We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Fox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Living life without any risk is impossible. We exist in a world fraught with dangers around every turn; a world where we might spend our entire lives at home and still not be safe from harm. I believe many people associate risk with recklessness but is that true? Avoidance of risk is often associated with fear. When fear is the motivational force in our life, we will never step outside of our comfort zone to discover what else is out there or what dreams we might realize. The authentic pursuit of happiness always begins with taking a risk.
A great fear for many is the fear of failure or of catastrophic circumstances. When it comes to life, the only reasonable basis to decide risk vs. reward lies at the individual level. Sometimes we risk and lose…but sometimes we win. Don’t ever let fear of failure keep you chained to a job or situation wondering, “what if…? Ask the question: “if I could be anywhere else right now, what would I be doing? If your answer is “right here” then congratulations! If that isn’t your answer, then I encourage you to keep seeking.
I believe that those with a creative spirit are the most likely risk-takers because many of us are not afraid to “color outside the lines” when it comes to designing the life we envision. We may not embark with a clear path to the end, but we adapt and create as we go. We experience life through experimentation and an honest assessment of what success looks like because it is different for everyone.
I have taken many risks both in life and career, a few did not work out as planned but those that did ultimately led me to ‘the thing’ that I was created to do and to the place where I belong. According to some, I may not appear successful, but for others, I am at the top of my field depending on who you ask. Along the way, I have learned a wide variety of skills, acquired invaluable knowledge, met some brilliant and engaging people, enjoyed unique experiences, and gained a lot of perspective.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since early childhood, I have been fascinated by photography. It was never something I initially considered as a career because I grew up being told that carrying a briefcase and working in an office was the best way to enjoy life and make great money. I spent a good deal of time trying to find that special ‘office work’ that made me sing and want to jump out of bed in the morning. I got close after studying multimedia design and earning a job as a graphic designer for a local printing company. It was my first foray into the digital arts. I have always been a bit of a computer nerd (if anyone remembers the TRS-80 from Radio Shack, yes, that was my first) so this idea of computers and art really struck a chord with me, however, it wasn’t exactly the thing I thought I was meant to do. I acquired my first professional-grade DSLR camera in 2018 and marrying the two together, Electronic art + photography when the proverbial lightbulb moment happened and I realized there was no turning back from there. I jumped in, both feet, and haven’t looked back. My brand is still developing but at its core is telling stories of the people and animals I meet. I like to think I bring a unique perspective to each client so that their story is the one being told. I don’t care much for trends or what is “new” because that doesn’t fit every client. I love to work with fellow creatives because I find myself constantly inspired by their presence.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My ‘hometown’ is quite rural but I do have some favorites locally. Grinder’s Switch Winery is a great place to relax and chat with friends, You can sit outside under a canopy of trees or beside a firepit. They offer several varieties of wines for tasting and mix wine slushes. In the cooler months, there is nothing better than their mulled wine featuring their Blackberry Express. There are plenty of antique markets nearby and historical sites to visit. If they are traveling with me you can be sure there will be a few photo stops along the way.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Most importantly, my husband James & our two daughters, and my son, all of whom have supported and encouraged me in this ‘do over’ stage of life. They are my cheerleaders and they keep me going. I would also like to say that I cannot stress enough the importance of membership in professional organizations. I am a proud member of Professional Photographers of America as well as our state and local affiliates. Education, training, resources, and relationships are some of the most integral pieces to improve my craft.