Suzannah Solomon Wilson discovered her love of photography early in life and she has turned it into a thriving business in Tallassee.
She grew up in Tallassee and attended New College at the University of Alabama
where she designed a major that incorporated American Studies, journalism and
photography. After graduating in 1985 Wilson opened Suzannah's Photography in October in the building that now houses New Stone Reality.
Wilson moved in 1989 to a larger facility at 217 James St. and in 2005 opened her current studio at 305 James St.
"One of my greatest inspirations was Mr. P. H. Polk, longtime official photographer for Tuskegee Institute,” Wilson said. “Along with photographing George Washington Carver and many famous people, he documented the lives of ordinary citizens in rural Macon County. I met him when I was in high school for an interview for The Talla-Hi News.”
Wilson is also an author and editor. She edited &"More Memorable Tallasseans," a collection of essays people wrote about Tallassee, and she wrote "The Picture Lady — Confessions of a Small Town Photographer” in 2015. Wilson also designed a series of calendars denoting historic places in Tallassee in the 1990s, assisted by her mother, Olivia Pienezza Solomon.
By growing up in a small town, Wilson became very familiar with folklore,
“particularly cemeteries," she said.
Once Wilson was given her first camera, folklore and photography joined hands
"I spent a good part of my childhood and teenage years accompanying my parents, who were folklorists and teachers, all over central and southeast Alabama collecting epitaphs and listening to people tell stories,” she said. “When my parents put a camera in my hand, I began my own journey of documenting the world around me.”
Today, Wilson is well-versed on the subject and at times she informs audiences
about the topic.
Wilson also reproduces and restores old photographs and she spends time
designing photo books and cards for various special occasions.
Wilson grew to appreciate the individual, the city and the history it holds and she
hopes her photographs will leave a story to be told for many years to come.
"As a photographer in a small town, my focus has always been the people and places of Alabama, particularly Tallassee, where I grew up,” she said. “I feel a strong desire to leave behind a visual history, whether it's a simple school picture of one of the thousands of children I've photographed or a photograph of an old church."