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Portrait of Karen


Karen was from Friend, Nebraska, USA. She came to visit her son and his girlfriend in Tehachapi, California, USA. I met her at the Mountain Spirit Center, a Kwan Um School of Zen Buddhism, as she was enjoying the view and taking pictures of the gorgeous site (see below.) It was the embodiment of ZEN, that is, it was extremely relaxing. Please read the link to learn about their lifestyle and philosophy of sustainability and environmental concern.

Karen was a manager at  Walmart for 13 years. Karen was a quiet and shy person and I really appreciated that she let me take her picture because usually people who are as reticent as her don’t let me take their picture.

Since I started doing this project, I have asked many strangers to let me take their portrait and post it on the internet. The majority say no. You can’t imagine how many people don’t let me photograph them. Or maybe you can. The ratio is minimally one lets me take a picture to every three who don’t. But it could be even bigger than that.

The day I  Karen, I snapped this moment in Karen’s life, I went to a meeting in Mojave hoping that I would get to take pictures of several people. I thought I’d come out with a minimum of three pictures. But it ended up I got no pictures at that meeting. So I went driving off into the desert, and then into the mountains and that’s how I found Jason-3, Milford, Karen, and Izac.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Hills of Pine Canyon, Tehachapi, California

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