March 2010 Newsletter / Blog

Dear friends,

March has been a month full of celebrations! My best friend Carrie turned “40” and we went to D’Elegance spa in Raleigh for a massage and pedicure. I am still relaxed from it! David and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and had a delicious meal at the Angus Barn thanks to my sweet client Anne Winters who sent us a gift certificate! Something you may not know about me is that I LOVE cheese! And the cheese that was served at Angus Barn with homemade crackers was my favorite! My husband David was getting a little embarassed that I was eating so much cheese. It was funny.

He kept saying, “you may want to save room for your main course.” But it was SO GOOD, I couldn’t resist!  And yes, I took my steak home for later. Grace said, “mom, this is the best steak I’ve ever had!” So it all worked out well. I got to enjoy the cheese and Grace got the steak.

Our anniversary tradition is to watch our wedding video. It was so much fun going down memory lane…. hearing our vows & seeing all of our loved ones assembled in one place. We held hands on the couch and our 8-year-old daughter Grace kept asking, “where am I in the wedding video?”. We kept saying, “Honey you weren’t born until three years later.” She was a little disappointed… but she’ll understand later that it’s a good thing she wasn’t born yet. 🙂

We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a dinner with his family in Clayton. It was a lovely spring day and his mother made a delicious meal that we enjoyed on their large screened in porch. I brought my camera and took a lot of heartwarming family portraits. We also made a mold of Micah’s footprint for a garden stepping stone… one of my favorite traditions. Grace started her second season of Upward Soccer this month. She is having fun and enjoying the fellowship of her teammates. She scored her first goal on Saturday. Way to go Grace!

On a sad note, my client and friend, Jamie lost her dog this month. Our prayers are with her as she grieves and mourns for Ashley who has been like a family member to her for all these years. Here is a picture of Jamie & Ashley from October 2009. Jamie brought her along when she picked up her portraits & she shared that she didn’t know how long Ashley had…. so we took a few portraits and I’m so glad we did.

I had a wonderful time with my dear clients this month. I love the art of photography and how wonderful it is to get to know the people I photograph. I feel very blessed to know all of you. Thank you for your friendship and your trust.

Love to you all,

Client of the Month: Jerry and Elsie Ruehle

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 Jerry and Elsie Ruehle. I met Elsie when she brought her three month old Rachel for a photography session. We had such a fun time and we captured the most delightful portrait. Her portrait is displayed at the checkout area at Dr. Brannon’s office in Cary, NC. Elsie is very easy going and open to trying different backgrounds, props and outfits, so every time she comes for a session it’s like a creative playdate.

Here is Jerry and Elsie’s story…

Jerry and I met 8 years ago in the spring of 2002 through a mutual friend, Jerry’s best friend Jim. As we got to know each other I quickly learned that we compliment each other well.  I used to always tell him, sometimes you don’t know why you love someone you just know that you do. We started dating in June and were married in March.  I knew he was the one and that I didn’t want to be just his girlfriend.

I went back to school in the summer of 2006 to pursue a career in nursing. This has been a dream of mine for a very long time.  And I can proudly say I have less than 9 months until my graduation, December 9, 2010.  I hope to work at the Jaycee Burn Center at UNC.  Jerry is an auto mechanic at Crossroads Exxon in Cary.  He is probably the best mechanic in the area.  I am so proud of Jerry for how hard he works so we can have everything we need while I am in school.  Not only does he work six days a week, but he is renovating our home in Apex.

I must be the luckiest girl in the world. Jerry and I are very much in love.  We have been blessed with 3 beautiful children, Abigail, Rachel, and James. We also have  3 amazing dogs- Lance (a sheltie mix- 10 years old), Misti (a sharpei mix- 10 years old) and Luke (a burmese mountain dog mix- 7 years old) and my cat Paula who spent my entire 20s with me, she is 13.  Before anything I am a Christian, then a mother and a wife.

Abigail was born February 7, 2004. She looks just like me and is my best friend.  We named Abigail after one of the wives of King David and her middle name is Leigh after my dad’s middle name (Lee). Her name means a father’s joy. My pregnancy with her was pretty typical.  My next pregnancy was not so typical.  I guess deep down I knew something was wrong from the beginning.  At 12 weeks pregnant on February 25, 2007, I found myself in the emergency room hemorrhaging.  I wouldn’t let the doctors check the baby until the chaplain came in.    He prayed with us for the baby to be alive and ok and that if the baby wasn’t meant to be touched by human hands for God to take the baby and take care of our baby. That is the only time I have ever seen my husband cry.  When that baby died part of me died with him.

Five months later I was pregnant again. My pregnancy with Rachel was difficult.  I was in a car accident the day I found out I was pregnant with her, I had morning sickness until the day she was born, but more than anything I was terrified of losing her.  She was born 10 days early via cesarean section on St. Patrick’s Day 2008.  Rachel Clare is named Rachel after my great grandmother and Clare after Jerry’s grandmother.

My last pregnancy was great. I felt great and it was so easy compared to Rachel’s.  Baby James was born August 27, 2009.  We named him James after Jerry’s best friend Jim who died in a car accident in July of 2005.  We both loved him and he was the reason we met.

I first saw Susie’s work at Dr. Brannon’s office when I was pregnant with Rachel. However, I didn’t realize until I talked to Susie on the phone for  the first time, that her sister Laura lived 2 houses down from us!  We chose Susie because I wanted to capture the love and adoration that I saw in the pictures in Dr. Brannon’s office.  Susie photographed Rachel at 3 months; Rachel, Abigail, and me when Rachel was 13 months; my maternity with James; James’ newborn; James and Abigail when James was 3 months; and Rachel at 2.

When I decided to have my maternity pictures done with James I knew it would probably be my last pregnancy. It was my last chance to capture that feeling and hold onto it.  I understand what a blessing it is to carry a child.  God blessed me with that honor four times.  We got an 11×14 to hang above James’ crib so when he goes to bed he’ll know how much Mommy loves him.  I had an amazing time at my maternity session.  It was surprisingly relaxing and something that I was able to do just for me.

We did James’s newborn session on the spur of the moment. I was picking up my maternity picture and Susie said she had some free time. I wanted to do the baseball and glove picture because Jerry loves baseball and he took me to a Braves/Red Sox game right after we started dating.  We decided to do a wall portrait of James from his newborn session.  The first time I saw his face was the happiest moment of my life.  I immediately had a sense of completeness when he was born.  I told Jerry later that I never loved him as much as I did at that moment and from that moment forward.  Every time I see his portrait I will be reminded of that moment and of this special time in our lives.

We later decided to do a wall portrait of each of the kids. They are each so special to us and unique.  I am so proud of each one of them  We want them to know how much they are loved and valued as a part of this family. We chose Abigail’s wall portrait because not only was it a gorgeous picture of her, but it also reflected her personality so well.  She is very fun and outgoing.  She is very confident and more often than not she is the leader when she’s in a group of her peers.

Rachel had her picture for her wall portrait taken the day after her second birthday. Two is my favorite age.  Rachel has blond hair and the face of an angel.   She is so sweet and kind. She loves her big sister as her best friend and her baby brother as a second mother.   She likes to go down the slide and play in the sand.  As a two year old, she does have her mischievous side, but it makes me laugh more than it makes me angry.  This is what her portrait means to me.  This is what I want to remember about Rachel at 2.

All three wall portraits will be in our living room. Abigail and James’ are side by side above our sofa.  Rachel’s will be on an adjacent wall.  They are the focal points of the room.  I am thrilled that our home reflects what is most important to us- our children.

Susie offers a free facebook image from our sessions and it was really nice to be able to share all the beautiful images with so many family and friends. After our last session, Susie said she would post a picture on facebook for me.  I was expecting just one, maybe 2 but she posted 20! They are from Rachel’s two year old session and James’ newborn session.  Going through them was like having the slideshow all over again.  They were even more beautiful than I had remembered.

I love my maternity collage with my daughters. It is so artsy and not only shows their relationships with me, but their relationship with each other.  We ask Rachel who her favorite person is and she always says Abby, Abby!  They are so close even though they are 4 years apart.  It is hanging in our bedroom and I smile every time I see it.

Each time when we have gone to the slideshow, I think, ok we just need 2 or 3 good ones, and they are all good! Susie is a great help in narrowing them down and making suggestions.  My heart just melts watching the slide show.  It’s funny, our first session was with Rachel at 13 weeks with big blue eyes (Jerry’s eyes). When we went to the view the slide show  Rachel had big brown eyes.  The girls both have my eyes and it looks like James is going to keep Jerry’s blue eyes, he’s 7 months now, so we’ll see…  I am glad we have those beautiful images of Rachel with her big blue eyes because I know she will never have them again.

Susie is more than just our photographer, she became a good friend from the first time we met. She has given us a priceless gift.  Nothing is more important to Jerry and me than our family and she has captured the essence of it.  Thanks Susie!

-Jerry & Elsie Ruehle    Apex, NC


Thank you Jerry and Elsie for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful portraits and your lives. Your children are precious and I feel honored to capture the milestones of their lives. I can’t wait to photograph James when he is sitting up! It’s my favorite time in a baby’s life because they just sit there and smile and you get so many wonderful portraits!

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

Blessings to you!

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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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