Susan Shapiro Self Portrait

Susan Shapiro enjoys a career in graphic design, specializing in book covers, while staying true to her passion for photography. Holding a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute along with a T square and triangle and two very trusty Leicas, Susan began her career in publishing at Random House, and continued on staff for the next twenty-four years. In her role as Associate Art Director for the Adult Trade division she designed many covers for a vast and varied publication list. She also art directed covers for Random House Audio and Modern Library.

     The tools of the design trade have since changed along with design trends. Susan’s methods and design sensibility have also evolved. Now as a freelancer, the opportunity to combine her two disciplines arises more frequently. She has a unique talent for using her own photographs to best serve and enhance the design. Other times she uses her research skills to find the most expressive image. She has created covers for many publishers including Carrol & Graf, Cengage Learning, Curbstone Press, Elsevier, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Harper-Collins, Houghton-Mifflin, M. Evans, Oxford University Press, Sterling Publishing, The Feminist Press, Times Books, Warner Books, William Morrow, W.W. Norton, and Vintage Books.

     Photography is Susan’s personal choice for artistic expression. She loves the magic of film and employs traditional darkroom techniques, processing and printing all her black and white work. Continuing the theme inspired by an early mentor, Philip Perkis, she has kept a photographic diary based on her personal journey. Susan is often drawn to the exotic in her interests and travels. Studying and performing the art of Belly Dancing gave her entry to shoot behind the scenes of the New York Belly Dance community. Susan’s interest in oriental dance, in turn, led to meeting her significant other, a Turkish musician. Thus the opportunity for continuous trips to Turkey with an inside view of daily life. Her journal also explores the more mundane location of home from New York City to the Catskill Mountains. Through Susan’s observations of the everyday, a universal emotional connection is evoked, whether in the Near East or the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

     Along with book covers, Susan's published photographic work has appeared in book interiors (including the original Ridge Press edition of The Family of Woman), magazines, postcards as well as in various portrait venues. Her work has also been exhibited in galleries including a solo show at the Library and Museum for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in New York City.