January 2010 Blog / Newsletter

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! That was the theme of this weekend in Raleigh, NC. My children squealed with delight as they watched the snow fall & accumulate over 5 inches! My 2-year old LOVED driving the sled because it had a real steering wheel. We played in the snow, sipped hot chocolate and watched our favorite HGTV show, “Color Splash.” At the end of the day, my daughter Grace declared that this was the best day of her life! And looking back at my childhood, I would have to say the same thing about snow days. Life is good.

I attended a photography conference in High Point this month and was inspired by the paintings of Sam Gray and the latest technical photography gadgets reviewed by Will Crockett. I found several new frames to add to my collection to offer my clients. I went to High Point a day early & met my best friend at Furniture Land South Outlet Center. We had so much fun and I found two formal chairs that will be perfect for my backgrounds. We didn’t have our children with us…. so we played in the store and took pictures of each other sitting in different chairs and couches. Just like old times. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Wall Portrait Sample Sale. I had a great time reconnecting with so many old friends and clients during my “FIRST EVER” Wall Portrait Sample Sale  for the month of January. I have accumulated quite a bit of wall portraits over the past six years, and I needed to make room for new samples. So I offered a huge discount to those who were featured in the wall portraits. It was bittersweet for me, because I’m going to miss seeing all those smiling faces on my walls, but I know the best place for them is with their family. Claudia Sabulsky is pictured her with her new painting and framed wall portrait of her daughter.

Thank you for your friendship and for the privilege of photographing you and your loved ones. I am energized by every step involved in creating photographic art for you; from our photography session, to creating your slideshow, to retouching each portrait, and to watching your face when you see the finished piece. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love. For that I am grateful and blessed beyond measure.

Looking for Ballerina Models (6 months old – age 4)

For the month of February, I am looking for ballerina models (6 months old to age 4). I have darling tutus, pettiskirts and a new set that I’d like to try.  Your daughter may be chosen to be featured in a Wall Portrait in my studio & in a marketing ad. The cost is just $55 and you will receive a FREE 5×7 portrait mounted on salon board. Feel free to forward this to your friends with daughters in this age range. I only have 4 sessions available, so call me soon to secure your spot 662-5541.

Client of the Month: Kevin & Leah Williams

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! This month’s featured client is Kevin and Leah Williams. I met them in 2007 when I photographed their newborn baby, Lily. And since then we’ve kept in touch. Leah is warm and friendly and has never met a stranger. She recently brought her newborn Kinley to be photographed and we had a wonderful time and got some gorgeous family, sibling & newborn portraits. I’ll let them tell their story in their own words.

Here is Kevin & Leah’s story…

Kevin and I are both from North Carolina, he is from Franklinton and I am from Maiden (near Hickory). We met in May 2003 and married in October 2004.  I am a proud ECU graduate (GO PIRATES!) with a degree in School and Community Health and Kevin is a graduate of ECPI with a degree in Networking.  I am a middle school Health and PE teacher in Wake County and Kevin works for the NC Reinsurance Facility where he is an insurance auditor.  We have a beautiful 4 year old red and white Siberian Husky named Vegas and a 12 year old grey cat named Triton.

Kevin and I compliment each other well. He is so patient and teaches me how to be more patient every day.  I tend to get “excited” we’ll say a little more easily than he does and he keeps me grounded.  He says I get excited because I care so much about others and want what’s best for them and I try to “fix” things for them.  It could be said that I do most of the talking and he listens.  We definitely work together and keep each other balanced. We have been blessed with two precious little girls. Lily Gabreale is 2 and Kinley Margaret is 4 weeks.  Each girl is named after our maternal grandmothers. Lily is my grandmother and Margaret was his grandmother.

In 2006, we had decided we wanted to start our family. We knew it may be a little more difficult for us due to me having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and being Type 2 diabetic.  So, we tried unsuccessfully for a few months to get pregnant and decided to try fertility treatments.  After a few months, I became pregnant but lost the baby at 9 weeks.  It was heartbreaking but knew we would try again.

In January of 2007, I became pregnant again and had Lily. The pregnancy was easy!  I had to check my sugar 8 times a day, take insulin and visit Drs. Brannon and Rogers quite a bit but she was so worth it!  Those were easy prices to pay for Lily.  After she was born and as she has grown, we have wondered what in the world we did with all our time before she was born.  She was our world!

Then, in April 2009, we found out we were going to have another child!  Now this was unexpected and after the shock wore off we were thrilled. We knew we wanted another child but figured we would have to work just as hard to have another . . . boy were we wrong!  The Lord decided we didn’t and wouldn’t work hard for our second blessing. The pregnancy was pretty easy but at times had to work a little harder to keep my sugar under control.  But, I know things could have been harder so no complaints.   In December 2009, right before Christmas, Kinley made her appearance.  What a Christmas gift!

Lily was an extremely easy baby but has definitely developed her own personality (she is a bit stubborn!).  Kinley is making me work a little harder to get her on a schedule but we are getting there.  She loves to be held, which I love to do.  I think she may have some stubbornness too!

Lily is a wonderful big sister!  She says NUMEROUS times a day, “I kissa her!” She then gives Kinley a kiss. Lily loves to help us with Kinley and I am thankful for that.  Lily thinks that if Kinley cries, she must give her a pacifier. Lily tells everyone at her school that she is the big sister and she is going home to see Kinley. I remember going into Dr. Brannon’s office and the first thing I saw were these beautiful portraits of babies on the wall.  There was one on the wall that brought me to tears almost every time I saw it. After having my miscarriage, I knew that the Lord had given me Lily.  The portrait was of this sweet little girl and she had a tag that said “From God” and I knew that I would have my little girl’s picture made with that same tag.  After she was born, we had that picture made and I see it every day.  On one of my follow up visits with Dr. Rogers, I walked into the office and on the wall was a beautiful little girl, my Lily.  Susie had hung one of Lily’s pictures (the one we chose for her birth announcement) on the wall in the office.  It was beautiful!

We had the best time with Susie that day!  She was so loving to me, Kevin and Lily.  I knew she loved what she does from the moment I made contact with her but I saw it during our session.  She showed such patience with us.  We were new parents and still learning the ropes if you will.  I remember watching her ever so lovingly place the “From God” tag and take the picture.  It still brings tears to my eyes. She took all the time in the world with us and we had a ball!

When our family went to have Kinley’s portraits made, I wanted some of all of us. It didn’t seem right not to include Lily in this.  I will admit, I worried if Lily would cooperate but she did great!  During the session, Susie was given many opportunities to capture a big sister kissing her new little sister.  We did family pictures, mom and Kinley, dad and Kinley, Lily and Kinley and of course, just Kinley.  It was such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to see the photos!

Lily’s birth announcements were perfect and everyone loved them!  There are many at my school and our friends loved them too!  The 11×14 that we purchased hangs in our living room for everyone to enjoy.  My mother took it and had framed for me and the frame shop just loved the picture.  The other pictures I purchased hang on a wall in my house for our family and friends to enjoy all the time.  These pictures of my girls will be passed onto them when the time is right.  It means so much to have that time in their life captured so beautifully. I will cherish these pictures always and they will remind me of how very lucky we are to have our family.

Susie and I were instant friends.  We have a lot of email communication.  I have sent her pictures of Lily as she has grown over her 2 years.  I really appreciate all the time Susie took with us for both sessions.  Most people would hurry you through the sitting but not Susie, she captures those perfect moments of your child and family.

-Kevin & Leah Williams    Raleigh, NC


Thank you Kevin & Leah for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful portraits and your lives. I know it’s been a tough journey to start a family and I am very thankful that you have two healthy little girls. Sisters have a special bond and I’m sure they’ll always be close.

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

Become a Facebook Fan of Susie Gilmore Photography and receive a FREE portrait to post on your Facebook page. click here to become a fan.

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.


Susie Gilmore Photography is participating in the International Charity Model Search to select North America’s Cutest Family and to raise funds for the non-profit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation. (NILMDTS.org) Are your loved ones North America’s Cutest FamilyMany exciting prizes will be awarded, and the grand prize winner receives A NEW CAR! Model Search Special: $125 entrance fee includes a two hour model session and one image submitted to the national gallery.

Finalists will be determined by online votes. (Facebook is going to make this very easy to get votes) Each vote is $1 (no limit on the amount of votes you can cast), and all proceeds from votes benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS.org). Grand prize international winner will be determined from the 52 city finalists. The winners will be selected from the finalist gallery by photography and modeling industry experts. The winning family also receives a session with the renowned portrait artist Sandy Puc’ and international recognition. Call 919-662-5541 now to enter your family in this exciting contest. *Contest open to residents of the US and Canada. For more information, visit http://sandypucmodels.com/.

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