Kara and I have been friends for over thirty years. She and Lisa were the Stewart sisters. Lesley and I were the Boylan sisters. We were all of an age, and we hung out together in the garret of an old Chester County carriage house. Kara sometimes brought an old Pocket Instamatic with her, and she snapped pictures while we all chatted and laughed.
I lost touch with Kara for many years. When we reconnected on Facebook, I found to my delight that she was just as screamingly funny as always. During that interim, her desire to create images had sharpened, and so had her skill.
Today Kara has her own online photography business at . Her site is called Kara Stewart…Art in Photography. She has been working hard during the two decades when we lost contact, and she has incredible results. Seeing her pictures was just as much of a lovely surprise as her still-present sense of humor.
Constant practice comes from a need. The need to create is foremost, of course, but Kara adds, “I've found with all my cameras (except the Pocket Instamatic!) that you have to use the camera at least once a week or you forget how! You forget how you got a certain look, you forget the settings, controls, how to do what you need to do.“
When I showed my daughter some of Kara’s images, her reaction was a huge gasp. “Oh, Mommy!” Genna said. “They are so beautiful!” The kid’s right. They are.
I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves. Look at the face of this man, with his one rolled up pant leg and vibrant head scarf, in the piece Waiting:
…or at the audacious sexiness of this lemon in LaLaLaLemon:
Kara says that food photography is more difficult than it looks. It is “…hard to get the perfect slice of pie, the candy corn with no weird bumps. I end up being forced to simply eat the prop after taking 3 million shots over the course of hours.”
Here is the piece that made my daughter gasp, Snapdragon Caverns:
Regarding this piece, Kara says, “Some people crochet, some garden, some play video games or go antiquing. I am addicted to my image software. “
Her Black and White gallery shows that color is not a necessary ingredient for vibrancy, as in Tunnel Vision:
OH, COME ON! Who can resist that little guy?!
For just one moment, let's tiptoe back up the rickety stairs to that carriage house garret, now lost in the past. During that time, while the Stewart sisters and the Boylan sisters joked and giggled and gossiped and dreamed together, who could sense the bright images that were just waiting to emerge?