Susan Dixon Photography » Blog

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This past week, I had the honor of photographing Callie Shae’s entrance into this world. It was SUCH a beautiful experience!

As a photographer, great images are important.   But—more than that—it’s about telling a story. Each birth has it’s own story. It’s own rhythm. It’s own sweet, tender emotions.

Perhaps this particular birth was extra sweet because there had be several false alarms. Olivia had gone to the hospital (and they kept her) two or three other times. She was on bed rest for awhile. It was kind of tough. Each time, they thought, “This is it!” ……only to leave the hospital with more waiting in their future.

So when “the day” finally came, they wondered for awhile if it would actually happen this time. Happily, this time it was FOR REAL. Callie made her grand arrival in style! Callie Shae was born at 12:06 am on Thursday, September 8, 2016. She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces. She was 19.25 inches long. A perfectly beautiful and healthy baby girl!!!

Olivia did a fabulous job during the entire birthing process, and Steven supported her every step of the way. Both grandmas were there to welcome this precious little girl! The midwife and nurses and all of the other staff members at the hospital were fantastic!

I am scheduled to shoot Callie’s newborn pictures tomorrow in her home with her parents and adorable big brother. They’re going to be a great representation of the first few days of her life. It’s important to do a newborn session within the first 10 days when possible.

It’s so awesome that I was there to capture Callie’s first few moments with her parents and family. It is an honor to tell her very first story!

 

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This couple is just so ADORABLE….I want to pinch myself! Cheyenne and Peyton were high school sweethearts. Really, they started out as good friends. As their friendship blossomed into love, they continued to enjoy spending time with each other. And they are every bit as sweet on the inside as they are cute on the outside!

This session was “just for fun”…..(no ring yet), but it was really great to capture this sweet couple in San Marco. That happens to be where they had their first date. :) And how neat is it that we were able to get an image by themselves in front of the very theater they went to!!! ……And did you notice that Captain America was playing? (Keep scrolling down below.) They had just gone to see it together a day or two before this session. Too cute!

I love all things vintage, and the retro vibe of this session makes my heart happy. The dress that Cheyenne is wearing was found at an antique shop….circa 1960s. She rocked the look, and Peyton’s outfit compliments her perfectly!

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These past few months have been a little….crazy/busy/awesome! OK….A LOT crazy/busy/awesome!!!

I was blessed to be able to go on four major trips this summer. They were each unique and absolutely wonderful.

And then I came home from my last two (back-to-back) trips and went STRAIGHT into teaching. And coaching cross country. And being a soccer mom. And all of my other “normal” things.

Yes…I am definitely in my busy season. People are starting to book their fall portrait sessions. And I have a couple of out-of-the-ordinary sessions that I am REALLY, REALLY excited about for September!

So even though I’m busy, and my friends ask my how I do it, I’m still happy. And blessed. And I know that this is where God would have me be. Right here….right now. So it’s good.

I firmly believe that God equips us as we need things. And I’m so glad He does because I am almost always needing something–> strength, guidance, patience, discipline, and (at times) rescuing. And I know this also: I wouldn’t trade this season for anything.

So….hopefully soon I’ll catch up on my summer blogging. And file those papers. And clean up the clutter on my desk. But, until then, enjoy these figs. I picked them from the fig tree in my own backyard. :)

 

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I love ring shots! And I especially enjoyed these particular ring shots. I’m excited to share my new wedding ring with you!

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My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Yes! 25 years!!!

When we got married back in 1991, I really wanted a diamond wrap for my wedding ring. Back then, our funds were a little tight, so I settled for this pretty sapphire wrap. (JC Penney catalog) Our original intention was for me to have that first wrap for a few years, and then we would upgrade.

As you can imagine, time went by. We had kids. We moved around. We changed careers. As the years crept by, we never got around to replacing that ring.

As our 25th wedding anniversary approached, we decided that NOW is a great time to update my wedding set. We kept the original diamond, but we had it reset in white gold. Troy and I went to Faith Jewelers on Edgewood Avenue (Jacksonville, FL). They were extremely friendly, helpful, and PATIENT! I chose a gorgeous diamond wrap set in white gold.

I love my new ring! And I love that my husband was so supportive of me picking out something that I really liked. Oh, and he took me to New York City for a week, too. So we had a pretty awesome anniversary. And it proves that good things really do come to those who wait. :)

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Not too long ago, I realized something about myself. And it wasn’t pretty.

I was pretty much killing myself to do all of the “shoulds” that a professional photographer is supposed to do. And it was exhausting.

I blogged three times a week. I posted on Instagram multiple times a day. I updated my Facebook page often. I was active on Pinterest. I even tried to be active on Twitter. All of this was on top of all of my other daily responsibilities.

I bought into the false assumption that, if something works for _______ (enter whatever celeb photographer you want), it will work for me, too. I should have known better. I’ve experienced that same phenomenon in other areas of my life. Why did I think it would be any different in my photography business.

You see, I forgot one of the most important rules of owning your own business: BE YOURSELF. In other words, YOU BE YOU.

Say YES to getting advice.

Say YES to making changes.

Say YES to improving.

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But say NO to becoming a carbon copy of ANYONE else. It doesn’t matter how popular they are or how successful they are. Or how much money they make. Or how much money they promise that you will make. They are not you, and you are not them.

Say NO to listening and blindly following someone else’s directions without filtering this new information through YOUR business model and YOUR lifestyle.

Say NO to letting someone else define success for you.

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I mentioned before that I’ve gone through this in other areas of life. I’ve seen it in parenting. And I’ve seen it in the running world. And I’ve seen it when it comes to “growing” a church.

It seems like so many popular people have their own keys to success—–> things that have worked for THEM. And that’s awesome! But their situation is not the same as yours. They have a different personality. A different skill set. Different resources. And so many other things……

That’s when the concept of YOU BE YOU becomes so important. You have to filter what everyone says through your own priorities, situation, and experiences. And that’s OK. And you will make some mistakes. And that’s OK, too.

One of my mistakes was trying to blog three times a week with my crazy schedule. The thing was, the content I was putting out wasn’t really helping me that much. (And, sadly, it wasn’t really helping anyone else, either.) I really should have gone with once a week. Or maybe twice a week. Less content. More substance.

The great thing about owning your own business is that you can learn from your mistakes. You can reset. Restart. Renew your vision. We each travel a different road. Our journeys are much different from each other. And that is absolutely OK.

This concept extends beyond those who own their own business, too. Most of you know that I am an avid runner. I read  A LOT of blogs and information about running. (Yes, there really is that much info out there!) And I’ve learned to filter this information. For what works for me and my lifestyle. For what’s going to actually help me meet my OWN running goals. And that makes me much happier (and healthier) than jumping on every bandwagon that comes along.

I would love to hear from you. What do you think about the importance of filter information for your personal situation?

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