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Check out Neal Summerton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neal Summerton.

Neal, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Like everyone, I have always enjoyed pictures and the stories that they tell. Growing up in Ohio in a family with five kids, there wasn’t a lot of money for much travel or vacation. My dad did have a nice camera and I remember how much fun it was to look through albums of photos and hear a little bit about each one. My dad would often have the film developed into slides and we would have slide shows with the family. Looking back, I guess that was kind of our Netflix or Hulu. I loved the idea of being a photographer early on. On a family trip to California, I made a camera out of some styrofoam and would pretend to take pictures of the cars we would pass or the scenery. That was until my sister broke it! Thanks, Sandy haha. My first camera was a 110 something or other and the pictures were really not good. Maybe one keeper out of a roll…maybe not. As an adult, every few years, I would dive back in for a few weeks but my career would always push it to the back burner. Ironically that same 30 plus year career in the corporate world pushed me back to photography. Working 50, 60 and even 70 or more hours per week finally got to me. I decided that I was burning out and needed an outlet to take my mind off of work on the weekends. A couple of years ago I bought a nice camera and really started to learn. I consumed as much as I could on YouTube on photography, gear and editing. I still watch a ton of tutorials and love the fact that I am constantly learning and improving. It is truly my passion now.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
“They” say you should stick to one genre and perfect it. I say I do what I want haha. I love the whole process of photography. There is beauty all around us if we take a moment to soak it in. Although I love the iconic places that Arizona has to offer, a lot of my images are from within 20 minutes of my house. While I certainly blur the lines of art and reality with the editing process, I’d like to think people can appreciate how diverse this place is. Shooting portraits is a whole different challenge. Mountains don’t care if they have a double chin. A saguaro doesn’t blink. A lake doesn’t have wrinkles on its shirt. I’ve always been a people person so it is just a matter of time before I can get a genuine smile or to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I think that current events may have an effect on some artist if they choose to let it affect them. I think the basic role is unchanged and that is to tell a story as he or she sees it. To me, storytellers in any form, show and tell you what they want to show and tell you. It is up to you how you decide how it makes you feel. Some are powerful at the words they use or pictures they show and some are subtle.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I spend most of my social media time on Instagram and you can follow me on Facebook as well or visit my website.

Website: nealsummerton.com

Instagram: @nealsummerton

Facebook: neal.summerton

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Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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