Summer Lee is a fine art photographer who primarily specialized in custom, black and white portraits of children. Her unique style completely shatters the perceived genre barrier of child photography, and her photos are truly inspiring works of art.

I’m addicted to creating emotionally compelling portraits of children using just a bare room and the light I get from a window. Sometimes, I talk to my subjects, and sometimes 20 minutes will go by without either of us making a sound. I sit and wait, watching as they fidget, relax, grow impatient, and daydream. When working with young kids, it’s best to keep your expectations low so your joy will be high. If I try to tell them what to do, chances are we’ll both get frustrated. But if I let their personalities direct the shoot, I end up with surprising images that tell a story about this complex little person who, sort of, let me take their picture.

Replichrome I: Icon presets form the foundation of my final images. I love the Kodak Tri-x and 400CN presets for black and white portraits. For color work, I favor Kodak Portra 160 and 800. The light I’m shooting in, and the complexion of my subject, dictates whether I use Frontier or Noritsu. Once I’ve applied my presets to the images, I pull them into Photoshop for further tweaks, peanut butter removal, etc.

Cory Ann Ellis