Photographer Susie Reed is an astute observer who loves to discover what she finds at photo shoots. People say her beautiful pictures are so vibrant and alive they can smell the flowers, her fruit and vegetable photos make their mouths water and her ancient rock art images make them feel they’re in archeological sites.
Reed draws upon over 30 years experience behind the camera, her keen eye, good instincts and digital technology to create her vivid images. No matter what she’s photographing, her intention is always to show the beauty and essence of her subjects. Much like a painter, she works with colors and contrast until her subjects come alive.
Reed has an extensive background in fine arts and commercial photography. Her work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries including the International Museum of Photography and the Library of Congress. She’s taught at California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Art Institute, where she earned her degree with honors in photography. She’s currently on the faculty of the Sedona Arts Center.
In 2005 Reed moved from the Bay Area to Sedona following her heart’s calling to photograph rock art. Her interest in the subject got triggered ten years earlier when she happened upon the Palatki Heritage Site while vacationing in Sedona. There she discovered a wealth of rock art made by Sinagua Indians and other prehistoric natives. She found her photos of their creations captivating, intricate, mysterious depictions of days gone by. She became fascinated and curious - an enduring passion for the subject took hold.
Susie Reed collaborates with Sedona’s ancient artists – from as far back as 12,000 years ago. As a contemporary photographer Reed beautifully carries on prehistoric communications with sensitivity and respect. She works to protect, conserve, document and share rock art not only for its beauty and historical, instinct value, but also out of concern for its vulnerability. She’s seen rock art fade from exposure, lost to development and defaced. She’s revisited sites and discovered artifacts stolen.
Reed’s pictures provide a way for rock art treasures to be seen while fragile archeological sites remain untouched. She believes Native Americans wanted certain petroglyphs and petroglyphs viewed by future generations, like solar and lunar markers she’s photographed that continue to show changes of seasons.