Susie loves producing narrative documentary stories. After almost 20 years of working as a documentary photographer in more than 20 countries, she changed pace to teach at Duke University and document life closer to home.
Susie became a documentary photographer after taking a college class in which she spent a full semester documenting one community. That first project changed the direction of her life because she experienced the power and excitement of deeply listening to people and telling their stories. She considers documentary work a collaboration with her subjects. She is continually astonished at the generosity of the people who allow her into their lives. She has worked in Africa, Europe, South America, Central America, and North America. For ten years, she worked primarily for the National Geographic Society, both in the magazine and book divisions. Many of those projects are here on this website. Other editorial clients included Life Magazine, People Magazine, US News & World Report, and Newsweek. Before becoming a freelancer, Susie worked for the Pittsburgh Press and the Morning News Tribune (Tacoma, WA). She also interned with the Sacramento Bee, West Palm Beach Post, Milwaukee Journal, and Charlotte Observer. Susie also devoted considerable time to working for non-profits. Some of these have included World Vision, the NC Food Bank, Food for the Hungry, MissionsUSA, and Compassion International. After many years of travel, Susie decided to travel less in order to be available for a different kind of project: family.
Throughout her career, Susie has been committed to also working as an educator. She has been teaching documentary photography at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies since 2003. As a lecturing fellow at Duke she teaches service learning classes that take students into the community and give them the opportunity to make a connection that goes beyond campus. She has previously taught at Western Kentucky University, the Missouri Photo Workshop and WKU's Mountain Workshops. She continually looks for new opportunities to mentor others.
Susie has a Masters of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. Yes! She went to Carolina and now teaches at Duke. Spring is always fun!🤪 Awards have included the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged. In the University of Missouri's Pictures of the Year Contest she has won individual portrait, feature, pictorial, issue reporting, and news awards. She has also had individual and portfolio placement in state and local contests.
Currently, Susie is working on a project on Main Street North Carolina, looking at the changes we face and the divisions we endure. Check that out on her blog or in the Main Street NC tab in Projects. Life is full — teaching at Duke, kids in high school and projects rolling. Get in touch! She would love to work together or just catch up!