Friday, December 31, 2010


I'm a huge fan of macro photography, shallow depth of field and isolated focus.   My 100mm 2.8L IS USM gives me just the right mix of all three.

Spent a good portion of the day at the LA Arboretum hanging out in the tropical greenhouse.   I challenged myself to capture the plant life in ways we aren't used to seeing it - so I opted for low and/or high vantage points, taking into consideration (and trying to make good use of) the negative space. Paying close attention to lines and texture...   The scrim over the greenhouse acted as a great diffuser and evenly bathed the flowers in beautiful sunlight.

Color inspires me to create!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Karen Kirkland Photography on Facebook

On Jan 1st of this year I blogged about my goals for 2010.  There were only 9 (not 10).  I purposely didn't make mention of goal #10 because I was reluctant to commit to it.  Didn't I already have enough to do - multiple email addresses to check, blogs to post, a website to update, random tweets to impose on others, an etsy storefront that remained bare, a linkedin account that I never even finished a profile for - was I really going to add one more form of social networking to my already full plate...

So goal #10 remained only known to me, and despite my many objections and with only 3 days left in the year...

#10 - Create a Facebook page for Karen Kirkland Photography- check!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year!   Yes...even better than my Birthday Month...   The winter-like weather, the music, the lights, decorating the tree (my tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving and stays up well into January).   I once kept my Christmas tree up for a year and a half.   No - not because I'm lazy - but because one year I realized I was an adult and I could do whatever I wanted to do...

The holiday spirit, people seem nicer, a time of giving.   And although I tend not to get wrapped up in the commercialism that can at times overshadow the holidays - I can appreciate the spirit of it all - just the same.

For me, this time of the year also brings with it lots of time for reflection.   On one hand it's hard to fathom where the time is going.   Am I accomplishing anything?   Am I making a difference?   Yet on the other hand I feel as if there was plenty of time and I could have done more.   I did accomplish a lot this year though - I'm exhausted and looking forward to two weeks of pure relaxation and indulgence.

The simple things I want to do, the simple things I like to do.   That are purely just for me.   Shoot whatever I want.   Read.   Spend lots of "laughing" time with family and friends.   Sit and stare into space - thinking (something I'm very good at).   Sleeping-in (how yummy).   Taking road trips.   Updating my blog - finally!   Adding new stuff to my website.   Creating photographic art pieces for my Etsy storefront.   Oh!   Let's not forget sippin' on some hot coco!

I'm a hopeless romantic, an eternal optimist and I like to dream big!  On most days, I carry with me the belief that anything is possible...

What do you still believe in?

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's A Small World - Kennedy

"I'm pumpin' up the richness Auntie" - as Kennedy so often proclaims during our eternity-long bouts in "The Game of Life".  After many a pay day and twenty Life Tiles later, she retires to Millionaire Estates.  She wins every time...

She's smart.  She's inquisitive, insightful, thoughtful and funny.  She's a super talented song-writer and I'm convinced she'll be directing movies one day!

She's honest (as most kids are - until society dictates otherwise):
Me: "Do you miss me?"
Her: "Not really Auntie - I just saw you"

I respect that about her.

She's been in front of my camera since the moment she was born and I can't get enough.  Love you Kiddo!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tickled Pink!

Don't you just love it when you finally get something that you've wanted for a really long time?

I was so nervous - I think...  Just couldn't figure out why.  Maybe it wasn't nerves...  I mean, I'd bought camera gear before - but this was different.

I'm not the type to buy new gear just because...  But when I get to the point where I feel like I'm about to throw a lens across the room because it's too slow, or creatively it isn't capable of doing what I need it to do - then I know I've outgrown that piece of equipment and it's time to upgrade.

My 40D had been treating me well, but when I woke on Friday morning, I just knew that was going to be the day!  The day I would embrace my inner full-frame, 21.1 megapixels and HD 1080p video.

I've wanted this camera for a really long time and I'm tickled pink that it's finally mine!

Welcome home EOS 5D Mark II...  Mama loves you!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's A Small World - Nora

I look at these photos of Nora and it brings back memories of my own childhood.  Frankly - the last shot brings back memories of just this morning...  But that's another story.

When I was a kid we lived in this really scary house, across the street from a cemetery...  Obviously now as an adult - I'd call it a house full of wonderful character & charm.  And as it turns out - the cemetery is actually quite beautiful (rolling hills and all).  But back then (as a kid) I was certain it was a house filled with vampires in the basement, goblins behind every closet door, footsteps in the attic...and weird shadows in the garage (that looked like bats).  My sisters and I were convinced the entire house was haunted!  To make matters worse - our next door neighbor was this old, old, old, old, old man that only came out into daylight once a month.  His house was blood red and completely covered in vines and trees.  Of course I considered myself a spy (I still am - by the way) and I used to sneak onto his property to try and see what he was doing over there (eating little children for dinner perhaps...?)

I'm sure if I were to go back there today I'd have a completely different vision of that house - but back then my imagination would take me on tours of discovery beyond my wildest dreams!

Our backyard led into the woods - no fence, just woods!  Today I could think of 64 million reasons not to go into the deep, dark forest alone, but back then - nothing was going to stop me!  My childhood friend Amy and I would spend hours in those woods...  Running around, playing hide-n-seek, pretending we were lost and had to survive on nothing but onion grass.  Those were the days...

As I watched Nora (in her pink princess dress) scour her backyard looking for the perfect ingredients to make her soup - flower petals, water, dirt, leaves and grass...  I remembered how wonderful it is to be a kid.  That special blend of innocence and sincerity that often accompanies playtime.  Freedom! Free from pretense, free from conceit, free to be whoever you so desire to be.  Imagination at its best...!

I'm curious - where has your imagination taken you lately?

This is me every time I put on lip gloss!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Caliente Gallery

I am surrounded by such incredibly talented individuals...

Charlie is a magnificent artist and I've been lucky enough to photograph some of his work.  Both the originals and the prints are currently on display in the Nickelodeon Gallery and they're selling like hotcakes!

What strikes me most about Charlie's work is his use of color, texture and mixed media.  To see more of his work - check out his website at

Here's just a small sample of the sheer genius that is Charlie (as shot by me)!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nora - Sneak Peek!

I'd been waiting a long time to shoot Nora so I was super excited when the day finally arrived.  I mean come on...her cuteness factor is just waaaaayyyy off the charts.  Still editing all of her photos - but came across these two and just had to share!

More to come...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthday Month - Day 27 (London - Day 1)

Spent the morning chatting with the tutors at the Screen Academy...  Hopped on a train and spent the next two hours traveling countryside from Cardiff to Paddington Station.

By the time I arrived in London it was already late in the day.  Just enough time to swing by Louis' flat, drop my things and head out to see the sites.

I'm in London!!!   Yay!!!

I know - I know...  Italian tonight, fish and chips tomorrow...

I'm not a beer drinker - but here's what I know so far - they are serious about their beer in the UK...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Birthday Month - Day 26 (Wales - Day 4)

Taking the 2-hour train ride to London tomorrow...  Going to miss Cardiff - but sooooo looking forward to seeing London!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birthday Month - Day 25 (Wales - Day 3)

The architecture in Cardiff is beautiful! I'm awed by the juxtaposition of the old and the new...