We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzarah Dorleus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzarah, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson that I’ve learned after opening up my photography business is the fact that I need to be my best salesman. The product I’m selling is my photography. If I don’t put enough effort into marketing my brand, I’ll often face what I like to call “dry spouts.” Another important lesson that I’ve learned from opening up my photography business is that telling yourself that you learned time management skills from college and actually managing your time are two vastly different things. You have to have the discipline and balance it takes to ensure that you’re on top of your tasks and also take time to rest to avoid burnout.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Getting to where I am now has not been an easy feat. Many people are not aware of this fact, but I do have a physical disability. I suffered a birth injury and was left with little function of my left arm. After countless surgeries, I can say that I have at least 50% function in arm. My disability makes photography more challenging, especially when I’m working with a heavier zoom lens, setting up my home studio, or handling a lot of lighting. I never really shared this because I didn’t want people to see me and only see my disability. I wanted to make a name for myself and be recognized for my talent. Now, I’m realizing I could help people who also suffer from disabilities realize that they can definitely chase their dreams, they just might have to adjust and do things differently than how everyone else does it. I’m at a place where I accept the hand I was dealt and feel no shame if I need to ask for help. Aside from that, I think what sets me apart from other photographers is my meticulous detail work in my editing. I’m a detail oriented person, so it’s sort of my niche, so to speak.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend visited for a week long trip, the first place I’d take them is either Breckenridge Brew & Pub in Breckenridge, or The Uptown on Main in Frisco. I’m not sure if it’s the altitude, but the food at those two establishments are parties for your taste buds. I’d then have to take my friend to Garden of the Gods park for some scenery and pictures, Red Rocks, Lookout Mountain, and 16th street mall. I’m still fairly new to Colorado from Florida, so I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to the best spots in town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As far as shoutouts go, I’d have to credit my former roommates, Maddie and Quincy. They’re both photographers and when we lived together, they constantly challenged me to up my game in the most wholesome sense. They showed me how easy it could be to execute your vision by simply putting yourself out there and asking the universe to help guide you. They also taught me that you don’t need a fancy studio or the best lighting to make some magic. They helped me push my creative envelope and I’m eternally grateful.
Facebook: SD Visuals
The image of myself is credited to Maddie Clough @madzmakesmiracles