October 2009 Newsletter / Blog

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Susie Gilmore Photography! The weather is getting cooler and the brightly colored leaves make driving a joy. The road to my daughter’s school looks a postcard: horse farms and radiant trees line the road and whisper to me to take it all in. I’ve had to find my long sleeved shirts and jackets and have been using my seatwarmer in my vehicle.  Our family’s favorite thing to do in the evening is to have hot tea. We love Peppermint, Bengal Spice, Chai Tea and Chamomile. (The latter works great for children and adults who just can’t sleep) We recently stocked up on hot chocolate and marshmallows… so we are ready for the cooler weather!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful October. Mine was full of out-of-town trips, soccer games and events EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND! I’m a homebody, so this month was a little unusual… even though it was fun. I attended my sister Amy’s baby shower at Prestonwood Country Club and had a wonderful time seeing my mom, sisters, Amy’s friends & her husband’s relatives. I brought my camera and captured all the fun. I created a movie of the event, there’s a link at the bottom of the blog. This is Amy’s first baby & we can’t wait to meet her daughter. She’s scheduled to arrive after Christmas! The photo at the top left shows me with my sisters and & my mom. (From left to right its Laura, me, Amy & baby, mom and Julie.)

The next weekend, David and I traveled to Winston-Salem for my 20 Year High School Reunion. Yes, I really graduated from THIS high school (I attended a high school reunion in July that I WOULD have graduated from if my family hadn’t moved). It was GREAT to see dear friends and catch up with each other. We spent the afternoon with my best friend Carrie and I brought my guitar and we had a wonderful time. It was just like old times. It was a warm day, so we opened the windows and I bet her neighbors wondered if there was an InterVarsity celebration going on. Carrie helped me get ready for the reunion and it felt like I was going to the prom… she curled my hair and put on a TON of hairspray. My hair didn’t move the whole night!

The next weekend, Carrie & her son John came to the beach with my family for a photography conference. The kids LOVED the hotel even though we were crammed in like sardines with a pack-N-play, a roll-away bed and 2 queen beds. We swam in the pool, sat in the hot tub & had a wonderful Japanese meal.

The following weekend, the Flanagan’s came for an outdoor Senior Portrait Session for their son Michael and a family portrait. We had a fun session and ended up with some really special portraits. Michael is also a talented musician, he brought his guitars and played for us and we captured some images with him doing what he loves best. Their family is pictured below on the right and they all have beautiful blue eyes.

Grace’s last soccer game was on the 31st and they had an awards ceremony. Then later that evening we went to a Carnival with inflatables & games and had a wonderful time. Everything was FREE! We had hot dogs, drinks and cotton candy. I would rather go there than the State Fair! Grace dressed as “Cinderella” and Micah went with a monkey strapped on his back with a tail that we could hold onto. Grace had her face painted and then we came home for a quick photoshoot of the children. The picture turned out adorable. My two year old son LOVES to wear everyone else’s shoes. He clomps into the room, flashes his adorable grin and looks down at the shoes he’s wearing. After the carnival he put on his sister’s high heel “Cinderella” slippers and walked around like a pro.  I was impressed with his coordination because I can’t even walk in high heels! Needless to say, daddy was not impressed. 🙂

I saw many wonderful clients this month… newborns, babies, families & a high school senior. I feel very very honored and humbled when someone sits before my camera because I know how much these photographs will mean to them now and in the years to come. They will be a priceless treasure because you can never get these moments back. Thank you for entrusting me with your family portraits. Pictured above is Jamie Tidaback with her beloved dog Ashley, my children during a glorious sunset, and the Flanagan family.

DVD Slideshow set to music

Are you having trouble deciding which images to choose from your session? Why not get a DVD slideshow of all your images set to music. It’s a great way to enjoy all of the portraits anytime you like. You can even purchase a FACEBOOK slideshow to post on your page. I just created a DVD of all the portraits I took at my daughter’s soccer season and she LOVES it. She watches it at least 20 times everyday. Commission your Family Portrait in November and you’ll receive $50 off a Facebook Slideshow of all your portraits set to music.

Time is running out to get Portraits for Christmas!

How long has it been since you have had a family portrait? If you want them before Christmas… now is the perfect time to schedule a session! We can also create custom photo jewelry and photo handbags from your session portraits. Hurry, sessions go quickly because this is my busiest season of the year! Call today to secure your spot 919-662-5541. Kim Peele stopped by this week to pick up her new photo necklace and it was so pretty on her that I had to take her picture.

The Baby Registry at Susie Gilmore Photograpy is a great way to give the gift of portraits to a new mom & dad. The mother-to-be lists her wants and needs for photography and photography products, such as custom made baby books, announcements, framed portrait art, photo jewelry, portrait handbags and portrait packages. As a Bonus Gift for those who contribute $50 toward a mom’s registry, you are entitled to a FREE STUDIO SESSION for your own family. (an $80 value) Call the studio for more details. 919-662-5541.

CLIENT OF THE MONTH: Josh and Michelle Gardner

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! October‘s featured client of the month is Josh and Michelle Gardner. They came for a maternity session and we had so much fun. Josh is a professional soccer player who plays for the Carolina Railhawks. So I asked him to bring his soccer ball so we could get some cute shots with a round theme. Josh reminded me of Ashton Kutcher the actor who played Hank in Cheaper By the Dozen) Of course he was a lot nicer than Hank. 🙂 My daughter Grace was thrilled to find out that Josh had signed her soccer ball. Their baby came early…. actually on the day they were supposed to come for a slideshow. Michelle will share the details of that a little later.

Here is Josh and Michelle’s story…

Josh and I met while he was playing for the professional soccer team the Los Angeles Galaxy. My brother was drafted by Los Angeles and became friends with Josh on the team. He brought him home to play golf and instead met me and we fell in love. Josh and I quickly became best friends. We dated for two and a half years and after coming home from spending the holidays with his family, Josh proposed.

We married eight months later in a small intimate wedding in California on August 30, 2008. This last year and a half has been a whirlwind for both of us. After the wedding we moved to Seattle for two months where Josh finished up his soccer season with his new team. After the season we moved back to California where about a month later we found out we were expecting our first child.

I took seven tests just to be sure! Obviously it was a surprise and unexpected and we were naturally very nervous but trusted that this is what God had for us and it was neat to know that He entrusted us with this. Also during that time we had to decide where we were going to be for our next soccer season. We had to pick between teams in Portland Oregon, Austin Texas and Cary North Carolina. After much prayer, here we are! At first I was really nervous about the idea of moving around all the time and not knowing where we would be living year to year but it is actually really exciting to see how God’s plan unfolds and how our marriage ministry is being used in the different places we go. It is amazing to see my husband living his dream and playing soccer for a living and I am a very proud wife when he is on the field!

Josh is a lefty so he is a left midfielder. The league he is playing for now is about six months long, so in the off season he coaches and does personal trainings for kids of all ages. He does both half hour sessions and hour sessions for all ages ranging from skill development to speed and strength training. If your children are interested in personal training or have questions, please contact Josh at jbyrongardner6@yahoo.com.

Addison Grace Gardner was born on August 6, 2009. She is absolutely amazing! She arrived 3 weeks earlier than expected as I had gotten Pre-eclampsia. The nurse described it as your body being allergic to the baby, seeing it as a foreign object and the only cure is delivery! Josh had been in New York for a soccer game at the time, so as soon as they sent me over to the hospital to check-in, I called him and he got on the next flight out to be with me. My mom also got on a flight that night from Los Angeles and arrived the next morning.

I was induced at 2 a.m. and after many hours of being in labor the doctors noticed that the medicine that was making me labor was slowing Addison’s heart rate down so they took me off of it and said that I was going to probably have to have an emergency C-section. Hearing this news I began praying that God would allow me to have the baby naturally. I told Him that I wouldn’t think He wasn’t any less of a great God if He didn’t make this happen but I wanted to go against the odds of what the doctors and nurses were saying only for His glory and I would use it as a platform to tell people of His goodness. The nurse came in to check on me one more time before bringing me into the operating room and said she couldn’t believe what she saw. I was still laboring and ready to give birth!

God is good and I promised Him I would tell everyone I could, so through Susies blog, here I am! Addi is almost three months old now and is a little chubby bunny! She sleeps through the night already and has for the last month, which is so great! However, she doesn’t sleep unless she is snuggled up to mommy and daddy.

We saw Susie’s photographs while at my monthly doctors appointments with Brannon and Rogers. During my pregnancy I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I wasn’t too thrilled about my “ever changing figure!” 🙂 But I really liked the ideas and creativity I saw on Susie’s website and I thought if I’m going to take pictures, I might as well go all out! I’m not one to get in front of the camera but my “ham husband” doesn’t mind it, so he made it so much fun! He made me laugh and feel so beautiful and excited that one day Addison will see what she looked like in Mommy’s tummy.

When the three of us went to go see the slideshow Susie offered tissue beforehand, and I told her I thought I would be okay. As soon as the slideshow started, the tears started coming. Looking down at my daughter and seeing the beautiful pictures Susie took was way too much to handle! The portraits mean so much to us, and they turned out amazing and we can’t wait to show Addison one day and to tell her what a miracle it is and tell her of her amazing Creator.

Susie was very welcoming and very easy to talk to from the first time we spoke on the phone. She made it so easy to be in front of the camera and was so encouraging and made me feel so beautiful. She reminded me of what an exciting time it was because we were quickly approaching our due date. She offered such great advice as we didn’t really have anyone to talk to out here about this new time in our lives! We enjoyed so much our time spent with Susie and we would definitely recommend her to all of our friends.

-Josh & Michelle Gardner    Cary, NC


Thank you Josh and Michelle for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful portraits and your lives. Addison is fortunate to have such wonderful parents. I’m excited for you & the adventure of parenthood. Babies are so precious…. there is nothing like them and they change your whole life. Wherever your husband’s career takes your family… look for a mother’s group called MOPS. You will love it! (http://www.MOPS.org).

If you’d like to have your child personally trained by a professional soccer player, contact Josh. He’s got a great personality and character. I know your child will love working with him. His email address is jbyrongardner6@yahoo.com

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

Blessings to you!

Click on the arrow below to view my sister’s baby shower video. It’s precious!

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.

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.