Sunday, March 30, 2014

Meet This Week's Judge: Suzie Ziemke

Have you seen the beautiful work of Suzie Ziemke Photography? If you haven't you should, and you should read this; if you have, you should still read this! Suzie is our fabulous guest judge this week!

Tell us about yourself…

I am a wife, a mother of four, and an impassioned photographer living in southern Minnesota.  I love exploring and shooting all styles of photography.

What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

My son was diagnosed with a large brain tumor (almost three years ago).  It was such a dark, and desperately scary time for my family.  By God's grace, the surgeons were able to remove his entire tumor, and thankfully, it has not returned.  Once that darkness (and fear) had finally started to lift, I realized how important photography really could be to our family, and I wanted to preserve our lives as best I possibly could.  A little over a year ago, I threw myself into reading, research, practice, editing, trial and error.  I continue to grow, and fall more deeply for this art every single day.

I am fueled now by beautiful light, beautiful landscapes, and beautifully precious, fleeting moments.

What's in your camera bag right now, what do you use the most? The least?

My camera bag is kind of small (and not at all cute, but it's functional for small outings), so I only have my Canon 5D Mark III, 35L, 24-70L, CF/SD cards, lip gloss, and a warm expodisc.  At the moment, I'm using my 24-70L lens the most…I just got it about a month ago, so I'm committed to using it for nearly all of my personal photos.  I am really happy with the Mark III's white balance capabilities, so I haven't used my expodisc in a long time, but it's there if I need it.

What's your dream project or shoot?  

Right now, I am in the planning phase for both boy and girl themed shoots.  I want to offer something unique to my clients this spring and summer, while still staying true to my simple aesthetic…think airy woodland princess, and earthy nature explorer.  But for the most part, I'm a simple girl.  Just give me pretty light and an interesting, open landscape, and I'm happy. :)

What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

There are many more challenges than I ever thought there would be, but the biggest one seems to be having enough time for it all.  I am involved in several projects that I LOVE which have really helped me grow, I am always wanting to update my website and branding, there are workshops and assignments, editing, backing up and organizing files…the list really does go on, lol.

If you had $500 to spend on photography…

How should you spend it? I should really buy some more backdrops and props for my studio sessions, (or make my own).

How do you think you could spend it? By going to one of those amazing, life changing, in-person workshops.

How would you really spend it? Probably on the new Sigma 50mm that is coming out soon. :)

Is there any one thing that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of you photography journey?

Switch over to manual now, shoot in RAW, and for goodness sake, don't over expose!  Ok, maybe that was just me, lol! ;)  No, but really, it's going to take time and lots of practice, but if you really want this…if you really want to be good at photography, don't give up, and don't self doubt - it's YOUR journey. <3


  1. "Switch over to manual now, shoot in RAW, and for goodness sake, don't over expose! " Fantastic advise!! Gorgeous photos.

  2. I loved reading this Suzie. So much about you I learned. You are a beautiful artist.

  3. beautiful interview! Suzie, big fan of your work!


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