We had the good fortune of connecting with Braden Summers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Braden, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something I grapple with all the time as an artist. The biggest risk I have ever taken in my career paid off with the biggest rewards. I created a personal series titled ‘ALL LOVE IS EQUAL’ in 2013, the project illustrated same-sex couples from different countries and cultures around the world. When the project launched on Valentine’s Day of 2014, it went viral and led to incredible opportunities and a nationwide campaign for Marriott International called “#LoveTravels. Deciding to believe in myself and the idea to change how gay romance was viewed by the general public was a risk! I had no idea that the work would be seen by as many eyes as it ultimately had. Since then, I have taken risks on other personal projects that have not had nearly as much success or attention – muddying my overall positive association with the idea of taking risks; but at the end of the day and to borrow a popular phrase, you will miss 100% of the risks you do not take.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work strives to bring diverse beauty to my audience. I use a rich, bold and regal color palette to enhance the sets I build and ultimately bring out the best in each of my subjects. I have been in this industry for 15 years, I will be very honest in stating that I am far from where I would like to be as a professional. The business of photography is fickle, competitive, and can often feel as if you will only succeed if your social skills are as impressive as your work. The time and energy I have put into my career thus far has taught me that my work has value and is valuable to brands; that said, my work essentially valueless if I am unable to create solid relationships with those who are in positions to hire me. This career takes patience, a lot of it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite place in LA is Highland Park Bowl, a 100 year old bowling alley with only a few lanes, great cocktails and rich atmosphere. As a design aficionado, I also recommend touring some of LA’s modern homes like the Eames Home or the Stahl House. For food, my husband and I love the sushi restaurants Sugarfish and Katsu-ya (otherwise we are cooking at home!). The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My good friend and actor Matthew Gudernatch was in 3 commercials during the Superbowl, he is a star!