Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I was going to school and working summers as a National Park Ranger. I did all the normal things to be good at my job. Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Training, CPR instructor, Park Medic, Avalanche school, Bob Bondurant School of Driving the lists go on....and in the mean time me and my friend "Bronica" my little 2 1/4 camera were having a love afair. Most of the ranger gals had boy friends and I was off shooting pics and riding horses....hiking climbing biking....these were the things that fed my soul. I heard the Queen was coming to Yosemite so I wrote her a letter to the UK asking permission to shoot her portrait here's the reply. Its nice when people have manner right? What style. Didn't get my shot but I still have this letter. By the way...if you haven't seen the post about Annie Liebovitz shooting the Queen check it out.

Behind the scenes: The Queen Elizabeth 11 (ACO)

R E P U T A T I O N always nurture

Put your money where your mouth is.....hearsay is not always true in life....but repeat business, great clients and hard work with results seems fitting. I have been shooting professionally since 1986. I arrived via Rich Clarkson Director of Photography National Geographic Intern program.
I was coming from my former seasonal career of being a National Park Ranger LEO. I did this for five long seasons prior to stepping into New York Cities magazine industry. I arrived with a backpack filled with gear and clothing. 1000.00 dollars to my name and a pretty serious if not hungry attitude. Never living in a major city it was intense and difficult for me to actually enjoy living there for the first few years, however I made fast friends with several great people, Mark Jacobson, Frannie Ruch, Laura Broadus, Susan Vermazon, Marc Balet all gave me breaks my first year than Peter Howe of the NYT, Bill Black at Travel & Liesure and Sat Night Live really put me on the map I was off and running and excited and happy to be part of what was a wonderous time in my young career. Now years later I'm still and assignment shooter and probably more than ever IN LOVE with my job...in love with taking photographs and solving assignments and being part of the bigger picture. Why I am still working...well because I keep it simple and care. Thank god for great producers, stylist, H&M and yes....always thanks to great assistants...I've had some great crews of which I should blog next. Here's some quotes from some folks about working with me.

Here's todays quotes.


Director of Photography Readers Digest

"I have worked with Karen on magazine assignments for over 20 years . I've always been able to count on Karen for coming up with ideas that bring in the element of surprise and originality no matter what the project . Karen takes great pride in her creativity and approaches every assignment as if it will be the only image in her portfolio. Karen's people skills are frightening . You can't quite believe what she is able to get out of her subjects . I know it has something to do with the intense empathy she conveys , the mutual respect she secures and a bond of trust that allows for more opportunities than imaginable . Karen manages to make everyone involved feel like they've been instrumental in making the final outcome the best it can be . Plus .....very , very important ....it's lots of fun every step of the way ! "

The Boss - Esparza Advertising NM

“Karen is consistently an absolute joy to work with. Her personality is pleasant and reassuring for our agency and our clients. Her professionalism is only outdone by her incredible eye for images that captivate.”


Art Buyer - McCann Erickson NYC

"It was always a pleasure working with Karen and her dedicated crew on the MasterCard campaign.
I found her to be a true professional with a wonderful artistic eye.
At that time we seemed to be shooting back to back ads, all different themes and locations, timing was always a concern (at least to me)
but not to Karen, she always made it work and never once dropped the ball.
All involved on these projects both client and creative were thrilled with the end results.
Ahhh..those were the days!"

Art Director - Rick Johnson Agency NM

"Working with Karen is so easy. I never worry about getting the right shot. Not only does she get the shot I want, she always provides great options that I hadn’t considered. Karen has a real gift for working with people. She always makes them feel at ease, which enables her to capture their true and natural side. Karen is an amazing photographer, and I always have a blast with her."

Photography Director - Glamour Magazine Conde Nast NY

"I have hired Karen over the years for various assignments and the one word I have to say about Karen is FUN!!!
It’s fun to be on a shoot with that girl. She inspires, makes people feel beautiful, and brings a little farm and fun to the pictures."

Director of Photography - New Mexico Magazine

"Karen is an awesome photographer, with huge passion for her work. I haven't seen her "in action" but her photos say it all. She has an ability to bring out the playfulness and personality of her portrait subjects with her imaginative setups. You can see the rapport she builds by their response to the camera lens. She brings them out and she brings them to you. She has an eye for rich and telling details. Her color and composition bring life to even her inanimate subjects. She's wildly enthusiastic--I always get ten times more than I ask for and I know she does the same for all her clients. For instance, she did an assignment on Truth or Consequences, NM for Vanity Fair. They ran two photos. She sent me the whole batch of 700-plus photos. I was able to use a dozen others for our story. She works hard for the money! More to the point, she works hard for the love of it."

Stylist NYC http://www.changeinc.com

"Working with Karen is always fun! Besides being captivating and incredibly talented, she is very charismatic, charming, creative, funny and fun loving. She is very passionate about her photography, and working with her is always very memorable and a total creative experience. I highly recommend Karen as a person, and as a unique and special talent."


Associate Director, Brand Strategy and Communication

"Working with Karen is amazing. She's a brilliant artist, and at the same time, a creative director and producer. When we set out to capture the iconic images of our brand campaign, it was Karen's abilty to connect with the subjects that drove the output. Her instinct, and her relentless energy to find the essence of an idea is an incredibly powerful combination."

Photography Editor
Smithsonian Magazine

"Working with Karen is a treat. The images she conjures up are often a surprise, her creativity and energy, boundless and inspiring."

Artist Representive Friend & Johnson NYC

"Karen Kuehn is an Assassin with the camera.

She just kills it every time and gets the perfect shot without fail. I
love her incredible professionalism and dedication to getting the shot
and also, sometimes more importantly, knowing that she has taken the
definitive image and then moving on to the next great one.

She balances herself between two worlds - pure artistry and love of the
image from her vast editorial experience as well as the commercial, with
her advertising work.

But they aren't mutually exclusive. Yes, she has an incredible eye and
can create beautiful, timeless images. But she can also handle
large-scale productions that have her advertising clients using her
again and again.

Most importantly she is a humanist. A pure soul interested in the
people and world around her. I am proud to have been her agent and to
call her my friend."


Photography is personal for me...can't say I can change my stripes.
If a client wants the way I see and my intellectual way of problem solving they get me raw and creative.
I appreciate all the generous work from my clients, magazines, editors, art buyers, art directors YOU ALL ROCK.