Hi, I’m Karen. I love stories. Everyone has one to tell. As a trained journalist, I know how to get to the heart of the story and I’d love to tell yours!

About Me
My love affair with photography led to a career in photojournalism. I taught both writing and photography for ten years but when our family moved to the UK from the States, I realised I needed to get back into the fray and back behind the lens. And so I created Karen Barrett Photography.

My three lively boys give me plenty of experience capturing those never to be forgotten family moments – I don’t mean the ones where they’re all clean and sitting in a row (when does that ever happen in real life?). I mean the ones where they’re being rowdy, crazy and goofy and totally in the moment. I love photos that are a distillation of a memory. What do you love about your life right now? That’s what I want to capture.

One of my favourite photos is of my mother and her sisters sitting around a table looking at old photos of my grandfather. We’re trying to figure out what his experience of World War II must have been.

When I look at the photo, I can hear my aunt’s laugh and the sounds of the three sisters talking over one another. I remember my grandfather and how he used to make silly faces – it’s so at odds with the war veteran in the photos. And suddenly I’m thinking of every family event my aunt hosted in her basement – the place where I took this photo.

  • Instagram

    What a journey we've been on, hey? This morning, I went on my last family photoshoot before Christmas. We had a wonderful morning in Esher Common and managed to avoid the dire weather forecast. There were lovely colours and we even got a bit of sun. It was a great session to finish out the season. So while I haven't been posting here much, I have been very busy since the summer when I was finally able to get back to photography. It's been nice to be back, and I look forward to sharing more of my stories here now! #simplestorytelling #documentyourdays #photostory #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #yourstoryisworthtelling #sharethejoy

    What a journey we've been on, hey? This morning, I went on my last family photoshoot before Christmas. We had a wonderful morning in Esher Common and managed to avoid the dire weather forecast. There were lovely colours and we even got a bit of sun. It was a great session to finish out the season. So while I haven't been posting here much, I have been very busy since the summer when I was finally able to get back to photography. It's been nice to be back, and I look forward to sharing more of my stories here now! #simplestorytelling #documentyourdays #photostory #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #yourstoryisworthtelling #sharethejoy

    7 days ago
    View on Instagram |
    1/9
    We're having a little fun today. I'm a big believer of life-long learning, and today I was trying out some new settings and techniques with my kit. Lucky for me, my husband is a willing model (and in need of a new headshot!). Swipe left and see the final image. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#simplestorytelling #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #alwayslearning #sharethejoy #headshotscanbefun #showtherealyou #headshotphotographer #smallbusinessphotography
    We're having a little fun today. I'm a big believer of life-long learning, and today I was trying out some new settings and techniques with my kit. Lucky for me, my husband is a willing model (and in need of a new headshot!). Swipe left and see the final image. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#simplestorytelling #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #alwayslearning #sharethejoy #headshotscanbefun #showtherealyou #headshotphotographer #smallbusinessphotography

    We're having a little fun today. I'm a big believer of life-long learning, and today I was trying out some new settings and techniques with my kit. Lucky for me, my husband is a willing model (and in need of a new headshot!). Swipe left and see the final image.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #simplestorytelling #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #alwayslearning #sharethejoy #headshotscanbefun #showtherealyou #headshotphotographer #smallbusinessphotography

    1 year ago
    View on Instagram |
    2/9
    Gardening win
Gardening has been a big part of our lockdown story. My husband was keen to plant vegetables and see what we could grow. It started with some sprouting potatoes from our cupboard. Then after a trip to the garden centre, he planted cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero peppers, and a variety of herbs. 
Today, he harvested his first cucumber. It was delicious! And now we are hooked on growing our own. #ourlockdownstory #simplystorytelling #documentyourdays 
#homegrownveggies #newgardener

    Gardening win
    Gardening has been a big part of our lockdown story. My husband was keen to plant vegetables and see what we could grow. It started with some sprouting potatoes from our cupboard. Then after a trip to the garden centre, he planted cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero peppers, and a variety of herbs.
    Today, he harvested his first cucumber. It was delicious! And now we are hooked on growing our own. #ourlockdownstory #simplystorytelling #documentyourdays
    #homegrownveggies #newgardener

    1 year ago
    View on Instagram |
    3/9
    Hey there! It's been so long, that I'm not really sure where to start. Anyone else feeling this way as things start to open back up? I feel like my life has changed so much from where I was at the beginning of March. 
Like a lot of parents, I had to set aside my work once the lockdown hit in order to take care of my family. At first, it felt surreal and I was in survival mode. Then, homeschooling and managing the constant eating and exercise needs became my new normal. It got to the point where I didn't even think about picking up my camera anymore. 
I got frustrated that I no longer had the time to think about photo stories let alone edit them. It was easier to leave my camera in the bag. Instead, I picked up my crochet hook and some yarn and started creating that way.
But I've found myself drawn back to my photos and the stories they tell lately. My family has been sharing old photos on our online chats. I had a long-lost friend find me through Facebook and we started reminiscing. 
And then my youngest son turned 6 and I realised that I never finished his first year album! So over the last few weeks, I've been sitting down at night when I can grab some time and finishing a page here and a page there.
And today, I finally finished it! It's off to the press and we should have it in hand by the end of the month.
I feel back. I'm ready to tell stories through photos again. #simplestorytelling #documentyourdays #photostory #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #yourstoryisworthtelling #sharethejoy #timewithfamily
#documentyourdays
#simplystorytelling
#yourstoryisworthtelling
#candidchildhood
#myeverydaymagic
#familyphotography
#liveauthentic
#livethelittlethings
#mumslife

    Hey there! It's been so long, that I'm not really sure where to start. Anyone else feeling this way as things start to open back up? I feel like my life has changed so much from where I was at the beginning of March.
    Like a lot of parents, I had to set aside my work once the lockdown hit in order to take care of my family. At first, it felt surreal and I was in survival mode. Then, homeschooling and managing the constant eating and exercise needs became my new normal. It got to the point where I didn't even think about picking up my camera anymore.
    I got frustrated that I no longer had the time to think about photo stories let alone edit them. It was easier to leave my camera in the bag. Instead, I picked up my crochet hook and some yarn and started creating that way.
    But I've found myself drawn back to my photos and the stories they tell lately. My family has been sharing old photos on our online chats. I had a long-lost friend find me through Facebook and we started reminiscing.
    And then my youngest son turned 6 and I realised that I never finished his first year album! So over the last few weeks, I've been sitting down at night when I can grab some time and finishing a page here and a page there.
    And today, I finally finished it! It's off to the press and we should have it in hand by the end of the month.
    I feel back. I'm ready to tell stories through photos again. #simplestorytelling #documentyourdays #photostory #shamoftheperfect #honestlydocumented #beautyinthereal #yourstoryisworthtelling #sharethejoy #timewithfamily
    #documentyourdays
    #simplystorytelling
    #yourstoryisworthtelling
    #candidchildhood
    #myeverydaymagic
    #familyphotography
    #liveauthentic
    #livethelittlethings
    #mumslife

    1 year ago
    View on Instagram |
    4/9
    So grateful for @lallapolosa_baking_company offering meals for collection! I’m a big believer in the power of food to bring happiness, and that is exactly what this apple berry crumble did. We ate the boeuf bourguignon too quickly for photos, sorry! #foodmakesmehappy #loveourlocalbusinesses #lallapolosabakingcompany #findingnormalcyinthechaos

    So grateful for @lallapolosa_baking_company offering meals for collection! I’m a big believer in the power of food to bring happiness, and that is exactly what this apple berry crumble did. We ate the boeuf bourguignon too quickly for photos, sorry! #foodmakesmehappy #loveourlocalbusinesses #lallapolosabakingcompany #findingnormalcyinthechaos

    2 years ago
    View on Instagram |
    5/9
    This last week was hard. So when we finally had some free time this weekend, I decided to play with my camera and experiment with video. 
Yesterday, my whole family got in on it when we decided to make a lip sync music video. Today, I decided to tell a story about baking bread. 
#tellingstoriesmakesmehappy #gettingcreative #simplybeautifulstories #camerafun📷

    This last week was hard. So when we finally had some free time this weekend, I decided to play with my camera and experiment with video.
    Yesterday, my whole family got in on it when we decided to make a lip sync music video. Today, I decided to tell a story about baking bread.
    #tellingstoriesmakesmehappy #gettingcreative #simplybeautifulstories #camerafun📷

    2 years ago
    View on Instagram |
    6/9
    We're reading books today. To be fair, we read every day, but today we're reading to one another as part of the Togetherness Activities I'm posting on my Facebook page (link in the bio if you'd like to join in!). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We're big fans of Mo Willems in our house, and Reid was excited to read Waiting Is Not Easy after seeing Mo talk about it on his Lunchtime Doodles video the other day.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I'd love to hear more about what you are reading. We are going to need suggestions pretty soon as we are working through our library pretty quickly! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#readingtoeachother⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#mowillems⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#waitingisnoteasy⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#elephantandpiggie⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#athometogether⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#stayathome⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#timewithfamily⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#documentyourdays⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#simplystorytelling⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#yourstoryisworthtelling⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#candidchildhood⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#myeverydaymagic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#familyphotography⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#liveauthentic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#livethelittlethings

    We're reading books today. To be fair, we read every day, but today we're reading to one another as part of the Togetherness Activities I'm posting on my Facebook page (link in the bio if you'd like to join in!). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    We're big fans of Mo Willems in our house, and Reid was excited to read Waiting Is Not Easy after seeing Mo talk about it on his Lunchtime Doodles video the other day.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    I'd love to hear more about what you are reading. We are going to need suggestions pretty soon as we are working through our library pretty quickly! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #readingtoeachother⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #mowillems⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #waitingisnoteasy⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #elephantandpiggie⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #athometogether⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #stayathome⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #timewithfamily⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #documentyourdays⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #simplystorytelling⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #yourstoryisworthtelling⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #candidchildhood⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #myeverydaymagic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #familyphotography⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #liveauthentic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #livethelittlethings

    2 years ago
    View on Instagram |
    7/9
    Hey there! Are you feeling like life is a bit of a chess game at the moment? Not sure what your next move is?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I don't really know how to play chess, but that's definitely how I'm feeling, and increasingly so over the last week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So I want to do something about it. Over on my Facebook page, I'm going to try something new. Every day, I'll post an idea of something to do while we are all trying to stay away from one another. Then we'll all go off and give the idea a go, take a photo or two, and then share the photos and stories on the thread of the day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I know stories and shared experiences bring people together. I see it all of the time in my work. But this isn't about work. This is about living life and remaining connected with people. And I really hope you'll join me. The link to my Facebook page is in my bio. I hope to see you there!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#socialdistancingbutstayingtogether⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#sharedexperiences⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#sharingstories ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#buildingrelationships⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#relationshipsmatter⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#connection⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#peoplefirst⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#relationshipgoals

    Hey there! Are you feeling like life is a bit of a chess game at the moment? Not sure what your next move is?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    I don't really know how to play chess, but that's definitely how I'm feeling, and increasingly so over the last week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    So I want to do something about it. Over on my Facebook page, I'm going to try something new. Every day, I'll post an idea of something to do while we are all trying to stay away from one another. Then we'll all go off and give the idea a go, take a photo or two, and then share the photos and stories on the thread of the day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    I know stories and shared experiences bring people together. I see it all of the time in my work. But this isn't about work. This is about living life and remaining connected with people. And I really hope you'll join me. The link to my Facebook page is in my bio. I hope to see you there!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #socialdistancingbutstayingtogether⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #sharedexperiences⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #sharingstories ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #buildingrelationships⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #relationshipsmatter⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #connection⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #peoplefirst⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #relationshipgoals

    2 years ago
    View on Instagram |
    8/9
    Meet my mom, Sue.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here, she's sitting at her dining table, which actually used to be her parents' card table. Part of my mom's weekly routine is to go through her calendars and figure out her week ahead, which is what she's doing here. I love that we approach our organisation the same way, as I do this exact same thing at my dining table. She's always joking about not being able to remember anything, but she's so good about remembering what's important. She always sends birthday and anniversary cards on the right days. She knows what her grandchildren like and play with. She makes us all feel loved and important.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are so many details in this photo that I love. Those wire shelves to her right, those house all of her crafty supplies, games, and puzzles that she uses when she babysits her grandsons. The hutch right behind her houses all sorts of fun memorabilia like her grandmother's tea cup, her wedding china,  and a photo of me as a baby with her mom. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But for me, the best part is the picture hanging on the wall behind her. Those are her parents in that picture. Remember my post yesterday? I didn't set up these photos at all, and I didn't notice the grandparent photos in the backgrounds while I was taking them. I think it's pretty cool that in both photos, my parents' parents are looking over their shoulders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#simplestorytelling ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#documentyourdays ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#photostory ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#honestlydocumented⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#beautyinthereal ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#yourstoryisworthtelling ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#timewithfamily⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#myeverydaymagic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#livethelittlethings⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#mymom

    Meet my mom, Sue.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    Here, she's sitting at her dining table, which actually used to be her parents' card table. Part of my mom's weekly routine is to go through her calendars and figure out her week ahead, which is what she's doing here. I love that we approach our organisation the same way, as I do this exact same thing at my dining table. She's always joking about not being able to remember anything, but she's so good about remembering what's important. She always sends birthday and anniversary cards on the right days. She knows what her grandchildren like and play with. She makes us all feel loved and important.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    There are so many details in this photo that I love. Those wire shelves to her right, those house all of her crafty supplies, games, and puzzles that she uses when she babysits her grandsons. The hutch right behind her houses all sorts of fun memorabilia like her grandmother's tea cup, her wedding china, and a photo of me as a baby with her mom. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    But for me, the best part is the picture hanging on the wall behind her. Those are her parents in that picture. Remember my post yesterday? I didn't set up these photos at all, and I didn't notice the grandparent photos in the backgrounds while I was taking them. I think it's pretty cool that in both photos, my parents' parents are looking over their shoulders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #simplestorytelling ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #documentyourdays ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #photostory ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #honestlydocumented⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #beautyinthereal ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #yourstoryisworthtelling ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #timewithfamily⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #myeverydaymagic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #livethelittlethings⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    #mymom

    2 years ago
    View on Instagram |
    9/9
  • Follow me on Instagram

    SIGN UP TO MY NEWSLETTER

    Once a month, I send out tips for taking photos of your life that you’ll treasure. I also share photo stories for inspiration. Join now and start capturing the stories in your life simply and beautifully.

    2020 © Karen Barrett Photography | Family Photographer Kingston