When you’re greeted with “Aloha,” you know it’s going to be a good day and a fun Q&A. In this “Meet the Artist” post, we introduce you to photographer Summer Strauch. The positive vibes radiate from Summer and you can feel them in her work too. We loved hearing about Summer’s creative process and more.
A little business…
CB: What/who inspires you in your daily work?
SS: Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of a surf legend, Paul Strauch Jr. I spent my childhood playing in the sand and deep in the ocean watching him surf. I feel myself by the sea. It gives me strength, serenity and fills me with ideas and creativity. So naturally, the beach is many main inspiration, however everyday something and someone new inspires me artistically. From local surfers in Bolinas, California where I have a beach house to the way the tide is moving the ocean and even my dad’s classic Hawaiian surf stories. And I’m so grateful for the daily inspiration.
CB: How did you develop your unique photography style?
SS: A contrast of both bright colors and muted tones, my aesthetic is focused on the ocean and surfing. Music inspires how I see things. It might have something to do with the fact that I worked as a Producer at MTV for 15 years! I see an image through upbeat and happy lyrics playing in my mind. They play over and over in my head until I capture a picture that speaks to it all and tells that exact poetic story. That is my creative process, so you can find music at the root of my inspiration and it has definitely helped me develop my personal photography style. I lean towards happy and fun songs because they best express how I see things. And I feel very lucky about that.
CB: Does having worked in the television industry help you set up a shot differently?
SS: I always had a love for photography. Although working with video and film cameras is quite different, setting the shot has similarities in all formats. For me, it’s all about the details. I remember shooting MTV’s House of Style with Bar Refaeli. It was the middle winter in New York City about 15 degrees and we were doing a segment on bathing suits in the Botanical Gardens. I wanted the viewer to believe we were in the desert, so we lit sternos and held them under the camera so it looked like the heat was rising. Every time I yelled cut, I wrapped heating blankets around Bar and promised my staff it was all worth the shot. The funny thing is I never had time to explore my own photography because I was so busy with the TV shows I was working on. It wasn’t until about a few years ago, that I decided to really get out there, take photographs and sell my work. Once I did it, I remember asking myself, ‘What took you so long?’ But you know what…better late than never!
CB: Any advice for people looking to make a living with their photography?
SS: I think everyone who has a dream of being a photographer needs to know ‘You can do it!’. Your vision matters, the way you see things is so unique to who you are and people want to see your story…I promise.
I think the biggest step you can take is to start printing your photos, and print them BIG. Once you see them in front of you, you start to feel it’s real and more importantly you start to own the fact that YOU ARE A PHOTOGRAPHER.
CB: In your opinion, what is the best part of taking a photograph?
SS: For me, it’s hearing what song comes to mind when I look through the lens. And then, seeing what I captured. Sometimes I am surprised by a dolphin jumping or pelicans flying in perfect formation over surfers below.
A little personal….
CB: What is your favorite vacation destination?
SS: Hawaii, of course.
CB: Your inbox..0 or 9,999?
SS: 9,999 or 83,554 to be exact…I focus on what I need to. Ha!