Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Native Philosophy

When Our Blood is Split Is it Not the Same?
Blood is is the same.
We are all human, some with more privilege than others...
Entitlement is a rampant concept in America.
I have met the richest and poorest and when I meet someone humble with a pot a gold and he's wearing shredded clothing and could care less about status quo ....that is more real to me than those how hang in the clatche's of
Look at me I'm bitch en bullshit!
I know its good to mingle and work on projects that make a difference this I support but to alienate anyone due to their sexual orientation via adult preference is a bit odd to me.
First off do we need to know your straight or gay.
If you do a great job that is the point.
Prejudices are just that....and outer extension of a formed opinion that says.
I am of this mindset be it in favor or radically oppose!
And Choice in abortion is all about America having freedom.
Too bad adults don't better teach their children birth control options.
Rape is by far the worst for men and women both.
The nuance's of living can be subtle and self fulfilling for many.
Choosing healthy ideas and sticking to what is honest and feels good for you with some regard for others is key. We all human and drama can sink a ship in a second.
Participating in life is part of the journey.
No fairytale here..just real life stuff that is the lessons and path.
Its easy to be critical of others and to play victim be it gay, or straight or just plain old un-happy.
No one but ourselves can make us happy.
Don' t put your happiness in the hands of others.
You will inevitably miss out.
One day at a time....Eckart Tolle s book again I recommend.
Being present is better than hanging on negative concepts that are most likely your own.
Find the good and it will find you.
HBO aired a show about Gays in the military.
I shot a cover for NEWSWEEK of the a gay sailor and they used it in this show.
Naturally I missed the beginning but I did take a few snaps to share in favor of respecting humans right to choose their sexual preference.
As a journalist every day I work for an editor and magazine job its a gift.
I have learned so much about the world by entering the lives of strangers.

KEITH MEINHOLD had served 12 years in the Navy when he outed himself on ABC's World News Tonight on May 19, 1992, to fight the ban. Discharged, then reinstated by a court, he was the first openly gay man returned to active duty. The government chose not to appeal after losing at the Circuit Court level, and Meinhold served for four years as an out sailor before retiring with full military honors.
photography aired on HBO photographer unknown to me.

One World Many Ways.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autographs Please . . .

photograph sent to of Mark Yacovone with a photograph of MOJO NIXON I took in NYC
"Considering it’s been a life long dream to actually play with Mojo Nixon it was also quite a thrill to get my photo signed by both Karen and Mojo! I will never forget Mojo’s pep talk before the gig... “Ok guys, just remember... You couldn’t care less than I do right now”.

Thanks Karen!
MOJO and his blow up sheep ...bahhh by karen kuehn
Image of MOJO now provided by Mark Yacovone

Its interesting how we all change and morph into our elder shells.
One of the things I remember most about MOJO was that he married his wife on a go-cart track in CA wearing a chicken suit.
Pretty creative and cool.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nice Notes

"Several years ago I took my first photography workshop with you at Santa Fe. What you shared has stayed with me since that time. Although I've drifted in and out of photography, I've held on to some memories of that week. I came across your website and wanted to say "hello" and thanks again. You might remember me as the judge from Louisiana."


Doug Allen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It Takes A Team

photo by Michelle Elloway

Johnny Dodd; Writer, Subjects unmentionable till story posts and Michelle Elloway camera left and dog Nixon

The Gentle Barn Story by Johnny Dodd and myself in California
Editor James Miller for People Magazine

Johnny Dodd

A story can have many leads to fuel it's engine. A writer not unlike a detective gathers all the components and delivers or better yet births a tale.
A writer such as this one; Johnny Dodd gets an assignment from his editor one moment and than another he may bump into someone who is chatting about a random happening, that has the potential to make a difference or just entertain the reader.
A good writer is a curious soul driven by passion and hunger for more information.
Telling stories is like drinking from the fountain of youth, one always is learning and sharing.
It makes you want more and crave the adventure.
Being a writer is not unlike being a photographer.
The main difference is all the gear and insurances a shooter has to have to do their job well, and now including a solid computer system that is portable as well as the studio systems that most maintain to manage files and tech out imagery.
Writers have it made, a recorder, a pencil and an inquisitive mind.
Today I worked on a job with Johnny, he shows up we leave and he's in it thick with the story.
Due to be out in a few weeks.
Oh to travel light!
Seldom do the writers and photographers work together, however I've been assigned to
Johnny's stories twice now and its a super treat to be a fly in the room while a subject is getting interviewed.
Johnny's stories are featured regularly in People Magazine.
Today's story should go to press hopefully in the next two weeks.
Stay Tuned

Heather Wilson & Dori Randall

Another great addition to a shoot is the gals or guys that make a subject look better.
Were talking , no noise and ear hairs gentlemen, sometimes ladies, no shine, a good hair doo, maybe a cut. Both these gals were very helpful, not only hair and make up but grooming as well with clothing and style on sets.
Super nice to have the extra help on a magazine gig.
Not always the norm. I travel with a make up and grooming kit if I'm solo.

( I like to say Associate)
Michelle Elloway

For a photographer the one of the most important people on a shoot is often their assistant.
This person takes on all the gear, driving and lightens the load for the photographer.
I like to be relaxed at shoots, and having to worry about all the extra details takes me away from being as creative. For me I like to work with people who are not only technically sound but usually very versatile in style. If I go into the dregs of East La or a Prison setting and/ or the opposite I have to spruce up for a more opulent situation such as a White House Dinner, I need cto know that my associate can adapt and roll with the scenario.
You don't wear high heels in a boxing ring so to speak.
Michelle is a young photographer who is gaining experience by working with other photographers. I met her at the Santa Fe Workshops last summer and we have become friends.
Her husband is now my dentist and in return I am helping Michelle as much as I can to find her path as a photographer and gain confidence to do her own jobs.
We all help each other and that is how we can make a difference in our daily lives.
To all the assistants that have helped me in my career.
I love you all and send good vibes your way.

Big Thank You 's Always to My Publisher; Time Inc
Photo Editor; Olga Comacho
Director of Photography; Chris Dougherty.
And the subjects that are not disclosed as of yet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have had to wear many hats in the field of photography and one such field is magazine work. Ofter and editor calls you and asks, "hey are you available tomorrow?" This week I am heading to Phoenix AZ on Thursday for one such job. My editor Olga Camacho has assigned me an interesting session with a man that has a health condition of which I can not mention. However it should be on the new stands by the end of the month. I love working and being creative on the spot and in editorial work it commands the photographer to be sharp in senses to go into a strangers home or a location to best tell a story about the subject. I will fly in and myself and an associate/assistant will head to a home where the subjects will be getting some light makeup and I will determine where and how to shoot images of a family, a father and how they are all dealing with his condition.

I feel privileged to work on magazine work that is journalistic in nature as it is up to me to bring back the best story I can for my editors and to also make certain that they have a variety of images not just one shot. Often I do the wardrobe selection and light make up and styling on these sorts of jobs however this one is going to be a bit more prepped so I can focus on seeing and feeling the situation out as I make images with this family.

Every day I travel out of home and go to locations for shoots its a gift, a new face, a new story and so much to learn. Magazine work pays less but pays a tone in Spirit. Magazines are a great place to get your feet wet as a new photographer. Make images for your local magazines and branch out into a more commercial venue when you feel relaxed enough to handle huge productions. Often you can award all the doings of a big shoot to a producer. I recommend utilizing a professional if your in over your head. Remember you want your mind freed up for making images for your client, solving image issues not catering, hair and make up, motor homes and such. I like having my hands off those workings and just keep focused on the art director or editors needs first and foremost. Keep it simple and make everyone comfortable doing images that are appropriate for the subject.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Style with Flair

http://www.Screaming Queens _tables


A personal favorite for events such as fund the strolling table. Makes me want to hire GARO the designer to make me a and some friends a few for Burning Man...I can imagine sharing food with the burners off my table...or gifting swag that would be helpful. Also I imagine stolling with a camera as a camera table full of images and than subjects can sign model releases with ease....fantastic and with a birdie in my hair I'd definitely get some smiles. Click.


Look The Part - Be Professional

I am often asked what do charge? Charge as much as you can.
Intellectual property is priceless if you have a idea and are adding all your creative juices to a clients project. As an editorial photographer I have had free rein to be very creative all of my career. In advertising you get the privilege of working on others ideas usually for a much larger sum to bank. Being flexible is always best. Fees pend on usage, one year, two years, buy outs are of coarse more and editorial is much less. Negotiating is an art for sure and market places vary according to the economic climate.

For new bees who are just learning I want to recommend Blink Bid for forms and
Read PDN and American Photographer and don't under bid yourself. Easy to say but the best way to approach a client is to ask "What is your budget" ... does that include expenses? Figure out the production and ad a fee, don't forget taxes if in state...and you have to pay them and register a DBA; doing business as...

Good luck and don't give it away unless its a pro bono that makes sense to you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Prayer for ALL Sentient Beings

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

by Sogyal Rinpoche

By the power and the truth of this practice,
may all beings have happiness,
and the causes of happiness.
May all be free from sorrow,
and the causes of sorrow.
May all never be separated
from the sacred happiness which is sorrow-less.
And may all live in equanimity,
without too much attachment
and too much aversion,
And live believing
in the equality of all that lives.

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
the subtle and the gross:
May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.
Let no one deceive another,

Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.
Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow outward
through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.

I Can Relate

by Alfred Stieglitz

The Art of Looking at Images

When I teach I often encourage my students to go through all their magazines before they toss em to recycling. Take a gander quickly through each page....when they stop, rip it out!
To collect images that make them think or laugh, smile, tear up or just go oh!
To recognize the feeling and emotion of the image they gathered.
I feel images are better when they create a feeling with the viewers.
Doesn't matter what as long as you successfully identify with some feeling.
A good self assignment as an artist is to write a list of emotions and illustrate
the feeling as it is to you. Test out the art on your friends to see if your accurately communicating.
I like both of these images.
I identify with both women for one is sensual and full of wild possibility.
Snake and girl makes me smile with all her oddness and sense of style and demeanor as if she was walking a dog not a snake.
She is cool and getting her groove on.
For me the snake is a totem of transformation and its a new year for me with the Burning Man Temple burn and I am moving all my energy into art to express my gratitude for my gifts.
Abundance is back and Joan of Arc has my back.
No need for a diatribe.
Do you like it or not?
What does it make you feel?
Bottom line end of the day its how things make you feel not only other people but tune into art at large and your world can be expanded in the most playful honest way.
Volunteer to take children you know to the Museum's.
The last show I took a kid to was a Robert Rauschenberg show in Soho.
Children have an innocent unhindered point of view usually, seeing all kinds of things.
A child's eye can be most inspiring.
Thankful that my Spirit can ebbe and flow with basic ether.

photographer unknown

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Dear Friends,
Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said:
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you".

"In other words:
"Freedom consists in finding the point of power, which is always in the present moment. It also means: how you respond to what happens is more important than what happens."

In other words:
"No stories...just be of love and cling to nothing...ebb and flow with accepting the now...of what is! "
With Love karen