Meet Susan Miles – an inspirational woman who uses her photography skills to help worthy causes
Meet Susan Miles – a cheerful, warm-hearted lady with a great passion for learning and a “Never give up!” attitude.
Her favourite passions are charitable work and photography.
Since learning photography, I feel I’ve become bubblier and have so much energy. My family also appreciates the new me!
Sue’s Photographic Journey
Susan (who most of us know as Sue) is originally from the UK, but has been living in Singapore for the last 16 years. She raised her family here and one fine day found that she was an empty nester looking for something to occupy herself.
Sue had a Canon EOS 100D camera that she hardly used and a friend recommended taking a photography course with Karen Lucas. Sue completed Karen’s Beginners Photography Workshop in May 2015 and, thrilled by how much she had begun to enjoy photography, she signed up for the Intermediate and Advanced workshops a few months later.
She also started going with Karen on her famous Photo Walks and learned so much from the practical experiences. “Karen goes above and beyond when it comes to sharing her expertise. She’s extremely knowledgeable and helpful, a great motivator, and I love her direct, non-fluffy style of explaining things.” says Sue.
Sue discovered an adventurous side to her personality and started walking along Orchard Road on her own to hone her skills, capturing reflections in windows, architecture, close-ups of flowers, etc. and she gradually built up her confidence and passion for photography. She also started taking photos of her grandson which was not only emotionally fulfilling, but also greatly appreciated by her family. She now has a beautiful granddaughter.
Sue, who describes herself as a tech dinosaur, has enjoyed amazing photography experiences both in Singapore and traveling to Myanmar and Cambodia with Karen. She’s made new friends who share her enthusiasm for photography and she’s learned to overcome her inhibitions and get right into the thick of the action to execute amazing photos.
Sue’s Charitable Work
Sue has an incredibly giving nature and, whenever we chat to her, she’s involved in some kind of project where she’s donating her time and skills to a worthy cause.
Sue volunteers with Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and her contributions to the charity have recently won her an award from the Singapore government for 15 years’ volunteering. Two of her portraits of horses were recently used as postcards to help raise funds. She also helps local special-needs children, together with an amazing team bringing great joy to the children taking part in the therapy sessions with the wonderfully trained horses.
Always ready to help a friend, she recently photographed a friend’s British bull dog for a fun Pet Portrait Calendar. “It was a tough project as the dog kept running around and refused to stand still for a picture!”, remembers Sue with a smile. She used a black backdrop and took the photos in the RDA arena at night using two loom tubes and a torch for light. It just goes to show how much she has progressed and how creative she has become.
She’s also done photo shoots for the charities Child at Street 11 and Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS) and says she learns something new every time she takes on a new project.
What’s next for Sue?
I’d love to go back to Africa on safari with my new camera and hire a long lens. I love the outdoors, taking great photos of nature and would love to join Karen’s macro workshop using my new macro lens. And I want to learn more theory and try Black & White Photography.
Sue is still learning a lot – how to work the scene and how to compose her shots creatively – but she’s so much more confident with a camera now and she’s the proud owner of a new, well-deserved Canon EOS 80D!
Sue’s advice for those with a new camera thinking of starting to learn photography
Don’t waste the great potential of your camera – you can do amazing things with it and it’s so much fun! And, through learning something new, you could end up discovering a whole new aspect of yourself.