Susan Elise Shiebler

Photography & Fine Art





You have developed a family business with your children and two of them were featured recently in Newsday working on your late father’s radio show WALK “Memories and Melody,” you seem very close.  Do you guys ever bicker about anything?

We purposed a long time ago when all four of my children were very little and I became a single parent that if a problem arose we would in earnest sit down and discuss it. We have all acquired skills in separating issues, being sensitive to each others feelings and articulating with a lot of detail.  It is a commitment and of course requires constant work but because we all share a similar faith and respect each other, issues are always addressed right away and we therefore avoid careless bickering.

When you have down time and just hanging out at home, what do you do to relax?

I love spending time, especially one-on-one, with each of my children. They are all young adults now and I have a special relationship with each of them respectively. I also love going to the ocean for long walks.  However, my biggest "de-stressor" is playing with and hugging my three Golden Retrievers. I adore them. 

What is your main source of inspiration?

In my photography, I am most inspired by the strength that we as women all seem to possess. My goal is to capture the beauty of that poise and strength in a woman's portrait so she can see it too. The idea that my work will outlive me and preserve the memory of my client, that in essence, it will transcend time, that inspires me. In a practical sense I am very inspired by natural elements when I am shooting an outdoor session, elements like wind, perfect light water, tall grass, and any untouched natural beauty. 

Well let’s start with the obvious, this website not only features Women Entrepreneurs but also healthy living.  So I have to ask you, what is your favorite healthy snack?

I am trying to eat more healthy snacks in general. I have a real sweet tooth so I am trying to gravitate towards more fruit. Blueberries, strawberries and apples are desperately trying very hard to replace chocolate! 

Do you have any doubts or fears?

Sure. My doubts are usually based on wanting to succeed with so many goals but not having the time to achieve them all. I end up mistakenly doubting myself rather than realizing that I can be over ambitious. Business wise I don't have any fears really. I have had so much experience with difficult situations and watched my parents, both brilliant and honest business people, face many obstacles and trials over six decades and they never gave up. 

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for.  It’s OK to be selfish with this one.

Having a daughter who is a Childhood Cancer survivor, my default wish is always to see cancer cured.  To me that almost feels selfish because I watched her suffer so much and it still impacts our life today.  I would want to see our charity "The Sunrise Fund" succeed greatly. As so many of us also know from experience, I have seen cancer claim too many lives. My really "selfish" wish would be to have a few people very dear to me who have passed away, including my parents, be alive and healthy again so I could spend more time with them. 

As a photographer, have you ever had a client that you said NO to and why?

If a client asks me to photograph them, I have never turned anyone down. Unfortunately, I have to turn down large weddings because I know it is not really my style to shoot events. I would rather do a session with the bride after the wedding where she can wear her dress and be relaxed. The wedding day has so many social demands that it is impossible to take your time with the shoot and capture the bride's beauty and joy without her feeling rushed. I leave weddings to the many qualified and wonderful Long Island wedding photographers who specialize only in wedding photography as they have great teams of photographers to handle that kind of special day.

As a Mom of four young adults and you are also involved in so much; I am sure you have a crazy list of things to do; do you ever leave anything not done?

Absolutely, every day!  I am never happy about it either. I make a very ambitious "To-Do List" for myself every day. I prioritize tasks as the day progresses and if I get 90% of the list done, I remind myself that it's impossible to get it all done. So many unexpected things come up in a day that you have to fit in and be open to. I realize that I end up doing other productive things that were not on the list to start. If I am exhausted by day's end and I could push myself to do more, I have learned that health wise, sleep is more important at that point and there is always tomorrow! 

As I mentioned above, you have a very busy life, do you have time for someone special in your life?

I really don't right now and I am okay with that.  I have always wanted to make my children a priority and that, combined with running two businesses, takes up all of my time. 

Last question, when do you feel most confident?

As I am exercising more (walking a few miles a day), eating better and realizing the importance of rest, I find I have more energy.  Renewed energy combined with what I hope is a little bit of wisdom from years of living and experience, I sometimes have that youthful confidence that I had in my twenties. Confidence like that makes me believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. The older I get and not taking my health for granted, I am seeing that feeling strong and being healthy is a prerequisite for confidence and success in my businesses or in my personal life.

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