Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Photo Challenge -- Getting in Front of the Camera

I have a confession to make...

I HATE taking pictures of myself.

There I said it.  I would be behind the camera than in front of it.
I think many women feel the same way.
Our vision in the mirror is somehow different than the one most cameras seems to capture. 

I have been putting off taking pictures with my horse for years because I keep coming up with excuses. 

I need to lose more weight. 
The grass should be a bit taller to cover my legs.
I can't find a photographer that capture me as well as the filter in my head does.
I need someone who knows how to pose horses (I have a huge pet peeve when it comes to body language.)
I  need a photographer that can take flattering pictures of "curves".
I have nothing to wear. 
I could go on and on...
My husband took the image below on my 30th birthday,
when my only wish was for him to come riding with me.  (He's good that way.) 
It's one of the few good pictures I have of me & my girl.

My hose is now almost 30, and I still can find reasons why not to get in the picture with her!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I suppose it's a blessing that I don't have children who will be missing out on pictures of their mom because of all of my hangups.
But what if I did? 
Would they wonder why I didn't seem to exist for years at a time?  
Why there are no pictures of me on the walls with the ones I love?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It's something that I hope to change, my goal is to get some pictures of me with my girl.
And it's something that I hope will encourage others to do the same.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Winner, Winner...

Chicken Dinner? 

Well I didn't have a picture of that, but I did have this cute one of garlic fries from a couples session.  
(Lady & The Tramp made Spaghetti look so easy!!! Much shorter garlic fries, were a little trickier!)

L&T Inspiration

Either way...we have winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered my One-Year Anniversary give-away!  The following winners have been notified via email of their prize.
If you haven't done so already, be sure to contact me ASAP with your shipping information so I can send your tote-bag or gift card to you!
The Five Runner's up that won a Tote Bag and "something special" inside are:
  1. Debbie W. 
  2. Jenny B.
  3. Shari H.
  4. Heidi J.
  5. Dave B.
The Grand Prize winners of a free session or (for past clients) a Free 12" x 18" canvas are:
  1. Gina T. ~ Free Makeover Session Voucher
  2. Denise R. ~ Free Canvas
Congrats to all of the winners, I look forward to working with you on your special projects soon! 
Thank you again to those who entered, and thanks to all of my clients that have made my year special.
(Even the extra Garlicky ones!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Every Little Thing You Do, I Do Adore ~ Teen Behind the Scenes

Today's my one-year anniversary of Suzi Worley Photography!  As luck would have it, we just wrapped up my Behind the Scenes video this morning!  I thought I would share it with you all here as well, as it includes quite a few of my images from the session.
I created this as a tool for my teens and graduates sessions, but since it shows the make-up and hair portion it also applies to the make-over sessions I do as well.  Plus most of my sessions end up being like this... we walk around a lot, change locations and outfits, have unexpected surprises (in this case a horse volunteered for a few shots),  and we have tons of fun in the process.

I am so happy that I made it through my first year!  It has been great fun and such a learning experience on so many levels.  I have enjoyed making new friends, and can't wait to see what year two has in store.  Thanks to all of you who have helped make my dream become a reality!

~ Suzi

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to SWP!!!

A year ago on August 25th I officially launched my photography business.
I can't believe how much has changed since then.
I've met some wonderful people, and have enjoyed watching the families grow in this year alone.
So starting  today through Tuesday, September 3 you can enter to win one of two grand prize Gift Vouchers valued at $350*.
(Which covers not only your session fee but includes a $100 credit that can be used towards your print purchase.)
Each winner will also receive the slimline tote bag shown above.
The 13" x 5" x 13" Chocolate Tote is perfect for carrying your images, a mini market run, or a picnic with a French baguette and bottle of wine.
*For clients that have just had a session, and would rather win a prize, they may substitute the Gift Voucher for a 12" x 18" wrapped canvas print using one of their session images!
Five runner's up will receive one of the tote bags with a little something special inside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Thanks to all of my clients that have helped make the year an amazing one, and I'm looking forward to seeing what next year has in store.
I look forward to working with you soon.

Friday, August 16, 2013


 Entering this for the Chic Critique Magazine cover contest.

Custom gown, professional make-up, and gorgeous student.
We had an amazing day!
Stay tuned for the rest of the session...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gown by: Carol Grimmer
Make-up by: Moderne Beauty
Photography by: Me

Friday, August 9, 2013

Leaving Your Mark

When I was little one of my favorite things to do with my Grandmother was to explore the finds in her attic. 
I always felt like a modern day archaeologist, as there was always something amazing to discover.
She had the neatest things, from old lunch tins to pretty sewing thimbles, to letters tied with strings. 
When I encountered these handcrafted Heirloom Boxes I knew I had to add them to my product offerings if only to honor my Grandmother!
An Attic Find
I know she would be so thrilled to discover this in her attic.  (And really, who wouldn't?)
This box is gorgeous, and the attention to detail is amazingly exquisite.
From the dovetail corners to the oil rubbed finish, and the logo etched into the smooth planed wood just begs to be touched. 
(The rest of the finishes are stained and sealed and are equally stunning from Black Northern Ash to Traditional Cherry.)
I altered my logo just a tad so it showed well on the box, it looks so much more amazing in person! 
I have an option for families to have their name engraved on the box if they wish.
Perhaps their married name and wedding date? Or baby's name and birthdate?
What Lies Within
The beauty doesn't stop on the outside, for when you open it you notice treasures just begging to be discovered!
Little Vials
Including five little glass vials, perfect for a lock of hair, a bit of sand, dried flowers, or even some of your favorite perfume.
(This one has lavender in it, and smells so sweet.)
A feather
 Nestled on the bottom of the box is a leather satchel full of images, a peacock feather from my wedding bouquet, a secret skeleton key, and what's in the corner?
The Conents
 A collection of letters on handcrafted paper, wrapped in a lovely little piece of lace.
Wedding Lace
This lace happens to be from my wedding gown! :-)
The skeleton key says Memory, and reminds me of the ones we used at my grandmother's house.  
(I know she'd approve!)
Leather Satchel
As you open the leather satchel you realize that they contain pretty little cloth packages.
(They remind me of the remnants we kept for quilt squares...)
Family Treasures
As you unwrap these remnants, your eyes are suddenly drawn to the images.
These are of my other grandmother, the one that I never got to meet.
They are the only things I have of her, and are truly precious beyond words.
Safely Wrapped
Although this box starts with two cloth pieces, it can hold oh so much more!
I have found some amazing fine-art printers that will print your photos on cloth rag just like the artists did years ago.  The paper is thick and substantial, and looks so amazing as photographs, they are the perfect complement to this heirloom box.
(Of course I was too excited to wait for it to arrive, so instead you're seeing images of my past instead.)
Family Memories
I have to admit, I enjoyed selecting the treasures for this box as much as I loved unwrapping it,
and I look forward to helping my clients select their special images to include in their very own nostalgia box!
I love the thought that a little something I helped create will be stored in such a lovely container for future generations to discover and enjoy.
It makes the archeologist deep within me happy at the thought, and I know my Grandmother would be proud that I'm passing along such a wonderful tradition to the next generation.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

An Adoption Story

One of the most rewarding things about my photography business, is helping others, and sometimes this help comes in ways I never imagined.
When I was contacted by a lovely couple to help take images for their birthmother letter I was over-the-moon thrilled to be a part of such an amazing journey.
I know of so many wonderful families that are currently going through the adoption process, and it's definitely not as easy as one might think!
Located in San Jose, they have the cutest dogs that love to go on walks either in their neighborhood or in one of the gorgeous parks that California has to offer.
(The pups love to play and can hardly contain themselves at the thought of a new family member to join in on the fun!)
Some of the best placements are those that are referred through networking.
So this post not only shows some of the images I took during their session,
but it is also a request for you to keep this lovely couple in mind if you come across someone who's pregnant and thinking about adoption. 
 So please share their story with you friends and family, and the next time you're at your doctor share their story with your OB/GYN, or family practitioner, as you never know who they might know, and it could be just the conversation that helps create a family! 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you want to read more about this wonderful couple, or wish to share their story, their "Dear Birthmother" letter can be found below.
Hopefully someday soon I'll be sharing their new baby photos with you!

Friday, June 28, 2013

California Country ~ Behind the Scenes Session

On Wednesday we videotaped a "behind the scenes" session in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
You may remember the call for models I placed on Facebook awhile back...
It was fun seeing the different applicants, and it was hard to select just one!
I ended up selecting this sweet gal, who is a self described "tomgirlygirl",
a tom-boy with a little girliness thrown in.
I felt for the locations we chose she'd be a perfect fit!
A pretty pony
She was so wonderful, and we had such fun!
This horse (named Tapatime) volunteered for the session as well, and he even got his own model release!
(The halter is my mare's show halter and we just happened to have it with us.)
There's something about girls and horses that just calls to me.
Although she hasn't spent much time around horses, this tomgirlygirl was a natural!
This is a little sneak peak of my "minions".  For this session I ended up having two assistants for reflectors.
They did such a great job, I had to take at least one picture to show the set-up.
(The video should show more, and I can't wait to see it and share it with you all!)
But until then I'll share a couple more images.
I so LOVED these cute shoes, I really like the image in color,
but the location and cute boots kept pulling me towards something more vintage. 
Flowers Vintage
And so I just had to comply!
The images we captured will look amazing in one of my folio boxes, and I can't wait to see them in print!
Wouldn't this make a cute card too?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beach Inspired

I've been wanting to do beach images for a while,
but needed someone who was willing to humor me in the cold and wind. 
The goal was to actually have the waves crashing closer to us,
but the rocks were much too slippery from the sea weed and the wind way too strong for that to happen.
But that didn't stop us from getting some gorgeous images all the same.
As much as I love the vibrant colors in the first image,
I'm drawn to the soft dreamy quality of the Black and White.
Which one would you choose?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Behind the Scenes Video

I've been itching to do a behind the scenes video, and finally got around to compiling one from the Mother Daughter Session I did earlier this month. I hope to post more of these going forward, as it is such fun to see the reactions of the girls during the reveal of their make-up session. 

This was my first attempt at iMovie and the first time I used my new iPhone. 
I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes sneak peak!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Decoration Day

Growing up my Grandmother referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day.
Whenever it arrives I have a vivid memory of piling into our car and journeying on the dusty gravel roads to pick up my Great Grandmother
so we could decorate the graves of those who have gone before.
(She lived in a one-room school house, but that's another story for another time.)
Beautiful patriotic arrangement at Breitbach's Country Diner in Balltown, IA. (2012)
I must have been young, as in my memory I am looking up at the towering figures that were my elders.
The cemetery we went to visit was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by large trees and tall grasses.
I fondly remember my Grandmother, my Great Aunt, and my Great Grandmother walking along the lane ahead of us as they carried their floral tributes.
(Which often included peonies from their gorgeous gardens.)
The photo above is my grandmother at my age (on the left) and my Great Grandmother.
  My Great Grandmother made her own clothes, often out of pretty cloth flower sacks,
she also wore the prettiest prairie bonnets with ruffles on them!
Her hair was longer than her waist but she always wore it up and tucked in under her bonnet.
Unfortunately I don't have a single picture of my Great Grandmother in her signature bonnet,
or when her gorgeous long grey hair was down.  I am truly grateful for the images we do have,
and on decoration day look fondly back on the memories of those who have gone before me.
Have a good weekend!
                                                                                                                            ~ Suzi

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Smiling Happy People

 I have been going through my images lately while backing them up to a new hard drive,
and I so enjoyed seeing some of my past clients
I thought I would make a fun collage out of a few of the images and share them with you as well.
There are so many reasons people choose a professional photographer, from head-shots to family portraits.  
 As I expand into contemporary glamour and include make-up and hair styling options in my packages,
I can't help but get excited about meeting even more wonderful people and their wonderful pets,
and of course capturing more images of my wonderful clients as well!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Great New Lunch Venue

If you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed a gorgeous salad and wrap I had at a new restaurant that's opening up in San Jose called Chef Mo's Cafe.
Some of you may recall I used to have my photo consultation meetings in her gorgeous victorian as well.

Now that it's open for lunch, my displays have changed, and are no longer samples of the different mediums I have for sale, but instead they will be gorgeous wall collages that are available for purchase.

The images in this collage were taken last July in Iowa. It was 104 degrees and humid that week, and absolutely miserable, which explains why you don't see anyone out walking.  I love all of the green hillsides and grasses, and was drawn to the railroad tracks.and rusty fence lines   These are the hillsides of my childhood and are what I think of when someone says Iowa, versus the endless flat stretches of corn most people experience from traveling I-80.  I am hoping the patrons of the restaurant will enjoy this glimpse of Northeast Iowa as well.
Of course, the hills of my adulthood are also displayed, this collage is of some of the gorgeous vineyards in Northern California.   The young grapes were captured in the Santa Cruz mountains, while the gorgeous fall colors were captured in Sonoma.  I even have a cluster or two featured from a Livermore vineyard.  I just love the colors and textures of the vines, and can't wait to see this on display!
The last collage I have created for the space consists of flowers from my garden.  (and a visiting ladybug too.)
I am looking forward to seeing these in their new home, and thought I would give you a sneak peak as well.  (These are all screen shots from my order.)

I hope you will find an excuse to stop by Chef Mo's for lunch, her food is amazing!
(The above is a massaged kale and mango salad with Indian spiced chicken salad, and ginger lemongrass tea.)
She's right next to Devine Grind Coffee shop on North Second and Devine. (Where I also have images displayed!)
Chef Mo Cafe
I will be sure to let you know when my collages are up, but please don't let that stop you from stopping by! 
She's open Monday-Friday from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, and be sure to let her know Suzi sent you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Did you get a bouquet today?

 I was growing up we always went out and picked some "May Flowers" today, and gave them to our Mom, neighbors, friends, etc.  
If time allowed, that usually meant tromping through the woods to find wildflowers!  I fondly remember picking pretty bouquets of trillium, columbine, blood-root (it stained your hands red when picked), Dutchman's breeches, violets, buttercups, wild geranium, and Sweet William.  Pretty weeds and grasses sometimes found their way into the arrangement as well.  If we were lucky we might find a Morel Mushroom or two! (Although they usually wait until Mother's Day to make their appearance.)
Today I combined some roses with a few flowers I found in my yard. (Lavender and iris.)
I also combined a cute gift voucher as I'm partnering with a local florist to deliver a bouquet of roses (and pretty filler) on Mother's Day.
It's a pretty sweet deal, if I do say so myself.
Since I didn't have any flowers from the florist yet, I made up my own arrangement for now.
The white iris are actually fragrant, and compliment the lavender quite well.  
There are also a few pretty white day lilies in the mix too.
I can't wait to see who'll be getting flowers and photos this Mother's Day!
Yeah for May!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

100 Fans!

I'm so excited to have 100 fans on Facebook, it is also close to my 8th month anniversary since launching my business last August 25th.  What a better way to celebrate than a giveaway to thank my fans and followers?
The main prize is a $100 Certificate from Suzi Worley Photography to be used towards prints.
Plus a bonus gift of either Two tickets to Filoli Gardens. (as pictured above)
OR a $25 Starbucks Gift-Card!
I'm hosting the give-away here and on my Facebook page.
If you haven't followed this page be sure to do so.
As I hope to have some milestone prizes for my blog this year as well!
Winners will be announced by Monday May 6, 2013.
Good luck!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Trying Something New

I've been taking a class online and the instructor mentioned using V-flats as backgrounds and she said you could always make your own out of insulation boards.
I decided this sounded like it would be a fun project to try for my Mother/Daughter session that weekend, so I did a bit of shopping.
I purchased some pretty paints including some pretty faux finish ones.
And then I choose some polystyrene boards.
I liked the concept of the 3/4" board, but found that with any bit of breeze it wanted to get away from us, and the 1" ones ended up being my favorites.
Removing the Foil
I had to remove the foil on one side, and will have to do another coat of paint on it, as some of the metal flecks were still visible after my first coat.
(Even with the all-in-one paint/primer combo.)
I painted right over the plastic and blue wording on the other side without any problem.
Milk Paint
The black paint was some milk paint I found in our shed. I loved the deep coal black color it produced.
Here are the colors before I put the green faux finish on the tan board and used a stipple brush and metallic finish on the rose one.
The other sides are now a lovely winter's day blue, tadpole green, and popcorn white.
They even managed to dry before my session!
~ Stay tuned to see them in action. ~

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Visit from Zander

If you follow my Facebook business site you might recall Zander came to visit me earlier this year.
He's Wandering the World to help a group of very special people in Florida.
Although he visited San Francisco earlier on his way to China, he hadn't been to San Jose.
 I was so excited he could stop by for a visit!
He was a lovely guest, he even helped me make breakfast one morning!
(I think he liked the green eggs best.)
He helped pick lemons from our lemon tree.
Since it was February this was one of the few places that had green grass and Zander made the most of the warm weather.
 He took a break and played hide-and-seek in the flowers with his Teddy Bear.
And then we drove "over the hill" to Santa Cruz, where Zander tried out his skills as a Life Guard.
He made sure to take some time and enjoy the view of the pier and listen to the sea lions.
I'm sure he would have loved to ride the Beach Boardwalk's wooden roller coaster too, but it doesn't start up until summer.  Perhaps some day he'll come back for another visit!
We were so busy Zander had to rest a bit on these wooden parking dividers before we continued up the coast. 
It was super windy and cold by this gorgeous brick Light House, but Zander really loved the green grass and flowers, and thought it was the perfect spot for a photo op.
The time passed quickly and soon it was time for Zander to head to Southern California.
His last stop?  Australia!  I have to admit I wanted to tag along in his suitcase for that trip! 
I guess I'll just have to wait for the book to come out instead!