Jess Summers has always been a creative. She thrives on releasing that creativity and turning it into something magical.
In an effort to make creativity an everyday part of her life, she decided to venture out on her own and start a fine art portrait studio. Say Yes To Jess is a Cincinnati-based studio that specializes in turning out-of-the-box concepts into magical realities.
“That could mean a transformation into a mermaid, an afternoon meet-and-greet with a unicorn, and anything unique or specific to my clients,” says Summers. “It’s taking a little boy’s dream of being a chef or mad scientist and turning it into a cinematic fine art portrait.”
When she launched Say Yes To Jess in 2015, Summers was constantly finding inspiration in her passion for being creative. “I’ve always been theatrical and let my imagination take the wheel,” she says. “I have a tendency to get lost in movies like Hook and Alice in Wonderland.”
When she got into photography and photo editing, she found that she was also looking to incorporate the craziest of edits possible, which led her to fall into the rabbit hole of composites.
“I knew building my life around photography was going to make me happy, but only if the photos allowed me to create nonsensical things and add a sense of whimsy to it,” she adds.
Summers photography business hasn’t always been focused on the whimsical, however. When she first got started on the professional level, she was photographing anything that came her way and quickly found herself in the wedding scene.
“I started building my business around that and it was going very well, I even had a full wedding stationery,” she says. “However, as much as I tried it just didn’t feel right.”
She always felt like she was going after something that didn’t quite light the spark she was aiming to ignite. Summers then took some time to do a lot of research and speak with those she refers to as her “business besties” and other friends to discover it was time for her to make a drastic change.
It was then that she took her blog public and called it quits on the wedding industry – with her sights set on fine art photography.
“It was a little rock of a start, as most things are when you completely shift what you’ve been building for over a year, but it’s been a fun ride and I’m excited to see how it all comes together from here on out,” she says.
Currently, Summers offers three session types that are based off the amount of styling or creativity that goes into them. They are: Dream Sessions, Styled Sessions, and Classic Sessions.
The Dream Sessions are an over-the-top package with magic, full costume, hair, and makeup, and a custom design set extravaganza. The Styled Sessions are a little more low-key in comparison and are lightly curated. They are great for themes like a “romantic date night.” Classic Sessions are what you would typically expect when you go to a photography studio.
When talking about the Classic Sessions, Summers says she wanted to make sure that she offered clients something that would work for everyone who didn’t want a Dream Session.
Summers says she plans to spend the remainder of 2017 getting to know the community a little better while hosting several events this summer. She’s currently planning a Mother’s Day Brunch, a Princesses Only! Tea Party, and an End of Summer Party.
“I’m really excited about them all and hope to meet some of you there,” she adds.