By Jim Colton
Back in the day when magazine photojournalism was strong and assignments were plentiful just maintaining a visual presence and having a unique style got you work. We all know that’s no longer the case. In the 80s and 90s, Karen Kuehn’s credit line appeared in almost every major publication. Today, like so many photographers, she struggles finding the balance that will satisfy both her heart…and her rent.
Kuehn has a passion for making compelling portraits and telling stories. Her early years included an internship at National Geographic before spending 16 years as a freelancer in New York City and then moving on to New Mexico in 2001 after becoming a mom and wanting to raise her son in a rural environment.
She continues to take the occasional assignment when it comes in, but in the meantime, has immersed herself in a personal project that has consumed her very soul - Burning Man: the annual migration of spirited souls to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Her latest project, “Cargo Cult,” is a 200 page, 12x12 hardcover book illustrating the event with images and quotes. The book is financed by a Kickstarter campaign.
This week, we enter Karen Kuehn’s world and talk about issues and events that took her from being a National Park Service Ranger to one of today’s most spirited and committed photographers.
Read the interview here: https://nppa.org/page/photo-journal-karen-kuehn-burn-notice