Who is Susan?
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 a beautiful jawline. Her reaction stayed with me. She was surprised, flattered, seemingly on the verge of tears, and said, “No one’s ever said that to me before, thank you!”
I’m not sure why that experience stayed with me, but it has. Maybe because she seemed so surprised to have received the compliment. Maybe because I noticed subtle tears quietly pooling in her eyes as she smiled.
As I looked to college I realized seeing beauty in everyone is a unique gift I have. A gift I wanted to use in my future career. I wanted to show others the beauty I saw in them, but more importantly, show them that beauty in a way they can receive it.
But my career didn’t start off using this gift. I earned my Bachelor’s in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook, then my Master’s degree in Psychology from Columbia University. And like a train confined to its track, I headed straight to the corporate world. (SNORE) I worked at prestigious companies like Estee Lauder, American Express, and Ernst & Young. But the creative bug wouldn’t leave me alone. I still longed to find a way to use art to lift people up; help women SEE their beauty in a way they’d never seen it before; help them transcend body image issues; help them rewrite the scripts in their heads about their worth.
At last I fell into boudoir. Piece of trivia alert—true story: I shot boudoir before even knowing it was a THING. Truth is, it wasn’t. Not on the East coast anyway. On the west coast, they knew all about it. But me? I just reacted to an experience I had—I’d shot a friend nude with ballet pointe shoes and tulle intending to use the images for paintings but when I saw her reaction (happy tears) the light bulb just about burned my brain! So..I started shooting “boudoir” not knowing it was boudoir.
Holy crap time flies - THAT was 11 years ago. Since then, I’ve been published in fine art magazines, fashion magazines, international art compendiums and I’ve won awards and had my artwork exhibited in art galleries. (by the way - I am SOOOOO not bragging - but I figured since not all photographers can say this, I just thought you should know).
As an artist, photographer, woman, and mother of 3 (I have twins and another heading off to college), 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. Hey, I do love flow clothes and being barefoot, so I’ll take it.
If I can make one person smile each and every day, my life has purpose.
Here’s to many smiles along the way for both you and me this year!