Exploring Lincoln has been running for almost a year now, and in that time I have taken a lot of photographs. I bought my camera (a Nikon d5100 for those of you who wonder) a day or two after I registered the domain name and created the Facebook page, and have been trying to learn to be a better photographer ever since. It is an addictive pursuit, and one that requires you to invest both time and money for equipment.
But it all seems worth it when you manage to capture that perfect moment. The subject of this week’s business profile – Sara Susen of Susen Photography – is one who is always looking for the shot that records the right moment forever.
“I’m a moment catcher. I look for those moments.” she told me. I got a chance to talk with Sara about her new favorite type of photography – newborn photos – and that was when she gave me the Tennessee Williams quote above. It was a quote she first heard and used back in high school, and it has since become one that is even more applicable to her life now that she works as a photographer.
I asked her about her start in photography, and she said that she initially signed up for a class while in high school at Mt. Ararat in Topsham, but now regrets having had to drop it due to a busy work load. She didn’t try it again until years later, when she started scrapbooking. “I got tired of having to cut out all this extra stuff in my photos, so I decided to learn to become a better photographer.” After about a year of spending a ridiculous amount of money on film and developing, Sara upgraded to a digital Canon and pursued photography in earnest.
I was first introduced to Sara’s work 5 or 6 years ago, when she shot some family photos for me. They were outside shots, done in black-and-white, and she did an excellent job of capturing my wife and me, along with our 4 wriggling kids. Every photographer has different strengths. Some are better at landscapes, or nature, or buildings. But for Sara it is people. “I love life.” she says, “Weddings, families, seniors, newborns – I love to shoot photos of people.” And from what I have seen of her work over the years, she has a knack for it.
Recently I have been seeing her newborn photos popping up on Facebook, and asked about this new direction. “I’ve just recently fallen in love with newborn photography” she said. “After all, who doesn’t love a newborn? The newborn phase is so short – it’s only a few weeks before they don’t fit in the crook of your arm anymore, and the fuzzy hair goes away. My babies aren’t babies anymore, so I want to help people capture that unique period of time.”
Sara says that between 3 to 10 days old is the perfect time for newborn photos. “They are still super moldable at that age, and will sleep in almost any pose. It allows you to get very creative. At that age almost nothing wakes them, but the older they get the harder it is.” She says that at a few days old almost all they do is eat and sleep, so as long as you don’t mind getting peed on (Sara doesn’t – her last client caught her with a full stream) you can get some great shots.
She told me that a newborn shoot usually takes around 4 hours, but that varies depending on the feeding schedule of the child. Sara travels to the mom and baby to take the photos, and brings all the necessary props. Having had four children of her own, Sara is very comfortable with babies, and tries to make the session as easy as possible for new moms. Anyone who has ever had to drag their kids to the photographer at a department store will appreciate that.
Her other goal in taking newborn photos is to make it affordable for young families. Diapers, wipes, bottles, and bassinets have a way of stretching budgets, but Sara’s rates for newborn pictures are very reasonable, especially given the quality of the results. I personally know how much time it takes to edit photos, and was surprised to hear her rates. This is definitely a labor of love for her.
If you are going to be a parent or grandparent soon, I encourage you to check out her work and then contact her for more information. You can see more of her newborn and other photos on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SusenPhotography, and can email her at email@example.com. She can help you capture those unique moments before they slip away.
About the AuthorSteve Brown is the founder and CEO (Chief Exploring Officer) of Exploring Lincoln, and also the regional manager for the Penobscot Valley Explorer. If you’d like to contact him, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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