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).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Holiday Gift Giving Guide!

The holiday season is upon us! So I thought I would take a little time to share a holiday gift guide including some of my favorite items that might be of assistance to you in your holiday shopping. Have fun browsing/shopping!


Shop my Black Friday sale to save money on your next portrait session! Save $25 on a MINI session, $50 on a FOCUS session, and $100 on a digiFOCUS session! Contact me for more details or to order.


A unique styling service where you create your personal style profile to receive a stylish package of goodies - unique clothes and accessories handpicked for you - delivered directly to your home. Keep what you like and send back the rest! Your $20 styling fee counts toward your fix. Find out more using my referral link!

My first Stitch Fix! I kept the polka dot sweater (because it was maroon...duh!!) and the striped blazer. I had a really hard time sending the green top back, but I just wasn't in love with the fit for the price tag. So I sent it back with the comments to keep the green tops coming! And the jeans were too long, so I sent them back with the comments that I need them in a petite length. You can customize your fix SO much!! C'mon...give it a try :)

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Goodbye Summer & Hello Autumn SALE {collierville family photographer}

Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means wishing our summer a fond farewell and gladly welcoming Autumn and college football with welcome arms! OK, maybe just autumn for you...? Either way, this is the perfect time to announce my "Goodbye Summer & Hello Autumn" sale!

It's never too early to start thinking about booking your fall or winter portrait session to plan for the holiday cards and gift giving prints you know you'll want come December. So why not save a little money by booking your session now??

Book now to save $25 on a MINI session, $50 on a FOCUS session, and $100 on a digiFOCUS session! For more information on each session, visit my PORTRAITS page...and then contact me to get your session on the books before both our weekends start filling up :)

Happy football watching, and GO STATE!! Still not on board with college football excitement??? Well, then just Happy Autumn to you ;)
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mary Kay Skin Care Set Sale

In celebration of Mary Kay coming out with a new acne skin care set, I'm running a sale on all of our skin care sets now through noon on July 31! Also, with any order over $60, your name goes in the running to become the mystery hostess for this sale - meaning you get the hostess rewards for everyone's orders all put together. So more free product could be yours if you are the lucky name drawn!! 

So here is our skin care set line up:

Introducing the new Clearproof Acne System, consisting of a clarifying cleansing gel, blemish control toner, acne treatment gel, and oil-free moisturizer for acne-prone skin. Releasing in mid-August, this set will sell for $45. However, if you pre-order it now, you can get it for only $40! Contact me directly to place this order - susanprater@marykay.com or cell number available here.

TimeWise Miracle Set (Combination/Oily or Normal/Dry) - $75 (regularly $90)
or Trial Size Set - $35 (regularly $44)
- delivers the advanced age-fighting benefits you want for younger-looking skin
- includes the 3-in-1 cleanser, day solution sunscreen broad spectrum SPF 35, night solution, and age-fighting moisturizer

TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Set - $175 (regularly $199)
- reduces the look of deep lines and wrinkles; for more advanced signs of aging
- includes foaming cleanser, lifting serum, day cream sunscreen broad spectrum SPF 30, night treatment with retinol, and eye renewal cream

Botanical Effects (Dry, Normal, or Oily) - $50 (regularly $58)
- simple skin care regimen designed to help your skin achieve a healthy balance
- includes cleanser, hydrate, freshen and mask products

BONUS - add on to any order the oil-free eye makeup remover for $10 (regularly $15) AND/OR foundation primer for $12 (regularly $16)

To place an order, just shoot me a text or an email (susanprater@marykay.com) or place your order online at www.marykay.com/susanprater. Your sale price will not be reflected yet online but you will be notified of your final sale order total BEFORE your credit card is charged if you choose to pay securely online. (It doesn't actually charge your card; I have to do that after it notifies me of your order.) Otherwise, I can shoot you an invoice to pay by cash, check, or credit card after you place your order. Just let me know if you have any questions!

Happy summer shopping :)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

photography news {pricing updates and policy changes}

Getting back to my photography tonight, I wanted to share with you that I have updated some of my pricing and policies based upon customer demand and new software available to professional photographers. However, I think you'll find that you will love the changes for a couple of reasons, too:

MINI sessions are here to stay!
Since there are times when you might really only need 20-30 minutes of time just to grab those updated photos for your Christmas card, I'm keeping them permanently. And honestly, with an almost two-year-old, sometimes that's all the free time I might be able to spare that day anyways! ha...just teasing...kinda ;)

Digital images are yours!
All sessions include at least one or all digital images, as well as a print release for printing sizes up to 8x12 (or  higher in some cases).

Say "goodbye" to DVDs!
Instead of you having to wait a week or two for your custom DVD to deliver to me so I can load the images onto them to then deliver to you, digital images will now be delivered to you via a PASS gallery. To learn more about the galleries, watch this wonderful video that they put together for us :)

And in case you can't watch the video right now, here's what it says bascially: With PASS, you can share photos directly to Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest from your online gallery. You can even download all of your photos directly through the browser without installing any additional software. Your gallery also includes full access to the photos for a year plus secure backup of that event for 10 years. AND you can order professional quality prints (up to size 8x12) without the markup straight through your gallery at super low prices. This is particularly AWESOME NEWS for weddings as your guests will be able to pick up a card at the wedding with a link to where your gallery will live so they can download and order their favorite prints from your wedding and reception :)

Are you excited about the PASS galleries as much as I am?!? So what are you waiting for?? Check out the updated Portraits tab above to see the updated MINI session and FOCUS session offerings. Then contact me to get your session on the books ASAP ;)
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Foundation Primer with SPF {Mary Kay Product Spotlight}

Each week, I'm going to focus on one of my favorite Mary Kay products that is also proving to be a huge hit with my customers. Then, you'll be able to grab it yourself at a special 24-hour-only spotlight price!

So first up, we are going to be looking at the Mary Kay Foundation Primer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15. It's a lightweight gel that glides on easily and then quickly dries to a silky matte finish. An oil-free formula with SPF 15, it can be used before your foundation to extend its wear or worn alone to give you some protection from the sun, as well as to help even out your skin texture and complexion. It is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, and non-comedogenic so it is good for all skin types.

It quickly became one of my fave products before I was even considering becoming a consultant, and all the ladies at my facial this weekend were also loving how silky it felt on their skin. Just look at how happy they are ;)

So, for the next 24 hours, you can grab up your very own tube of this silky foundation primer at a special spotlight price of $14 (regularly $16). Just shoot me an email to susanprater@marykay.com or place an order for it online at www.marykay.com/susanprater. If you shop online, the regular pricing will show up in your shopping cart. However, I will adjust the price before billing you or charging your credit card.

And remember, any gift over $40 also comes with a FREE GIFT - you choose from a mini translucent powder with brush or a mini oil-free eye makeup remover with lash love mascara.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Shimmer Sale {Mary Kay Beauty Consultant}

Schoooooooooool's....out....for....summer! {yeah, you're singing it in your head right along with me now, aren't you?!} So in honor of the unofficial start to summer, I'm holding a Summer Shimmer Sale from now until midnight on Wednesday, May 29. Basically, you get to select 4 products for $40 from some of our favorite summer products...so it's like getting one of them for free. AND since any order $40 or more always gets you a free gift anyways, you'll also be receiving a FREE trial size translucent powder with mini brush. It's one shade for all skin tones, and perfectly wonderful for that summer shimmer you want to sport out by the pool :) Find out all about it HERE
So, which 4 products would you love to have? Text, email or call with your order...or shop online at my Mary Kay site by placing your 4 items from the list in your shopping cart and submitting your order! You can also securely enter your payment information online, or you can submit it without payment for me to send you an invoice to pay with cash or check. And if you do want to pay online, just submit your order with standard pricing, and I will adjust the prices of the items to send you your new total before processing your credit card! And you can always contact me with any questions you might have.
Happy shopping! And...call me, beep me, if you want to reach me! {bonus product samples to whoever can tell me first where that song comes from!} ;)
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Friday, May 24, 2013

We Remember and Honor

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and while we many times look forward to and celebrate this weekend as the unofficial start to summer, there is a much greater purpose to this occasion. It's a special time for us to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I am blessed that both of my grandfathers who served were able to retire with their health intact and live long happy lives, but not everyone gets to be so lucky. My heart especially goes out this weekend to those who have lost loved ones while protecting all of us who many times take for granted all the liberties we enjoy living in this great country. 

I have to be honest, I was starting this post out to announce my Mary Kay Memorial Day Sale, and then I just felt a little nudging from the Holy Spirit humbling me that perhaps there was a different message that I needed to post today. So while I will still post later this weekend more information about my newly-named Mary Kay Shimming Summer Sale, I wanted to ask you guys to share with me your stories of loved ones who proudly served their country! Or perhaps maybe you know someone who has lost a loved one while serving. Please take a moment to just send them a little note of encouragement as this day probably brings up lots of joyous and sad memories for them.

So, anyways, I just wanted to share a bit from my heart right now! And if you are having one or participating in a Memorial Day sale this weekend, please don't think I am calling you out or trying to make you feel bad. I've done both myself before. I just wanted to step away from the commercialization of the holiday for a moment to say "thanks" and "they are remembered." I hope you might find yourself doing the same at some point over the weekend, too!

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mary Kay and Photography : A Beautiful Partnership!

So...this just happened! I became a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant :) And while it may seem totally random at first, I have discovered that the two really do make sense together because of my passion behind both ventures - capturing your life just as it is and making you feel beautiful just as you are

So without boring you with too many details (which I would be happy to share if you want to know!), it basically boiled down to wanting to learn more myself about how to 1) better take care of my skin and pamper myself at the end of a long day working and taking care of my family all while 2) wanting to develop and grow more friendships with wonderful women while pampering them at events and facials that incorporate skin care, makeup, AND photography :)

So to learn more about all the fun opportunities available to you, be sure to check out my new Mary Kay page! And one of my first contests is to find 24 friends to place $24 orders in 24 hours to earn free prizes from Mary Kay to help me get my business off to a great start! So could you help me out by getting excited about a fresh new eye color and mascara for summer (or any other product or combo that adds up to $24) to help me win my contest?? If you are like me and have been looking for skin care and makeup that holds up and protects your skin better and lasts way longer than what you buy on the shelf at Kroger or Wal-Mart (saving you money long term), then let me share with you some of my favorite products so far!

Many thanks from the bottom of my heart! And don't forget that you are already beautiful inside and out :)
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

shopping carts and simply done weddings {collierville wedding photographer}

Don't you just love it when you meet someone new and it feels like you've known them forever?! That's exactly how I  felt when I met with Carla and Joe who will be getting married on Memorial Day Weekend. They were so incredibly nice and easygoing, I know that their wedding will be a wonderful time for all. I mean, they even encouraged me to bring my 20-month old son to their wedding! They must have NO idea what they'd be in for if I did...ha! I can just see it now! Little JD walks right on up to the altar during the exchanging of rings and proceeds to drive his little shopping cart right through ceremony all the while shouting "Heyyyy" and blowing kisses to everyone. :) Yeahhhhh...so maybe I'll just let him come to the very end of the reception instead!
he takes his shopping cart with him everywhere...even to watch daddy umpire!
But back to Carla and Joe! What wonderful people they are, and I cannot wait to meet the rest of their family at their wedding at Simply Done just off the Historic Downtown Collierville Square. I also can't wait for their wedding because it will be my second wedding at that venue but my first wedding booked through the simply complete wedding collections the venue is now offering.

I am proud to be teaming up with Karen at Simply Done to offer my photography coverage to couples who want to have a smaller, more intimate ceremony in a historic old church building where your wedding and reception venue, food, beverages, cake and cupcakes, flowers, and photography are all included in one collection and one bill. It's all about weddings done simply! 

For more information, visit my Simply Done Weddings page or contact Karen directly at karen@greatfoodsimplydone.com.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

spring mini sessions : booking now! {collierville family photographer}

i am booking spring mini sessions now for select saturday mornings and sunday aftenoons in march and april. contact me for more information or to book your appointment! :)

2013 Spring Mini Sessions Promo

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

focus : shelbye + kiel {memphis engagement photographer}

trying to catch up on some blog posts these days! this is another one from the gorgeous autumn season with one of the sweetest and most laid back couples i've ever met. i first met shelbye at a bridal fair in downtown collierville, and she was the lucky bride who won a 30-minute FOCUS session with me from the door prize entries. so i met up with them in downtown collierville for a get-to-know you session and to record this special time of their life. next thing we know, we're talking wedding collections, booking their date on my calendar, and planning their next full-length engagement session at their wedding site, heartwood hall. enjoy a few of my faves from their session and then check out the slideshow to see more :)

shelby kiel 04 shelby kiel 06 shelby kiel 03 shelby kiel 05 shelby kiel 09 shelby kiel 11 shelby kiel 13 shelby kiel 17 shelby kiel 25 shelby kiel 24

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

focus : kanowitz baby {memphis newborn photographer}

wow! i can't believe how fast time has flown by, especially since my last blog post. so much has changed since then, yet so much has stayed the same. take this new family of three for example. the last time we showcased them, they were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby girl. their minds and dreams were filled with wonder about what she'd look like and what all quirks and personality traits she'd possess. now, just a few short months later, they have her every smile and facial expression memorized and are already seeing her sweet little personality come to life! their love for her grows every day, as does their love for each other.

i was once again blessed to follow them around for awhile to document everyday life with their new bundle of joy in their home. below are just a few of my favorites :)

kanowitz baby 02 kanowitz baby 06 kanowitz baby 05 kanowitz baby 07 kanowitz baby 08 kanowitz baby 12 kanowitz baby 14

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