Susan Dixon Photography » Jacksonville wedding & portrait photographer

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When Hurricane Matthew made his appearance, he left behind some damage. But, as Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

I’m a big believer in learning from mistakes and hard times. I tell that to my kids ALL THE TIME.


So here are a few things I’ve learned (or been reminded of) from Hurricane Matthew:

(1) Electricity is a gift and should never be taken for granted.    Matthew rolled in Friday morning, really ramping up in the afternoon. And we were fortunate to have our power for most of that day. And then, abruptly around 4:30 pm, it was gone. And we were in the dark for five days. Not fun. Basic things we took for granted just were not there. Like hot showers. The ability to cook. Air conditioning.

(2) Always be prepared.   Since we had plenty of warning before Matthew’s arrival, we took steps to prepare. I washed every single load of dirty clothes we had. We filled containers + our bathtub with water. We blew up air mattresses. We got ice. All of these things were a big help during and after the storm!

(3) Trees should never be taken for granted.   We lost some beautiful trees in our neighborhood, and pretty much every yard (including my own) was littered with branches, leaves, and moss following the storm. Several of my neighbors had trees fall on their houses, which leads me to my next point.

(4) No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s always someone who has it worse.  We lost power for five days. But some people’s houses were destroyed. So, while we were inconvenienced, things could have been much, much worse. I’ve been praying for my neighbors whose homes were destroyed by trees. Across town, other people had flooding and water damage. And it breaks my heart to see the devastation and loss of life in Haiti. I’m so sad for the people of that island nation! I’m praying for their recovery, too.

(5) A crisis reveals what’s truly important.   It’s really interesting how everything else came to a stop as we rode out the storm. School and work didn’t happen. We didn’t hear anything about the controversial Presidential election. Sports games were rescheduled. Everything just stopped, and we focused on what was important –> staying safe and making sure our family and friends were safe. Praying for God to protect us and others in the path of the storm.

Things are getting back to normal here in Jacksonville, but I think we are all changed just a bit. We have been reminded that nature can be extremely destructive, and there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it. And we’ve been reminded time and time again that people are more important than things. Period.

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  • chris

    Glad to hear that you are your family are safe.ReplyCancel

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Please allow me to introduce you to my new niece: Callie Shae.

She is just precious!  And here she is at three days old.

Although the focus of my photography business is on engagements, weddings, and maternity. I will occasionally photograph other types of sessions. And for my newest little niece, a newborn session was in order!

I love the fact that I was able to capture Callie during her first days at home with her family. That’s where the memories are made. :)

And Callie is settling in nicely with her mom, dad, and big brother. After having a boy, there’s a sweetness added to a family when a little girl comes into the picture. And pink…..lots of pink!

I’m sure you’ll see more of little Miss Callie as she grows up. That’s kind of what happens when your aunt is a photographer. …………But for now enjoy her newborn session. :)

luxe boa -> Jessy’s Props and Creations

crocheted teddy bear -> Boston Avenue Babies

newborn crown -> Handcrafted Crowns

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This past week I experienced the awesome privilege of photographing a marriage proposal! The best thing about it is that it was a complete SURPRISE to the bride-to-be!

When her boyfriend, Colby, and his family threw her a dinner party on her birthday, Kelcy really didn’t suspect anything. Her family and a few friends were there, as well. But they had big plans in store for her that night!

When Colby talked her into walking out on their neighbor’s dock, she was a little hesitant. He assured her that everything was OK. What she didn’t know is that I was hiding in the bushes…..waiting to capture the moment Colby popped the big question!

It didn’t take long for Kelcy to say, “Yes!!!” The look of surprise and joy on her face is priceless!

I love the fact that both of their families were there to share in their joy and excitement. That was very well-planned!

These two are so cute together! And so happy!!! I love the way Colby looks at her… sweet! I’m excited for them and all that is in store for them in the future.


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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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