Susan Carr—photographer, educator, writer, artist

two images

Many of you know Susan Carr as an author and educator whose tireless work continues to help literally 1000s of photographers figure out how to run a business. But, are you aware of her amazing work as an artist?

Susan’s “home project” photographs are a beautiful and significant body of work with great depth and sensitivity that she developed over a period of 10 years. Publishing a book of these images was her greatest personal dream. Susan was never the type to do things halfway—this book is her unfinished business.

We’re taking preorders now to fund the production of Susan’s book—Intimate Histories: Details of American Homes. Showcasing Susan’s “home project,” this high quality hard cover art photography book will contain 140 pages with 80 full-page photographs and 10 double-page photographic details.

The fundraising campaign to produce the book runs through October 26, 2013. If we reach our goal by then, we plan to deliver finished books to you by Susan’s birthday April 5, 2014. Please help us give the world a book of Susan’s lovely and amazing art.

See more photographs from Susan Carr’s Intimate Histories: Details of American Homes.

© Susan Carr

The quality of Susan’s work

We want to do this book because this stunning body of work merits it.

Taken from 2000 to 2009, Susan informally dubbed this collection of photographs her “home project.” Representing her most significant body of work, these images feature domestic interiors all over the U.S. in which the same family or individual lived for forty years or more. The photographs are indirect portraits of the lives of each home’s inhabitants. Each image carefully and respectfully tells a personal story by focusing on objects accumulated over time suspended in a moment—making one feel as though they are actually standing at the counter, in the hall, or next to the nightstand. Susan’s photographs capture the power of each place and the unique emotional tenor of each home.

Photographs from the “home project” are in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Brauer Museum of Art in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The project was exhibited at the Monroe Arts Center in Monroe, Wisconsin, from September 7 to October 19, 2012 under the title, “Intimate Histories: The Power of Place and Significance of Home.”


Susan’s beautifully crafted photographs inspired me to curate the two-person exhibition Open House at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago in 2005, which included a large installation of her work. Her images of the interiors of people’s homes quietly study the distinct ways people express their identity and dreams using personal belongings. Susan was a gifted artist who made engaging, striking photographs. Her voice is sorely missed.

Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago


I will always remember Susan as a first rate professional who approached her art with great precision and attention to detail. Her exhibition at the Brauer Museum of Art was very well received, especially by students who were inspired by her ability to capture human presence in its absence. Such a notion relates directly to the legacy of her art, for her spirit is present in every one of her images.

Gregg Hertzlieb, Director/Curator, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University

ASMP work collage

She gave so much to so many

Susan truly believed in her work with the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) to educate and help photographers to find a balance between making a living and doing what they love most.

There is almost nothing that ASMP has worked on or accomplished since Susan joined the board in 2001 that did not benefit from her insights, vision, strategic problem solving and innate sense of what’s best for photographers and the Society. A past president of ASMP, Susan was dedicated to the advocacy and education of fellow photographers.

She became a public speaker and writer with a distinct voice all her own. She made a real effort to communicate with people at all different stages of life and career.

Among her many accomplishments Susan:
  • Organized and managed the highly successful ASMP Strictly Business conferences
  • Edited ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography, Seventh Edition (2008) and The ASMP Guide to New Markets in Photography, available September 27, 2012.
  • Launched ASMP Seminars traveling educational programs
  • Developed and delivered many seminars on copyright, pricing, licensing and releases
  • Provided vision and editorial input to ASMP’s esteemed online business tutorials and served as principal author of ASMP’s Licensing Guide
  • As founder and editor of ASMP’s Strictly Business blog and ASMP News, the monthly newsletter for members, Susan solidified ASMP’s leadership in the provision of industry news, insight and analysis
  • Authored the book The Art and Business of Photography, released in 2011
© Richard Kelly

Taken in her prime

Susan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in spring, 2011 but continued her work on the “home project” until the very end.

Friendships, an educational program, a personal project, no matter what, Susan gave everything she did 200% or she simply did not do it. She was unstoppable.

Please help us to honor her spirit, her work, and her dream.

210 of 1,000 books sold to date!

If we sell more than 1,000, your book price goes down!


For over twenty-five years Susan Carr was my colleague and closest of friends. She was the most intuitive photographer I’ve known. Her images are true, and rich in the spirit of a life fully lived. Susan brought these strengths to everything she did, whether that be teaching, editing, writing, or her many enduring friendships.

Gary Cialdella

I had the pleasure of knowing Susan Carr as a photographer colleague, a board member, a staff member—and as a friend. It was through her tireless efforts as Education Director that ASMP has become a leader in educating imaging professionals; we are in her eternal debt. She had great vision as a photographer, and personally she was sharp, she was sassy, and she gave 200%. I will miss her.

Eugene Mopsik

Susan possessed the soul of an artist, the mind of a shrewd businessperson, and the heart of a true friend. She used all three to make an impact that will long influence ASMP and the friends who hold her so dear.

Shawn Henry

Susan’s photographs reveal the discerning and compassionate eye that defined her as an artist, educator, advocate and friend. Her legacy lives on in her exquisite imagery, in the lives of countless photographers who pursue their art successfully because of her efforts and in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

Judy Herrmann

All of my national board experience was with Susan and she made it a success and a joy. While the hole in my heart hurts tremendously, the way she filled the rest of it overpowers the pain. I am honored and grateful to have served with her and to simply call her my dear friend.

Bruce Kluckhohn

Susan had a particular aesthetic in her work. She saw how interiors, exteriors, design and the human element interact. She brought that same insight into her work as an advocate and educator.

Richard Kelly

Susan had a wonderful gift of clarity. While everyone else got distracted by the Shiny Thing, she would always cut through the madness and fog with smart and graceful insights that penetrated to the very core of things. I am a better person because Susan Carr was my friend.

Clem Spalding

For many years I had what I consider the true privilege of being able to call myself a friend of Susan’s I’ll always remember the laughs, the times we rolled our eyes together at whatever it was we thought was ridiculous, and our shared excitement at one of her many professional accomplishments. Susan’s passion for photography and the desire to selflessly help her peers in their pursuit of success in our industry is what she’ll be remembered for. I treasured our friendship, I’ll miss you my friend.

Blake Discher