Over 40 Experience

I have truly found such a joy giving women over 40 a luxury experience where they feel valued, heard, and loved, as they should be!

I believe every woman should leave a legacy of portraits for her family, and to do that she needs to actually have them taken! Most women are so busy DOING for everyone else, there is never time for herself to take time out for a pampering experience where she feels like a star for a day!

Now is that time. I create that transformational experience where a woman can find herself again, remember who she was and who she still wants to be, and then find that power and strength every day as she’s empowered looking at her gorgeous album of portraits, or the art on the wall that exemplifies her beauty daily.

Many of the women choose to wear fancy gowns or cocktail dresses from my extensive wardrobe, it just elevates the experience when you truly feel like a princess! But they can also opt to have a casual and/or business outfit that is more of their “real” look, but their very best version. Combining those all together in the session gives a great variety to choose from, and to use for different purposes! Branding for work, a super gorgeous headshot she’ll be so proud of, an elegant look for wall art, and some casual portraits to capture the real “YOU”.

And so many women tell me they never get their portraits taken, maybe not even as a high school senior! And they aren’t in family portraits, it’s all about the kids. Then lots of women tell me they’re not photogenic at all. I’d love to prove you wrong! Time for you to have your moment in the spotlight and shine!

Here are just a few women I’ve photographed for this experience over the past few years, and they have all been so special! Every one of them realized it’s worth investing in herself, and every one of them thought it was well worth it!

Is it your turn? It should be! Give me a call or email me, right now! I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m available. 775-745-0445 sue@sierraelegance

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

9 − six =

Rainbow Baby Maternity Session

I am truly honored and blessed to work with this special couple, and I have shared their journey since their engagement and now they are preparing to welcome their baby girl in April of 2024!

Here is their story…

This is the sad post that Kylie and Anthony had to share in July of 2022. They got to hold and love on their baby boy who became an angel, it was devastating news. I wanted to share their own words.

Dear friends and family, we have some difficult news to share. We welcomed our angel boy into this world on July 8th at 8:03pm. Anthony and I were told at our anatomy scan that my placenta was small and was failing. We were then told that our boy had stopped growing at about 18 weeks. We were told that stillbirth was imminent. We enjoyed every last moment we had with him, every last kick. He was such a strong boy. Our sweet boy was born stillborn at 23 weeks and 1 day. He was so perfect. Perfect little nose, ten fingers and ten toes. He was so little. We are devastated that we didn’t get to bring our boy home and watch him grow. But, we know that he is all around us and will help us get through our grief. We are so thankful to be your parents, Noah Anthony. We chose your name because Noah means “to rest” and we knew when we met you, that is exactly what you would be doing. Resting peacefully. We miss you so much and every moment is filled with thoughts of you. We know that God is holding you tight and giving you lots of love for us. We can’t wait to be with you one day. Until then, please watch over us, help us make the right decisions, and help God pick out the most perfect brothers or sisters for you. We love you sweet boy, we always will.

With lots of love,

Mommy and Daddy

Now they are getting ready for their baby girl soon! When we took these portraits for their pregnancy announcement, they were beyond excited to be expecting again! I can’t imagine how nerve wracking every week was, counting down to viability. But they were also thrilled to share the news, and everyone who loves them was incredibly happy as well!

A rainbow baby is a baby that is born after a loss, the rainbow gives your hope back!

Fast forward to almost 31 weeks, and it was time for a full maternity session! We decided to have a studio session because of it being mid-winter and unpredictable weather. It was nice to have a completely different look and vibe to the session as well. For both sessions, Kylie chose several of my studio wardrobe gowns, skirts, and bodysuits as well as a ruffly purple robe to compliment her beautiful baby bump!

Telling your own story with a maternity session is a lasting legacy. Your child will look with wonder every time at the beautiful photographs, amazed that he or she was that bump that was being showcased. It is part of your history that will be enjoyed again and again, and so meaningful as time flies by. You may not feel your best, whether it’s the morning sickness (that lasts all day), the stretch marks, the extra weight, or the pain or discomfort. I will take my time to make you feel gorgeous and you’ll receive the pampering you deserve! I will guide you through planning the perfect outfits, or shopping my incredible studio closet, or a combination of both. Don’t let this special time disappear without this special commemoration of your journey to bring this child into the world.

I love to get creative with maternity sessions! If you have a baby coming this year, don’t wait to reach out to schedule your session at about 30-35 weeks. We can create portraits in the studio, outdoors, or in my boudoir studio. 775-745-0445 sue@sierraelegance.com

3 Responses to “Rainbow Baby Maternity Session”

  1. Diana Juarez

    How beautiful that you were able to capture such a blessing of a time for them! In such a classy and empowering way.

  2. Heather Cummins

    Thank you Sue for being such an important part of capturing so many priceless moments for our family! Our house is full of beautiful moments you have captured for our family and now the families of our children as well.

  3. Pat Sulaty

    What precious time in your life! Beautiful pictures, United with parents who love one another and their new baby girl! God’s love in a nutshell!

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

8 − = six

Boudoir Photography for Couples: Celebrate Your Relationship

Boudoir photography is often associated with solo shoots, but couples boudoir sessions are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re considering a boudoir session with your partner, here are a few reasons why you should go for it.

Celebrate Your Relationship

A couples boudoir session is an intimate and creative way to celebrate your relationship. It’s a chance to showcase your love and affection in a unique and personal way. Whether you’ve been together for years or are just starting out, a couples boudoir session can capture the connection and chemistry between you and your partner. 

Capture Beautiful Memories

Couples boudoir sessions are also an opportunity to capture beautiful memories that you can cherish for years to come. The photos can serve as a reminder of your love and affection, and can be displayed in your home as a personal and intimate piece of art. Best date night ever? I think yes. 

Boost Your Confidence

Boudoir photography sessions are known for boosting confidence, and the same applies to couples boudoir sessions. By posing with your partner, you can feel more comfortable and at ease, and the photos can showcase your natural chemistry and beauty. The experience can also strengthen your relationship and bring you closer together. Seeing how amazing you and your partner look together is a HUGE ego boost. 

Create a Unique Gift

They make such a unique and intimate gift for your partner. The photos can be a personal and creative way to showcase your love toward each other, and can make for a memorable keepsake that you both can cherish.

Have Fun and Be Creative

A couples boudoir session is a chance to have fun and be creative with your partner. You can choose outfits that complement each other, experiment with poses and expressions, and even incorporate props or themes that reflect your personalities and relationship.

As you can see, your couples boudoir session can be a beautiful and empowering experience that celebrates your relationship and captures beautiful memories. From boosting your confidence to creating a unique gift for your partner, there are many reasons why you should consider a couples boudoir session. So why not treat yourself and your partner to a special experience that you’ll never forget? When you’re ready, let’s chat –>nevadaboudoir 775.745.0445

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

− five = 1

Why you may not want (or need) a Mini-Session

You probably see mini-sessions advertised all over the place, especially on Facebook. While mini-sessions are an inexpensive way to get quick portraits, they may not be what you are looking for, or you didn’t even realize the alternatives!

So here are some benefits to booking a full portrait session when you want to capture something truly special!

  • Short time block— If your child/pet/husband isn’t cooperating, that’s your one shot to get something good. You might all leave very frustrated and probably not with good results. With a full session, your time isn’t limited except by the sun, so we can take our time, relax, and have a fun experience! Sometimes with mini-sessions it’s hurry up and wait. Sometimes people are early, sometimes they’re late, and it can cause major issues with timing. And as I said earlier, if you’re not getting great results and you’re running out of time, it can be very stressful!
  • Clothing Planning— With our full sessions, you have an expert to guide you to select your clothing to create a harmonious look. I will personally even come to your home and into your closets to help you choose complementary outfits and help you shop your closet. You don’t have to do a bunch of stressful shopping (unless you love shopping and want to!). Most of the time there is no guidance with mini-sessions, so outfits aren’t really cohesive and it doesn’t provide the best result. Unless, of course, you have matching jammies! Ha ha!
  • Location— Mini-sessions take place in one location. Full sessions are customized to you and your desires, your style, and your decor. What might be great for some people may not be what you had envisioned. Our sessions have the option of taking place in our studio, your home, your yard, or MANY local locations that we have used over the years and we know what will look great. I want to create portraits in a location that is meaningful to you.
  • Posing Variety— Since mini-sessions are so quick and usually in one spot, there may not be a variety in poses and settings. Even in an hour session, I can do many combinations of the group in many different ways, so you have a great selection of portraits and poses to choose from. As well as being able to take plenty of time with each pose to make sure everyone looks great from hair to clothing to even your fingers!
  • Control of lighting— with an outdoor mini-session only a few people get the best light. If they are too early then we have harsh midday light. I schedule all of my outdoor sessions around sunset and the best light of the day! It makes a huge difference in the quality of the portraits as well as flattering light which makes people look great!
  • Time for more than one outfit— we allow time if you would like to wear multiple outfits then that is no problem. Not really an option for a quick session.
  • Luxury products— almost all mini-sessions offer a certain number of digital images, but what do you do with them after you post on social media? I truly believe in the inherent value of printed artwork, that it is a legacy for your family instead of being lost in digital dust. Having a treasured album or a luxurious collage of wall art that makes your heart sing every time you look at them- that’s true value!
  • Taking the time to get to know you and your family is actually number one!!! We start with a phone consultation to ask questions and walk through the process as I find out more about you and your vision, and learn about each family member and their unique qualities. Then we meet in person at your home or my studio for a design consultation where we dig deeper and design your session and experience. We want to make sure the family feels involved and a part of the process! I want you all to be comfortable and looking forward to the session, not dreading it. It should be a family memory that brings you closer every time you look at your portraits.
  • Fast turnaround— You can view and order your portraits in-person with me, or even by Zoom, within a day or two of your session most of the time. You don’t have to wait days or weeks to see if we got anything good! And you are in control of what you choose to order, I don’t pick for you. The portraits go straight to the retoucher and get back to you within a few days also, so you have them super quick! Then your products are ordered, which take longer but totally worth the wait.

If you would like more information about planning a unique custom session designed just for you, get in touch! Give me a call at 775-745-0445 or email sue@sierraelegance.com

I’d love to get to know you and chat about your vision!

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

− 2 = three

Cinch- A Story of Survival by Carley Ingram

Reno, Nevada

I was told over the course of my life and my career with equines I would meet a lot of horses, but one of those horses would be special. A horse that wouldn’t necessarily be the most talented, or the best mover, one who may have quirks or even come with a warning label. This special horse would be one I would see something in that no one else would, and unlock parts of myself I didn’t even know existed. A horse who would change my life by simply being in it. Many people in our industry are familiar with the term “heart horse.” God may only grace you with an animal this special once in your lifetime. I was graced with mine when I was 14 years old; he was a gangly, clumsy long yearling who wasn’t making the strides in the cutting pen and reaching the bar that was set for him. He was quirky, broncy and constantly getting into trouble. He was as plain as the day is long; sorrel with a blaze and a small white sock. There wasn’t a damn thing that was flashy about him, hell he didn’t even fit into his legs. I didn’t even pick him… he picked me. He stepped up to the plate when my good mare was injured and quickly picked up the pattern a few short years later. This sorrel carried me on to accomplish every goal I set for us from local races to pro rodeos. He filled our permit at the first rodeo he was ever entered in and went on to earn over $68,000, multiple arena records, a dozen plus buckles, 8 saddles and a lifetime of memories and gratitude.

Here’s something I learned, you either say how you feel and mess something up or you say nothing and let it mess you up instead. I want to share Cinch’s story despite the hesitation of my own heart and recommendation of authorities. This selfless animal never recognized the winner he was, he didn’t know he was running at the top or winning anything. He doesn’t have a concept of what a dollar is worth, or the miles down the road, or the time being a competitor took, but he does possess the consciousness of what having heart is. He didn’t comprehend we were racing the clock, or competing against others the horse just loved his job with every ounce of being that made him whole. He has always been a “yes ma’am” horse, a get the job done at the very best of my ability despite the odds or despite the limitations. Cinch literally thrives off defying all odds in every sense of any challenge he was ever presented with. He was diagnosed with kissing spine, asthma and he’s even allergic to his own sweat. He never let any of those challenges stop him from clocking at the top.

Our biggest challenge we faced together was no different. On March 5th 2022 I woke up to feed after running the previous night at a race and found Cinch in the worst condition I had ever seen an animal in. He appeared to have been colicky through the night and was rapidly deteriorating into a neurological state. We medicated him and had an on-site vet evaluate him. It was determined he needed immediate emergency surgery but we were 3 hours from the nearest surgery center. We were also in well over a foot of snow that was continuing to fall. Cinch quickly became unable to stand on his own legs and even tried to hang himself on the panels. We had no choice but to sedate him and a group of friends banded together and carried him to the trailer. The vet warned us to drive careful and not to be alarmed if we felt him fall. I couldn’t breathe and the tears wouldn’t stop as we made our way to the surgery center praying he didn’t leave this world as we made our way through the storm. As we pulled into the clinic I held my breath opening the trailer door. He was still standing. He had held into the trailer bars with his teeth the entire ride knowing if he went down, he was not going to get up. As they took him into surgery I was warned he would likely not make it past the first few minutes of sedation or to the first cut. I agreed to still proceed knowing that he wouldn’t be in pain any longer if that were the case. Four and a half hours later we were notified he was still here with us and that the surgery indicated foul play and not colic. His battle was only starting as he began to wake from sedation he had completely tipped the scales and began battling a white blood cell count of 76,000 (yes that extra zero is correct) and a completely neurological state. He tested negative for everything we tested him for – West Nile, EPM, etc. He was then given a 3% chance to live – not recover. At one point on the surgery floor I was told to go in and say my goodbyes. As I went in to do so, my best friend was cold and lying on the floor with no fight left. I pulled his head into my lap and told him it was okay and that he could go join Bull, another incredible gelding I had the pleasure of having in my barn, and I thanked him for everything he had done for me. This is when this horse’s heart comes into play – that whole defying all odds he seems to love so much. He stood up. He couldn’t feel his legs, he was literally being held up by pulleys from two incredible vet techs. Cinch stood up to tell us he wasn’t finished here and he wasn’t going anywhere. The incredible surgeon asked if he could ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at him and that he had never met one who refused to give up like him. He spent 11 days in ICU, had a trachea tube placed as he could not breathe on his own and all we could do was hold our breath, pray and watch the vets work magic. When I was told he could come home I had never felt so much gratitude in my heart. His future was uncertain but he was able to recover out of his neurological state and come home. That was all that mattered. My best friend was coming home.

Nearly 500 days have passed since that dark day, and two surgeries in total, this incredible animal isn’t a winner. He’s a warrior. He has recovered beyond any expectation and has been released to be back under saddle. He can only walk for 20 minutes a day but that’s 20 minutes a day I never thought we would see again and every minute is a gift. We can only hope his continued recovery is just as bright, I wouldn’t put it past his determination to enter the rodeo arena again. This horse did not come into my life and become so incredibly special because he won. It was his heart, his patience and encouragement to get through dark times in my life, and to let me ride the high of the best days of my life. “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul has been left unawakened.” He awakened my soul and is the greatest friend a girl could ask him for. He has always given me 110% and a dear friend told me, “you don’t ever have to explain yourself, there are just some horses you’ll go to the ends of the earth for and Cinch is that horse for you.” With that being said Cinch, thank you for everything you’ve given me, taught me and let me reach for the stars. You taught me to always love the horse first, and for that I owe you the world. We aren’t done with our adventures yet.

“A warrior learns something from every battle that is fought.

They are here to show the world that you can be both light and dark, gentle and fierce, warrior and a healer.

That balance is essential and it is powerful.

Warriors are here to show us courage.

With each battle they are reborn with more divine wisdom and strength.

With each battle they learn to honor the dark, yet embrace the light.

Their light then shines bright enough to help others.

To encourage.

And inspire others out of their darkness.”

-Author Unknown

To plan your dream session of the animals you love most in this world, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Sue Halliburton- Sierra Elegance Equine Photography 775.745.0445 sue@sierraelegance.com

2 Responses to “Cinch- A Story of Survival by Carley Ingram”

  1. Cyndie Heinrich

    The pictures are beautiful beyond words. Sue you did an amazing job capturing their love story in pictures. Carly what you two have been through together is a beautiful journey with many twists, turns, hard hard times to endure such pain together but thank God you both were blessed with more time together to live and love one another. What a heart horse indeed. Blessings to both of you.

  2. Brent L Kirkland

    Wonderful story, amazing writing and beautiful pictures. From on “old” family friend.

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

6 − three =

Equine Steampunk Nurse in Washoe Valley | Reno Equine Photographer

Rene is known for her bubbly personality and gigantic smile! She is the critical care nurse with the bright hair and will make anyone’s day with her positivity!

One of my favorite subjects to photograph are women and horses, especially ones they adore and have a great relationship with. That definitely describes Rene and her Thoroughbred, Donks!

We thought we had found a pretty nice April day! It was sunny and fairly warm, in the fifties, and we met up at Washoe Lake State Park. Well, the wind was whipping and made it feel like it was 30! My wonderful stylist, Kristina, can make any situation work and she did Rene’s hair and makeup in a chair positioned outside her car, and used a generator in the back of my car for hair tools.

Donks had tons of energy and didn’t want to wait around for his time in front of the camera, he was ready to goooo!!!!!

Rene rode him in and out of the water and he was loving it!

I had actually hoped to do a full boudoir session on horseback and on the ground with the horse, but it was just too dang cold! We pushed through the wind the best we could, but we were all freezing. So we went with this steampunk inspired outfit, and the next outfit was Rene’s wedding gown and very unique cape. She did get married at this same place, and arrived at the ceremony on Donks! She also celebrated her second wedding anniversary right after the session, so it was fun to dress up again and relive that special day, and her husband was helping her that night as an assistant as well.

I’ll share the wedding gown photos in a future blog post!

To start planning and creating your vision for your equine session, contact me at 775-745-0445 or sue@sierraelegance.com Looking forward to creating amazing art for you, just like I did for Rene!

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

+ seven = 11

Golden Horse in the Desert | Reno and Nevada Equine Portraiture


Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

− three = 4

Miss Rodeo Nevada 2022- Gabby Szachara | Reno Photographer

I had the pleasure of photographing the lovely Gabby, Miss Rodeo Nevada 2022 multiple times during her reign. We did some headshot sessions in the studio and then a location session at Moon Rocks. I was so eager to photograph her with a horse but we were never able to work it out.

Here are a couple of her beautiful headshots that she used for the Miss Rodeo America competition in December of 2022

Gabby traveled across the country to rodeos and made other appearances throughout 2022, as well as working as an ER nurse in a Reno hospital! She was such an inspiration as she served our community and represented Nevada throughout America.

I have been honored to photograph many of the Miss Rodeo Nevada queens for over 20 years! Rodeo Queens are always so much fun to work with- they come with tons of outfits, hats, boots, and jewelry! We narrow down to the very best choices and decide which background or setting will work best.

I am thrilled to photograph pageant queens from any system, whether it’s headshots, banner photos, for autograph sheets, or program photos. Contact me for a planning consultation and we can create fabulous photos that will rival anything you see online from photographers around the country. You don’t need to travel a long distance to find quality portraits!

Sierra Elegance Photography website

Miss Rodeo Nevada website

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

8 × = twenty four

Kristina and Her Great Danes | Barks & Beauty Reno | Reno Glamour Photography

Kristina is my fabulous go-to makeup artist! She creates most of the wonderful transformations my clients experience when they have a session with me.

I invited Kristina to be in front of my camera with her Great Danes that she absolutely adores, they are a big part of her family and very attached to her.

We are kicking off the Barks & Beauty Experience, and she was a perfect representative of the type of client who suits this perfectly!

Kristina says “My husband always wanted a Great Dane, so I surprised him for his 40th birthday with a unique Harlequin puppy we named Ginormica. She will be 7 in May and shows no signs of slowing down, even though Danes have a lifespan of around 8-10 years.

We loved having a Great Dane so much, we decided to add a second one to the mix. We bought Finn from a local breeder, and he just celebrated his fifth birthday.

Fun fact- when he was 6 months old he broke my ring finger accidentally, and I now have a plate and 2 screws just under my wedding ring!”

“Ginormica, you are as unique and clever as your name and answer to it with sweet gentle grace. I love your hugs; and I mean real, head on your shoulder, pressing in with your eyes closed – hugs. You always know when someone needs it and you’re never stingy with your love. You give me all the sweet puppy love I could ever want.”

“Finn, you love with your entire body. There’s no gentle nudge or soft puppy kiss. You barge in and make sure I know you love me just as much as I love you. From plopping your 160lbs in my lap to pushing your head into my hand with enough force to break a finger (which you’ve done), you love with your whole being. You’re a big goofball and I love everything about you.”

Would you like to create a love story with your dogs to preserve those memories forever? We’d love to welcome you to be a part of the “Barks & Beauty Experience”.

You will have so much fun with professional hair and makeup artistry, outfit planning assistance, use of our amazing studio wardrobe, fully guided posing coaching, same-day ordering, and gorgeous art products.

Then we will create a coffee table book with special love letters written to your dog combined with the beautiful portraits.

We will host a gallery art showing of all of the participants and unveil the book at my Reno studio!

All of the information is on my special website- Barks & Beauty

Or give me a call- 775-745-0445

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

seven × = 21

Diana- Fabulous in her Fifties |Reno Boudoir Photography

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

one × = 4