Who is Susan?
I am a shy introvert. That’s why you won’t find a whole lot of video of me OUT THERE. Although I AM actively working on conquering my shyness about being in front of a video camera as we speak.
I’ve always been shy. But one story I LOVE to tell is this one: when I was 5 years old I walked up to a woman. A stranger. I overcame my shyness long enough to tell her she had such a beautiful jawline. Her reaction stayed with me. She was surprised, flattered, seemingly on the verge of tears, and she said, “No one’s ever said that to me before, thank you!”
I’m not sure why that experience stayed with me, but it did. Maybe it was the way she seemed so surprised to have received the compliment. Maybe it was the subtle tears quietly pooling in her eyes.
As I got older, I enjoyed spending time sketching, drawing and painting. Faces intrigued me. I’d spend hours sketching a single face…trying to capture the nuances…the qualities that made someone uniquely who they were.
Like the kid in the movie Sixth Sense, I really SAW people.
I began to realize that seeing beauty in everyone was a unique gift I had. I didn’t think it was anything special at first. But as time went on, I learned that it was. And I wanted to show others the beauty I saw in them.
Having been raised by conservative parents, I went off to college, then grad school, then followed the traditional corporate job route. I earned my Bachelor’s in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook, then my Master’s degree in Psychology from Columbia University. I worked at prestigious companies like Estee Lauder, American Express, and Ernst & Young.
But the creative bug wouldn’t leave me alone. I wanted to create art. But more importantly, I wanted to use art to lift people up. Specifically, I wanted to find a way to help women SEE their beauty in a way perhaps they’d never seen it before…to help them transcend body image issues…to help them rewrite the scripts in their heads about their worth and what beauty REALLY looks like.
In the late 90s I stumbled into boudoir. Not even knowing it was a THING. Truth be told, it wasn’t a thing on the east coast. On the west coast, it was. But here on the east coast, not so much. When I started this boudoir niche, maybe one or two other photographers were dabbling in it. For me though, I knew boudoir was special the moment I shot my first session and brought happy tears to my client’s eyes.
From that moment on, I wanted every woman to SEE her beauty. To FEEL incredible. To REWRITE the negative inner self-talk. I wanted to play a role in transforming how she saw herself, how she carried herself, how she felt in her own skin.
And for the past 11 years, I’ve worked so hard to achieve this with each and every person who’s walked through my door.
As an artist, photographer, woman, and mother of 3 (I have twins and another heading off to college-YIKES!), I work from a place of humor, a place of empathy, a place of camaraderie…but more than anything, from a place of LOVE.
Some call me the mother earth bohemian hippy. I’ll take it. LOL. If I can make one person smile each and every day, that means my life has purpose.
Here’s to many smiles along the way this year!