About Karen

About Karen Olson

Fantasy and fine art portraiture
Conceptual photography
Visual storytelling

Hello and Welcome!

I'm Karen Olson, fine art and conceptual photographer, visual storyteller. I live in the town of Hope in Midcoast, Maine and have been active in the Maine arts community for 25 years.

Having spent many years exploring artistic mediums such as fiber art, collage, acrylics, and metalwork; I truly feel photography speaks to me in a way that no other has. It is the medium that brings together my collected knowledge and skill in the arts in a way that rejuvenates and refreshes me. I still work in these mediums, only now, the work helps me to create unique concepts and fantasy worlds.

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Fantasy and Fine Art Portraiture

Portrait photography is my passion! My goal when shooting portraits is to bring to the surface that which is deep within, the inherent beauty and raw qualities of my subject. It brings me great joy to create scenes for fantasy and fine art portraits
and to bring to life your vision for the shoot.

Find out more by clicking the button below.

My Process

In my conceptual work, I use a digital layering process in which collected and hand-painted imagery is blended with a styled shoot. For the styled shoots, I source locations and costumes, actively involving the model in the process. We collaborate in the planning stage and on set. I paint textures and craft props that are added to the digital collage process. The collected images are often from ancient European architecture which adds a sense of time and history to the final piece. Intertwining and blending such diverse elements helps me express complex human emotions experienced by many cultures.

The work I do today was prompted by a young woman whom I had been working with incorporating a human touch in my still life imagery and product photography. She asked me to photograph her expressing emotion. She wanted to document her feelings, to mark and honor her internal struggles. She wanted a way to express her true self. We arrived at a lakeside location with all manner of props in hand. The afternoon summer light, the camera capturing the dense atmosphere, our shared common feelings all came together in an explosion of inspiration and insight. The result was a powerful and beneficial "art as therapy" experience. This collaboration has shaped my photographic process. Visualizing and expressing emotion has become my life’s work.

Conceptual Photography

My current body of conceptual work embraces layers of experience, deep seated emotion, and complexity of thought. It is about our struggles, fears, vulnerability, and life-changing events. The imagery encourages introspection and reflection; gently allowing one to fully feel the depth of experiences often too difficult to express. It gives the viewer voice. This photographic narrative acts a a prompt to express one’s own personal story.

I offer portrait sessions in my studio in Hope, Maine and on location. Fantasy, fine art, and conceptual photo shoots can be styled to suit your needs and desire. Find out more here.

You can find my words and images in these national magazines;
Bella Grace, Artful BloggingMingle, and the Hand Magazine

My work has been exhibited at the Rhode Island Center for Photography.  Photo Place Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont, Don’t Take Pictures, The Maine Photography Show, and The Art Loft in Rockland, Maine. I am a contributor for Arcangel Images. My images on this site are available for purchase.

You can find my Bio/CV here.

Backgrounds and Photoshop textures can be found on my Etsy Shop

Prints available from any of my projects upon request. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions via email. karen@karenolsonphotography.com

Karen Olson Photography