Lightwork Photography is a group of skilled photographers and artisans experienced in every area of photography. Lightwork specializes in weddings, lifestyle portraiture, and product photography.

Susan

Susan Murtha Lightwork Photography

Image Courtesy of Verve Studio

I am an owner and principal photographer at Lightwork. I answer a lot of emails and phone calls, so most likely I will also be your first contact with Lightwork. I have been photographing professionally since 2001 and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Delaware in 2004.

The name Lightwork means a lot to me because it catches the essence of what photography is – working with light. The years I’ve spent viewing the world through a camera lens has honed my eye to see the possibilities of using light to express the beauty of everything and everyone I see, especially if that beauty is unconventional, unexpected, and spontaneous. I work with light to create your story, capture your moments, and take a unique perspective on the most important times and people in your life.

My education at the University of Delaware provided me with a viewpoint and training that I otherwise would not have. My background in bookmaking, printmaking, 3D design, painting, and even ceramics informs the work I do to this day. From the basics of learning composition, how to use color, etc. to building sets for photo shoots and always looking for the unexpected moment of perfect expression, my education helped transform me from someone who take pictures into a fine artist. My experience with bookmaking has led me to crafting albums as an integral part of the work I do.

While in college, I began photographing product and making images for Skatebuys, Inc., an online retailer. In 2004, I began photographing weddings, sometimes up to three in a single weekend. I loved it. When I switched to digital in 2005, the possibilities seemed endless for capturing exciting, artistic images for my clients– and to this day, it still feels that way. I am always learning, always pushing myself, and always striving to do make beautiful, unconventional, and timeless images.

Portraits, especially those of children, families, and babies have become especially close to my heart. My son Garrett was born in May, 2005. He has kept me on my toes since with his quirky, funny personality, which I have documented tirelessly. Because of that, I would love to make images of what family means to you and yours. I have photographed newborns, infants and toddlers all the way up to Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, Sweet 16 parties, and senior portraits.

I have trained and worked with many area photographers. Most notably, I spent 2008 and 2009 working with Jo Vernon of Photo Design Group. Jo has 30 years of experience in wedding and portrait photography, and I am proud to call her my mentor. Some of the images you’ll see in my galleries were taken while working at Jo’s events or portrait sittings.

Joe

Joe is one of our principal wedding photographers. Joe is an expert at lighting and equipment, and always keeps us up to date with the latest gear and gadgets that help make our photos awesome.

I met Joe in late 2005 while working for another photographer. We had a long car ride and long day of shooting, and by the end of it we realized that we worked really well together and also were going to be great friends. He studied photography at Cecil Community College, and also worked as a photographer at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Joe took the plunge into digital photography a couple years before me. When we met, by coincidence, I had recently purchased my first DSLR camera. By the end of that wedding, I was a convert to digital.

We have been photographing weddings together for over seven years. We work well as a team and complement each others’ skill sets perfectly. Joe and I will often take the same shot from different, complementary angles without planning, which makes for great album layout. Joe is a brilliant photographer who can take formal and traditional shots with ease, allowing me to explore alternate angles and viewpoints.

Jen

Jen is my second photographer and all-around right hand woman. She accompanies me to most portrait sessions and weddings. Jen is also our newborn, maternity, and baby expert, combining on-location, studio, and in-home lifestyle approaches to make beautiful images that your family will cherish forever.

I met Jen in 3D Design class at the University of Delaware over 10 years ago. Once we started working in the darkroom, Jen and I hit it off immediately. She is also the daughter of a small business owner and, like me, grew up in North Wilmington. From a young age Jen’s artistic talent has been notable. She attended the Governor’s School for Excellence for her artwork in high school. In college, Jen was known for her meticulous execution of projects as well as her natural talent for photojournalistic imagemaking.

I love working with Jen because she loves pushing the camera to see what it can do. At most wedding receptions, she’ll have a camera on a tripod trying different settings and lighting, just to see if she can capture something really unique and special– and she usually does. As well, Jen is great at capturing people just doing what they do best, whatever that happens to be.

Jen is also a detail person. We often end up pinning on buttonieres, helping bustle dresses and other things that we’ve seen and done a lot more than the average bride or bridal party. Jen once laced up the back of a corset-style dress for a bride when her bridesmaids couldn’t get it right, and it was done perfectly (of course). Jen will often interrupt me to fluff a dress or move something to make an image perfect.

Jen also makes beautiful cakes and cupcakes that are true works of art and is a talented seamstress. She is truly a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to making beautiful things, and I am grateful to be able to work with her so closely.

Ross

Ross is just learning the photography industry as an assistant. We are also married, and love spending time together even if we’re at work. Ross often accompanies me to shoots to carry bags, hold lights, and generally make my life a little easier so I can concentrate on taking beautiful photographs instead of worrying about where to plug in an extension cord. He is also my meticulous back office man– he keeps me organized, filed and on schedule. That cute little guy with him is our son, Garrett, who thinks all of my clients are celebrities and wants to meet each and every one of you.