About Susan Seubert Photography

This is the blog for commercial, travel, and editorial photographer Susan Seubert. Susan is an advertising and editorial photographer who splits her time between Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii.  You can visit her online photography portfolio here.

She also makes conceptual work.  You can see that photography here.

Do you need stock photography?  If so, you can visit Susan’s searchable online stock photography library here.

Would you like to go on a National Geographic Photo Expedition with her?

Susan’s 2018 dates for photo expeditions with National Geographic have been released:

Easter Island to Tahiti

Sailing the Caribbean

Circumnavigation of Iceland

Would you like to buy a print?  If so, please send an email inquiry to susan(at)sseubert(dot)com.

We respond to any request within 24 hours.

Do you have commercial photography needs?

If so, Susan is now represented by Jenna Teeson Represents.

You can reach Jenna by email at jenna@teesonreps.com

You can email me directly at susan(at)sseubert(dot)com

-or-

you may contact any of these galleries which represent my work:

Froelick Gallery in Portland, Oregon

G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, Washington

Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California

Here’s my story…

After being raised in inner city Indianapolis by my perspicacious parents, (Dad: nuclear physicist and Mom: Russian scholar/attorney) (and much to their chagrin), I moved to Portland, Oregon in 1988 to attend art school at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Thanks to my amazing teachers, Dianne Kornberg and the late Terry Toedtemeier, during the last year of my BFA program I moved to New York City for an internship at Magnum Photos, (my duties were primarily in the library and printing for Susan Meiselas), plus a second internship with the artist duo Clegg and Guttman.  I returned to Portland and graduated with honors in 1992, then back-and-forthed to New York City, unable to choose between a fly-over city full of potential or living in a cockroach-infested closet for more money than I could afford.  I settled on Portland.  Besides, it seems that if you visit NYC twice a year, people who live there will assume you live there as well.  Not certain how to survive, I ended up waitress-ing and working as an assistant, mainly for editorial portraitist Robbie McClaran, and also dabbled in production and location scouting and a wee bit of teaching.  For better or worse, it happened: my first assignment, care of Robbie.  It was for Newsweek covering the Tonya Harding scandal.  The shoot was a complete disaster, but we managed to get into the courtroom along with the TIME magazine photographer for the arraignment of Shane Stant, (or was it Shawn Eckhardt?), and lo, my first picture was published.  Right there on the pages of Newsweek. My grandmother was thrilled and brought a copy of the magazine to her church in Ohio.  I would like to say that the image was fantastic, but it was in fact a little embarrassing.  The subject’s eyes were closed and I can’t help but think they ran it only because it was in focus.
At the encouragement of Robbie I eventually returned to New York and started knocking on doors.  (I will be forever grateful for all of his kind recommendations). My first real assignment came from Garden Design Magazine: a shoot in Los Angeles of a garden designer and her garden.  It printed beautifully, 14 pages or so, compliments of great editing and art direction.  I was delighted.  Shortly thereafter I started getting assignments here and there, one from Travel and Leisure, then another from Garden Design, then Saveur, and on and on.  It was the beginning of a love affair with editorial photography.  But during these many years of assisting, waitress-ing, and schlepping around New York to sell myself to magazines and subsequently shooting, I was also producing a whole other bodies of work, making images that no one was paying much attention to, save for a few Portland art galleries and collectors.  {In the middle of all of this I met the love of my life and was married.  Still am.  He’s still the love of my life.  Yippee!}  Only recently did it dawn on me that I had made a LOT of images.  Although they seem worlds apart visually, it turns out that they clearly inform one another.
Shooting editorial stories satisfies a great part of my ego: Big Time magazines are Publishing My Work.  (Not to mention the giant boost of the Eisenstadt Award).  The assignment work is constant exercise and also fascinating. It is a fantastic adventure that takes me all over the world and each job gives me a new challenge, regardless of how comfortable I may think I am with the subject matter.  On the other hand, the work I create solely for myself consists of imagery that treads the line between documentary (photojournalism?) and conceptual art, (or perhaps marries?), which (in hindsight) turns out to have been a consistent working method for the last fifteen or so years and has morphed into a signature style.  These two seemingly independent forms of my photographic life intersect by encouraging one another to persist, even though they only appear to have DNA in common.  You can look at my personal work here.
The last few years have been a great challenge.  Once my most prized client, the New York Times came out with their joint copyright photographers contract that I refused to sign, I thought that might be the end of me. But then I was hired to shoot what became many features for National Geographic Traveler.  Four years later, after quite a bit of soul searching, I signed the contract with the New York Times and have slowly begun shooting for the paper again, which has been interesting.  My stock photography sales have climbed to an all time high and I’ve gotten some critical acclaim for my personal work, including several articles, awards and quite a few sales.  But how does one go on in this digital age?  The assignments are getting more and more slender, (i.e. few clients left willing to pay for film/camera rentals and other minor things like food), and the work-load is heavier, (i.e. full time job to keep current on software/cameras/computers), and the galleries seem to be a bit more focused on moving work that is “salable,” (i.e. no giant installations of teeth, more pictures of Paris).

Alas, I am hopelessly in love. Smitten, if you will.  I have been completely and totally seduced and there’s no turning back.  “Advance, advance, always advance…”  I think Picasso said this and these are the words that keep me on a forward trajectory.  Will shooting loads of digital bring me around to my first love of photojournalism?  Will an editor want a tintype to illustrate a story? Perhaps I’ll make more personal work and slow down on the editorial front.  I have no idea what the future will bring in this brave new world, I only know that I will be there, making pictures.  Oh yeah, and surfing too.

Me and JP coming in at the end of our photo shoot with the outrigger canoe. Aloha!!!

Me and JP coming in at the end of our photo shoot with the outrigger canoe. Aloha!!!

Please be advised that all content on this blog is protected by national and international copyright law.  Any unauthorized use, including non-willful infringement, is punishable by law.  Thank you for playing fair!

 

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11 thoughts on “About Susan Seubert Photography

  1. Susan, Keep the love, keep the faith and keep taking such great imagery.

    I found your personal work very inspiring.

    Well done.

    Best Wishes,

    Neil

  2. Pingback: Fine Art and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert Noontime Chat at the Portland Art Museum « Editorial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert

  3. Your work is fantastic and I’m happy to read that you and your husband are still at it. Most editorial photorgaphers of your ilk have a challenging time with relationships what with the travel and time away from home. It’s hard. At any rate, I wish you continued success in all your pursuits in Life and the blogosphere…..!

  4. Hi, I really like your blog, so to help draw more attention to it, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can find the details in this post.

    Feel free to respond or ignore, I hope that just listing your blog on the nomination page will help draw (however little) more traffic to this deserving blog.

  5. Hi Susan, I had the privilege of sailing with you in Svalbard. You gave some great advice and tech tips. Your photography is inspirational. Thanks for your help on the cruise.
    Cindee Still

  6. Pingback: 5 Travel Photography Tips from a Nat Geo Photographer

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