Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"An average person can be extraordinary, but if you have no guts you can't be ordinary!"

-Buck the Horse Whisperer

Show Time Folks 
Caught this flick tonight and my love of real people certainly is confirmed when you watch a person with a good heart handling a wild animal.  Sets the bar high. Animals as well as people get nuts, when abused. An unruly horse in this flick was deprives of O2 upon birth as if that was really the issue.  The owner had 18 stud horses!!! Let s say the word INSANE.  If an animals is born with a disability, not unlike a human it needs TLC love...kindness.  The sort of behavior exhibited in the photo below (horse attacking a human) is extreme and rare.  
Animals only act like that if someone is taking a 2x4 to em.

Abuse breeds too!!!
Horses are "PREY" animals...they don't normally go after humans.
This cowboy just met this horse this day, no harm no foul.

Buck says horses are a complete reflection of their owners.
Pheww...that would make me a milk shake; yummy and smooth.
Inspiring flick....Buck is super skilled rider, roper and trainer.... He has all the moves down cuttin a cow and the dressage at the end showed some fancy foot work, made me want to pack it up and go to work for him.
I'd rather have a horse under my seat than a car any day of the week.

A Horse Trainer Recommend for Learning about riding
John Lyon has videos on line, very helpful for non riders.

A must watch, terrific movie right up their with Temple Grandin's docudrama by Clair Danes.


 Photograph of Shannen profided by the Mistress of Photography herself
I'm 17, I attend the Walden School of Liberal Arts in Provo, Utah.
My dream is to become a lawyer, but photography calls to the punk
"artsy" side of myself. If you could call it that. I hate creating
with canvases and messy paints. But photography, I do what I want. No
questions asked. It's my weapon, and my paint brush. I love it.
 "Nobody captures the essence of juxtaposition in an images as much a
Karen Kuehn. As a photography student, I look to her images as an
example, and more importantly- a challenge. I push myself to mirror
her balancing act of light and dark she showcases in her work."

- Shannen Breen

Dear Karen Kuehn,

I am a photography student who greatly admires your work. I would like
To interview you by email. The answers will only be shared with my
photojournalism class. If you would be so kind as to answer these

1- Do you prefer to capture dark matter or light matter?

Both, the dark is just as alluring to me as the light...the more mystery the better....makes me curious

2- Does you prefer a conflicting image or one that shows symmetry.

It s all interesting me , conforming can be very dynamic but organic is for me personally a little easier on the eyes.
Each persons brain translates and relays feelings according to their personal being's attraction.  I have never felt one way or another and certainly not conflicting but inspiring.

3- Who first introduced you to photography?
My stepfather who is priceless still.

4- Do you ever regret taking a picture that doesn't tell the whole story?

No.  I think the word essay is why you have several images to tell a story well.
I do make images that tell the story in one ICONIC capture; however that is tricky and not always easy as a storyteller.  No regrets only lessons and attempts and successes as well as the old saying....
"a few additional photographs must be taken." John Wycoff, my first great photo instructor

5- Are you shy about who/what you photograph?

No not shy, sometimes reserved, just thoughtful and considerate first and foremost.

6- Do you like capturing magical moments or ordinary life better?

It's all magical and ordinary for me.  I can find the good in the worst situation and make the best and the most out of it. Hence even the mundane can be magical.  So I guess I really try to see the good in things rather than focus on the bad.  Unless your doing humanity work to tell a story to make a difference, reveal the bastardization of some culture I lean toward the lighter side of life.

7- Who are your favorite photographers?

Duane Michals, Sally Mann, David M Kennedy, Norman Mauskopf, Helmut Newton are just a few.

8- What's in your camera bag?

Donkey bag, a finger puppet, oil removing tissues, a couple cameras,a flash, model releases...the usual...some styling supplies, batteries, pens, breath mints, toothbrush.

9- Do you view life with a photographers eye?

No my life is my art, my eyes are windows, my fingers are triggers that capture moments, the brain can create those of your can witness it in the real world.  I do both.  My life; artful and poetic are the way I FEEL my life with my soul awaken sees in and out of the box.

10- If so, do you view #9 a blessing or a curse?

No because I am evolved enough to not just live through a lens and I'd highly suggest all of you students do the same..how can you see well if you don't EXPERIENCE , don't just be a voyeur, but rather use all your senses to imagine a subject and / or try an activity like water skiing....how can you shoot it if you don't know how to do it?  You pick and choose but I promise you will take better images if you partake in life rather than observe only.  I'm not saying try all the bad things out there but do be brave for things that could be healthy in your life.  

-Thanks so much for your time,

Shannen Breen (Student of that fickle mistress they call Photography)

Chinese Calendar

Supporting Growth in MEN

photograph by karen kuehn Hwy 50 The Endless Hwy NV
Life is a Hwy by Tom Cochrane
As a parent's to a young male we have always worked hard to live by example.  Our son has witnessed both parents path's.  We have had elaborate discussions about all the in's and out's of living and choices that we as parent's have made for the better or the worse.  Always talking and sharing the lessons along the way we have both been deeply committed to our sons mental and Spiritual health & wellness.
Men and women are quite different in the way we communicate and feel and resolve our issues.  Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus http://www.marsvenus.com  Great audio book for the road.  Helpful tools for the opposite sexes.
I have to thank a male friend of mine Mark for sharing "the Mankind Project" site with me.
Last weekend as we discussed a 30ft sculpture I want to build, he shared his personal experiences from a weekend away in this seminar for men.
It's nice to know men my age and older are not afraid to open that doorway to reconnect with their past issues that can stalemate one's life. Kudos to him for being so brave.  This was my wish for some good men I know.  Eckardt Tolle talks of the pain body where many folks stay stuck and have difficulty bridging to a real place of love and growth.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PCSe2cqY_w
Bill Moyer did some weekend warrior work as well via / Robert Bly inspired event;s for men. How can we be present if our childhood patterns keep us in the past unknowingly.  It happens to all of us.  Some folks are obivious and some just are helplessly hoping it will all go way....(the bad feeling) that is ever current in the undercurrent!  I guess that works for some but than those of us who get taxed emotionally we have to get to the root of it and make it feel better.  And sometimes it just doesn't feel great, until we have felt about as bad as it gets!  Walking around like a zombie will not cure anything.  Seek and examine the feelings.  Why , when , where....how....own and be accountable.  You can change your life and be a better more awaken human.  Educate yourself, yes even if your in your senior years....this is a great option to create more vitality in your life.   More love, more care for your souls needs from your core energetic self.  Not from a starved place of some age where one stops growing emotionally based on your childhood.
What is your true emotional age?  So many sites on line about this topic...look at a few.
We all have an age where we got stunted!  Do you know yours?....Lots of ways to find out and identify where one is stuck.   I once read in one of those women magazines about this idea if you are crying.....tearing up....ask your self
HOW OLD I'M I?   To identify how old when you felt that same feeling....go back in time and do a parallel park job with your tearing and welling up.   It can really nail you and your true age where you might have stunted your growth.  Just something to ponder.  I'm sure googling you can find out more ways to uncover those demons.
People usually don't go out and work on themselves randomly, it takes a crisis to reach out and get knowledge to remedy most situations.  Of coarse if you know it all than who needs help?   Wrong we all can help each other be better people.

I think people have so many issues with their childhood that they carry this baggage "carry on's" all through their lives and it hurts innocent people, family members, lovers, and so forth.  Some souls feel that therapy means something is wrong as if it were BAD! No it is GOOD to get more tools, no parent can give it all to us or us to our children.  Yes to therapy, that is exactly right and you can get tools to make a better foundation, possibly tear down some of the old structure for it's weak parts.  Become less self involved and satisfied by love and cancel out some of that fear that keeps one from growing and having really healthy vital lives shared.  Stay in the world of stuck and muck or grow.  I support growth in all people, the mirror can be a good starting place questioning if your happy.  Are you happy?  Or are you propping yourself up with stuff that can't love you back?   Life is way too short.  Waste no time and get forward thinking about it.

Parents you do have a responsibility to raise your children with values and care so they are full of love and reflection of wellness.  Seeking information and reaching out can improve the way you parent so your kids don't grow up with so many issues. Do the best you can.

Doorways - open or closed, a portal is all healthy people want...an option and education to grow fearlessly.  Sadly you can drag a horse to water but you can't make them drink.
So...we work on ourselves...we so want to bring those we love to the wealth of love we feel but if they dig their heels in you have to let go and let God and life of other's sort it out!

When we are accountable we create better boundaries and richer lives for all. 

Keys: just a few for the love of man



Iron John - Robert Bly

Fire in The Belly - Sam Keen

The Power of Now - Eckhardt Tolle

If The Buddha Married - Charlotte Kasl 
(these books are really sweet for thinking about how to be more thoughtful in your relationships.)
If The Buddha Dated - Charlotte Kasl

Blessing to all of you...may you find what makes you shine.
D a n i e l  L a n o i s
photo by karen kuehn at the Worlds Fair Long Island NY
Thank you Danno for the moments we shined.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Ryan McGarvey
lots of links to hear Ryans music on You Tube

 Flash on camera is a basic item that most folks have and don't know how to use.
When Ryan posted his show he told me that there was NO light in the venue.
Stage light is always present and I figured I could work off the band lighting and make some images that they could use for posting the show at Low Spirits venue.

A No Brainer
First just put your camera on the flash setting in your menu.
For some of you just open the flash.
The trick is if its too light than take your aperture and shut it down say from 3.5 a washed out feeling to f22 if your right on top of the subjects.
You may have to vary it pending the dark or light of the images...with digital cameras its a cake walk.
Set your speed 250 or 800, the higher the more "noise" you will have in the images...but sometimes it feels like a cool grain treatment and can be textural when enlarged and rather nice.  
Play with it. I like information in the files so I can at the very least subtract later I post if I don't like it.
Most likely it will be the smaller aperture setting for this technique of flash and using the natural lighting.
l.  Flash is working, fresh batteries always a plus
2. Take a picture with out the flash to see what the natural light is doing?
If its dark just open your shutter speeds....slow it down to 4 sec and let it drag and be blurry.
Once you get a saturation that isn't too washed out you add the flash element and its called 
Flash blur or ambient, drag your shutter speed...its all just a technique for making images in a dark situation.
Than I either move the camera, you can script with it and do doodles or move your body in and out of the frame.
Another idea is to use your zoom lens and flash than zoom.
Super easy and fun to do and makes for salvaging a dark night out into images that seem energized.
My main mantra is to Have Fun.
Make sure that you have permission from the bar and subjects to get pics and not to offend the customers and the entire evening for the crowd.
I usually try to cover a few songs and lay back than return for a few more images, guitar changes and so forth. Be considerate.
Flash is a bit annoying for some people but boy you can cover a jukebox joint that is happening and have stunning artistic images in some locations.
Make an artist endevor if you can and sometimes it's just a great night out with your name at the door comped for you and your pals.

Rock On
 Flash f22 @ 4sec mixing flash and natural

 natural hand held

 natural slow exposure more painterly
 the lights natural felt 70s Hendrix like

 Passing your camera around can be interesting too.
Flash blur

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In The Wake of Living

Recently I got a really interesting request.  I was asked to take some photographs of my friend Mike.  He wants to have some happy images of himself for his future WAKE!  Wow...how could I not say yes!  What an odd idea I thought than I really thought about it, how cool of this friends dad to want to have some fun images of himself for his funeral.
Now he isn't planning on dying soon, he's about 50 at the most and I shoot photographs of his rock star son randomly.  Mike fixes my truck.  Its all sort of family thing I guess.  Were all connected in a very nice way.   So with this idea in my pocket I 've pondered how I can create a strange little site all about WAKE IMAGING....I love that I can be hired for making these images that could indeed be a riot and someones funeral.  If any of you have an idea about naming this business venture by all means speak up!  WAKE UP....ummm Six Feet Above.....I think the possibilities for humor and light and love are endless here and I may have a new slant on this economy that is KILLING most of us creative types.  I'll be sure to post those images but Mike wants to loose some weigh first so he can look really good for his funeral expose'.

Till Death Do Us Part !

Friday, January 27, 2012

Always Carry Your Camera

Ready set go.  I am in and out of so many interesting places and people's lives that I don't really get too precious about my gear...I always have at least one camera in my purse..yup its the kitchen sink, camera, leather-man, tape measure, work gloves, headlamps and you name it...I'm ready.  Sometimes I toss in a flash but sometimes I just go with the flow...try to capture images differently from the time before...work with what is available is my preferred way of shooting when I'm running rogue.  Here's some pics from last weekend going to the ABQ Social Club, had a blast with doc pals and aka Rocket.  I've seen some of the best Drag shows in America and I have to say that right here in ABQ New Mexico the girls were hilarious, warm and wonderful.  Had a great evening with less red tape for shooting than the major cities...I didn't go with the intent to shoot but always I do!

 Drag Education
 The Hostess Sabrina

 Hair and body to die for...seriously a beautiful soul

 shake shake shake
 I love the retro feel

 Some slow exposures with the use of zoom

 Backstage is always more interesting to me.

 Sabrina shares a smoke with Tod
Huggin our pal Jeff.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


 Salmon River Inn, Karen Day shared this place with many of us over
the years for her"Burning Woman" birthday weekend in the fall. 
Lovely being with a 25+ women of all ages, themed for full throttle adventure.
Looking up sky gifting blue
Bikini Farms 
4 Acres....
My kid; a genius
Artful earthfull living
Overalls on, hands dirty.
What's not to L O V E ?
A welcoming hug always here for you.

In this economy one has to look around and re invent themselves.  Were all connected, earth and mankind a very John Muir mindset.
Everyone is feeling the crunch and we have to work with others and try to elevate our possibilities by nurturing what we do best.
Look around and make a daily plan to do five good things that reflect who you want to be.
1. Love someone...reach out and just hold someones hand in the simplest form unconditionally
2. Love your self and others with a divine light.....yes look up and give thanks to your Gods if they are good and not killing that is the point.
3. Pay attention to your partner, family, kids, animals, take time to be present and hear what they say with their hearts and eyes. Being present doesn't mean shutting them down because your not hearing what YOU want to hear.  Listen, acceptance and non attachment will help.
4. Cry if you have to and be human, that's right open that heart Chakra and let it out.
5. Act in truth of your heart felt feelings.  Be true and clear up all things messy.
6. On a lighter level....if you make art you can teach do workshops, cooking and welding and walking dogs...all great skills, comfort others...we are all vital souls full of possibility.  Make a step towards your community, volunteering work may not pay the bills but you are karmic-ally helping and who knows maybe you will meet an amazing person that will be a conduit and key to the next best thing happening in your life.  Easier to say I know but never give up hope and always let go of what isn't working.  I can only photograph a human so many ways with the same chair...maybe more than most but sometimes you gotta change.  Evolve with faith and believe it will be better.  It will.
If your happy your work will feel better and so will you, find some light in your lives and reflect it.  
If you are jobless, be kind to yourself and know that you have much worth and that the world is a crazy place right now. Lean on friends ask for help, as they care for you if you let them into your deeper soul. ASK!
Make a plan.  List the things you do best and make one of those things bankable for your world.
Don' t give up....just reach out and ask ...keep asking and believe in your ability to do good works and be an asset in someone s life.
Especially yours.  Look up and know that the the Universe will provide.  Your good people and just don't be beaten down by whatever is lacking in your life....We so want to control our lives and others when in fact...sometimes...the chapters change and the book is over.  

I have had a few long rides with major magazines...than one day I crossed the bridge of no return...spoke up and well...I burned a bridge or two.
Regrets but....more fish in the sea with more flavor and you have to believe in your talents and if they aren't working for you ....change....let go of the old and just let it be.   Forge a new path and fill it with what you love.  Make art, make food, make love with a happy joyful heart.  
Good luck with it all.
Take a little inventory about who you are now.
Have you vacated your heart for some company or a position that props you up for a star/brownie points?
Possibly living your life for another person harboring resentment's! Rolls are always in a state of flux in relationships.
Are you job less and feeling less than more "the world is done with me".  No the world is not done with you.
End of day whose got your back? Whose back to you have?
Stuck, dam place to be....change is hard and even harder for older people...lighten up and loosen up everything is impermanence...a difficult concept for Westerners.   Let go let it be and move toward learning about what isn't working and grow. It's okay to change your life anytime.
Don't you want to be happier?  Are you happy?  If so than lucky you.  Namaste your a great reflection and example to others around you.

"You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are ...transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment."
Thich Nhat Hanh
 Don' t give up, most likely you all have some special talents to share with others....Even when you've surfed the tops of waves sometimes you get tossed off and you have to find a new wave or a better location to be who you are....we get older and recycled and well its all about cycles in life and creating new possibilities...and maybe the Universe is trying to say....IT S TIME TO CHANGE...move on and start a new fire. 
Brie, June 1968, Brie, France. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson
THE MINDS EYE deserves a rest and some kind consideration....sit breath....ponder....energize and yes REST.
 Today my friend Eric Swanson shared some thoughts from his Rimpoche
If you make time for sitting and letting your mind be still as the thoughts arise and flow as they
"traverse all the paths and levels and in this very lifetime to attain full and complete enlightenment is definitely unlikely for most of us. 
But that isn't a bad thing.  Since time immemorial up until now we have been wandering in and out of one state after another.  
You don't have to achieve enlightenment right now, but if you direct yourself towards that goal, that is the direction you are moving.
Slowly engaging in all the different ways for taming the mind/meditation and they will all gradually ripen in you. "  Pema Chodron says to say the word "THINKING" when those thoughts are basically cluttering your mind.   It works especially when its a runaway train.  I place my hands on my head, feet flat on the floor and ground myself.   Thoughts are concepts that can cause panic, anxiety and grief, or when your joyful, the complete opposite, a vibrant feeling, calm and your soul can reside in a kinder place.  The human mind can be complicated, the body sometimes rules us with its chemistry to cradle or rock our worlds.  Go with it whatever it is and know its part of you being true to whatever your feeling.  Acknowledge it and move your energy toward health and wellness.  If it pains you...work through it...don't sweep it away...it will drift back...go through it....the other side is more evolved....be gentle with yourselves if you have had little experience dealing with deep past painful places that scare you.  Pema has books about such things.  THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU and many other invaluable books.  
 Sitting and feeling is better than medicating and padding the soul with booze, most assuredly a depressant that doesn't allow one to sleep long nights, smoke and pills...it all has some sort of shifting on a mind for sure...but be it pure or polluted....to be awakened and open for a present sense is ultimate.
Spirituality is by far a path for calming an over energetic and stirred mind.   We are all human and if we acknowledge our feelings verbally we can face our fears and over come what may feel like a dark devastation.   In the wheel of life and living we feel it all if were alive....too alive sometimes but be not ignorant as growth can create and cultivate new ways of seeing feeling and being.  Its not an easy path but its each souls journey to get the lessons and be more awake.  Zombie I am not.  I encourage those of you who struggle to simplify and those who hide in work to wake up and make friends with your soul self, creatives hang in there in this rotten economy....don't give up....reach out help and ask for help.  Pray.
The past is gone.  Now is where its at.
"Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, no feeling is final."
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

“A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else.”
Carlos Castaneda (1931 -)
Authors I recommend: Pema Chodron - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pema_Ch%C3%B6dr%C3%B6n
Eckhart Tolle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckhart_Tolle
Wayne Dryer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Dyer
Charlotte Kasl - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Kasl
Ondrea/Stephen Levine - Embracing The Beloved
Thich Nhat Hanh - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Nhat_Hanh

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Models Come in All Shapes and Sizes

photograph by karen kuehn for the NYT Sunday Magazine

A fine subject modeling for a story on organ transplants.
No we didn't drug him, he was brought in by an animal handler and you could tell he was well loved and calm.  Popped him right on the styled table and as you can see he is really looking me right in the lens.  
Pigs are more human than most humans I know.
Very loving and friendly.
Loyal and observant.
Since this session I rarely can eat bacon, sausage and pork parts.
Rainbow colored foods are the recommend of Deepak Chopra
I have two sheep on my farm and you can smell the lamb.
ZZ and Dot, they follow me everywhere and are part of my family.
In a perfect world we co exist in harmony.
Darwin in a simpler world less manufactured is substance living.
Too many people on this planet, too much pollution and consumption and waste.
Easy to see, more difficult to remedy.
But if we each do our part for thinking
GREEN Conservation
Future generations will be better off.
The future of our planet needs all our care.
Old news just a reminder.
Look those animals in the eyes and you will eat less pig, less if you really look.
Same with Dolphins... The Cove by my friend Louie Psihoyos is a must see.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012



A M E R I C A N  W O M A N  Photographer/Journalist/Artist

Today I was really looking at the stats of who looks and google's and finds my work on line!
European clients were pretty vacant, and USA was packed with all kinds of viewers.  So I think by posting AMERICAN Photographer, possibly someone in need of a shooter in the USA may find me on line.  I would love to work for Euro Clients here in America.  Living in New Mexico where I am centrally located I can travel with ease to both coasts for projects.  Grazie Neri was my agent in Italy for decades so possibly that connection can be fired up once again.  A BIG HELLO to the editors, art buyers and publishers in Europe, Please give a shout out and let me get you American stories.  I would love to be your photographer to capture and get you those USA stories that feel authentic, creative and unique.
FARMGIRL Productions, Inc.
karen kuehn Photography
6 frontier ct. peralta,nm 87042
Tel. 1.505.401.5987 c

Monday, January 23, 2012

Whats He Building

Tom Waits one of my favorite artist. 

Artist of New Mexico


The current version has about 60 artist shot here in NM.
Most of them are shot 8x10 with a few acceptations.
You can visit my books on http://www.blurb.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunny aka Sun Ra

Winter coat
Here today gone tomorrow
Unfettered, restless, thick with memory
The smell of truth lays upon his back
In hail as it evaporates like writing in the sand
Shed light as growth of Spring approaches
Bees upon the chicken feed
Buds tight shades of green
Winter coat shroud out cold character
A lighter world with wonder right rounding the bend
Sunny weather for the sleeker sexier
We wander in good company
Dear friend you carry me and my heart
You've carried another
Every ride a prayer of thanks as you always deliver
Safely home in our circle unbroken
Harmony in our connection
Only in harmony when loved
Carry me home.

Thank the God's
I can feed more than myself

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle,
or you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
–Albert Einstein

Friday, January 20, 2012

Along the Rio Grande

photograph if James Rideman and Jetsin 1/20/12 out my back gate along the Rio Grande
Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande

by Jimmy Santiago Baca
“Sometimes I stand on the river bank
and feel the water take my pain,
allow my nostalgic brooding
a reprieve.
The water flows south,
constantly redrafting its story
which is my story,
rising and lowering with glimmering meanings—
here nations drown their stupid babbling,
bragging senators are mere geese droppings in the mud,
radicals and conservatives are stands of island grass,
and the water flows on,
cleansing, baptizing Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.
I yearn to move past these days of hate and racism.
That is why this Rio Grande,
these trees and sage bushes
the geese, horses, dogs and river stones
are so important to me—
with them
I go on altering my reptilian self,
reaching higher notes of being
on my trombone heart,
pulsing out into the universe, my music
according to the leaf’s music sheet,
working, with a vague indulgence toward a song
we the people.”
Jimmy Santiago Baca by Karen Kuehn

National Geographic Cats Story

photo by Tim Mantoani
posted on Wired Today

24x24 square as shot for NGS
Link Here.