September 2009 Blog / Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I hope you and your family had a wonderful September. My youngest child, Micah, started preschool this month. He LOVES it and enjoys doing art, music, playing with toys and playing on the playground with his little friends. He did much better than I did. I was a little sad for a few weeks before he started school…. wondering how my little man would do. But I felt better on his first day because he was so excited to be going to preschool. He felt very proud to wear a backpack and carry a lunchbox. He didn’t even notice when I left. It was really cute, the first thing he did was get out all the trucks, planes and busses and line them up like they were in a parking lot. See picture on the right. My daughter Grace has been enjoying Upward Soccer and her youth group.

This is her first year playing and she is doing great. We have enjoyed cheering for her team on the sidelines. I’ve been photographing her team practices, which is not my normal subject matter, so it’s fun experimenting with different F stops and shutter speeds. Here are a few pictures of Grace and her cheering section (Micah & David).

I was very excited to receive an award for a portrait I entered into the 2008 Print Competition held by the Photographic Society of the Triangle. Every year, the Society has a competition with Affiliate Print Judges from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) who critique and rate the images based on twelve criteria: 1. Impact 2. Creativity 3. Style 4. Composition 5. Print Presentation 6. Color Balance 7. Center of Interest 8. Lighting 9. Subject Matter 10. Image Quality 11. Technique 12. Story Telling.

I made a big mistake this year…. I was very busy with clients this month, so I waited until the last weekend to choose, retouch and print my images. Unfortunately I was too late to send them off to a professional lab, and I had no other option than to send them to Walgreens One Hour Photo to get my competition prints. I was excited to be able to upload the images online and pick them up an hour later. But to my disappointment, they all had print roller marks on the side and the skin tones were slightly green. The paper was not a professional quality and it was too glossy. I always send my portraits to a professional photography lab, so I didn’t realize how badly the prints look from a one hour photo store. So lesson learned…. no matter how amazing my images are, they won’t look good when they are printed in a chain store photo lab. Always go to a professional photographer….for the best quality portraits.

On a positive note, I saw many wonderful clients this month… newborns, babies, maternity, children, and families. I enjoy seeing your smiling faces and your beautiful children. Thank you for your friendship and the moments you entrust me to capture. It’s a blessing to share in your lives.

The Baby Registry

I am very excited to introduce THE BABY REGISTRY at Susie Gilmore Photograpy. It’s a great way to give the gift of portraits to a new mom & dad. It is based on the existing model of expectant mothers registering the things they need for the baby at retail outlets. With our registry, 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 (that make great diaper bags) and portrait packages. Now, not only can her friends and family shower her with such necessities as a car seat, diapers, etc., but also with photography that will last a lifetime. THAT IS A GIFT NO MOM WOULD RETURN.

At baby showers, moms are showered with baby outfits, blankets, and the latest gadgets. New parents certainly need those practical items, but what all new parents TRULY want and NEED, is to have a professional photographer beautifully document the first year of their newborn’s life. Those tiny hands and feet, and that perfect little mouth, need to be remembered, because very soon they will be crawling, sitting up, cruising, and walking. Mothers-to-be are thrilled with the prospect of receiving a gift that not only lasts a lifetime, but one that she will treasure more than any other gift as a keepsake of her beloved baby.

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.

It’s time to start thinking PORTRAITS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

How long has it been since you have had a family portrait? If it’s been over a year and you have young children… now is the perfect time!

Commission your Family Portrait in October and you’ll receive $50 off a Facebook Slideshow of all your portraits set to music.

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.

CLIENT OF THE MONTH: Liz and Sean Gallaher

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! September‘s featured client of the month is Liz & Sean Gallaher. They brought their beautiful children for a sibling portrait and they were a JOY to photograph. They were very well behaved, pleasant to work with, and very photogenic. I remember saying to Liz during the middle of the session, “can you come back every year because I LOVE photographing your children!”

Their oldest son Riley reminded me of the actor who played the “new” Superman in Smallville. Their daughters Regan and Gracen were lovely. They brought their American Girl dolls that looked just like them and we captured some priceless portraits. Gaven had a happy disposition and did very well for his age. The children enjoyed each other’s company and I was very impressed with how well they got along. They were very respectful to each other. I was impressed with how patient Sean was.

For a man, I think having a photography session is like going to the dentist… they don’t enjoy it as much as the ladies do. (I’m one of those rare people who enjoy going to the dentist, but that’s another story) Many dads are ready to go home soon after we start… but Sean just enjoyed the process and was very pleasant and it helped us get a variety of portraits of the children because I was not rushed.

Sean and Liz came with a goal to have a large wall portrait created to hang over their fireplace. They wanted to remember this stage in their children’s lives. And thanks to everyone’s cooperation…. we succeeded. Liz is very creative and she brought a few beautiful antique bears from her personal collection. She also made the gorgeous tan sashes of her daughter’s dresses which matched my background. I first met Liz in a mother’s group, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) eight years ago. She was friends with my sister, Laura Gaskins, who was also in MOPS. I love all the connections we have with one another in the different stages of our lives.

Here is Liz and Sean’s story…

I am writing this on the week of our 18th wedding anniversary. It seems like yesterday that Sean and I met in the high school cafeteria, on the first day of school of our freshman year. I was new to the school system and only knew one girl in the entire building. Sean knew everyone, already having gone to school since Kindergarten with most of our classmates. We were very different: he was athletic and I was…well, NOT! He was outgoing and I reserved, he popular and I didn’t know a soul.

But, we hung out with the same group of kids and soon became friends, spending a lot of time together but never dating. After high school we went our separate ways to different colleges.  Then after graduation, Sean from Wake Forest and me from Virginia Tech, in God’s perfect timing, we met up again with friends at a restaurant and have been together ever since. We often laugh that it is a great thing that we never dated in high school because a teenage breakup would have ruined the fantastic friendship God had planted so many years earlier.

The last eighteen years have held an unbelievable amount of joy and laughter and a few tears. Sean and I have 5 wonderful children, unbelievable gifts from God that we treasure. Four have been photographed by Susie. The kids keep us busy.  We are involved in sports, church, and volunteering. Our oldest son, Riley (16) plays football, basketball and baseball. Our oldest daughter, Regan (12), is a regular volunteer at the SPCA, and the reason we have had 3 cats, 2 dogs, 2 ducks, a mouse and unlimited number of fish. And she would like lots more. Our next daughter, Gracen (9), loves music, playing clarinet and keyboard and also softball. And our youngest son, Gavin (5), loves any game involving a ball. He plays baseball, soccer, golf and flag football.  Next year we will have FOUR graduations: one from high school, one from middle school, one from elementary school and one from Kindergarten. What a week of celebration that will be!

Our fifth precious child, Kyle, passed away in 1996. This was the turning point in our marriage and a true test of our faith.  God used this time to not only heal us from the deepest wound we thought possible but to bring us closer as a couple and more importantly to Him. Kyle’s life and death brought intimate meaning to God’s sacrifice for each of us as told in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Praise God for Everlasting Life!

I remember first meeting Susie in a MOPS group at Colonial Church in 2001. She was sweet, energetic, talented, and had a heart for God. The next year I left MOPS and lost touch with her.  Years later, at a benefit auction, Sean and I saw a beautiful portrait of children being auctioned and we knew we had to have this photographer create a portrait of our children too. Much to our joyful surprise it was Susie!  She still has all those qualities I remembered and more.  Our session was flawless, which says a lot with 4 active kids, not all of them interested in having their picture taken.  Susie was creative, adding little touches of flowers, antique carriages, asking us to bring any special dolls, bears etc.  Susie made the kids feel comfortable and special and they really enjoyed themselves.

Previewing our pictures was wonderful.  We viewed our portraits set to music in a theatre style presentation in a large picture frame. We appreciated seeing exactly what we wanted to order. I am not suggesting that deciding was easy…actually the opposite was true. There were so many beautiful pictures that we never thought we would decide. We ended up choosing the one that really brought out our kids’ different personalities. Sure, there were many beautiful, more serious photos, but we both knew we wanted this one to hang over our mantle and look at every day for the rest of our lives.  It will always be one of our most precious belongings and a family heirloom.  Thank you Susie for your friendship and the gift of a wonderful moment, frozen in time.

-Liz and Sean Gallaher  Apex, NC


Thank you Liz & Sean for sharing your story and for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful children and your life. I feel blessed to know you and I look forward to coming to your home and seeing that lovely wall portrait on your mantle. Congratulations on your 18th wedding anniversary! Marriage truly is a gift.

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

Blessings to you!

To see more of my work, go to

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.