October 18, 2018
Arts & Entertainment
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  • While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
    Photo Provided
    While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
  • While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
    Photo Provided
    While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
  • While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
    Photo Provided
    While out taking pictures, Susan Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, takes pictures of her mother.
  • Growing up, Susan Gallagher’s father always had a camera in his hands, much as he does in this photo of them in London.
    Photo Provided
    Growing up, Susan Gallagher’s father always had a camera in his hands, much as he does in this photo of them in London.

Family Photographers: Susan Gallagher Carries On Father’s Passion

Maya Pottiger
Maya Pottiger's picture
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August 7, 2018

Photography is in Susan Gallagher’s blood.

When she was a little girl, her father always had his camera with him. He worked as a crime photographer for the Baltimore City Police Department and photographed weddings on the side.

When she was about 11 years old, Gallagher started accompanying her father to the weddings, working as his assistant and taking her own photos. When she got married, he gave her a camera as a wedding present.

“I can’t remember that he ever actually used my photos, but it gave me a feel for being in that world, being there watching him posing the people,” Gallagher said. “I wasn’t contributing so much, but I was with him.”

Once Gallagher had children of her own, she stopped taking artistic photos and switched to documenting her growing family for about two decades. Then, about seven or eight years ago, Gallagher bought herself an upgraded camera and started taking artistic photos again.

“I feel like I am sort of artistic, but I don’t feel like I have the kind of talent that people use their hands to do art,” Gallagher said. “The camera allows me to do that without having the physical skill of sculpting or drawing or painting.”

Though she doesn’t have a degree or any certifications in art, Gallagher earned her minor in art at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

“This was a small Catholic college, and the photography teacher was a nun who was very, very into photography,” Gallagher said. “That was kind of interesting to look at the world and also to learn the dark room, the technical aspects of it, which we don’t really do anymore.”

Now, much like her late father, Gallagher always has her camera with her.

“When I was young, there was always a camera in his hands,” Gallagher said. “I’m sure he’d love to know that I’m doing this now.”

Gallagher enjoys going to Annapolis and walking around the neighborhoods to take photos. She likes the colorful doors and gardens.

“Having that camera in my hand makes me look at things that I probably wouldn’t,” Gallagher said. “I notice things a whole lot more because I have the camera, and I sort of look at it through my camera lens even when I’m not taking a picture.”

Gallagher’s daughter, Laura, has also developed a passion for photography, though she uses her cellphone, not a camera.

“Up until about a year ago, all of her artwork was painting, but now she’s beginning to print and frame her photos, as well,” Gallagher said. “She takes beautiful pictures with her phone. She’s very good.”

Currently, they both have photographs and paintings displayed at City Dock Coffee on Maryland Avenue, and they have had work displayed in three City Dock locations. Through August 9, Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Gallery 90 will display 25 of Gallagher’s photographs. Gallagher doesn’t regularly do commercial sales, but she has sold photographs from the City Dock locations and through HERE, A Pop-Up Shop. She has also donated prints to silent auctions that benefit different charities.


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