March 2009 Blog / Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. March is a special month for our family, on the 14th, we celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary with a wonderful dinner at the restaurant where we had our first date. It was so fun to reminisce about when we fell in love. And the best part was being alone with no kids crying, throwing food or having to go to the bathroom. It was “just us” and a leisure meal. The funny thing about our “first date” was that David was an hour late. This was “before” cell phones, so all I could do was wait there wondering… where is he?  Is he standing me up? But thankfully I had a book with me and was able to pass the time without getting too annoyed. He was an IT network professional and his work server crashed, so that’s why he was late.

We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a visit with his parents on the 22nd. Grace and I started a wonderful tradition, we made him a scrapbook page of 35 things we love most about him. (He just turned 35) He loved it! We had a wonderful meal with his favorite cake and played wiffle ball with Grace in the yard. She got some great hits and l got a workout fielding the ball. Looks like she might be taking after her mom. (I played fast pitch & slow pitch softball all through school.)

On the 27-29th I went on a Retreat with 35 ladies from my mother’s group (MOPS) to Myrtle Beach, SC. It’s my 7th year being in this group and the retreat is the highlight of the year! It was so fun getting to know my roommates and the ladies I traveled with better. We shopped, we dined, some went to the spa, then we heard a great message about treasuring the time in our preschoolers lives, because they grow so quickly. It was wonderful to get away & just be ourselves, but it’s even better to come home to see my sweet family.

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.




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! March’s featured client of the month is Chris & Michelle Johnson. They came to me for maternity portraits and they are a lot of fun to be around. I instantly bonded with them and we got some precious portraits. Michelle is gorgeous, she looks like Jacquelyn Smith from Charlie’s Angels. Chris played football in college and we got an amazing portrait of him holding his newborn and a football.

Here is Chris and Michelle’s story…

Chris and I were introduced on August 31, 2001. I worked part time with one of Chris’s best friends. After jokingly inquiring if he had any single ” NICE” friends, he replied “I think you and my best friend would hit it off”. Several emails and phone calls later we proved him right. The night we met, Chris and I talked for over four hours about everything and anything! The following night he was going to Georgetown, DC with some friends and he invited me to meet him there. We shared our first kiss that night on the Waterfront…and nine months later we were engaged. It truly was love at first sight. Chris’s sense of humor, impish grin, and love for life are traits that hooked me…and according to him, my determination, independence, and compassion sealed the deal.

We were married on September 20, 2003 in Manassas, VA. Since then I have worked as a Project Manager in numerous industries and am currently job hunting. Chris has remained in the banking industry and is currently a Bank Manager with BB&T.

Shortly after Chris and I met, he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). After numerous medical treatments and an aggressive round of steroids, he was then diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Shortly thereafter, he also developed a blood clotting disorder. It was around this time that Chris and I began trying to expand our family. After 6 months of trying to conceive, we found out that one of the medicines that Chris was taking for the UC made that impossible. Obviously we were devastated, but we had a small glimmer of hope. If Chris stopped the medicine, there was a chance that things would improve after 3 months. God must have been watching over us, because indeed, 3 months later, we were able to start trying again although it might be more difficult for us to conceive on our own.

During the following three months, we relocated from Northern Virginia to the Raleigh area, while continuing our mission to start a family. A month after we moved to NC, we found out I was pregnant. We were estatic!  I had been given Dr. Brannon’s name for an OB/GYN, so I immediately made my appointment for 8 weeks. At 7 weeks, I began spotting, and rushed to the ER where they were unable to find a heartbeat, and said the baby was measuring small. The next day, Dr. Brannon managed to squeeze me in, and he miraculously found the heartbeat of our little one. Of course we breathed a huge sigh of relief. Sadly enough, at my 10 week checkup, we learned that our little miracle was now in heaven, as I had miscarried around 8 weeks.

I wanted to begin trying again as soon as possible, so in Jan 2007 we began trying again. The same month, Chris had his colon removed due to the severity of his colitis. However, we were on a mission to have a little one, so we continued on.  After 11 months and handfuls of negative pregnancy tests, we decided to explore IVF. After numerous tests, with no clear reason why we were not now able to conceive (and the frustrating label of “unexplained infertility), we decided to go for an IVF cycle. Thanks to IVF, I became pregnant with our second little miracle in early 2008.

Over the next nine months, I had a fairly easy pregnancy…although Keagan liked to dance on my sciatic nerve, and let’s not talk about the water retention!  During the pregnancy his Daddy also somehow survived through all my wants, cravings, and demands, no matter how difficult. Just look at the Keagan’s nursery…it took him over 6 hours just to paint the stripes!  But no matter how amazing Keagan’s room is, he obviously was very comfy in there too, given my labor and delivery. After fetal monitoring at 40 weeks, Dr. Rogers made the decision to induce me 3 days prior to my scheduled induction with Dr. Brannon due to some variances with Keagan’s heart rate.  After 30 hours and only 5 centimeters, Keagan made his grand entrance into the world via C-section, at the hands of Dr. Scott.  Dr. Brannon is determined to deliver my next one!

The first time I came to Dr. Brannon’s office, I was struck by how beautiful Susie’s photo’s were throughout the office. We chose Susie to photograph our maternity & baby portraits because it took us almost 3 years to bring our little blessing into the world, and we wanted to capture every moment of our miraculous journey. Susie’s work is breathtaking and timeless, and we felt that she would capture every precious detail.

I have some funny memories from our sessions. Even though I was 30 weeks during my maternity session, my belly wasn’t very big. I remember laying on the floor and Susie telling me to “stick it out” in order to get the nice big round belly!  Try having a little one kicking you, holding your breath cause you’re pushing your stomach out, and smiling at the same time! During our 2 weeks session, Keagan amazed us all during his “sleeping angel portrait”, he laughed out loud and gave us the sweetest smile. Susie said it was a first, to have a baby so young giggle and smile during a session!

When we saw our images at the slideshow for the first time it was like someone took my breath away…they were all so amazing and each and every one made us laugh, tear up, or smile! When we saw the finished portraits I was so excited to get them home to display them around our house. I couldn’t stop looking at them for the first few days.

We ordered a Wall Portrait of a maternity image. It is in our bedroom where we can look at it every day. The first time I saw it I was speechless…it truly’s captures the beauty, excitement, and love between Chris and I, and of course our little bundle.  It’s one of my most favorite pieces. We ordered a framed trio of our maternity session and hung it in our family room.

It always makes me smile, especially the one of Chris kissing my belly! 

We ordered a 20 page album of Keagan’s first year and we display it in our living room right next to our wedding album. Our two most important events, side by side for anyone to see. We’re so glad we chose to do an album, given how quickly Keagan is growing and changing. It’s a beautiful reminder of the time that’s flying by us at an alarming rate since he came along, one that I hope we can give to him and his future wife.

Chris surprised me this Christmas with an image from our newborn session. We put it in the living room along with the album, and it’s the best Christmas present I’ve ever received! A portrait of Keagan and I was chosen to be displayed in a large wall portrait in the lobby of Dr. Brannon & Rogers. When I saw it for the first time I was in awe of it’s beauty, Susie truly captured the love between a mother and her child in the portrait. 

What I appreciate most about Susie is that you’re not just a client to her, you’re a friend. Susie truly cares about the individuals she’s photographs, and she thoroughly enjoys playing with Keagan and talking with us during our sessions, taking time with us and not rushing through our special moments. I would absolutely recommend Susie to others. 

-Chris and Michelle Johnson  Holly Springs, NC


Thank you Chris and Michelle for giving us a glimpse of your lives and sharing your thoughts and portraits with us. I look forward to photographing Keagan next month at his 6 month portrait. He is SO adorable I know we’ll get some gorgeous portraits.

To see more of my work, go to

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

Blessings to you!

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.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.