Every week I look for glimpses of beauty—in nature, the arts, and the unexpected—and because I'm intentional, I usually find it. It’s a mindset that can be cultivated simply by paying attention and being aware of it around you.
Several years ago, I came across a website that sends out a daily email of a beautiful photo from nature with a Bible verse written on it. Through the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed having beauty in both image and word come to my inbox. I save the ones that especially touch or inspire me.
At some point, I started noticing the name of one of the regular photographers: Kareen King. Because her photos in particular often grab my attention, I decided to reach out to her and ask what motivates her to capture and share the beauty she sees. Here's our conversation.
LeAnne: Tell me more about your photography. How did you get started in it?
Kareen: I never owned a camera until I was almost an empty nester. One day, while walking in the country. I spotted a meadow of Queen Anne’s Lace and took several photos with my cell phone. When I posted the photos on Facebook, I got positive responses. Pretty soon I became obsessed with photography and capturing all the little things I had overlooked in the twenty years I’d lived in Osage City, Kansas, thus far. Soon after, my sons and daughter-in-law surprised me with a Nikon 3200 for Christmas.
Until I discovered photography, I found myself often bored and unhappy with the little bedroom community I felt stuck in for so many years. Now, I see it differently. Because I live in such a sparsely populated area, I actually feel like I own the roads. Each photography stint is a new adventure, a hunt for something unexpected.
Though capturing Kansas, particularly its sunsets and sunrises, is my specialty, I’ve also enjoyed candid street photography and have captured beautiful scenes from my travels throughout the nation and beyond including Germany, Norway, Paris, Kenya, the Caribbean, Belgium, and the Mediterranean.
LeAnne: Why is beauty important to you, and why do you share it with others?
Kareen: Beauty is important to me because it draws people together. I’ve never experienced anyone arguing about a double rainbow or a field of wildflowers or a prancing horse in a winter snowfall. Those are moments that point us to the Divine, and remind us that we are connected to the Author and Artist of all things wondrous.
Kareen: Part of the joy of my photography hobby is that I get to share the magic on the big screen weekly with elders in a retirement community. I’ve also had my work featured in New Letters Magazine, a respected Arts Journal out of UMKC, as well as on Clash's Verse of the Day emails.
LeAnne: Describe a particular time when you were deeply moved or touched by beauty. What made that moment so special?
Kareen: One of the most profound moments of beauty occurred on a summer night in Kansas many years ago. It was an experience I didn’t photograph, nor could I have, but one contained in my mind’s eye. My husband and I were awake unusually late after our five children had gone to sleep. Serendipity overtook us this particular moonless midnight in June, beckoning us out of our country home. The whole earth was black as pitch. Tentative, we carefully navigated the potholes, large rocks, and rough edges as our eyes acclimated to the mystery that lay before us.
We walked uphill until we came to its crest where we were confronted with a sight that paralyzed us with awe and wonder. To the south were tall evergreens laden with fireflies. To the north and east were sprawling meadows that mirrored the sky brilliant with stars. The whole world had turned into diamonds. Speechless, we pondered the wonder and glory that lay before us. It was a Divine appointment, something designed for us alone and for that moment only.
My guest on Glimsen today has been Kareen King, freelance photographer and founder of The Golden Experience. Kareen is a Registered Drama Therapist, Keynote Speaker and Creative Engagement Specialist who works with organizations that want to create a culture where elders and their care partners are loved, validated, and creatively engaged. For more information, visit www.thegoldenexperience.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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