Susan Dixon Photography » Blog

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When I stumbled across this vintage, bohemian-styled wedding dress, I knew that it was destined to be in a styled bridal session. The details came together as I picked a color palette and looked for accessories. A rustic setting fit with this concept, and Camp Milton Historic Preserve provided the perfect backdrop. The bouquet and florals were a combination of purchased stems and foraged greenery. I already owned many of the table details; others were sourced from local thrift and antique stores.

One of the BEST things about this Jacksonville styled photography session is that I was able to collaborate with other creatives. A local makeup artist, Erin Wernisch (Beautiful Faces by Erin) did the makeup for our gorgeous model, Kelcy Smith. Erin did a fabulous job on Kelcy’s makeup, which lasted throughout our outdoor session!

Another creative that contributed to this styled shoot is Brittany Russell (Letter Lane Design Studio). Although Brittany lives in Nebraska, we “met” in a Facebook group for The Rising Tide Society. Brittany provided all of the press items you see in the session. She did a wonderful job with handwritten calligraphy! I absolutely adore the way that she used plum ink to compliment the details.

I would consider myself blessed to work with these awesome ladies again in the future!

If you’ve never heard of The Rising Tide Society, check them out HERE. The Rising Tide Society is a group of creatives and entrepreneurs who believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” It’s about community over competition. Pretty cool.

To be honest, this is my second styled shoot….but my first with other collaborators. It took a lot of planning, but I absolutely love the end result! It was extremely fulfilling to have a concept in my head —–> and then get to see it take shape and come to life. I also learned a lot. (Like how hard it is to arrange flowers and WHY having a professional florist is so important.)

What will the theme be for my next styled photoshoot? I have a few ideas. :)  For now, enjoy some of my favorite images from my boho inspired styled bridal session.

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I’m excited to share some of my new samples with you! I order most of my professional prints/albums/etc. from Miller’s Professional Imaging. I primarily focus on big albums. I’ve seen their mini accordion albums on the website many times, but for some reason I had never ordered one……that is, until recently! :)

These cute mini albums are PERFECT for sharing! At 3″ x 3″, one of them can easily slipped into a pocket of a purse. For added protection, each comes with a sturdy, protective acrylic sleeve. Yet they unfold to reveal several gorgeous images.

I customized the covers on these samples, so each has its own front and back image. The covers are magnetic, so the album stays closed in its “natural” position. (You can also order these with plain covers if you wish.) When open, there are six panels for images on the front inside, and there are four panels for images on the back side.

I used three different templates to add the images to each album above. Really, the possibilities are endless. It’s a great way to showcase favorite images from a photography session or an entire wedding. And these make great gifts! And, as you may guess, they are MUCH less expensive than a full-size album.

Two of the samples above are from recent weddings. I included several images of the bride and groom, plus a few shots of the venue and wedding party. I think it’s the perfect mix that features the couple and gives the viewer a feel of the wedding. What a great summary of their special day!

For the maternity sample, I included a variety of poses….some close up and some wide, environmental shots. The location we chose was a nature preserve, which is absolutely  G O R G E O U S !!!  And her maternity gown? That’s equally beautiful. It’s part of the maternity wardrobe that I own for clients to borrow. This particular gown is a lovely neutral champagne dress from Sew Trendy.

Consider adding on an accordion album (or two or three) with your next photography session. You’ll be glad you did!

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It was such an honor to capture Tawnee and Cody’s recent wedding at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village! I’m pretty sure that all of us checked the weather about 100 times leading up the the ceremony. We were so blessed to have NO rain. Not during pictures. Not during the ceremony. Not during pictures afterward. It may have rained during the reception, but we didn’t care, because it was inside the museum at World Golf Village.

Tawnee and her bridesmaids got ready in a suite at the Renaissance. It was great to have extra room. And I love the matching robes that Tawnee got for her bridesmaids. How cute! I was happy that she scheduled extra time for everyone to get ready. The timing worked out just right. Even though Tawnee opted NOT to see her groom before the ceremony, she did a first look with her father. That was very touching. She also did a first look with her brother.

The ceremony itself took place just outside the resort. The permanent gazebo provided the perfect backdrop. Tawnee’s family added some fabric and flowers to make it even more special. While there was no rain, it was quite windy. That made the ceremony (and the pictures before and after) a bit interesting! But everyone agreed that we would settle for strong winds ANY day over rain. Period.

Following their sweet wedding ceremony, the happy couple had a wonderful time with their family and friends at their reception. It was held inside the museum at World Golf Village. The main reception hall was transformed with yards and yards of draping. Beautiful! Laughter and dancing made the night one they will remember forever!


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Ceremony Venue: Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village

Reception Venue and Caterer: World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum

Hair and make-up: Hayley Jean

Florist: Sandra Pfaff  Anything with Plants

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Cake: Tamatha Cain Choux Cake Studio

DJ: Mark Sanborn Platinum Entertainment DJ

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One of my favorite things in the world is absolutely free. Wildflowers are everywhere this season, and they can be enjoyed without spending a dime. I love the way that God blesses us with these beautiful treasures! It’s important to slow down and take the time to notice them.

This is an image of one of the most humble of all wildflowers–clover. It can be found pretty much anywhere in Jacksonville. And all over much of the United States. I know it’s a weed. And, although I really don’t like it growing in my yard, I think it’s quite pretty.

This is a macro shot I took while waiting for my daughter’s soccer game to start. I made this image using my Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I also used a macro extension tube. This particular set comes with three options: 13 mm, 21 mm, and 31 mm. It’s designed to allow your camera to auto focus when in use. (Cheaper versions that require manual focus exist.)

For this particular shot, I used the shortest (13 mm) tube. I’ve found that it’s best to use a small aperture when working with macro extension tubes. I shot this on f/11.  In addition, adding a macro tube automatically makes images darker, so you have to account for that. The macro extension tube attaches to the camera, and then you attach the lens you desire to the extension tube.

I almost always use my 50 mm lens for shots with macro extension tubes. I’ve found that it works best. I’m sure that you could use other lenses if you desire. I just prefer the 50 mm. I think I’ve gotten used to it, and I’m able to predict how things will look with the different competitions.

Back to wildflowers… favorite one of all is the black-eyed Susan. I bet you can guess why. :) They are so cheerful. Once, when I was little, a very nice lady made and decorated a black-eyed Susan cake for me. That made me feel really special!

Some of my other favorites are dandelions (just NOT in my yard) and wisteria. What are your favorites?


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I guess you can say I have a love/hate not so much love relationship with Instagram. OK….so maybe I picked the lamest title EVER. But it’s how I feel about Instagram. Truth.

I love it because…….

(1) I can post my work/things that inspire me and share these with my followers. In my photography business, I focus on wedding photography + custom engagement and maternity images. It’s great to be able to share my work on a daily basis.

(2) I can follow other photographers I love. I gain so much inspiration from their work! It helps me see what’s possible and expand my own creativity.

(3) I can follow my friends and family. This lets me see what they’ve been up to. And comment/like their photos.

(4) Other photographers–even very well-known ones–will often interact with me when I comment on their posts. That’s pretty awesome!

(5) I can search for specific things–like #Jacksonville–to know what’s going on in a certain place or person or event or idea. (Such as #gastrofest or #prom2016 or #campmilton.)

(6) It’s really encouraging when other people like and comment on my work. People that would never see it were it not for Instagram.


And I don’t like Instagram so much because…..

(1) Comparison can be SO horrible. You know it. I know it. Yet it still happens. All. The. Time. It’s one thing to get inspiration. It’s another thing when you find yourself feeling bad and/or depressed because your work just doesn’t measure up.

(2) People unfollow me all the time. And I just have to wonder WHY? Did they suddenly decide they don’t, in fact, like my work? Is it because I didn’t follow them back? (I HATE that game!) Is it because I’ve been posting too often? ….not often enough? Is my work not consistent enough for them? Did I post a quote/Scripture that offended them? I will never know. But it seems like I hover around approximately the same amount of likes, yet I gain and lose followers all the time.

(3) The worst is when I post an image of myself….and then get unfollowed. Ouch.

(4) I sometimes find myself spending too much time on Instagram.

(5) It’s really easy to fall into a pattern of simply mimicking others–instead of being creative and putting my own spin on things.


So…..I really do mostly like Instagram. And some of the negative things about it are either things that I CAN control (like limiting my time on it) or things I can control by responses to. Instagram doesn’t define me. It never should. And whether I have 50 or 5000 followers, that’s not where I should ever look to for my self-worth. Ever. So I’m going to keep posting away. And enjoy Instagram, all the while being aware of and trying to avoid the negative aspects of it.

And, in case you’re curious… can view my Instagram profile HERE.

What about you? How do you feel about Instagram. And, more importantly, how do you handle the negative aspects about it? Please feel free to comment below or send me a private message.

Happy Instagramming!

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