When I moved to Florida I was retired and content to play golf and enjoy my free time however idle time was not in my future. In 2011, I developed a relatively unknown disease called Alopecia Areata. Alopecia is an auto immune disease that causes hair loss. Alopecia comes on very suddenly. In just three months after diagnosis, I was completely bald. Life as I had known it began to change. Although Alopecia is not a life threatening disease; in fact most are quite healthy, it is a disease of emotions. There is very little time to adjust being a bald person in an appearance driven society. After my initial shock and adjustment, I began to explore my options for my new appearance. At that time, wigs did not suit me so I was on a mission to find a fashionable wig alternative. It quickly became apparent that there was a rather large gap between the fashion market and the medical hair loss market. Always a creative spirit, I dusted off my Fashion Merchandising degree and got down to designing a scarf for women and girls with medical hair loss. The “beaubeau” was born and currently holds 2 US patents for it’s design. My own personal solution became a passion and a business. All other interests and hobbies had to be put on hold.
After 10 years of providing fashionable solutions to women and girls I am ready to move onto another passion of mine – photography. I’ve been around talented photographers my entire life (mother and sisters). The interest and desire was there but my time was limited. I did some research and reached out to a friend of mine for camera advice. I purchased a Nikon D7100 and I was on my way. I signed up for photography classes in the community and almost immediately, I was hooked. Currently I am enrolled in the Ringling School of Art and Design Photography certificate program.
Photography has opened my eyes to another world. I truly think that it has forced me to pause and try and see everything as a picture instead of just objects. Defining objects in this manner changes my appreciation for their form, spacial qualities, and interaction with other objects. Photography gives me an appreciation for expressive qualities of people and share in their happiness, joy and sadness. As the lens opens to capture an image, so do my eyes.
Participating in the 52 week challenge will keep me focused and expand my photography world. I love meeting new people with similar passions and learn from their talents and experiences. I also love sharing my photographs though a story of the hows and whys of interpretation. Stay tuned.
Susan M. Beausang