I couldn’t resist sharing a few more underwater pics.

This purple dress was one of our thrift store finds, a steal at 50% off of $8.99. And it’s Jessica Mc Clintock. How 80s fabulous is that?

I’m taking the weekend off to spend with my love, who comes home from a business trip in Ukraine tonight. I’ll be back on Monday with more of my underwater adventures.

p.s. check out other awesome photogs blogs at Chic Critique Forum.

This shoot took place in a pool but I thought the title Under the Sea sounded better, I’m a big Little Mermaid fan. Perhaps that was what inspired me to do an underwater shoot. I’m not really sure how the idea started. I had seen a few underwater shoots online recently and thought, that looks fun. So I posted the idea on my facebook page and I found a model in California.  Since I was headed to California in early April for a family wedding we decided to shoot then. I suppose the obvious choice for an underwater shoot in Southern California would have been the ocean, but I’m more of a swimming pool girl. Thanks to my aunt and uncle, the pool was heated. And unlike the ocean, I did not have to contend with waves, fish or my dreaded fear…sharks. My fear of the ocean is enough to fill a separate post, but I won’t bore you.

I had some ideas in my head of what I wanted for this shoot, but I tried to stay as open as possible because I had no idea what shooting underwater was going to be like. My main vision was of a ballgown swirling in the water. So my mom and I hit up a thrift store the morning of the shoot (nothing like last minute) and found three amazing dresses, all for only $22! I was confident that my model (my sweet cousin Hope) would be great underwater, she’s a water polo goalie and spends half her life in the water. No surprises, she was amazing! She was game for anything and didn’t complain once. We had so much fun!

I had a few difficulties. Trying to swim, hold a camera, compose a shot and most importantly…see, underwater is a challenging task. I’d show you some of the hilarious behind the scenes images, but that would require me posting a pic of myself in a bathing suit. Never gonna happen.

Having very few expectations for this shoot, I was surprised to like so many of the final shots.  I have decided to post them in groups rather than one giant post. Here is the first series, in a vintage lace dress. More to come soon.

This is my first entry for the Chic Critique Forum cover for their next magazine! The Chic Critique Forum is one of my favorite places to network with other fabulous female photogs around the globe. Check them out!


I shot this last fall and it has remained one of my favorite shoots ever. In addition to being gorgeous, my model Hanna is also one of the kindest people I know. Oh and did I mention she’s my cousin? Yep, we shot this in our grandma’s beautiful backyard in So. Cal. It was so much fun having my grandma there to watch us “work”. A special day indeed.


Since the New Year we have been bombarded with talk of resolutions. People resolve to be thinner, stronger, faster, richer, or in some way ‘better’ than they are today. I have made these resolutions in the past, some were kept, most were broken. This year, I’ve decided to keep it simple. I’m resolving simply to be. I want to be present in every moment and not let the beauty of life go unnoticed. It sounds a little cheesy (okay a lot cheesy) but think about how many little moments you may miss if you’re too busy stressing over the things you can’t change. Imagine the amazing things that could go unnoticed.

On New Year’s Eve we were in the midst of our family ski vacation in Utah. We were staying in a bitchin’ cabin (one of my goals for 2013 is to bring back the word bitchin‘, it’s far too underused since 1987). But though the cabin was completely fab, the driveway was another story. Imagine an extremely steep hill covered in hairpin switchbacks and then add plenty of snow/ice. It was AMAZEBALLS for sledding. For driving though, not so much.

The first few days we were there, I put my feminism aside and happily deferred to the men folk to drive our SUVs up and down the steep hill. I watched from the backseat as even they struggled to get the large 4-wheel drive SUVs up and down the hill, relived it wasn’t me. Then it happened. New Year’s Eve morning we were heading off to ski and somehow I ended up behind the wheel of one of the trucks. I should have been freaking out, but I was completely calm. Though I had never even driven in snow (and living in NYC, average maybe 1 day of driving each month) I was confident. I think it had something to do with view of the sunrise as it peeked through the snowy clouds. How you you not be calm looking at this?

So I headed down the hill following David, in another SUV, at a safe distance. We both made it down the driveway with no issues. Woohoo! But we still had about a mile to travel on a snow covered road. I proceeded especially cautiously as a light snow was falling. David was slightly less cautious and started to speed ahead of me. I started to worry just as the back of his SUV began to sway and then before I could panic, the truck swayed off the road into a bank of snow. Oopsies. Fortunately, everyone was safe and there was no damage. We just wouldn’t be on the mountain quite as early.

So we sat there, on the side of the snowy road as a light snow fell in the early morning light and my first thought was to get annoyed. As I sat there in the driver’s seat, with the heater blasting, as my blood started to boil. Stupid boy (I don’t really think he’s stupid) why does he always have to drive so fast?

Then I realized a few things.

1. Nobody was hurt, no property was hurt. This really wasn’t a big deal. We just needed some kind of tow truck.

2. It was snowing.

3. Little snowflakes were falling onto the car door.

4. I had never seen individual snowflakes like this before.


I stopped and took a few pictures and soaked in the experience. How had it taken me 35 years to see an individual snowflake? I took a few pics with my trusty iPhone (sadly my real camera was back up that monstrous driveway). Before too long, our cabin’s caretaker had come down to pull out David’s SUV with a strong rope and her own SUV. It worked and we finally headed to ski.

After an awesome day of skiing followed by a disappointing trip to the liquor store (who runs out of Champagne at 5pm on New Year’s Eve?!) we headed back to the cabin. That meant driving UP the icy, steep, snow covered, switchbacked driveway . Awesomesauce. Guess what? I successfully showed that driveway who was in charge and drove up without incident. Bitchin! NONE of the men had done that, not even once. Whoever said women were bad drivers hasn’t encountered my mad skills. I fully soaked in the moment and celebrated by conquering the driveway again. This time on an inner tube. Bitchin’ indeed.

***All photos taken with my iPhone and shared via Instagram. Follow me on Instagram @summerlalande

This month is all about love. Nope I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day, I don’t even celebrate (long story for another time). On February 2, I celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary with my beloved. I’m not typically a very mushy person, but when it comes to how I feel about my husband I could gush for hours. I won’t bore you with the details, but I seriously LOVE the man.

Shortly after our wedding, I remember looking through our wedding album (which I love) and thinking, I will never look that beautiful again. Subconsciously I let that thought invade my head and over the next few years, I found myself avoiding being photographed. I came up with every excuse: my mood, my weight, bad hair day, you name it. Other than wedding pictures, there are very few decent pictures of me from the first few years we were married and even fewer of us as a couple. One day I realized this and immediately thought, how sad! We are a happily married, young couple enjoying our lives together, there should be some photographic evidence of that!

Slowly, I started to get in more pictures. And guess what? I liked what I was seeing. Sure, I wasn’t in an expensive silk gown with perfect hair and makeup. But who is everyday? I was actually liking seeing the pictures, but something was still missing. Snapshots are great but ours are usually taken with cell phones so the quality isn’t perfect. I usually didn’t always like how our outfits looked together and most of the pics were selfies. What’s a selfie? You know, those shots you take with your love where the tallest person awkwardly extends their arm as far as possible in an effort to get you both in the shot…that’s a selfie. Perfectly acceptable for facebook (well, that may be debatable), but for a picture frame not so much.

So after a few years of selfies, I finally decided to hire a professional photographer, because love is something to celebrate! Now it’s something we do at least once a year (luckily I know some great photographers).

Our life has been amazing the last 11 years and I am so happy I have the photos, not just to prove it but to remember it. I may never be a bride again, but I’m a wife and that is even more beautiful.

Since I’m in such a lovey mood, I’d like to give some love back by offering a free couples session!

What’s a Couples Session?

30-45 minutes of photography with you and your sweetheart resulting in 10 totally fab, frame-worthy shots.*

How to Enter?

I want to hear about your love story! Email me a short story, note, or even a poem about why you would want a photo session with your special someone. Or if you prefer, you can share the love and nominate another couple to win the session. Emails can be sent to summer@summerlalande.com

All entries must be received by Midnight EST on February 13.  All entrants (unless nominated) must like my Facebook page. On February 14, I will announce the winner by sharing their story on my blog. How will the winner be determined? Simple, I’ll pick the most compelling entry. So dazzle me with your story and why you really want this session to celebrate your love.

Don’t forget the details:

Session will take place in 2013. Date and location will be determined by the photographer (that’s me) and the winner. Winners must be located (or willing to travel to) NYC, Austin, TX or Southern California. Only one entry per person will be accepted. You must be willing to share your story on my blog if you are selected as the winner. Winner must be a couple (2 people) but do not need to be engaged, married, or of the opposite sex, just in love and happy!

*winner will receive a flash drive of their final edited images 2-3 weeks after the session date.

Here’s an engagement session I shot in So Cal on an awesome ranch, with an awesome couple.


F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r