Featured Artist Karen Safer

Photographer Karen Safer shares her inspiring journey and presents a collection of images based on world travels. Find more of her portfolio on her website.


fine art photo of an interior of a coffee shop

“American Coffee Shop” photography, 23″ x 21″


When I was a little girl, I used to draw portraits, house plans (inspired by the Home Section of the Los Angeles Times) and build toy brick houses. I wanted to be an artist always. By the time I was in junior high, however, my aspirations were stymied by an art teacher who liked nothing I liked.


black and white photo of an unusual stairway

“LaRochelle Patterns” photography, 10.5″ x 14″


So, I stopped making art, but I didn’t stop taking photos. I’ve been doing so ever since. I have documented family, friends, and most of the world, having visited over 230 countries and territories. In college, fortunately, I picked up the thread again and became an art student. The desire to create art was stronger than the fear of rejection.


photograph of a street scene in Havana

“Havana Shuffle” photography, 24″ x 18″


I was fortunate to be born and raised in beautiful Los Angeles, California. It was a paradise filled with a wealth of visuals, the ocean, palm trees and other sundrenched delights. My dad used to develop black and white photographs in our back washroom, which probably influenced me. My mother had a thirst for knowledge, history, words, and travel. That truly shaped my life. My parents instilled in me a curiosity, a desire to seek knowledge and the self-assuredness that I could succeed.


photograph of a female monk

“Female Monk, Ankor Thom” photography, 16″ x 12″


My world was enlarged as a teenager through my parents’ desire to travel. That forever colored and expanded my world lens. It allowed me to make connections between art, music, history, and society that I never could have if I’d lived in only a small corner of the world. I am now an international, award-winning photographer who sends images around the world to be seen in places I have visited.


dramatic photo of Monument Valley

“Portal Into Monument Valley” photo on photo, 20″ x 17″


My love of imagery, framing and capturing scenes has always been my passion. It is that dance around a subject that delights me. My motto is that “photographers have the whole world—big and small—to capture.” Anywhere I am is my favorite place.


exotic photo collage of travel images

“Brilliant & Fractured” photo collage, 18″ x 24″


I started with a film SLR camera where you waited for results that hopefully confirmed if the “eye” was right on. Digital came along and changed everything except for “seeing.” Results were immediate and we began clicking hundreds of shots, required much more time in editing.


black and white architectural photo from Singapore

“Singapore Lines and Shapes” photography, 15″ x 20″


I began exhibiting in college but had a hiatus while working in related art career. Then Covid changed things and gave me the time and space to organize my 15 years of stockpiled images. Online galleries opened up the world with more opportunities. I started experimenting with more mixed media.


fine art photo of a door

“Windswept” photography, 11″ x 14″


I had a very good education (degrees in art) but am really a self-educated photographer who continues to do what I love—taking pictures. That’s how one becomes a better photographer.


black and white photo of an old Paris cafe

“Atget’s Paris Café Past” photography, 20″ x 15″


As I had predicted, after Covid we are seeing a huge outpouring of artwork. It challenges me against what I was taught to be a “good photograph” (clear, formal compositions) to see what is “au currant” and stretches me to see how to capture things differently while still trying to be true to my vision.


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