For better and for worse, timing has played a major role in Susan Anderson’s life.
A competitive athlete who played field hockey, tennis and golf as a kid in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she dreamed of becoming a physical education teacher and a coach. After completing a degree in PE and social studies at the University of Michigan, where she also played field hockey, she moved to Chicago but couldn’t find a teaching job because the public schools had just eliminated athletics along with art and music.
So she became a banker. After spending some time in personnel and operations, she went through a grueling 18-month program to become a banking officer in trade finance and then switched to selling bonds. She worked at the Continental Bank of Chicago and then for the brokerage firm Wayne Hummer. At age 50, she retired from her brokerage career and moved to Florida to become a real estate agent.
When her parents passed away, she inherited some money and started to buy real estate. But that was in 2008. “All real estate went to hell there,” she said. “It turned out to be a fiasco.”
But when she helped a friend move to Anderson, S.C., she spotted a beautiful house on Glenwood Avenue. Because the owners were out of town, she ended up buying it sight unseen, and eventually moved here.
In her retirement, Anderson operates a photography business. While she donates much of her efforts to community agencies and has done plenty of shoots such as weddings, families, and groups, her goal is to focus on real estate photography, which involves taking pictures of the insides of houses for sale. The challenge, she says, is that “a lot of real estate agents don’t think they need a professional photographer.”
Anderson shoots with a Nikon 5300 and three lenses: normal, wide angle, and telephoto. Her gift, she believes, is the heart she puts into photography. “I feel it when I’m taking a photo,” she said. “I put everything into it.”
Her work has won several awards, including second prize at the Anderson Arts Center in 2010 for a picture of two parrots. She was also voted County Artist of the Month when she lived in Punta Gorda, Florida, which was also the site of a crushing loss when Hurricane Charlie destroyed 25 prints she had on display in a coffee shop.
Anderson’s photographs will be on display at the Anderson YMCA Sept. 5 through Oct. 31. For more information about Susan Anderson, visit https://www.facebook.com/Photos-by-Susan-Jane-520122271406561/.