Giving Back: I'm a member of two non-profit photography groups: "Celebrating Adoption", which gives adoptive parents a free photo session and a free set of photography proofs, along with a 15% discount off additional portraits, and "A Family For Every Child" which uses professional photographers to photograph foster children to increase their chance of adoption. I am also personally committed to photographing families with chronically ill children (without charge). Contact me if you would like more information. Spread the word! I love to give.
I'm a member of PPA and PPW - great organizations. Every year I attend workshops and seminars to learn how to be the best photographer I can be.
I'm a Certified Professional Photographer (very cool - only 23 of us in Washington, and 3% of photographers nationwide!)
Karen Mullen began taking photographs while an exchange student in Germany. She studied photography and writing at the University of Missouri, receiving a Bachelor of Journalism.
Karen and Leo married in 1983. An early pregnancy changed Karen's career plans: she intended to work for a newspaper, as Leo did, but had a firm commitment to staying home with her children. She freelanced for several years, then switched to stock photography, where her work was represented by a stock photo agency.
In 1997, Leo encouraged Karen to form a portrait photography business. She immersed herself in education provided by the Professional Photographers of America and the Professional Photographers of Washington. From a background of journalistic photography, Karen learned to incorporate great poses with great moments.
In 1999 Karen trained in Photoshop, and entered the world of digital photography.
Karen's husband Leo died of a heart attack in 2000, at the age of 41. She is grateful to both Leo and God for allowing her to have 3 years of portrait photography education behind her before she was compelled to grow a small business into a full-time job.
Critical to the story, Karen was 3 months pregnant when Leo died. Today, Leo Jr. is 15 years old. With the support of her 3 adult kids, Karen juggles photography, teaching, leading photo tours, writing and parenting.
Ben, Karen's 32-year-old son, graduated from Western Washington University in biology. He and his wife Andrea live in Bellingham.
Lainie, Karen's 30-year-old daughter, has a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and lives with her husband Nathaniel in New York City.
Gabriel, Karen's 26-year-old son, graduated from WWU in linguistics and lives in Bellingham.
Leo is in 9th grade and enjoys long-distance running, skiing and science.
In May 2009, Karen passed both the image review and the PPA certification exam to become one of only 17 certified professional photographers in Washington. Photography is both a brainy and artsy business!
In 2011, Karen received her Fellowship of Photography degree from the Professional Photographers of Washington, for education, service and photo competition.
In 2011, Karen began teaching photography at Skagit Valley College, and in 2012 she began teaching at Whatcom Community College and offering private lessons.
In 2013, Karen began leading photo tours around Washington State, launching Northwest Photo Journeys.
Karen is currently writing a memoir of her life with Leo and her kids.