Writing always has been part of Summer Jones Wait’s life, dating back to Arkansas City High School.
But some of the biggest influences in her life came not just from her family, but the teachers she encountered in the USD 470 public school district, from which she graduated in 1998.
Her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Beauchamp, and her elementary school librarian, Mrs. Milner, were the first to spark her interest in storytelling, books, authors and media.
“I won my first essay contest in junior high,” Wait said. “My freshman year English teacher, Miss Miriam Biays, was the first to suggest that I have a talent for writing and should think about pursuing a future in writing for magazines.”
Her family, though, gave her an interest in and appreciation for music, spanning many genres.
RockRevolt worth the Wait
“I have received the bulk of my opportunities through RockRevolt just over the past year,” she said.
Prior to RockRevolt, Wait was employed by another publication for two years.
“I had plateaued where I was at. So I started doing my homework and researching other small publications,” she said.
In her quest to find something that had an established online presence with a “cool, well organized website,” as well as an option for print, Wait found RockRevolt Magazine.
“I threw caution to the wind and decided to reach out to the editors, Val(erie King) and Alice (Roques),” Wait said. “I wrote them expressing my interest, explained a little about my previous experience and inquired as to if they had anyone to represent RockRevolt in the Oklahoma City area.”
“It’s because of Val and Alice that I get to photograph and write about music,” she added. “(I’m) super proud to be a part of the amazing RockRevolt team, and forever in debt to Val and Alice for being the driving forces behind the outlet that makes it possible.”
“Writing is something that has definitely always been a part of who I am and what I do,” Wait said. “Even if I’ve stepped away from it for periods of time, it’s always held a certain presence.”
She has binders of old material, mostly poems and journal entries, that span from high school to the present day.
“Photography is a little different, in the sense that I wasn’t able to get ‘serious’ about it until I was much older,” Wait said, “and to the complete credit to my husband for getting my first ‘big girl’ camera.”
Prior to receiving that camera, she recalls using a lot of disposable cameras, but she was not so great at remembering to have them developed.
“So I’d definitely say that there’s always been an interest in photography,” Wait said. “I just wasn’t always sure how to go about pursuing such an expensive hobby.”
She only has been taking photographs professionally for three years.
“I gained my first professionally credentialed media access in 2013 for the band 311,” Wait said.
But in 1997, her mother took her to her first concert with a group of her friends. Wait had her disposable camera in tow.
“As I was taking a picture of some of our friends, I was approached by a man who asks, ‘Is that your camera?,’” she recalled.
Because there were signs that said “No cameras,” Wait said she was afraid the man was going to confiscate the camera.
“So I hid it behind my back and replied coyly, ‘What camera?,’” she continued. “He grinned, turned to my friend — who had her back to the interaction — taps her and asks, ‘Excuse me, but is that your camera?.’”
Her friend replied with a quick “yes,” and he handed her a meet-and-greet pass for 311.
“It was a resonating moment,” Wait said. “I was able to get some horrible shots of Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray and ran out of film before 311 ever took the stage. I still have the ticket stub and those awful pictures.”