Meet Karen

Hi there! I'm Karen, a photographer serving families and couples all over the world.






5 Lessons from My First Two Years in Business – and a GIVEAWAY!


This week I’m celebrating 2 years since I launched Karen Schanely Photography! It has been such an honor and privilege to be invited into so many wonderful homes and families to capture such special moments! The past two years have also taught be SO much more than I could have imagined. Here are just 5 of the things I’ve learned in the first two years of my photography business and a special giveaway at the end:

1. The memory behind the picture is just as important as the picture itself.

There have been times when I’ve really wanted a nice picture of my kids. We’re on vacation, or it’s time for the Christmas card picture. But my kids are just! And I force it with them kicking and screaming either on the outside or the inside. I may get the picture I wanted, but whenever I look at that picture, I remember the sour moods and unpleasant experience it was. It may be the most beautiful picture ever, but I won’t ever look at it and feel warm and fuzzy.

The experience of taking the picture is just as important! And so my goal in a session is not just to create beautiful, timeless images, but also create moments that you’ll actually want to remember. Whether we play games, snuggle, pick flowers, climb on rocks, or even run in circles, I want everyone to go home with a full heart. Because a photo session should be fun!

2. Everyone has a story worth telling.

No matter who you are, or where you are in life, you have a story. It might be a love story. Or hopeful dreams. Maybe part of your story even includes sorrow or death. Whatever the story is, it’s worth telling because you are important, and your family is important. In order to do this, I love getting to know each family in person but also through a pre-session questionnaire. I want to know what your kids’ favorite tv shows are, or what makes them belly laugh. Or did they just loose a tooth or start to walk? Did you and your loved one grow up together or meet in college? Did you experience a long, painful road to parenthood? Getting to know your story can help me create more authentic, meaningful images for you.

3. There’s always something new to learn.

Sometimes it seems that the more I learn about photography, the more I realize how little I still know. That is probably the case with many things (parenting, anyone?). Benjamin Franklin said “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” With photography, there is always something new to learn with light, composition, camera gear, posing, and editing. This is why I continue to take classes, read books, attend workshops and conferences, and surround myself with people who will teach and push me forward. I want every time I pick up my camera to be better than the time before.

4. Time really does go as fast as they say.

It seems like I can’t get through the grocery store without someone making the comment that “time flies.” I usually nod and smile because I’ve heard it often, but it’s so true. Now that my kids are a little older, I reflect back on their toddler days and think how is it possible that they are already in grade school, but I’m also so aware that their teenage years are around the corner.

When you’re with your kids every day, you don’t notice the small changes and growth. Those chubby fingers. Tiny socks. Toothless grins. Before you know it, they already onto the next phase, and those feet are not so cute anymore. Thank goodness for pictures and videos to help us remember!

5. Printing pictures is so important.

We live in a digital world, but yet, there’s something so special about seeing and touching a physical printed picture. Studies have shown that kids who see pictures of themselves and their family have a higher self-esteem. It’s helpful to see themselves in their family unit and feel valued, loved, and safe. This is where they belong!

We are the most photographed generation, but yet only a tiny fraction of those images ever make it off the digital screen. They usually get deleted or forgotten in some dark corner on the computer. However, when you print and hang a picture on your wall or put a photo album on your coffee table, you and your family will see it every time you walk by – perhaps dozens of times each day. The sensory experience and brain activity of physically touching a printed image is different than tapping a phone screen. There are so many fun ways you can print images these days. Wood mounted prints, print wraps, albums, magnets, and puzzles are a few of my favorites, and my families love them as well!

I can’t wait to see what this next year holds, and to celebrate I’m giving away SIX prizes totaling over $600.

  • 1 Winner will receive a Photo Session!
  • 2 Winners will receive $100 toward a Photo Session!
  • 3 Winners will receive $50 toward a Photo Session!

To enter, follow the instructions below! (Giveaway ends April 6.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway






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