Before I was a photographer, beauty paid my bills. No, not my own beauty (though that would have been nice) but my career in the beauty industry. From a very young age, I was obsessed with beauty products. My friends and I used to make our own “how-to” videos (yes, on actual giant VHS tapes) pre the YouTube era. I’m sure I have some of those tapes buried in a box somewhere and if I ever find one, I promise to share. Everyone should know how to properly apply their blue eyeshadow (a favorite tip of ours back in the day).

I channeled my passion for beauty into a successful career, starting as a makeup artist in Beverly Hills and ending in global marketing in NYC for various beauty startups and giants. I loved my career so much that I never imagined I’d leave it. Then I was diagnosed with chronic, incurable illness (a story for another time) and my priorities started to shift. I still loved my job, but the stress and demanding schedule were starting to wear on me. What’s so stressful about lipstick?, you’re probably wondering. You’d be surprised. A lot goes into that lipgloss in your handbag or skincare cream in your medicine cabinet. I decided I needed to find beauty in something new and pushed my hobby of photography onto center stage.

Despite the focus on my photography, beauty is still a huge part of my life. I am still product obsessed and that obsession, combined with my experience, has made me the go-to girl among friends and family for all beauty related advice. Really, the two things aren’t so different. As a makeup artist, my goal was to make my client look and feel (yes, there was a little psychology involved) their absolute best. In my portrait work, my goal is ultimately the same.

So while my marketing and makeup artistry days may be behind me, I’ve decided to start sharing my favorite beauty tips and products here. Especially, as they relate to how you can make yourself look your best for your photo session. If you have specific questions or requests for topics you’d like to see me cover, please comment on this post or email


I’ll also be posting over on my Instagram @summerlalande, so be sure to follow me over there.

Here are my latest beauty posts,


Adult Acne LipGloss sunscreen

To call my blogging here sporadic would be a gross understatement. I used to have a personal blog and found it easy to post regularly about my daily life and adventures. But it seems ever since switching to my “business blog” I’ve been struggling to find my voice.

Truthfully, like many things in my life, I think I have just been overanalyzing this whole blogging thing. I’ve been so concerned about what topics to discuss or which pictures to share I can never seem to complete a post. I have over a dozen blog posts that are half written, just waiting for that perfect edit that will make me want to post them. Today, I finally got sick of waiting for perfection and decided to just start blogging again.

Sure, I could continue to edit and reedit posts. But I’m sick of waiting. I have so many pictures  I’ve been waiting to share. So perfect or not, I am going to start sharing. I hope you’ll follow my adventures.

Speaking of perfect, here are some pictures from a perfect day in NYC. The 5th Avenue Easter Parade. Oh and the guy with the My Little Pony on his shoulder and his BFF? They were totally singing the My Little Pony theme song to us. And it was amazing. Sadly, I have no video, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

Happy Spring!!!

I find it so easy to get caught up in being an adult. Focusing on my responsibilities (mortgage, bills, running a business, etc.) can get a little overwhelming. Oh, who am I kidding, it can get very overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to throw myself on the floor like a two year old and flail around violently screaming, I won’t pay $400 a month for electricity! Instead, I pay my bills (I’ve grown pretty fond of having electricity) and behave like a grown up (for the most part).

Thankfully my job allows me to have a little play time. Among the bazillion things I love about photography, working with children is near the top. Instead of living in my head 5 feet, 8 inches above the ground, I get down on the floor and connect with the earth. I run around trying to capture their precious expressions and attempting to view the world through their perspective. If you haven’t rolled around on the ground lately making silly noises and trying to get a toddler’s attention, I highly recommend it. It’s good for the soul.

I had a little playdate with my godson recently. I brought my camera to snap some pics of him, since he happens to be mighty adorable and will undoubtedly follow in his very talented parents’ tap shoes. I love this little guy. I hope he never forgets to laugh, have fun and roll around on the ground every once in a while.

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I was once called the ringleader of my group of friends. The person (a disgruntled friend) meant it as an insult, but I took it as a compliment. I see the ringleader as a glamorous entertainer who likes to make people happy. What’s wrong with that? I like a little glamour, I love entertaining and I certainly like to make people happy. If that makes me a ringleader, then a ringleader I am.

Ever since embracing my ringleader status, I’ve wanted to do a ringleader themed photo shoot and a couple of weeks ago I got my chance.

I was in Cape May, NJ with a group of amazing friends who all are also incredible photographers from around the country. We all met through the Go Pro photography workshops lead by the awesomeness that is Wendy & Tyler from Blue Lily Photography. Now we like each other so much, we get together once a year to learn more about photography, eat lots of junk food, take lots of pictures and have so much fun it should probably be illegal. I am so grateful for the support of these friends as I continue to grow my photography business. They are all talented, generous and extremely kind people who would never accuse me of being a ringleader. Unless , of course, they meant it as a compliment, then I’ll take it.

From the Family Fun Arcade on the Boardwalk in Cape May, NJ. Two little ringleaders.

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Last Sunday was the final Jazz Age Lawn Party of the season on Governor’s Island. This event has become one of my favorite New York City traditions, I wouldn’t have missed it. This was the 4th picnic I’ve attended and I think it was my favorite so far. To start, I actually got there early and got an amazing spot for our picnic blankets, right next to the dance floor. I even learned how to do a 1920s dance called the Peabody. I played the part of the male in our dance lesson. No surprise, I was pretty good at pushing someone around the dance floor.

My dance partner was my beautiful bestie Lauren, pictured here with my adopted 5th little brother, the handsome Michael. (He’s neither adopted nor my actual brother, but I think we can all agree he’s handsome).


Also joining us at the picnic were my beloved, dashing D (seen here on the ferry departing the island). His little ‘stache is the result of over a week of growing it out. He promptly shaved it after the picnic.

Of course, we weren’t the only ones dancing…

The amazing music provided by Michael Arenella (the creator of the event) and his Dreamland Orchestra was the bee’s knees.


Occasionally, the dance floor was cleared for a special performance. (Forgive the blur, I was holding the camera above my head to take this)

Monday I’ll share some more details and the pictures we took post-picnic. Including some photos of us riding two 100 year old French carnival rides.

Bon Weekend!


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