July 2010 Blog / Newsletter

Dear friends,

I hope you and your family are enjoying the last few weeks of summer. The summer seems to go faster than any other season. It is jam-packed with clients, fun, road trips and education.

My family spent July 4th weekend at my sister Julie’s Lake house in Virginia. We spent most of our days on Kerr Lake on their boat just enjoying the sun and the water. (I felt like a hound dog in a truck…. just content to look at the passing scenery) The highlight was having a golf cart parade with the entire neighborhood… There were at least 50 golf carts that participated. We decorated the cart with helium balloons and my 3-year old son Micah LOVED “driving” the golf cart. Pictured to the right is my husband, David and 9-year-old daughter Grace.

We watched a very thought provoking movie called “The Book of Eli”. It was a¬†post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Denzel Washington did an amazing job as the main character.¬†I have to admit I closed my eyes a lot because I don’t enjoy seeing violence (Remember: My favorite movie is the Sound of Music). But overall, it was a powerful movie and a great message. After seeing Denzel’s amazing martial art moves, it made me want to learn karate. ūüôā

Every summer I take a week off and study with some of the best photographic artists in the nation. It is an investment that is worth every penny because I love learning more about photography and I want to provide you with the finest portraits available. The class is the highlight of my year and I learn so much from observing photo sessions and asking questions. This summer I had the honor of learning from a husband and wife team Gregory and Lesa Daniel from Titusville, Florida. Not only are they amazing artists who create breathtaking portraiture with natural light, but they are very nice people. They also work well together. Gregory is the photographer and Lesa assists him by interacting with the client to capture a genuine expression, which they call, “the spaghetti moment”. Lesa is a gifted communicator and her role is to handle client consultations and slideshows. Gregory creates beautiful storytelling paintings of his photographs and I was very inspired by his artistry.

Gregory & Lesa took our class of 15 professional photographers from North Carolina & Virginia to Moore Square in Raleigh, NC (otherwise known as the homeless park). I was a little uncomfortable to say the least…. bringing our very expensive cameras and equipment to A HOMELESS PARK!

In the middle of our session, a few homeless guys walk right into the picture and sat down behind our models. I love what Gregory did. He just knelt down and got a lower camera angle, so the men weren’t in the background anymore. The portraits turned out beautifully. He used a large reflector to bring the sunlight into the subject’s face. Here are my favorites from the session. There is a lovely edge light on their arms which separate them from the background. The plants in the foreground and the lamp also add to it’s charm. These portraits would be lovely as three separate canvas wraps over a sofa or in a dining room above a buffet table. Great job Gregory & Lesa!

Two days after my photography class, my family headed to Topsail Island, NC for an annual family reunion. We had a wonderful time visiting, catching up and enjoying the beach. There were several families who could not make it and we missed them! I was the designated photographer and did portrait sessions of anyone who wanted their portrait taken (and even those who didn’t… that’s you Uncle Carl!) My favorite photography location was below the beach house in a hammock chair where the light came in at an angle and was nice and soft. Can you tell who I “photoshopped” into the group portrait?

I was excited to work with Interior Designer Gina Langdon to redo my Studio’s Presentation Room. I love the plan she came up with. It’s not completed yet because there is still some furniture and accessories we need to shop for, but I love how she repositioned the main pieces in the room. It was therapeutic to work with her because I felt “stuck” and didn’t know what to change in the room. Women naturally love to make their environment a comfortable haven for their loved ones…. so I think that’s why it was so refreshing for me to have a professional come and advise me. ¬†The lesson that I learned from it was…. when you want a job done correctly, hire someone who is trained to do it. I could have saved myself years of mulling over that room about what it needed. I’ll post pictures when it is finished.

Thanks so much for taking a moment out of your busy life to visit my blog. I enjoy staying in touch with you! I look forward to our next photography session.

Love to you all,

Nadia is pictured above. She chose a studio fashion session and we had so much fun with lots of outfit changes and poses, a bubble machine, and a fan blowing her hair.

School is starting soon and time is running out for you to schedule your Senior’s Photography Session. They will be leaving the nest soon and you’ll treasure the portraits from this important session. The Facebook slideshow is A MUST HAVE. It’s all your favorite Senior portraits set to music. Contact Susie at 662-5541 to get on our schedule.

Client of the Month: Dick and Carolyn Cobb

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 Dick and Carolyn Cobb. I met them years ago at a coffee shop where I exhibited my work and Carolyn called me when her son was a high school Senior. They combined a family session and Senior session in the studio and outdoors. We had so much fun and they even brought their little dog Betsy to the session. She is a family member, you know!

Here is Dick and Carolyn’s story in their own words…

Dick and I met at Southern Wayne High School in Dudley, North¬†Carolina during the first year the school consolidated four(4) high schools¬†together in 1966. I was a cheerleader and he was a basketball player. I was¬†too young to date and he had his driver’s license. He had to ask a girl to a¬†Sweetheart Ball for a youth organization to which he belonged and he asked¬†me to go. My mother was generous enough to allow that date. As our high¬†school years went on, we became great friends and went to concerts, proms,¬†movies, and the beach together.¬†I knew he was a keeper, but college would¬†take priority over any future plans together. We have been married 35 years as of June 29. Most of all, we are¬†proud to know the Lord Jesus Christ, enjoy traveling together, and love¬†watching our children grow and mature. We have enjoyed owning five dogs:¬†Blackie, Bernie, Brandy, Baxter, and now Betsy.

Dick graduated from Atlantic Christian College (Barton College) and I graduated from East Carolina University. He missed his calling as a teacher of health and physical education and became a salesman instead. That is what he has done for over 3 decades. He started his own consulting business in 2004 and is very happy to continue doing that. I became a middle school teacher and I plan to retire this coming school year because I have a book to write that is in the planning stages.

We plan to spend time with friends at Lake Norman and the beach, enjoy our silky terrier Betsy, and watch what God has in mind for our two children Anna (age 23) and John (age 21). Anna attends UNC-Greensboro majoring in marketing and John is attending Wake Technical College for a degree in HVAC. This should be an exciting journey!

The first thought I have about both Anna’s and John’s personalities¬†are that they are loving, fiercely determined, and stubborn. Both Dick and¬†I are enjoying observing Anna and John recognizing the many “boundaries”¬†that life presents and how they are learning to navigate through them. Our¬†prayers are for them to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, to be blessed daily,¬†and to recognize that all good and perfect gifts are from God.¬†Having John and Anna out of the house is fun because we always¬†wonder how God will surprise them and us. We always pray for a good thing.¬†Betsy is our precious “little spirited one”. She loves to play ball, hockey,¬†and have a walk every day. She has coffee every morning with us and loves¬†to be called “sweet girl”.

The things Dick and I enjoy most are reading, biking, working¬†independently, and retiring from teaching (Carolyn). We look forward to studying Isaiah this year, giving to our favorite charities, our children, our¬†neighbors (Frank, Mary, Bob, Jane, Mickey, Lynelle, Will, and Evan),¬†traveling, and church. I am still biking, but no bike tours are in my future unless it¬†falls within 20 miles which Dick says is too far. When I lost my balance as¬†my bike slipped between my legs, I asked myself: “Do you not realize that¬†you do not fall softly any more?” I did recover from the broken wrist, but¬†last summer I fell onto the shoulder of the road when my shoe would not¬†release from my pedal. Out the shoes went! No accidents since! I did¬†totally wreck my favorite little red Jetta GLI in April, 2008. God’s mercy¬†is absolutely astounding and magnificent! I am more than a conqueror in¬†Christ.

Dick and I accepted Jesus at an early age and we thank Him for His¬†merciful grace that has taught us and led us to surrender unto His¬†authority. God is in control–He is Almighty, All Merciful, All Holy, All¬†Compassionate and Loving, Our Great Shield and Reward, Abba, Our Defender,¬†Protector, and Provider, Our Lord and Savior, Our Friend . . . He has shown¬†Himself to us in these roles and many more throughout our lives and we¬†praise Him!

We first met Susie at Aversboro Coffee in Garner where she had¬†pictures of new babies and mommies.I loved her work. I asked for her card¬†and kept it. When my son John graduated in 2008 from Middle Creek High¬†School, I can’t believe I remembered her when I thought of who could capture¬†this memorable time. Susie was so spontaneous to make an appointment within¬†a short time.Dick, John, Betsy (our silky), and I met Susie and she was so¬†personable I thought she should be in the pictures with us! She felt like¬†family.

We were shocked at the quality and quantity of photographs we had to¬†choose from and it was difficult.I had planned only to buy one 16×20 wall¬†portrait and a small book of 5×7 pictures. Dick and I were very impressed¬†with Susie’s work. In fact, he ended up buying two wall portraits for his¬†office—one of he and John and one of Betsy and me.

Our coffee table album¬†was outstanding and each time we look at the album or wall portraits, it¬†feels like they are new. We never tire of looking at them. My daughter was¬†not in the session with us because she was away at school and she loves the¬†pictures. Hopefully, she will graduate soon and we’ll see Susie again. It¬†is very joyous to look at the pictures and know the memories will be¬†lasting! Susie and her talent is a blessing to us.

-Dick and Carolyn Cobb    Raleigh, NC


Thank you Dick and Carolyn for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful portraits and your lives. I enjoyed our session so much and you felt like family from the very beginning. ¬†John’s Senior portrait was chosen to be displayed at Wake Dental Care and Carolyn surprised him by taking him there to see it. Wish I was there to see his expression when he realized HE was on the wall! I look forward to meeting your daughter and photographing your whole family together.

Have a great month everyone.

Blessings to you!

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

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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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