Summer by Matt Rainwaters in Austin, Texas, USA

Summer is a stage manager for Fun Fun Fun Fest, my favorite of the big festivals that are unique to Austin.  I had worked with her the previous year and made a very stark BW portrait of her not long after we met.  As we got to know one another the idea of showing her so rigid seemed all wrong… she has a great smile and cares passionately about her job and the bands she works with.  I told her sixth months before the last festival that I was planning on redoing her portrait and that it was my main goal to get her looking less serious.  Finally on the last shoot day I was able to catch her during a smoke break and I was lucky enough to snap a few frames while we were joking around.  It’s one of my favorite shots in my book now and I believe it capture the personality everyone who knows her loves.

For me this portrait sums up Austin, its an unexpectedly fun and unique place where you would most expect a boring city to be.

Name:Matt Rainwaters

Place you live:  Austin, Texas, USA

Place your photo was taken: Fun Fun Fun Fest

Can you sum up Austin? Austin is a super creative and liberal city in the center of Texas which is beyond conservative. It makes for a really a interesting contrast in cultures. It’s also considered the live music capital of the world where every month there’s a different music festival to suite your taste and every night of the week you can find live music in the clubs downtown.

Occupation: Commercial / Editorial Photographer

Preoccupation: Dad, husband, and photography collector

A perfect day in Austin?  Brunch on a sunny patio, swimming in the Deep Eddy pool in the afternoon heat, grab dinner at Backspace Pizza or Frank, followed by a few drinks at the Hotel San Jose or an east side bar, then catch a show at the Mohawk, and end the evening with some late night tacos from a trailer on the way home.

If someone was visiting, what must they do? Get a hotel off of South Congress… I recommend the San Jose and then eat at every restaurant in walking distance. Visit Barton Springs for some swimming and be sure to do the BBQ Tour in Lockhart. Get ready to stuff yourself with food and drinks.

A perfect meal in Austin? The restaurant scene here is so great there’s a perfect meal for every occasion: Brunch at Perlas or Frank.  BBQ at Franklins is great or drive south to Lockhart for dry rub ribs at Kruez Market, and for a great date I like oysters and appetizers at Parkside and then walk around the corner for an intimate pizza dinner at Backspace.  Again bonus points if you stay at the Hotel San Jose, the patio is one of my favorite late night spots for a relaxing beer.

What is the best thing about your spot? I love the way the culture in Austin revolves around music and the outdoors.  Everything in the summer is about finding a place to swim during the day and somewhere to go out at night.

What is the worst? It’s starting to get more crowded every year… it’s not the secret spot it once was.

A little known fact about where you live?  It’s built on an Indian burial ground… the entire city is super haunted so you shouldn’t move here.

Where is your favorite place in the world? That’s tough, Big Sur for an unexplainable experience every time I go, The Salton Sea for a bizarre experience every time I go and surfing in Rosarito Mex for some of the greatest times with friends.  Also, lawn chairs on the back patio with my wife is a pretty tough place to beat.

Who are your three favorite photographers?  So hard to narrow down… Nadav KanderTodd HidoDan Winters and a special fine art nod to James FeeMasao Yamamoto, and Keith Carter with a huge amount of portrait influence from Richard Avedon.