April 2009 Blog / Newsletter

Dear Friends,

April has been a great month. My best friend from college came up for a weekend with her son and we had a wonderful time. We took the kids rollerskating and I think we had more fun than they did. I LOVE to skate! It was just like old times except they didn’t do the “hokey pokey” or “shoot the duck”! We were having a ball skating backwards, spinning in the middle and teaching our 5 & 7 year olds how to skate. Why is it that you feel like a kid while skating? We ended the weekend with a photoshoot of us all. David did a great job capturing “best friend portraits” of Carrie & I. We’ve been best friends for 19 years & we haven’t had a “good” portrait together since college. We have tons of poor quality snapshots, but I wanted something better. I always photograph her & her son when they come up, but I’m always behind the camera!

I saw lots of clients this month… maternity, newborns, babies, families, preschoolers & toddlers. It’s always fun to meet new people and to see previous clients return. I am always amazed at the changes that have occurred since I last saw them.  

Grace was on Spring Break for a week. It was fun having her home. We did yardwork, did a knitting project, grew crystals & had easter egg hunts. She spent the night with David’s parents and had some one-on-one time with them (which is hard when her brother is around). She was thoroughly “sugared up” and was bouncing off the walls when she returned. She confessed to eating almost a whole bag of salt water taffy! No wonder she was like Hammy from “Over the Hedge” all day!

I presented a program to a Mother’s Group at Macedonia Baptist MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) about how to take better pictures of their children. I loved meeting all the sweet moms, they have a wonderful close knit group and I felt right at home.  Jessica Augustine (who was featured in the February 2009 blog) won a gift basket and a $200 gift certificate to my studio. If you have a preschooler, you would LOVE joining MOPS. Go to www.MOPS.org and click search for a local group, then enter your zipcode and it tells you the closest group. I’ve been a MOPS member at Colonial Baptist in Cary since I’ve been a parent and it’s been an encouragement to me. 

My dear friend, Rachel Priestley (who was featured in the October 2008 blog) delivered a beautiful baby girl on Easter. She arrived four weeks early and had to stay in the hospital for a while. I felt honored to get a few snapshots of them in the hospital. She’s home now and doing fine. 

I can’t wait to photograph Rachel’s newborn, Ellie. I have a darling pink pettiskirt & ruffle top that will be PERFECT for her newborn portrait. I have sizes from newborn to age 10. So if you have girls, bring them in for a fun “dress up” session. (see pictures below)

I have a new look for my gallery and wanted to give you a sneak peek. I was ambitious this month and painted the room cream and rearranged the furniture. It looks great and will allow your portraits to be shown EVEN BIGGER over the mantle in a theatre style slideshow. This will make it easier for you to pick your favorites. I grouped all the Paintings together on the left side and the Wall portraits on the right.  (see images below)



Have you always wanted a better profile photo of yourself or your family to use on Facebook? Well you are in for a treat…. I am offering a FREE PROFILE PHOTO for Facebook with your paid photography session during April 15th-May 15th. Due to the nature of this special offer, there are a few guidelines… 1) No clothing changes 2) If you are under the age of 16, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian so we know that you are allowed to be on Facebook 3) This offer is exclusively for Facebook Fans of Susie Gilmore Photography and this is where your photo will be delivered… so make sure you sign up as a Fan before you arrive! 4) You WILL be able to use this photo for other social networking sites (like LinkedIn, MySpace, Match, E-Harmony, etc.) 5) This offer cannot be used with any other offers.


CLIENT OF THE MONTH: Ray & Jaime Tidaback

I consider everyone I’ve photographed to be a part of my “studio family.” I have photographed many wonderful and interesting people over the years and I wanted to give you a glimpse of their stories along with portraits we’ve created. So come meet the rest of the family! April‘s featured client of the month is Ray & Jaime Tidaback. They started coming to the studio for portraits when Sophie was 3 month old and I’ve enjoyed capturing the milestones of her life. She has the most beautiful blue eyes!

Here is Ray & Jaime’s story…

I met my husband Ray in Junior High, we were best friends but we did not become a couple until about 5 years ago and have been married a little over four years.  I am a Dental Assistant and my husband is a Chemist.  My husband enjoys spending one-on-one time with me, almost to a fault.  He says his main goal in life is to make me happy.  (I like him so I think I will keep him.)

He’s very romantic. We love our life together, even at the not so easy times…too many to count. Being my second marriage and having two older children it isn’t always easy for him. He never fails to amaze me with his love, patience and devotion. 

Sophia is my third child (I have two from a previous marriage) and my husband’s first.  My son Trenton is 15 and he is very outgoing and gregarious and my other son Nathaniel is 11 and a bit of a bookworm.  My husband’s job relocated us to North Carolina in December of 2006.  We wanted to bring my two boys down here with us, but we went to trial and lost, fought on an appeal and won.  Then the lower court refused to follow through and by then my husband and I decided that we had to find a way to move on without my boys here with us. (That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.) Moving back to New York wasn’t possible for Ray.

Ray and I knew that we wanted to have a baby when we got married, but I didn’t want to have another unless my boys were with us. I prayed that by the time I had Sophie that we would have them here with us. On March 21st, my 31st birthday we found out we had won custody of the boys. And on March 25, 2008 Sophia was born.  Having Sophia has been such a blessing to us, she has helped my husband and I keep a positive attitude and direction, even without my boys here.

Our little Sophia is not a criminal, but she has quite a few aliases… she goes by Monster, Manimal, Soapy Dopey, and The Beast.  Recently we have been calling her the Bottomless Pit.  She just turned one, she eats with a fork, walks around, and is a little monster. Boys are simple as boys are… Trenton loves girls, music, any “extreme sport” that is on TV. He’s beyond brave and loves to leave mom speechless. He has NO FEAR!!!  Nathan likes chess and reading and fishing. Nathan stresses over little things and just wants to make everyone around him happy. You will never meet two more opposite children. Sophia tends to be a lot like my oldest. Currently I am enjoying time at home with Sophia.  We are blessed with Ray having a secure job.  

Although we have been through a lot of trying times since we have got married, we have a very strong marriage.  Actually I have found it to be better to go through tough times with someone you love than to have a “good life” with someone you do not love.  We have made some great friends at the church we were attending while living in Cary (Hope Community Church).  We could not have gotten through all that has happened with out the support of our friends.  Now that we moved to Durham we are searching for a local church that fits our needs.

I discovered Susie through my OB-GYN Dr Brannon and Rogers. I loved the portraits in Dr. Brannon’s office and had to have one of Sophie. I actually called the office to get her phone number. Our first appointment was at three months old. Sophia had colic and wasn’t a very happy little girl. I was very worried that the portraits would turn out horrible. But as children often do, Sophie had a surprise for me. She did wonderfully and fell asleep in my arms, it turned out to be my husbands’ favorite picture. We had so much fun at our first visit with Susie that I knew we had to keep going back to her. We were there for hours talking and sharing stories.

Months later our Church was doing a mina project and for some reason I looked on Hope’s web page to see what other people were doing to help and I thought for some reason that one of the portrait’s might be Susie’s. I called her soon after that for our second session…we needed Christmas cards. Sure enough Susie and I were going to the same church and didn’t even know it.

The slideshow was amazing, we walked into Susie’s living room and there was a huge portrait of Sophia…I had to have it. I have never seen such beautiful work. Susie has such a wonderful gift. The portraits were amazing; we had a horrible time picking what ones we wanted. I have told all of my friend how wonderful Susie’s work is and that they have to see her. I am so glad to be able to call Susie a friend, I love getting her newsletter every month and reading about how she has touched other people’s lives. I feel blessed to have her in my life.

We have Sophie’s wall portrait above our fireplace, Her 8x10s are all over the house, Ray has one of the two of us on his desk at work…he said that he wanted everyone to see it. He has another on his bedside stand. I was lucky enough to have a collage of Sophie at work directly across from my chair so that I could see it everyday…I love it. All of her chubby little body parts are in a little book that is on our dining room table. 

I love the Christmas cards that Susie made… I called Ray after picking them up and told him that we have the most beautiful little girl ever; she might have to be a model. She had so much fun letting Susie take her picture. Susie’s daughter Grace came up during our session to help keep Sophie smiling. They had so much fun, I wish Grace could be there all the time.

For valentines Day I went to Portrait Innovations to have cards made to send home to our family. Never again!!!  They looked so sad compared to Susie’s work that I won’t take her anywhere else. 

I am so excited about our family portrait, we have never had one taken and it’s very important to me that the two older boys feel like we’re ALL a family. I can’t wait to see what Susie comes up with. I know I’ll love them all. The hard part will be deciding between them.

-Jaime Tidaback Durham, NC


Thank you Jaime for sharing your story and giving us a glimpse of your sweet portraits. It was great seeing you at our family portrait session. I’m looking forward to showing you the slideshow on Friday. 

Have a great month everyone and I look forward to photographing you soon.

Blessings to you!

To see more of my work, go to http://www.SusieGilmore.com

To offer you the finest in portraiture, Susie is an active member in Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of North Carolina and Photographic Society of the Triangle.

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