Wednesday, July 31, 2013



Recently had an interesting experience that grew over a few years of working with my assistant.  Not a pro by any means but a nice enough kid.  What occurs when you work close with someone and they get into your sacred world is that there is some sort of lack of boundaries on both parties sides.  You tend to get more friend like and less boss like.
The assistant even wants more of a friendship and calls you out on barking orders.
Being open minded you agree, and than after the job is done they leave and I mean they leave you with the mess.
What friendship?  The parties over and they disappear only to see that they have face booked and friend-ed everyone you photographed and worked with on the last project.
This is really unprofessional I feel and it lacks respect.
I am never attending a festival or event, long job without a non disclosure form signed prior.
I have even had one assistant sleep with my editor saying it isn't a big deal.
IT WAS.  I never worked for that client again when those two ended their relations.
It's in POOR taste to sleep with your bosses clients.
We all make mistakes. I ve made a few that stunk too.
But we learn.  And while your at it don't work with your friends cuz you might hurt their feelings even if its business.
I am running a tighter ship now.
I got through 30 years without any law suits.
I would like to continue it and maintain the level of journalism and artistry without 
my reputation tainted.
I do my job and I do it with all my heart.
11. SECOND PARTY WILL NOT interact with FIRST PARTIES CLIENTS/PATRONS other than job related.
                  Personal relations will be respected and ASSISTANT will remain as such to do the tasks hired.   
                  SECOND PARTY will not pursue relations with CLIENTS/PATRONS and Karen Kuehns friendships. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Pitts

Digital Image by karen kuehn

Last week I reached out to the editor of Rolling Stone.
I needed a favor!
I wanted to shoot with Kid Rock for a project being curated here in NM.
20 photographers covering many aspects of this region.
The photography editor contacted Kids agent (keeping name private) and they basically said he isn't a fan of photography shoots!  I get it. I was told no; however knowing that Live Nation would most likely have a photographer comping their time for the event I reached out again with logic and about 7 hours till the concert call and I got an email saying you can shoot the first three songs.  YEAH!  I was so happy to get this permission.
My goal was to do a shot of him with the fans but once in the pit you can see that isn't likely to happen, due to the said placement of media.
 The sun has set and the stage lights mostly shine on the talent.
I was shooting wide lenses as well with digital and 120 film camera and a Hassleblad panorama.
Pit shooting is tough are so limited and when you know the talent often they play to the camera.
Kid gave all of his energy to the audience at the Isleta Journal Pavilion.

Each venue has rules and for me a first was to hand over my gear to a security kiosk in between shoots.
Shooting 25 years now wow I was a bit taken back.
Much has to do with the talents wishes to perform and not have cameras in there face understandably.  
I shot some digital but mostly 120 B&W.  I hope the negatives are thick enough.
Digital Image by karen kuehn
Digital image by karen kuehn
A lot of heart in this man.
One of the things that touched me most about this show was that the Shiners were selling CDs.
  Kid is a big contributor.
Right On
Digital Image by karen kuehn
Pit shooting may not be ideal but sometimes its better than nothing.
And sometimes amazing things just happen.
Just say yes and go for it.
I always believe that shooting is like being an athlete.

Keep exercising your eyes. 
It was killing me that I couldn't run around and shoot some of the fan base.
One guy had one leg and he was dancing up a storm.
Looked like a Vet to me.
I had many moments to just people watch and it made me think as a journalist.
Many people had the "best night ever."
Me it left me wanting more.
I was dreaming in my head about adding to his show.
A horse on stage that was of coarse not freaked out!
A flame thrower for a song would be insane.
And that is the way I think....creative on the edge.
I'd love to work with him for a tour.
Kid if your reading...hint hint.
Instagram/verizon phone image by karen kuehn
I got my swagger on and loving my Kid Rock on TOP.

"the mule keeps kickin and the chickens in the pen"
Kid Rock
(first song lyric just rocks your booty...having livestock and chickens makes it a fav)

The Chickens in the Pen

Sunday, July 21, 2013


"Comparison is an act of violence against your Soul."
Dr. Lyanla Vanzant

Saturday, July 20, 2013

To Conspire

"All conspiracies are true.
Small perceived inconsistencies in any story or event is
unshakable proof of the greater falsehood.
All conspiracies are designed and carried out by wildly powerful
evil people, and always toward evil ends.
Those involved will never divulge their secrete participation.
All conspiracies are more complicated and elaborate than most
human endeavors to date.
Conspiracists know what I am talking about!
Trust me."
Brian Herman

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Burning Man - FERTILITY

Feritlity Book Approved
My fourth book project from attending Burning Man.
I am happy to say its completed and ready to press.
Foreword by Jennifer Raiser
Enjoy the read and images in this series of images taken of old and new friends.
This season I asked one  question to be combined with the photographs of the subjects.
What is the meaning of life?
For me this book was Spiritually an exercise in owning my art, and my space in the world.
I needed to return to the Playa, be the creative I am without having old energy attached to me that dimmed my work.  
I did it and felt this book was created with the generosity of my camp-mates and friends.
It's for you, all of you that grace the pages in this set of images.
Thank you so very much.
A few spreads to wet your appetite and the link to this project.
ENJOY the meaning of many lives. 


Friday, July 12, 2013

Duane Michals

 M Y  P E R S O N A L  H E R O

A Young Girls Dream 
The first series that evoked emotion for me.
Sexuality and desire.
Age 19 it awoke something in my very essence.
Now 30 something years later I still feel this presence of life when I sit with his series.
How beautiful to recognize touch in this set of images.
Pure and beautiful.
Duane is the youngest oldest person encapsulated in his body.
One day I hope to return to NY do do his portrait.
I see him swinging high into the sky happy. 
 Duane works have always resonated with me.

Behind the Veil

Sherlilyn Fenn by karen kuehn
Observed & Observer

Baring witness to my own experiences to maximize creating.
So much life!
To participate and be part of something with intent . . .
Or unconsciously in motion ?
There are those that see the light and grasp it no matter the affect upon others!
All things are connected like it or not.
True consumers have to have it or be linked to it.
Some sort of validation for what maybe lacking?
The light workers they just truly shine.
Not everyone is light that states it either!
Be advised to note actions that are authentic.
Light is not endless it comes and goes like the moon waxing and waning.
I have shined and I have shadowed.
I mean well always.
There are those who have to be best postured alongside truly creative people to feel apart of something. 
And those folks can be a positive force just by being there as well.
Just remember to have a healthy boundary that serves the end idea.
People are hugely feeling creatures and even with the best intent they get their feelings hurt.
You can't control others preceptions, feelings and actions. 
Do your best to be kind and loving always.
Artist need their space to create.
I have felt such extremes working on all my Burning Man projects.
Support and the rug pulled out.
I can only witness and learn.
Many types of artist manifesting amazing works.
My observation is those that truly are abundant keep reserved and continue to create.
Letting their hair down post creation.  Freely but mind you they feel the blues.
I have never felt I had to be APART of anything in my life other than living it good.
Good intentions by my actions.  
Almost impossible to maintain when you interact with others.
So...allowing all kinds of characters in my life has given and taken.
Its a mutual dance that only those in real touch can account.
Labeled by people who know and absolutely don’t know me but like to think they do!
I find it odd and sometimes hurtful.
I have had to deflect bullets for others lack of something. . .
A need to gossip or be connected to what?  
Liked for what reason?
Truth is each persons story they stir and create to make themselves RIGHT.
I find this to be the truth of most folks.
And yet oddly dishonest if we look in the mirror right?
What is neither my question nor my problem?
I can only hold compassion for those people. 
Super intuitive souls have a blessing and curse.
I got it.
I see things…and even more I feel things deeply across the board from many.
If you’re reading this and you feel it’s pointed at you…well maybe those are your issues arising in your behavior.
  We all have had our moments.  The mirror can be glaring.
 I look at the feeling and the idea that another could feel or scapegoat possibly their short comings, their  “stories.” 
I don’t have a mean bone in my body but like a lion you cross me I stop in my tracks and face it.  
I question all thoughts and the mouths it comes from...valid or not?
We can love many types of people and than they can just turn their back on a dime on you.
All experiences seem to lead to lessons.  
 To ponder and make better your next experience.
One can only hope.  Be brave and do it.
A clearing of bullshit, editing out those that drain has been key in being more peaceful.
I live away from the parties and posturing. 
 I love a good event mind you, but you will never see me posing more than creating.
I just do.  And I have allowed some energies into my life that tested my entire core being.
I don’t think I’ll ever make the same mistakes but I can tell you that my time is more guarded for creating art and love.
Waste not your time on chatter and people who play with souls for self-elevation.
They are the more fragile souls that need a lot more than most of us are able to give.
They will suck the life out of your soul with no regard.
Party on to the next pattern of their life with no guilt or care for what you feel is odd behavior. 
 I am as Duane Michals age 81, said to me last week. 

My god you're still a kid. 
Start taking honest pictures about your own truth. 
There is only one Karen Kuehn.”  

 Duane Michals

Which way will I go?
I don't know but I can tell you that if I have been there done that....I might change up for a bigger adventure.
Also for some folks if you are doing what you have always done...remember the results good or boringly bad maybe the description that best describes INSANITY.
Growing is hard esp if your an elder that has habits.
Change for yourself and your art will adapt to the new you.

The truth of me is life is like a gray scale full of tonality.
I tend to see light but love the shadow side.
Emotionally I love the joyful side so maybe it will be the mystery in the dark where joy lays its head privately.
Sacred images about mindful feelings might be my next stop.

Good Day. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I have no idea who shot this but I love the juxtaposition and idea.
Terrific inspiration for today.
Dance more love more make art.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Snap and Quote by Tony Novak-Clifford

Another One Makes The Wall

"Eno has just returned from the framers and now lives in a place of honor right next to my studio workstation. A prized possession, indeed!

Karen, you rock! You are talented, generous and an amazing soul. May blessings follow you wherever you go..."


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy Birthday To His Holiness

Today is your birthday, may it be blessed with abundance.
A slice of cake and some good belly laughs.
Wishing you a joy fill Day.

Monday, July 1, 2013

PRIDE 2013

Same Sex Marriage in New Mexico
 29 rolls of B&W shot on 120 format to celebrate this historical time
Film is for me far better for creating images that last.
Digital files are too temporary for history.
I will process and proof this film for two shows curated by Mary Anne Redding here in New Mexico.  
I asked her what was missing that she needed.
Sexy and gay rights issues so I'm covering it.
I feel the importance of this here in America.
To nurture love and eliminate the hate that is so rampant.
The parade had protesters up front and I have covered that aspect.
I feel the need to amp up the love part of photography.
The sexy part.  Grants usually are awarded for the negative parts displayed in the world.
This is not what I prefer.  I like the fun and the sensuality that people feel.
I love parades and events for those who let their hair down and are on a path of INTENT.
This path is one of passion.
Mine is to see the magic with people who feel this and express it.
Happy Pride America
 Sometimes you have to shoot a color shot

 Gangster boys sporting their angel wings.

Love the spenders