Susan, 2013. Bay Area, Glamour Photo Session

"In diversity there is beauty and there is strength." 
                                                 -Maya Angelou

I once heard someone say that everyone in this world has something to contribute and I couldn't agree more. It is my hope that each time I am privileged to photograph a woman, to learn more about her, to tell her story to the world, that I contribute to that beauty and strength of diversity Maya Angelou so eloquently writes about.


A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of photographing the lovely Susan. I grew up in a household full of love for all kinds of music and so when I found out she loved The Beatles, I almost high-fived her for being so cool. Her friendly demeanor and smile was nothing short of awesome to work with and I am honored to be able to share with you not only these photos from her recent photo shoot with me but also a little bit more about the person behind that friendly smile.

A special thanks to stylist Julianne Chai of Prettyologie for Susan's hair & make up! 

Happy Tuesday!

Give us a little snapshot of who you are...

I am a mom of two wonderful individuals, and the wife of a handsome Swede. I like baths, England, chocolate cake, databases, champagne, philosophical conversations, before and afters, wackiness, sleeping in, rainy weather, flying business class, The Beatles, Apple, Cary Grant, a clean house, coffee, giving compliments, and my German shepherd, Duchess. I don't like hot tuna or grape leaves, the words "yummy" or "tasty", debt, figuring out what to cook for dinner, busywork, Bruno Mars, and self-centered, negative, or phony people.

Who or what 3 things have helped shape you to be the woman you are today?

1. Being a part of a hilarious, kind, non-hysteria-prone family with incredible parents. Growing up, our house was full of friends and family with lots of laughs, music, and the sound of rolling dice!

2. The Beatles! Love for the Beatles launched my interest in England, travel, and learning about all different cultures.
3. College. I loved learning new ideas and ways of looking at things outside of the pre-fabricated education that came before then. I am still delighted when I learn something totally new, especially discovering a new way of looking at something I'd thought I knew everything about.
If you knew then what you know now as a woman, what would you have told your 18-year-old self?

Don't worry, everything will fall into place. My dad actually said that to me around that age, but if I could have really understood it and believed it then, I could have done a lot less fretting.

What leadership qualities do you most admire?

Patience, humor, compassion, and a clear vision that includes the big and small picture.


What are you most passionate about?

My kids and family. I used to feel passionate about pursuing and obtaining "happiness" but as I've gotten older I've shifted that focus to "satisfaction." Not in the Mick Jagger way, but in feeling that I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. That could be making someone else a little bit happier or better off, making progress on a project at work, or seeing my kids turn into kind, funny, wise people and knowing that I had a part in that.

What is your personal motto or mission statement?

"This too shall pass." Such a profound and powerful thing to remember during bad and good times.


If you could share a message about beauty, self-esteem, or self-worth to other women (whether older or younger), what would that be?

Each time you blame someone else for making you unhappy, you give away y our own power. Take responsibility for your own happiness and fulfillment in life. Don't waste time comparing yourself to others, instead compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.