Here are the 4 images I submitted for competition this year. They have had long way to travel, beginning in the state of KY back in January. From there they made their way to the Southeast District Competition in April. Then they got shipped to Nationals in Atlanta, where International Print Competition is held every year. Look at the images and then I will explain how and why I shot them below. They are titled, “First Shave”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Dr. Jeckyl”, and “A Sweet Soul”.
First ShaveAlice In Wonderland
Dr Jeckyl
A Sweet Soul

So, the big question is . . . What makes an image IPC worthy? I mean I take tons of great pictures, right? Don’t answer. It was a rhetorical question! All the images submitted get judged on 12 elements. Impact, Lighting, Print Presentation, technique, style, creativity, originality, bla bla bla.

The first image is of my son, Zane. He’s 12 years old and has dreams of having body hair. Armpit hair, leg hair, facial hair . . . you get the picrture. I was inspired by an old Norman Rockwell painting in the barber shop and decided we could put a modern spin on it. I have to say we had a blast. I shot the image in the studio with a big soft box on my left and 2 kicker lights in the back. I think the judges liked his expression more than anything! It’s like I tell my little speech and drama kids, “It’s all in the eyebrows.”

Next, I wanted to try a “levitation” shoot where I convince the audience the subject was really in the air. There are about 10 images in this final print. If you look closely you can see my beautiful subject, Myra Jo Davis, in some of the background. Elements from Alice in Wonderland are also seen throughout the image. The Queen of Hearts is between her toes. The tea cup in her hand and timepiece around her neck. The biggest artistic challenge was cutting her out AND trying to make her dress see through. The judges picked up on all this digital artwork and rewarded me for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy. Sometimes I wish we got extra points for degree of difficulty.

“Dr. Jeckyl” was a hilarious and fun shoot for me and Dr. Dawson. He came to my studio just so I could shoot some images for competition. Again, I could tell he had great facial expressions and we ran with the idea of a “mad scientist” type shoot. We threw some fresh sausage and ketchup into the mix and, voila . . . some fake blood began to look real. There are about 20 of images that could have made it to competition, but we are only aloud to enter each subject once. If you look closely on a big monitor, you will see 2 other images in the background I added to show him becoming more, MAD. (Insert Vincent Price laughter here! HAAAAAAAHAAAHHHAAAAAA)

The last image, “A Sweet Soul” was actually from a session shoot. Although with every session, I to create images that use the 12 elements listed above, rarely does it all work out with a child so young. It’s hard to pose 2, 3 and 4 year olds, but Tamaya Lindon just looked right into my camera. And, she had no hair bow, tears, crazy patterned clothing, or any other distracting elements. Simple is always best for children for competition purposes.

On average, I shoot 50,000 images a year, so trying to decide what is worthy becomes the most difficult part. Sometimes, I can look at the back of my camera and just know I have created something magical, only to pull it up in photoshop and it be out of focus!! Or, I have taken a “not so interesting” image alone, and pulled it up into photoshop and created magic. Either way, competition keeps me on my toes, helps me become a better photographer, and makes an otherwise boring winter, not so boring.

Thanks for reading my “behind the scenes” story and for celebrating my incredible accomplishments with me.

  • September 10, 2015 - 7:11 pm

    Lisa Muncy Dorton - Awesome images!

  • September 10, 2015 - 9:10 pm

    Karen Jean Francis - These are amazing!

  • September 10, 2015 - 10:21 pm

    Melissa Cornett Ward - Awesome pictures & you’re truly gifted in what you do! Congratulations!

  • September 10, 2015 - 10:23 pm

    Tonya Caudill Godsey - Awesome cousin!!!

  • September 11, 2015 - 1:51 am

    Kristy Lynn - beautiful Suzanne.. Hard to believe you hid all of that talent behind a surgical mask and scrubs for years!!! You’re exactly where you should be now :)

  • September 11, 2015 - 3:29 pm

    Ann Campbell - You are Hazards star.

  • September 12, 2015 - 5:33 am

    Ellena Wright - Simply amazing!!

HALLIE DEZARN is the Grand Prize winner of American Color Lab’s NATIONAL ADORABLE KIDS CONTEST.  Hallie will receive a $1500 Visa Gift card and a 20×24 print of the image!!!!   This is the 4th year we have entered all our adorable kid clients into the contest.  I am THRILLED to say it’s the 3rd time my client has won the GRAND PRIZE!  3 for 4 is pretty darn amazing.  I guess Eastern Kentucky has some pretty adorable kids!  ADYSEN DAVIS is the 1st place winner of the 13-2 year old category!!  She wins a $200 Visa gift card and a 16×20 print.   JADRIAN WELLS is the 1ST place winner of the 6-8 year old category!  He also wins a $200 Visa gift card and a 16×20 print.  LUKE COBB is the 3rd place winner in the 9-12 year old category.  He wins a $50 gift card and a 16×20 print. Here is a link to see all the winners!   please check it out to see ALL the winners. ADORABLE WINNERS 2015Dezzarn-32 finaladysen davis-1jadrian wellsThanks so much for looking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Suzanne

  • August 3, 2015 - 9:25 pm

    Donna Kay Perkins - You are the Bomb Suzanne! They are all adorable!

  • August 3, 2015 - 11:43 pm

    Michelle Hurt - Congratulations all !!!!!!!! Go Hallie

  • August 4, 2015 - 1:32 am

    Suzette Begley - So proud of you Adysen!!! Love you baby :)

  • August 4, 2015 - 2:43 pm

    suzanne deaton - Thank you Donna Kay! Love you.

  • August 4, 2015 - 5:04 pm

    Jayne Graves - With your talent and their good looks who else could win?

Stripes, Chucks, bangs, whatever it is, Ellie rocks it, and with confidence.   She is on her way back to where she started and to places she has never been.

Johnson -153

Johnson -5 final

Johnson -21Johnson -27 copyJohnson -62 BW glitter
Johnson -61 resizedJohnson -102Johnson -87Johnson -95 finalJohnson -169Johnson -176 colorJohnson -166 BWJohnson -191Johnson -122 finalJohnson -129Johnson -117I saved one of my favorites for last.   Seriously,  if you are on the fence about trying professional photography for your senior portraits, this image should help you make up your mind.  Simple tank crop top and a lace skirt, voila.   To book a session just call the studio 606-436-1988.   We only shoot 100 seniors a year so I can allow plenty of time to get these awesome results.    Thanks for looking.  ~Suzanne


Johnson -154

Little League is a MAJOR deal, pun intended.   Like teams across the state of Kentucky, this 12 year old team of All-Stars has one dream, to play every game with intensity, focus, and heart.  They are ONE team.  Inspired by the movie, Field of Dreams, we went for a nostalgic and vintage feel for their uniforms and team poster.

Here are your 12 year old Hazard-Perry All Stars.

front final

backIf you are interested in having Suzanne Deaton Photography  photograph your sports team banner and posters just call the studio to inquire. 606-436-1988.

  • July 8, 2015 - 9:26 pm

    Holly Fields Caudill - Awesome!!!

1.  Sleep the night before.

2. Wash Face.

3. Eat Breakfast.

4. Double Check outfits.

5. Bring Shoes.   (Even though they may not show).

6. Bring your jewelry. Photographers like options. ( Mixing and matching is fun.  Don’t spend time agonizing over every detail, leave that to me).

7. Google Directions to the studio before you start driving.  Our address is 2785 North Main Street, Hazard, KY 41701

8. Bring someone with you!  Moms and/or best friends work perfectly.  I may even put them to work!

9. Makeup.  Bring your own for touchups, incase the studio doesn’t provide.  We have just about any color available.

10. Wash the car if it’s going to be in photos.  No Photographer wants or has time to photoshop dirt off a car. LOL.

11. DON’T forget your sports equipment.  Shoes if you cheer or play soccer, volleyball, baseball etc.

12. Smile.

13. Have fun.