November & December 2009 Blog / Newsletter

Happy New Year! My heart is full of joy as I reflect on the blessings of the past year. I am thankful for each of you… for your friendship and for the privilege of photographing you and your loved ones.

hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving & Christmas. This was a very “stress free” Christmas for our family because we didn’t travel to Winston-Salem, NC as we normally do. My sister Amy is due with her first baby any day now, so my family had Christmas in Raleigh on the 26th. We spent the night with David’s family in Clayton on Christmas Eve and my two year old LOVED EVERY MINUTE of unwrapping gifts and playing with all his toys. His Aunt Karen and grandparents went all out & bought him enough toys to fill a small toy store. I put him to bed with some of his favorite new toys & hear him having a ball before he drifts off to sleep.

I surprised my husband this year with a PAINTING of our family portrait (pictured above). I love paintings, they are so rich with depth, detail and flowing lines. I find myself admiring it during the day… so maybe it was more of a gift for me! 🙂

I have enjoyed having time off with my family during the Christmas break! My husband took off for two weeks, we relaxed, watched movies, played the guitar, David played the trumpet, and Grace and David played the Wii. I read the book “The Blind Side” plus several Nancy Drew books with my eight-year-old daughter Grace. We’ve been staying up late reading because we’re captivated to solve the mystery. We also painted Grace’s room a lovely pink and lavender over the break (pictured left). It is now a Princess room and very inviting.

Our family had a very scary experience on November 21st. Our 2 1/2 year old developed a very high fever of 106.4 and had a febrile seizure in my arms. It was terrifying to watch my son lose color and convulse uncontrollably. Although I knew it was a seizure and it would end (because my daughter had one when she was 18 months old) it was still scary to see. When something like that happens to your child… questions that you never want to think about go through your mind….like, am I going to lose my son?

My husband called 911, and the ambulance arrived within minutes and took us to the nearest hospital. I can still feel the emotions from that day as I write. I held him in the ambulance and answered the EMS’s questions although my mind was in a state of shock… because of the overload of emotion and adrenalin. After many negative tests, the doctor said it must have been a virus. David’s family met us at the hospital and Micah perked up when he saw them. Thankfully he was okay, his fever finally lowered & we brought him home 3 hours later. Then that night we spent an almost sleepless night trying to lower his fever with medicine & sponge baths. But in the morning he was our happy little toddler who climbed in bed with us laughing and cuddling.

That experience cleared our head of all the many things vying for our attention and reminded us of how precious and fleeting life can be. Thankfully Micah came through okay. We needed a relaxed Christmas break after that experience!


I have NEVER done this and it may be years before I do it again, but I am having a Wall Portrait sale for the month of January ONLY to make room for my new samples. If your family, child or baby has been featured in a Wall Portrait or Painting at my studio or a display in the community, you can buy it for 30% off. This is a HUGE savings… you will save $750 off a 20″ painting or $480 off a 30″ wall portrait. Don’t delay because the best frames will go quickly.  I have so many beautiful portraits & paintings. Call today to bring your masterpiece home where it belongs… you will treasure it! 662-5541.


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. ( 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 ( 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

CLIENT OF THE MONTH: Wes and Kim Cannon

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 Wes and Kim Cannon. They came for a maternity session and we had lots of laughs. Wes has a great sense of humor. We were finishing up a slideshow and a carpet cleaning salesman came to the door. I told him I was not interested and that I was with a client at the moment. The persistent salesman came back later and Wes answered the door this time. The salesman said, “You must be Susie’s husband” and Wes without missing a beat, said, “Well, some of the time” We laughed so hard after he left. He’s one of those people that keep you smiling…. You never quite know what he’s going to say.

Here is Wes and Kim’s story…

Wes is from Cary, North Carolina born and raised. He went to college for a short period before realizing that it was not for him. He has worked in construction and now in sales. I’m from Bloomington, Indiana, one of the best towns in America. I miss it dearly but also love the Raleigh area and my husband, which is why I am here. I went to cosmetology school, and then ended up working in an office using accounting software. I am now a full time mother, but have worked with accounting departments of several small companies over the last 15 years. Wes is in sales, he sells plastics, such as stretch film. We have a beautiful dog, Josie, she is a 4 year old German Shorthaired Pointer, who is spoiled rotten.

Wes & I met met through family over 20 years ago but were reconnected about 10 years ago. Our personalities seem to compliment each other in the sense that he has extreme highs about things and I seem to be pretty even keel. He always tells me that I don’t get excited enough and I tell him that he gets too excited! My husband and I are best friends. We both love the outdoors and nature. We both always wanted children and are so happy to have Ava.

We have been married for three years and 8 months. Once we realized that it may not be so easy to get pregnant we resorted to fertility treatments. Starting with IVI in 2007 and eventually moving on to IVF in the fall of 2007. We had one chemical pregnancy with IVF which was absolutely devasting to us, but we were never ready to give up. We decided to try again two more times with no success before finally taking a break in the fall of 2008. With our resources drained, we just kept reading and learning and trying on our own. I found out that I had thyroid disease in September 2008 and started on medicine. By November I was pregnant and it happened naturally! The pregnancy was another chemical, but gave us some hope that we could have a baby, and in January 2009 we got pregnant again and this time it stuck and we have a beautiful baby girl!!

I tested positive for some antibodies that required me to take shots everyday throughout my pregnancy. Wes gave them to me at first and then it got easier for me to just do them myself. The shots were in my belly and it bruised very badly. It was worth every prick though. All in all I had the best pregnancy, not one day of sickness, and only slightly uncomfortable at the end.

I don’t think that we have quite adjusted to life with a new baby, but it is such a joy. I will forever be tired, but I’m learning to cope. Our baby Ava is the sweetest little thing and has so much personality. She smiles a lot, she laughs and talks and her eyebrows are so expressive. What I enjoy most about being a parent, is that I have such a beautiful daughter to enjoy everyday. The gratification of knowing that she is ours is enormous.

I first saw Susie’s work at Dr. Brannon’s office and it made me tear up everytime. I was always on edge because I was high risk so it just made me feel good to see all the portraits in the office. We had a blast during our maternity photo session with Susie! She really got to know Wes and I and made us laugh. She is very professional but in such a fun way. When I first saw our images at the slideshow, I started to cry. They were all absolutely beautiful and it was hard to choose.

We chose a personalized 40 page album entitled “The Cannon Family” which starts with four maternity portraits. This will mean so much to our family because of everything that we went through to have Ava. Some people take having children for granted and don’t even realize it. This album will show the years of all the wonderful things that we worked so hard to get. I can’t wait to fill it!

We choose a wall portrait of Wes and I because we have been through a lot together during this process and it has made us stronger as a couple. We will hang it somewhere we can see it everyday, probably our bedroom. We chose a framed collage with four portraits and a few loose portraits. It means a lot to us, it grounds us to realize that life is such a blessing and reminds us of our trials and dedication. The portraits are all just perfect and we want to look at them everyday.

What I appreciate most about Susie is her ease of making us feel comfortable and helping us capture every precious bit of our pregnancy. I would definitely recommend Susie to others, she is the best that I have seen.

-Wes & Kim Cannon    Cary, NC


Thank you Wes and Kim for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful portraits and your lives. I’m so sorry for the losses you have experienced but I rejoice with you in your little miracle Ava. I can’t wait to meet her! I had to get those shots in my tummy too and that was very difficult… but thankfully it’s only during pregnancy.

Happy New Year everyone and I look forward to photographing you soon.

Blessings to you!

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