Hello there!

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My name is Susan, and Designs by Prater is what you could call my creative outlet that pulls together my photography, art and graphic design endeavors! The most important thing you should know about me is that my life revolves around my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, my family (especially my husband Todd, son JD, and puppy Lexie), family and friends. Other than that, I am pretty much obsessed with photography, Coca-Cola, and the color green (and all shades of green for that matter, especially teal). I love sports but cannot play them worth a lick. I would not trade my time as a college student at Mississippi State for anything in the world. The friendships and memories made there will stick with me forever...Hail State and Go Dogs! And I am very picky about my chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheeses, and shaved ice (gotta be SnoBiz watermelon flavor).

Monday, October 26, 2009

focus : ashton (collierville senior photographer)

I know you have been waiting on pins and needles to see the rest of the images from my shoot with the beautiful Ashton! Well, to reward you for your patience, I am ready to share my most favorite images from her session. I'd share WAY more, but I fear it would be just too much for you to handle at once. :) But if you must see more, check out her Facebook album HERE and her proofing album HERE.

In the meantime, enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

unsung heroes : terry + angela

This post is dedicated to all the unsung heroes of photo shoots...you know who you are! You're the family member who offers to take your grandchild or niece/nephew to the park while mom and dad meet up with the photographer for a "we are still hot and in love" couples shoot. Or maybe you are just good friends who love any excuse to babysit a "not really our niece or nephew but we love them so much so we say they are" kiddo. Ha!

Well, these pictures are for two people who fall into the second category! Uncle Terry and Aunt Angela have been very close friends to John & Amanda for years, and as far as little Evan knows, they are a genuine aunt and uncle. So it was a no brainer for them when they were asked to accompany us to the Memphis Botanic Gardens for this SHUTTER SQUARED session. After we finished up the family photos, Terry and Angela took little E off to another part of the gardens so we could get some great photos of John and Amanda. But before they left, we did manage to get some photos of them with their nephew!

P.S. Until Terry gives in to me and Jennie, this is as close as poor Angela is going to get to Terry doing a photo shoot with anyone. I will consider it my greatest success when he FINALLY agrees to be our model...ha!

Anyways, enjoy! :)

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And these last two are just thrown in for fun because I love hanging out with these people!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

shutter squared : amanda + john {memphis photographer}

Finished editing my photos from the Asbells SHUTTER SQAURED session last night and thought I would post a few more of my favorites from the day! I can't wait to put all my photos together with Jennie's and present them to the family. It's always neat to see how Jennie and I can vision different shots and create unique images from the same session and locations. :)

If you would like to know more about our SHUTTER SQUARED sessions, you can read about them here. Enjoy the photos!

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he was very excited to discover the next coolest rock that he would attempt to eat :)
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then it was Terry and Angela's turn to play babysitter to Evan so we could grab some photos of just the two of them! Don't they make such a hot couple?
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Images for a Cure teaser : Ashton {collierville senior photographer}

A week ago, I got a wonderful email from Jill saying that she wanted to have some senior photos taken of her daughter Ashton that really captured her free spirit and beautiful smile. And that made me smile! These two were an absolute delight to work with, and I could have continued on with this session for another hour. But alas, we were losing daylight and they had to get back home before all their guests arrived for a Columbus-Day-we-are-out-of-school-so-why-not-have-a-party Party ;)

Also, I wanted to note that I was absolutely honored that they wanted to help me participate with Images for a Cure and donate their session fee to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®! She even went above and beyond and donated more than the normal session fee. Thanks you guys!

Here is the gorgeous mom and her beautiful daughter!
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And here are a few teasers to hold them over until I finish editing all the other yummy photos :)

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she could make a fantastic PSA spokesmodel, couldn't she?! :)
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can you say STUNNING?!
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happy anniversary teasers

In honor of John and Amanda's 7th anniversary today, I thought I would share some teasers from the couples part of their SHUTTER SQUARED session at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. These two are still as hot for each other as they were seven years ago, if not more so! Congrats you guys :)

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Friday, October 9, 2009

b.mo.foto coming to town!

I am honored to get to serve as host to Beth of b.mo.foto this weekend as she continues on with her almost 2-month long tour of the south this summer/fall offering up portrait sessions to old and new clients along the way. And what's really neat about this is that we went to college together at Mississippi State (Go Bulldogs!) and were both very active in the Baptist Student Union so it will also serve as a bit of a reunion.

But what's even cooler than that is that while we both knew each other and had a lot of the same friends, we didn't get to really know each other too well being a few classes apart. However, we have been following each other's blogs over the past year, and have really started to bond over our desires to serve Christ with our whole hearts and lives, as well as through our passion for photography. So, this weekend is going to be really neat to be able to "talk shop" with Beth all while deepening a friendship that began almost 10 years ago when I started college!

Meet Beth! Doesn't she have a killer sense of style?! (Beth's photo comes courtesy of Red Fly Studio.)

I look forward to assisting her with some of her sessions this weekend and will post some teasers from them as we go along.

Also, this is perfect timing for me to tell you about this contest that Scarlett Lillian is hosting on her photography blog, in which several lucky people are going to be the winners of free copies of MCP Actions' Magic Blog It Board action sets. You can read more about it and enter for yourself HERE! I just entered and hope to be a lucky winner myself :)

Also, Scarlett is another photographer who is SOLD OUT for the Lord and using her photographic talent to further serve Jesus Christ and grow His Kingdom. AND Scarlett and Beth know each other because Beth was a lucky winner of one of her previous contests and got to Spend A Day with her. So, it was really cool to go to Scarlett's blog today about the contest and see Beth's photo pop up in one of the examples using MCP Actions' Magic Blog It Board action sets. Can you figure out which one is Beth?

Anyways, go check out both Beth and Scarlett's blogs, as well as the MCP Actions website...you'll become avid subscribers to their blogs like me! Stay tuned for photos from my weekend with Beth :)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Wednesday

Just a few quick notes for you this beautiful Wednesday morning! Our Images for a Cure MINI sessions will be taking place this Sunday and we still have openings. In fact, we are thinking we'll split up some of the available time to also offer 20-minute very-mini sessions for $30 if you are looking for something quicker. We've also added an additional location where we will be setting up a very autumn-like display in a giant field if you were hoping for some pumpkin-ish type photos :)

Remember, 100% of these session fees are going straight to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and can be paid online via a secure server on the Images for a Cure website. I'll give you complete instructions once you book your session.

On this note, I must give God praise! My mother-in-law got a good report yesterday in that the small mass they removed from her breast last Friday was not cancerous. They will continue to check up on her with another mammogram in 6 months, but she is so relieved, as are we!

And because no post is great without a photo, I must share a few teasers from part two of mine and Jennie's SHUTTER SQUARED session with the Asbell family this past weekend in the Memphis Botanic Gardens. More to come soon...enjoy! :)

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