Susannah McPhelim: Blog en-us (C)2023 Susannah McPhelim [email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Thu, 06 May 2021 15:32:00 GMT Thu, 06 May 2021 15:32:00 GMT Susannah McPhelim: Blog 80 120 WINTER BLUES Welcome back!  Now I say this to you, as well as to myself.  After a busy fall, the anticipated lull hit...with which I ran.  It's been pretty sweet - rested, had fun, re-connected with family and spent time with friends, spent time with the apartment, had a few dates, and even found a tv show that I am into, which never seems to happen (HBO series 'Girls' - terrific).  Ate well and drank well.  Oh, and a purchased my first new car, which was promptly totaled while parked outside of my apartment building as I slept, but that's neither here nor there...just a little passive-aggressive on my end.  So, needless to say, while the quiet time has been a luxury, its novelty is surely wearing off.  And, I need to pay rent like everybody else.  Oops, I ALMOST forgot.   As I'm assured many of you can relate, I am a much happier person when I feel productive.  The expression, "Need something done, ask a busy person,"  has never rung/rang? truer.  I find that even the simplest work tasks, ie - replying promptly to emails, placing a few orders - seem to be 600x's more difficult to do when they're the ONLY things you have convinced yourself you HAVE to do.  Not a good cycle.  So, it is time to get back into the groove and get back to work! 

I have all of you reading this to thank for the gigantic push you all gave me in June.  I love that you sent me your holiday cards and that you keep in touch.  This experience has changed my world - and has given me different perspective on life, and of myself.  At times of doubt, I wonder if I'm delusional.  Other times, I am reminded that any potential success as 'a creative," or as 'an entrepreneur,' our sink-or-swim in a healthy market is entirely up to us - directly correlated to our effort and dedication to how we do business.  That being said, the leaps of faith of family, friends, neighbors and friendly faces as well as strangers have meant a great deal to me and on various levels.  I just hope that in exchange I've helped you put together a family keepsake.  

In an attempt to be productive this evening, I've put together an album of 'pretty things,' a collection of some favorites that I like to think are indicative of my personal style...contrasting and imperfect, yet feminine and gentle.   Please enjoy, and thanks again for keeping me company :)

Wishing you health, love and success in the new year, 

susannah xx

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Mon, 28 Jan 2013 07:25:31 GMT
saturday night fever. The uptown girl hits the scene downtown with a purpose.  Camera in hand, I was given the chance to be a fly on the wall and to take an interesting gander into the 'behind-the-scene.'  What I witnessed was an admirable team mentality amongst a polite, hard-working and well-organized staff, and a clientele with a love for music, dancing and a penchant for looking fresh-to-death.  Long live the hip-hop generation, and the boundaries it crosses; long live DC for being the host to such greatness.  And of course, a big thank-you to both Love Nightclub and The Park at 14th for giving me the opportunity to expand my artistic endeavors. 


[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Tue, 04 Sep 2012 16:49:30 GMT
the improper bostonian?

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Wed, 29 Aug 2012 18:08:23 GMT
give a man a fish... feed him for a day. 

Teach him how to fish,

you feed him for lifetime.

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Tue, 14 Aug 2012 23:10:36 GMT
make way for ducklings.

quack, quack.

Southwest Waterfront, Washington Harbor

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Mon, 13 Aug 2012 17:26:10 GMT
art is everywhere. in everything.  


  1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination

Seriously, I am floored by the number of people transforming dreams into realities.  I seem to be meeting more artists every day.  I have also found folks are more willing to talk to you when they can see you are on a mission, particularly when they're on a mission themselves.  With camera in hand, we headed down the to the fish market down at the Washington Harbor (Southwest Waterfront), a longtime DC establishment.  It took me a moment to get comfortable enough to start snapping away but the place was POPPING. Black, white, orange, green - you really can't find a more diverse spot in the city.  And despite the heat the air was light - folks were happy, eating yum seafood and making a mess to their hearts content. Trying to do things legitimately, I picked a few people in a totally random fashion and asked, or montioned as if to say, 'may I?'  Every person I approached agreed and did so, enthusiastically.  I handed each person my card (til I ran out), with a link to this here site.  Let me introduce you to a few of the folks I met.  This will take place in a series, and this is the first installment.

When I handed this man my card and asked permission, I am embarrassed to say that I forgot to get his name!  The stand belonged to Miller Farms in Clinton, Maryland.  I do know that he is the father of 5 sons, and has a 100% positive demeanor - the sort of thing that develops from an individual's own sense of accomplishment.  He is a proud farmer and businessman.  He had one of his sons there working with him, and I watched them both work very hard - and his display was impeccable.  I related to him.  Hell, I woulda stuck around all day talking to him.  But I know how it goes - we've both got businesses to run; can't spend our days simply shootin the breeze! Time is money.  That being said, he clearly finds the time to smile.


Please stay tuned in for an intro to my next character.

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Sun, 12 Aug 2012 22:52:09 GMT
pretty things. As anticipated, I am realizing that in spite of the terrific support I have received from so many, it will be impossible to support myself on portrait photography alone during this first year.  I've been brainstorming ways in which I can broaden my base, develop other skills, and supplement the business.   One idea I had was to begin selling architectural prints, some of which I wanted to share here with you.  My vision would be to have any combination of these (between 4-6 5x7's) arranged to create a wall mural.  Please enjoy and stay tuned for the mural I'm going to hang on my own wall.  Excited and off to place my print order right now!  Happy Friday!

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Fri, 10 Aug 2012 17:55:53 GMT
that was yesterday. So much has changed, but it's comforting knowing some integrity is maintained..

14th and U Streets, NW

Applicable here, but also to life in general.

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Thu, 09 Aug 2012 17:53:12 GMT
teach them well.

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

-crosby still nash young

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Fri, 03 Aug 2012 20:50:13 GMT
amis canins. pups need portraits, too.

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Thu, 02 Aug 2012 22:20:26 GMT
bmore creative. My entry to the world of self-employment has taken me on quite a journey, and it has only just begun.  I am meeting all types of people, the 'creative types,' so to speak.  Folks who work from home or online. Folks who take on a menagerie of various projects to pay the bills.  Folks who are working very hard at creating a name or a brand for themselves, who are taking risks putting themselves out there in a fierce market and trying to develop that aha! idea that will guarantee separation from the competition.  Folks who stay up late and wake up early, who have developed the self-discipline to work overtime and when no one is looking.  Who knew this world existed?  Not me, never really thought much about it.  But it's fascinating, and I am thrilled to be slipping into it.  Here is a photo of one of these very people - my friend, Elliot.  Elliot is a Silver Spring native, UMBC grad, and DC-based freelance web developer and digital media consultant who manages to stay pretty busy.  He is working on finalizing the release of a fantastic idea (can't say much more than that just yet, but those of you who have children will want to stay tuned).  I see potential for a great collaboration here.  The Saturday before last we headed up to the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore for their annual Artscape.  Talk about an incredible show.  Granted it was pouring for the first several hours we were there, but that just meant we had to take shelter in one of Bmore classic dives - which if you know me, you know this is never a problem.  The best part was that everyone else at the Mount Royal Tavern were fellow show-goers who were looking to stay dry.  Point being, it was a fun bunch.  Once the doppler showed the coast to be clearing just before dark, we headed out and did a very quick but thorough walk of the entire span of Artscape, across numerous city blocks.  Here are a few of my favorites... These three guys seem to represent popular styles of three different decades.

Outside of Club Choices...such a GREAT name for a club - was clear that this was a hot-spot in the 80's - probably still is.

Final thought - I WILL be at Artscape 2013. 

C'est tout pour le moment!


[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Tue, 31 Jul 2012 19:59:40 GMT
beauty abounds. it's everywhere.

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Tue, 31 Jul 2012 16:38:25 GMT
the birth of children at play. The Hundred Languages of Childhood

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says: NO WAY the hundred is there--


Loris Malaguzzi
Founder of the Reggio Approach

[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Mon, 30 Jul 2012 18:45:38 GMT
love affair. I first picked up a camera not at age eight, not at 18, but at 28.  The director of our preschool had provided each team of teachers with a very simple point-and-shoot to use to document life in our classroom.  I took to it immediately, couldn't put it down, and quickly became the camera hog.  A parent asked if I would be interested in snapping a few for their Christmas card.  After working through the self-doubt and performance anxiety, I agreed.  However, I couldn't use the school's camera to profit, so started the hunt for my first very own camera.  Overwhelmed by choices and on a strict budget, I spent the next few weeks buried in online reviews.  I ended up deciding on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8.  I couldn't recommend a better camera for someone just starting out.  I loved it so much in fact, that I wore it into the ground and purchased a second - though by that time, it was much harder to find.  I spent $300 on that camera, which over a span of 3 years netted me over 10k, shooting children's portraits as a side gig.  But by September of 2012 however, I realized I had outgrown this camera and was ready for an upgrade.  Again overwhelmed by the selection, I took somewhat of a gamble and settled on the Canon 60D body.  My research had told me over and over again to purchase a solid body, but to make the real investment in the glass.  And so that's just what I did.  Each new lens is a gift to myself, and broadens my world.  This being said, I am a firm believer that 'the equipment is only as good as the photographer who uses it.'  Nonetheless, a professional offers professional equipment.

My camera has been my best friend at times.  It has brought pleasure, provided therapy, lent satisfaction, and given me a sense of accomplishment.  My work never ends, and there will ALWAYS be more for me to learn.  Having this as an ongoing project is one of the best things that has happened to me - and morphing my love of photography from a hobby into a business is my biggest adult challenge to date.  The term PERSONAL REWARD is written all over the place.

signing off....xx


[email protected] (Susannah McPhelim) Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:10:45 GMT