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Design Spotlight: Sue Shepard

January 24, 2012

Today, the Design Spotlight is shining on Sue Shepard of ABC by Sue – I like the idea of using photographs to spell words, it’s really cool.


I live in Southern California and I am a Marriage & Family Therapist.  What I love about Alphabet Photography is that it gets me outdoors and looking at the world with a new perspective.  I began doing it a little over three years ago.  First I just wanted to see if I could photograph my own A-Z, but then I got hooked and saw letters everywhere I went and could not leave my house without my camera.  Prior to this, the only pictures I ever took were of my nieces and nephew on holidays and the camera I owned could fit in my pocket.

I started by making a 40th birthday gift for a friend by framing some of my photos to spell out their last name.  At the party, people wanted to order gifts for their friends and I was asked by an employee of the local School of Arts to sell my photos at their upcoming Holiday Boutique.  Immediately I was in business and I had only showed up to show off my new hobby.

At my first event, it was humbling to see real photography students and their instructors buying my photos.  I was embarrassed when one of them asked me what aperture I was shooting at and I had to admit that I didn’t even know what that word meant.  They were shocked to discover that I had taken my pictures with a pocket sized point and shoot camera.  I used the money I made from that show to buy myself a “real” camera.

At the end of August 2011, I discovered Greeting Card Universe and decided to see if I could use my letters to create greeting cards.  I sold my first card two weeks after my store went live and I was hooked.  One of the things I like best about GCU is that it’s all about the creativity and they take care of all the work.  I am thrilled that I can create as many cards as I want because I don’t have to keep any inventory, haul boxes of cards to a boutique, or pay for printing or postage fees.

This “Thank You” card is my current best seller.  I like it because it has some of my favorite letters.  The “T” and “N” came from a pier in Santa Barbara and I love that I captured these letters with the ocean in the background.  The “A” is a weathered bench I found while taking a walk on a pier in Maui.  Each letter has a story that goes with it and I enjoy seeing them strung together with every card I create.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Ramelle Richardson permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:16 am

    Sue, your ABC cards are delightful! So fun and creative. The idea of finding the alphabet in everyday places is very clever. I always see animals in clouds, popcorn, woodgrain, etc; now you’ve got me watching architectural shapes for alphabet letters, too. Best wishes, Ramelle

  2. January 24, 2012 8:44 am

    A real clever and fun idea!

  3. January 24, 2012 10:53 am

    I am so glad you were spotlighted today Sue. I hadn’t seen your shop yet. Love your cards and photography! Best of luck to you.

  4. January 24, 2012 3:43 pm

    Sue, you have a unique perspective on the world. It makes for great cards.
    I think most of us probably go around not seeing the world at all!
    Good job.

  5. January 24, 2012 4:30 pm

    Not only a great idea, but so well executed as a greeting card style! Wonderful cards, a recognizable style and a professional storefront – I’d say you have a very bright future! I’m a huge fan!


  6. naquaiya permalink
    January 24, 2012 4:55 pm

    Love this, you are very unique. Can’t wait to see more and how this develops.

  7. January 24, 2012 5:25 pm

    Really Nice.. Love the card.

    Donna Collins

  8. January 24, 2012 6:01 pm

    WOW! Fantastic style, Sue! I believe you could inspire a whole new genre of alpha-photo cards. 🙂 Love your technique and your clever sentiments. I agree with Doreen . . . you have a very bright future.

    Glad you’re a part of GCU. 🙂


  9. January 24, 2012 6:21 pm

    Wow -great photos and an amazing yet simple concept! Very witty and clever.

  10. January 24, 2012 7:00 pm

    Very creative, Sue. I took a look at your website and see you have a lot of great choices for each letter. Best of luck to you … I know you’ll do well!


  11. Lj Maxx permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:14 pm

    They are super interesting to look at. What fun creating too. I have seen this idea utilized at several craft shows the past few years. The Big-E in Mass. this year had a few of them. I also noted how very busy is was at their booths of interested buyers.. Your onto something in demand indeed~ Congrats to your designs and in this featured blog too!

  12. Gail Pepin permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:43 pm

    Thanks, Sue, for sharing your story with us. You are very talented and I wish you much success!

  13. January 24, 2012 8:21 pm

    As Doreen has shared it’s not only a keen eye but excellent execution! Well done, A+ 😉

  14. January 25, 2012 6:44 pm

    Thank you to each of you that left comments above. It means a great deal to me to receive encouragement from fellow artists. I am grateful to be a part of this community.

  15. January 25, 2012 9:52 pm

    Sue, your cards are adorable, very creative! I enjoyed reading your story about how you got started.
    Janet Lee

  16. January 31, 2012 5:05 pm

    Love the alphabet concept and reading your Spotlight. Just wonderful! Congrats!

  17. Alex and Susan Lidyoff permalink
    February 2, 2012 3:31 am

    Sue, enjoyed reading about your start…your talent/creativeness is refreshing…..wish I thought of this!!!! Have a wonderful trip into this new world. Love and Hugs from Susan Lidyoff your Mother’s friend/cousin/SISTER-IN-SPIRIT!!!!!

    Aloha from the desert!!!!

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