid around and snapping pics. But they surprisingly turned out really good. That was a boost to my confidence that I could turn this passionate little hobby of photographing my children into a business.

After my second child was born, I pushed my skills more. And eventually, I started to branch out to other people who weren’t my family. I officially opened my business in February 2020 but the pandemic hit and I decided to hold off on furthering the business. In the meantime, I kept photographing my family and others just for the practice of it. I relaunched my business in January of this year. I won’t say it’s been successful but it’s been a journey. Something I have no intent on giving up on any time soon. For me, taking pictures of families is like giving them their own personal time machine. Making them feel and relive that moment over and over again. Every time they look at their photos, they are going to hear the sound of their child’s laugh or remember the joy of watching their daughter twirl in her dress. Those are the moments I live for and give to my clients.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s more certainly been a struggle. Photography is great, so creative. And there are so many people out there who are doing it too. It’s a very saturated market if I am being honest here. I am finding that in this business, the first year being open is about getting yourself out there and creating brand awareness. Putting your name in front of people as many times as you can even if it might not result in a client or a session immediately. And of course, there’s always that taboo topic of pricing. Everyone prices and values themselves differently, and the client also shops differently too. Finding the ideal client for your business adds to the stress of starting up a business. It’s all part of the process. And I have faith the process will pay off.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a photographer, I specialize in all things lifestyle – family, maternity, newborn, milestones, and couples. Though admittedly, I am most booked for family and maternity. Which I love. Family is so important to me. So I feel that helps me to know what my clients want to see in their photos. I want to give each family I photograph authentic, beautiful, and real emotion expressed within their photos. I focus on the connection they share with their family and how it makes them feel to be near them. Moments that make you feel something. These images matter. I capture that beautiful nature that is imperfectly perfect parenthood. Just real emotions and real families.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Family matters most to me. I always bring my own along with me to sessions. Especially if the location offers a playground. I love capturing my children in movement and will often just follow them around the park. Or we’ll take weekend trips to places like Eckert’s Country Store and Farm to pick strawberries or apples. And I’ll just capture them being themselves. There’s so much beauty in the every day that I think we forget about. We’re so caught up in being the perfect family that we forget that there’s an authentic story to be told and it’s captured in the perfectly imperfect everyday life.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageSTL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Uncategorized