fresh.simple.true. bio picture
  • Well, hello! Welcome to fresh.simple.true. I create unusual portraits for unusual beings.

    I'm based in Long Beach and I live for The Quirk. Funny faces, silly expressions, and personal interactions that are like wonderful inside jokes to your family. Babies and dogs are my specialty; I love them individually, but when you put them together...bam! Awesomeness happens.

    My clients like portraits that show who they are, not just what they look like. They want the important stages of their lives documented, but in a genuine way. No soft focus for them; no awkward family poses and definitely no matching turtlenecks.

    This site is a combination of my portfolio and blog. Blog posts are right below this introduction, and links to my portfolio work are directly above. I love to blog, but honestly, I'm on Facebook probably more than I should be, so find me there and say hello.

    I donate my time & art to many nonprofits. Rescue work is close to my heart and I offer session discounts for those with rescued/shelter animals and also senior or terminally ill animals.

    I'm a big fan of community. I make my artwork available to nonprofit fundraisers at no cost; if you have an event coming up and would like to auction some of my work, don't hesitate to drop me a line and let me know what you've got going on.

I shot Elsie & Loren’s wedding last year. Elsie is good friends with the woman who lives in the house behind ours; someone I’d talked to before, but never really got to know. Until Elsie came along. It really is a small world. I hate that phrase (mostly because I hear it in my head […]

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  • March 5, 2013 - 5:35 pm

    Cindi - You know I love this. And relate to SO much of it.
    And now I must go upload that song.ReplyCancel

  • March 5, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    susan sabo - I love how I can always count on you when it comes to hair and the 70s. xoReplyCancel

  • March 5, 2013 - 10:16 pm

    Dawna Bunday - Hi Susan, I was turned on to you by one of my most special friends I have. Dr. Jean Rabinowitz..We have been friends for along time now and I thank her for sharing you with me. I think your work is absolutely fabulous!! I am also a product of the 70’s and can relate to everything you spoke about in your post above. I was wondering since your profession is photography if you can give me some pointers on taking a good picture. I have never ever taken a good picture and it was only since and old class mate as me if I had any pics of myself smiling or at least looking somewhat happy. Every pic ever taken of speak of…my eyes are closed or I look mad. I have just accepted that I am not photogenic at all. I have a few pics of me on Facebook, but nothing that I would consider a “good” pic. I’m sure you are very busy, but if you ever have the time for some tips..Id’e really appreciate it.Thank you for all the beautiful work you do. ~Dawna Bunday~ReplyCancel

  • March 5, 2013 - 11:36 pm

    Karan - totally agree… beautifully written and photographed…ReplyCancel

  • March 12, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    susan sabo - Hi Dawna, thanks so much for the nice words, you’re very sweet. Everyone is photogenic! It’s just a matter of finding how you want to look. When I started, i did a lot of self portraits. I tried different lighting different parts of the house, etc. I also did a lot of silly stuff, tossing my hair around, stuff like that, just to grab a shot while I wasn’t looking. I became an expert at taking candids of myself :) Try that for awhile. Don’t be shy, it’s just you in the room. And if you don’t like the photos (and I hated tons of mine), just delete them. I hope that helps.

    Hey Karan, thank you. xoReplyCancel

That’s what I have today. It’s not a new feeling; I’ve had it before, and I’m sure I’ll have it again. But the circumstances for this sadness are new to me. I don’t know what to do with this sadness, except let it be and learn from it. The lesson I learned today is that […]

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  • February 8, 2013 - 3:18 pm

    Cynthia Zulla - hugs to you smalldogs :( I know this wasn’t an easy decision and my heart breaks for you. I know this is futile to say to you, but don’t beat yourself up…you have done such amazing work with J & T…I remember those early days with them.ReplyCancel

  • February 8, 2013 - 3:37 pm

    louize - So sorry to hear things didn’t work out, but you know deep down you did the right thing… our boys are too old and too traumatised to take new dogs into their spaces, and hard as it can be (there isn’t a day when I wouldn’t love to rescue someone else) I think we have to accept that that next rescue will have to wait until later… a huge hug, and I am sure the exposure you have given sweet spider will help her find a forever home xxxReplyCancel

  • February 8, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    Marina - You’re a good person. You took in those first two dogs and you are being a good pet parent by caring for them. Maybe a rescue can take him in. You did what you could. You did more than most do.ReplyCancel

  • February 11, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Linda - Don’t fret although I know you will, it means you are a good person with a great heart. I know how hard and tramatic that must have been. At least you tried, which is so much more than some people are willing to do.

    My daughter and I have had a horrible year concerning rescues. We feel so defeated and sad. There is nothing to do but march along and learn anything that will help. The evil in the world just seems to pile up so much as to be overwhelming to me anyway.ReplyCancel

  • February 11, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    susan sabo - Aw, thanks guys. Your kind words mean a lot to me; I really appreciate you all.

    Linda, I’m sorry to hear that. Rescue work is the hardest work I’ve ever been involved in. It can be completely defeating at times, and it can also make you lost faith in people. Then I read a happy story and it helps raise my hopes a little. I hope things get better for you and your daughter.ReplyCancel

  • February 12, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    Jodi - I don’t think it’s rationalizing or excuses. You made the hard, right decision that you had to make for you and your pack. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

  • February 12, 2013 - 10:41 pm

    susan sabo - Thanks Jodi, that’s very sweet of you to say. I happily accept your hugs and send a few of my own right back.ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    Kim - Susan – the exact thing happened to me last year. We brought Amber home after a very successful meet and greet with our dog Zoe. As the afternoon progressed the fighting got more aggressive and serious. By the evening everyone had their separate corners and Zoe was a very unhappy girl. We kept pulling them apart throughout the next day and finally by Monday we knew that this wasn’t going to work out. Amber was/is a fantastic dog and was so sweet and just wanted to be loved. But she wasn’t going to allow Zoe to push her around and Zoe wasn’t about to have anything to do with Amber. We were in fits for days. In the end, it was the right thing to do for Amber. It took a few weeks but she ended up being adopted and is now very active in agility training. She is living a great doggy life.

    It is so difficult to see the needy dogs (in my case weekly) and not become attached to them. You are not a bad person, you are doing so much good for all the animals that you photograph. You too did the right thing. It will work out the way it is suppose to. Just know that you gave Spider the much needed chance to be out of the shelter for a little bit of time. She is a better dog because of it, I am sure.ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    susan sabo - Hey Kim, Thanks so much for sharing your story. I still feel so sad about how this went down. Though I’m sure you’re right, I really wish it didn’t end this way for Spider and us.ReplyCancel