Karen Engel Fashion Portrait Family Photographer Interview
Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: I don’t have a massive ego so I prefer to talk about my images rather than myself. Generally, there is a really interesting story behind every image I create – and every person I shoot.
It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining to share these things.
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
A: In my art and work I am extremely focused to the point that I sometimes forget even the basic things in life – like eating! ha ha But the creative side of me is a dreamer – and there are no limits to what I can dream up! Integrating the concepts I dream up into my projects is what keeps things new, fresh and unpredictable.
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: Probably when I was given an antique bellows film camera as a child … I was fascinated.
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: Fun, friends, life, memories, communication – it’s so much more. Really the only one truly universal language.
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: A black and white film image that was worthy of a magazine cover – the problem was – I was 10 year old!
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: I formally taught myself, but I do keep up with publications in print and online.
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: I know what I’m doing, but am more enamored with the emotion of an image as opposed to technical perfection… there’s always just more feeling in it.
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: Good – for sake of universal things like frames etc. Bad – because one is forced into cookie cutter sizes and shapes to fit “standard” formats. One size does not always fit all.
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: California, because it’s a place where I know and love the area and it’s people. There are endless possibilities her – even in just one day – from skiing in the mountains to surfing in the ocean, all within a couple of hours.
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: BE An Unbelievably Terrific You
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: Most favorite – Yes! Least Favorite – Can’t. There is nothing that “can’t” be done. Either someone doesn’t want to do it – or they don’t know how.
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: I become more focused, when generally I’m not.
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: No worries – life is filled with endless opportunities – create new ones!
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both?Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: I wouldn’t be able to choose a single one other than personal family images in general – the things everyone want to have close.
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Caffeine and emails first thing, then usually get into post processing, web development, other business things, and shoot in the afternoons on an average day…then catch up on emails at the end of the day as well.
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Young adults and kids for the fun, families for the friends, models for the high energy and bands for the craziness!
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!
A: Um, I had a model cancel on me once because her boat sank… Serious! LOL
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
A: Super artsy high fashion types of shoots with a full staff.
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
A: No color. DOH
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: Yes because my work in photography is mostly creative art – not an assembly line. I’m also a musician and art artist too.
Q: How do you describe your photographic style in one word?
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
A: When people that have known me for some time see my images for the first time and are overwhelmed. What did they think – I live under a rock and only come out to see them? LOL
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: I don’t cheat at golf as much as my husband does!
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: Speaking of golf – I would love to shoot in the 60s one day (71 is my low so far). In photography – shooting celebrities would be a blast.
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: Stuck with it at an earlier age instead of moving around from art to music and beyond.
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: It’s their job, but I don’t really care for it at all and never look at that type of thing. The effect is minimal as it is not artistic work at all, just snap shots in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting paid for it.
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: It’s part of the modern day darkroom and is used by anyone who is serious. The question is – how far? “Manipulation” is a word loaded with bad connotations. “Enhancements” is a more appropriate term for the traditional sense of using post processing. True masters of digital work have taken it to an entirely new level, and it has become an art form unto it’s own beyond photography.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: what are you reading this for? Give me a call or email and lets get shooting! :-)