Husband embraces wife from behind and kisses her neck
Susannah Raye Photography photographer smiles as she sits on couch holding camera
toddler smiles down at baby and holds toy dog

WELCOME!


Hi, friend! I’m Susannah.


My greatest blessings in life are my sweet children and my hardworking husband. I am a believer, lover of stories, lattes, beautiful books, quiet mornings, gentle breezes, wildflowers, and golden sunlight.


lifestyle photographer, Susannah, holds camera in the woods in Saint Cloud Minnesota and smiles at camera


My first camera and the start of my photography journey


My mom has always been the woman that I admired most in life and my biggest cheerleader, as a single mom with 6 young children, she didn’t have much money but she arranged a barter with a local photographer to give me their old camera as a gift for my 12th birthday. 


From then on, I became my family’s designated photographer. I photographed everything, from flowers to pets, to siblings - I knew that my mom and siblings didn’t like having their pictures taken, so it was always my goal to make the experience fun and natural. 


I love it when my mom laughs and smiles, she looks so beautiful and natural - So that is what I wanted to capture. I didn’t know then that I would start a business centered around that very concept - Helping people relax in front of my lens so that their natural connection and beauty shows through.


Photos can connect us with the ones that we love


I traveled a lot as a teenager for various mission trips, my mom made me a little photo album to take with me on my travels. It held photos of my siblings, my mom, my grandma, my cousins - I loved that album. I missed them so much, having the photos was a sweet comfort.


I worked with kids as a nanny and babysitter through high school, after graduating, I moved to South America for a year where I worked in an orphanage. As always, I brought my camera with me and took pictures of the children on an almost daily basis. A few of the children found their forever families while I was there, and I was able to give their new parents numerous beautiful photos of their children from before they had met one another. It was such a special thing to be a part of! 


Marriage, babies, and starting a photography business


My international travels came to a halt in 2020 with COVID, but during that time I met and married my dear husband - My quiet, steady, hardworking mechanic hubby who lights up when he’s in the mountains and loves long roadtrips in beautiful places. We now have two darling little boys together and live in St. Cloud MN in the house that my husband bought and remodeled while we were dating. 


Having my firstborn is what made me realize that I wanted to start my photography business - I missed the creative outlet of having my family and friends nearby to photograph, but I had also found a greater passion for the purpose of photography beyond just the creative component.


As I held my tiny newborn, knowing that he would grow up so fast, I ached to have every precious moment captured and documented. I wanted to have photos of my husband embracing me, of my newborn snuggled in my arms, and now, of my toddler laughing as we dance around the kitchen.


As a photographer, I am capturing those moments that I know I love and value as a wife and mom myself.


Susannah of Susannah Raye Photography cuddles son as they sit in the sunlight on the floor in their living room

Working with families to help everyone feel comfortable and have fun

THE EXPERIENCE


My husband totally doesn’t understand why it means so much to me to have photos, but it helps me to have compassion for other dads who aren’t really thrilled about family photos. Some of the things that I have realized is that many dads don’t know what to do, they feel self-conscious and just want to have things over with - Firstly, that is SO normal! 


I encourage dads to dress casually (but nicely) so that they are comfortable and feel like themselves, and I like to make small talk throughout the session while still encouraging them to interact with their family like normal. 


Kids - I love kids - Seriously, they are the best - But kids don’t like to perform (my toddler can say lots of words but he won’t say a word if he knows that he is being put on the spot) - What I have found is that the more mom and dad can relax expectations and focus on being playful and loving (even if it means smiling no matter what is happening) kids tend to have a lot more fun! 


I’ve literally had kids leave a session with me saying how much fun they had!


I tell families how to pose (because no one likes to just be thrown in a field and told to “act natural”) but I give direction in a way that allows your family to add your own flair so that things look and feel comfortable and natural. 


My sessions involve lots of cuddling - I am a total sap for cuddly, emotional moments - But also plenty of playful games and laughter so that kids are kept moving, happy, and entertained. 


Getting to know the families that I work with is so important to me. After booking a session I send a questionnaire so that you can share with me a bit about your family’s story, your motherhood journey, the things that are special to you at this time in life, and a little about each of your kids.


All of my full sessions include all of the best images from your session, personally, I have the worst time picking photos of my kids - It feels so painful to have to only choose a few favorites when I love every single one. I don’t want moms to have to feel that way! (Especially not postpartum having to choose only a few photos of your newborn!) 


The Story Behind the Name:

SUSANNAH RAYE PHOTOGRAPHY


As a young girl, I remember sitting on the floor of my grandpa's cabin and gazing admiringly at the sunlight that cast a pattern on the floor through the smoke of wood and cigars.


There is a depth of beauty that can be hard to put into words in emotions, relationships, language, and nature.


As a child, I loved to write - With every piece of poetry or prose I sought to evoke emotion in my reader and found great pride in being able to bring the reader to tears.


I self-published a children's book while I was engaged to my husband - Because I was planning to be married and didn't want to use my maiden name on the cover, I decided to use my middle name to create the pen name "Susannah Raye"


I like to think that now as Susannah Raye Photography, I am still honoring the child in me who loves to watch dust dance along a sunbeam and ached with painful joy to hear an emotive turn of phrase by creating images with families that conjure up memories and emotions of time well spent together, chubby little hands, tender caresses, and sunkissed laughter.


Whether it's documenting your beautiful pregnancy glow, frolicking through fields of wildflowers with your family, or rocking softly to soothe your newborn in the quiet of your own home, I look forward to creating for your family someday soon! 🤎

Photographer St. Cloud