Contact 

esuter@richardsuterphotography.com


Support the Movement!

All donations go toward purchasing bracelets to give away, website & marketing costs and one day, a scholarship to support young artists. 

Venmo - @Elizabeth-Suter

Cashapp - $LizS550


Richard Lain Suter 1961-2022

  • Tennessee Titans 2014 1st round draft pic Taylor Lewan at St. Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, TN on May 9, 2014. Photos by Donn Jones.
  • Tennessee Titans 2014 1st round draft pic Taylor Lewan at St. Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, TN on May 9, 2014. Photos by Donn Jones.
  • HSUS - Shoot in Lebanon, TN - January, 2020

Richard's Obituary

Richard Lain Suter, of Gallatin, TN was born on December 11th, 1961 to the lat Turner Lawrence Suter and Sue Garrett Suter. He is survived by his beloved wife Elizabeth Suter, his children; Haley Suter and Austin Suter from his marriage to his late wife; Karen Mayfield Suter, his sisters; Lauren McAnnar and Suzanne Bozza, his granddaughters; Nora Lain and Jasper Ray, as well as several beloved nieces and nephews. 

Richard was "JOY"...simply defined as "a source or cause of delight." Whether it was selling you a car, which he very successfully did for over 30 years, telling a story like nobody else ever could, making you laugh until your sides hurt, taking your picture and making you look like a million bucks or loving you BIG...he was a blessing.

Richard was an accomplished, self-taught photographer with the creative genius of a true artist. There was no shot, in life or through the lens of his camera, that he wouldn't take. And, the "proof" is in the mark he left on this world. All one need do is look around, for these three symbols "+>-" When you see that and trust me, you will, you will understand the impact and contribution that this man gave to the community of Gallatin and Sumner County, that he loved so dearly. 

While we mourn his passing, we also celebrate because THAT is how Richard would want it. We celebrate the life, the love, the man, the legacy, the father, the grandfather, the husband, the son, the brother, the treasured friend, and the fierce warrior that was Richard Lain Suter. 

 - Mary Davis

Richard's Photography


Becoming a Photographer

Richard's passion for photography began later in life. He was a self-taught photographer that turned a hobby into a very successful career. He would spend hours photographing barns, flowers, bugs and birds, literally anything he could and as often as possible. He would spend his rare days off from selling cars shooting on his first camera, a film camera. He'd develop the film into slides and spend hours critiquing his work through a loupe and making notes in a notebook. He took his camera everywhere in the hopes of seeing a shot while out and about.

He met Donn Jones at the car lot. Richard hounded Donn about photography. He knew Donn was an accomplished photographer and finally had met a photographer he respected and could look up to. Donn's and Richard's relationship developed to the point Donn asked Richard to shoot a Titan's game with him. Annnd, the rest is history! This invitation gave Richard the confidence to think that photography could be a fulfilling career. 

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Richard made the leap to full-time photographer in 2009. He literally jumped in. In the middle of a hot day at the car lot, he packed his stuff and left. He went to work a car salesman and left a photographer. He never looked back. He often said that he loved that he got to work in job fields that people hate. People hate buying a car and they hate getting their picture made. What he loved was changing his clients minds. By the time you drove off the lot, you were in a good mood and you had a great experience. Buying a car wasn't something you hated. Likewise, he could make having a simple headshot an experience. He was engaging, He knew you were probably nervous and feeling more self-consious than ever so he made you relax and feel confident. He made you laugh. He made himself a human billboard of positivity. From the smiley face tattoo to the 25/8, because who wants to just live 24/7?

+>- Movement

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Richard got a tattoo in 2019 that took on a deeper meaning when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2021. This simple symbol, +>- became his mantra for survival. Richard has always been a positive force in his community and now it’s reaching beyond his hometown. To keep everyone updated on Richard’s progress, Elizabeth, his wife, started a Facebook group that has grown to over 2 thousand members. It has become a place where people are not only encouraging each other but telling their own incredible stories about spreading the message that positivity is greater than negativity.

During his chemo sessions, he handed out bracelets and talked with other cancer patients about the impact that positivity can have on their health; both emotionally and physically. This message has been an incredible force of hope in people’s lives.

Elizabeth was the first to follow her husband get the symbol tattooed on her left arm. Her 74-year-old mother was the second AND it was her mother’s first tattoo. Since then, Taylor, the owner of Old Soul Tattoo in Gallatin, has said that over 100 people have come into his tattoo studio and gotten “The Richard Suter!” He says that people come in daily to either book an appointment or to have their tattoo done.

No, you don't have to get a tattoo to join the movement. All you have to do is make a choice, everyday to believe that positivity is great than negativity, be kind to others and spread the word. You can purchase bracelets, shirts, hoodies and other merch here. The money raised goes back into spreading the movement.   

In addition to all the people joining the movement, businesses started sharing it too. +>- started popping up all over the city. People wearing a bracelet or shirts would stop each other in the grocery store and talk about Richard and the movement. Channel 5 even ran a news story about Richard and +>- 

+>- Goes Worldwide

While the +>- movement was spreading in Sumner County, it also spread to Europe, the Caribbean and beyond. People were leaving the message on beaches, in the mountains, adding it to their sports equipment, on their fingernails, and jewelry; everywhere you looked, it was popping up!

2021 Citizen of the Year

On highlight, in particular, was when Richard was awarded Citizen of the Year!  Richard was "hired" to shoot a Gallatin Chamber Luncheon but it was really to get him there to accept the award. Kim Baker invited close friends and family to the event. Richard was completely surprised. Because he was named Citizen of the Year, he was also the Grand Marshal in the Gallatin Christmas Parade...which was on his birthday!

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