Sue’s photography is more than just her subjects looking beautiful — it is about empowering them and boosting their confidence, feelings which last long after the makeup is removed and the hair is back into its pony tail. If a woman is having a bad day, it’s a shot in the arm to see gorgeous images of herself looking and feeling amazing. The whole experience is to “embrace yourself,” which in many cases is life-changing. Sue feels like a therapist sometimes, as she requires her subjects to complete a questionnaire and an interview which give her ideas about how to approach each personalized shoot. Some of Sue's clients travel hours to do sessions with her. Many are nervous, but end up having a wonderful time during the 3 hour photo session. Her shoots are the “ultimate girls’ day,” with each subject receiving professional hair and makeup to look and feel her best.
Having a boutique studio, Sue specializes in “low volume with a high end product.” She does about 4 - 7 sessions per month in her home-based studio, but that’s just a portion of the work she puts into it. In addition to the preparation she spends getting to know and understand her clients, she needs hours to work with the images to achieve the level of perfection Susan Page Photography is known for. Every client's images are given a full magazine-quality retouching process, which also sets her apart from a lot of other photographers. Sometimes, clients have a very specific idea of what they want, and in other cases Sue helps them discover it. One subject wanted to do a 50’s-style pin up shoot for her husband’s birthday, which involved sneaking his drum set into the studio so she could pose with it! Others props have included a groom’s fireman’s jacket and helmet, a husband’s construction tool belt, and a client’s own leather motorcycle unisuit and her lycra cycling jackets with her bikes. These last two outfits were paired with the hot pink 6” heels she also brought to her session!
Just before a milestone birthday, Sue switched sides and went behind the lens to pose for her own gorgeous pictures. According to her blog post, “I haven't regretted it for a second, in fact it was hands-down one of the most incredible, empowering experiences of my life and I can't wait to do it again!” Although she did it for herself, her boyfriend Kurt Hutchinson (subject of another instructor profile you can find here) appreciates the results! He has one of her images as a screen saver on his phone.
Sue graduated from Temple as a communications major and did some graphic arts as well. She worked in marketing in a very specialized industry, equine sports, which has its own trade publications, very specialized equipment, and often involves travel to fabulous locations. (Sound familiar, skiers and snowboarders?) She was a brand manager for a saddle company, did media buying, trade show displays, and pursued riders for sponsorships, among many other responsibilities. Her work involved eventing, the “triathalon of horse sports,” which includes dressage, cross country, and show jumping and brought her to Italy, Germany, Canada, England, South America, and throughout the United States. She started riding horses herself as an adult. She worked for other agencies until 2001 when she opened her own marketing firm, Spage Communications. She switched to photography full time in 2012.
Growing up in Lehighton, Sue started skiing around age 12 or 13, with an uncle who was an instructor at Jack Frost. She joined the women’s clinic around 2009, and was fortunate to have Sandy Fimiano as her coach, who encouraged her to pursue teaching. She joined the Blue Mountain staff in the 2010-2011 season. A year previously, she had met Kurt, but her first impression was not very positive, as she wondered, “Who’s the instructor with no helmet?” Five years later, they’re still together. Sue has a son and a daughter who are both excellent skiers, and wear helmets. Ryan has a fabulous princess hat on the top of hers! Sue earned her Children’s Specialist 1 this past season and may go after Alpine level 2 sometime in the future. She particularly enjoys “fine tuning” students who already have some skills and says it’s the “people who keep bringing her back” to Blue.
Sue has kindly given images of Blue Mountain to me for my personal raffle drawings and in 2015 generously donated a photo session for the overall Autism Speaks raffle. I was at the event and laughed out loud when notorious photobomber Jeff Hahn’s name was pulled. It may not be her usual boudoir shoot, but I’m Sue will make magic, as she has many times before!
Sheri Miltenberger, June 2016
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You can learn more about Sue’s photography at her website: http://www.spagephotography.com/, where Blue Mountain instructors will see some familiar faces! She also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SusanPagePhotography .
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