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Artist and resident Sue Martens shares her journey with photography at assisted living community in Vernon Hills

Photographer Sue Martens Inspires Residents at Victory Centre of Vernon Hills

The praise Sue Martens received for her Italian vacation photos taken on a basic 110 camera inspired her to go professional. At age 50, Sue earned a degree in photography from Columbia College and began her second act in life as a photographer.

Specializing in portraits, Sue snapped family pictures and dabbled in commercial work. To make ends meet, she also worked part-time at Crate & Barrel’s flagship Michigan Ave. store, where she occasionally assisted famous customers, including Tony Bennett!

Sue says that her customer service experience makes her a better photographer. “Because of my experience working with people, my subjects trust me,” said Sue. “When someone trusts you, they let you in and you get to capture their authentic self in a photograph.”

Today, at age 84, Sue is sharing her artistic gifts with fellow Victory Centre of Vernon Hills residents. From taking birthday portraits to community officer candidate photos, Sue is well-known and respected for having a good eye. Sue, who now shoots on an iPhone 11, led a photography class to teach others how to snap great photos anytime, anywhere on their iPhones.

“I love being with people and decided that I still have a whole lot to offer,” said Sue, who continues to share her time and talents as President of the Resident Council, leading meditation groups and helping with arts and crafts projects.