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Chi-Town-Weddings Associate: Susie
Q: When did you shoot your first wedding?

A: Good question! The first wedding I shot on my own was in 2001. A mutual friend of the bride and groom recommended me, and now the bride and I are best buds!

Q: When did you starting shooting weddings on a regular basis?
A: I assisted a professional wedding photographer from about 1998-2003, the whole time saying I never wanted to shoot. I got burned out and quit, but learned so much from him that the desire to shoot on my own was growing even during my hiatus. I began shooting a little here and there until 2009 when I decided to make a go of shooting for a living.

Q: What is your style?
A: My photographic style can be described in many ways. I shoot formal and journalistic shots all day. I love framing the subject using the environment. I love silhouetting the subject with a sunset when possible. I love trying new things. I love a bride and groom who are adventurous.

Q: What do you like about photographing weddings?
A: My favorite thing about photographing weddings is all the happiness I get to be part of and capture. I shadow the couple all day, so I get to know early what makes them laugh, what makes them smile, and what they love about each other. I tell the bride that she’s going to smile so much that at the end of the day her cheeks will hurt. I’ve noticed lately that my cheeks hurt, too! It’s the relationships that are created – if only for a day – that I love about photographing weddings.

Q: What do you do when not shooting weddings?
A: When not shooting weddings I have a full-time job running around the city on public transit taking photos. Yes, I get paid to do that, which for me is a really fun job and it means I know the city and suburbs very well. In my spare time I am a volunteer photographer for Tree House Humane Society. I also play trumpet with Mucca Pazza and Girl Group Chicago.

Q: If you could be any animal, what would it be?
A: That bride I mentioned earlier, the first wedding I shot, she lives in the Caribbean now, and she has a dog. I’d love to be that dog. That dog goes sailing and hiking all the time. Buster, the Sailing Dog. Final answer.

Q: What is the greatest compliment you ever received from a Bride or Groom?
A: The greatest compliment I’ve ever received from a Bride or Groom is this: “You have been such a sport, and you’re so good at directing. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, or how to sit, or how to smile, but you told me exactly what to do.”

Q: Is there anything else you would like a Bride and Groom to know about you?
A: I take everything in stride. I keep a smile on my face all day so you can, too. I take great pride in the images I capture, as well as the attitude I present while I’m doing my job.

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