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).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Still Alive

Just thought I might check in here since things have been VERY silent on the blog for the past few months. My apologies! I didn't quite understand how much having our ADORABLE bundle of joy in the home would take up all my free time these first few months. :) But I am definitely back in business after maternity leave, and you'll start noticing some changes around here over the holiday break. Starting off with the look of my blogsite!

I've decided to update and polish my branding to better reflect my style and give everything a cleaner look AND to combine my website and blog into ONE blogsite to make information easier for you to find! So if you are reading this through an RSS feed, please head on over to the blogsite itself for a hint of what's to come.

So keep your eyes peeled for some positive changes here...and in the meantime, here's a little snapshot of our main man JD to put a smile on your face!


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Monday, August 29, 2011

Stationery card

Hello Baby Boy Birth Announcement
Create beautiful birth announcements at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

news : maternity leave

Yes, I know! I have been a HORRIBLE blogger these past several months...like non-existent! And I wish I could say I will be doing better these next few months, but that's probably not going to be the case. And here's why:

In case you haven't heard the news, the hubs and I are expecting a little peanut this August, so I will be on maternity leave from July through September. So from now until then, I'll be busy wrapping up my 2010 weddings (album designs and print credit fulfillment) as well as wrapping up edits and orders from 2011 portrait sessions.

But never fear, I promise to come back better than ever in October 2011! Here a just a few of my promises (to you and myself) of what you'll see upon my return:

- updated website and blog: I want something that is easier to get around and find what you need and more frequently updated with photos from recent sessions

- more streamlined product offerings and prices: up to now, I think I have erred on the side of giving too many options, thus causing confusion or buyer's block when it comes to determining what you want to order

- updated 2012 pricing: since my pricing in 2011 did not go up from 2010 (in anticipation of my maternity leave), I will be introducing my 2012 pricing in October. If you want to book a 2011/2012 wedding or 2011 portrait session with my 2011 pricing, hit me up before then!

- a client information packet: clients will receive a more polished information packet, with a contract, when they inquire about booking a session or a wedding. I will also be collecting portrait session fees up front when the session is booked; however, there will be a policy in place for rescheduling due to sickness or rain.

- a monthly newsletter: I will actually follow through with it this time :)

- complimentary gift with your print order: I love metallic prints, and now my lab lets you mix lustre and metallic prints in a single order! So, to introduce everyone to what a metallic print looks like, you will receive a complimentary 5" x 7" metallic print with each print order over $50.

- ordering appointments: for local clients, I'll offer a time for you to come to my home office to walk through placing an order together and show you sample of various products

So...what do you think?! Is there anything else you would like to see upon my return? Just let me know!

God bless :)

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

focus : molly {starkville mississippi senior portraits}

Picture it! 2005 - Starkville, Mississippi - a young girl moves up into the youth group where I am helping out by teaching Sunday school and chaperoning trips. Her name is Molly and she is just one of the sweetest girls you've ever met. Her only flaw - she's an Ole Miss fan! ;) Just teasing her!

Anyways, Toddy and I grew very close to Molly and her precious family and have missed seeing them so often since our move to Memphis. So you can imagine how THRILLED I was to get a message from Molly's mom one day asking me if I would do her senior portraits.


How could it already be time for sweet Molly to be graduating?!? It seems like just yesterday she moved up into the youth group when she entered the 7th grade. Wow, I am getting old!

But alas, time has flown and she has grown up to be such a beautiful young lady!

So, here is a picture of her with the youth minister taken the first year we met.

Molly seventh grade

And here are a few of my favorites from her senior session around her house and farm in Starkville this past fall. Enjoy :)

molly 03

molly 04

molly 01

molly 02

molly 08

molly 16

molly 19

molly 12

molly 07

molly 14

To see the rest of the images from her senior sesh, visit her gallery! God bless :)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swagbucks, meet You. You, meet Swagbucks.

So...this winter has been a very busy one playing catch up due to our busy fall wedding photography schedule and family matters. So I promise I will be catching everyone up soon on everything. BUT in the meantime, I wanted to share with you about this great search site called Swagbuck's! And here is why...In just 5 short months of knowing about it, I built up over $100 of Amazon.com gift card credit and just cashed them in to buy a new point and shoot digital camera for half price! (And had I gone with a lower-priced model, it would have been free) :)

So, you'll have to pardon the low-res picture from my (older model) iPhone, but hopefully you can see that along with my new pink Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS, I also got a case, a spare battery, battery charger, battery charger for the car, SD card, USB card reader, and some other accessories. So I only ended up paying $150 for $300 worth of camera and accessories. And here is how I did it.

Swagbucks - an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive Swagbucks.com merchandise, including prizes and gift cards. You earn 30 swagbucks (SBs) just for joining, and if you join today with the code "GameTime", you'll earn an extra 20 on top of that.

Here is how you earn SB's:
Daily Poll - earn 1 SB a day just for answering the daily poll
Toolbar Use - earn 1 SB a day just for opening your browser in which the Swagbucks Toolbar has been previously installed
No Obligation Special Offers - earn 1 SB a day just for thumbing through their NOSO's; skip them all if you want and at the end of the 5-6 offer trail, you earn the SB
Trusted Surveys - earn 1 SB a day just for checking to see if you qualify for a survey; you can also earn extra SB's if you do qualify for a survey and complete it
Special Offers - thumb through them every now and then to see what new ones exist; earn big SBs by going through them to sign up for DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, etc.
Shop & Earn - earn lots of SB's just for shopping online and clicking over to your favorite sites through the Swagbucks portal; earn 2 SB's for every $1 spent
Daily Deals - buy your Groupon, Living Social, Mertado daily deal specials through your Swagbucks account to earn SB's on top of the great deal!
Swagbucks TV - earn SBs for watching videos on their site
Games - earn SBs for playing games (similar to Yahoo Games)
Search & Win - earn SB's through using their search engines, like you would Google or Yahoo
Swagbucks Codes - use the Swagbucks Widget (on an iGoogle homepage, for instance) to be notified when a special swagbucks code is out in one of 4 places (SB widget, SB toolbar, SB blog, or SB facebook page)

So, head on over to Swagbucks now by clicking my referral link and signing up! Remember the code "GameTime" to earn your 20 extra SB's. Then get your other friends to sign up with your referral link so you can earn more SB's! And happy earning :)

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