About the photographer

Karen Thuermer has worked her entire life as an international business writer for various print publications. Her camera is always in tow while on assignment, although her photographs are not always of business topics. She is always an accomplished artist who has received various awards for her oil paintings and photography and frequently exhibits at the Art League Gallery in Alexandria, VA. Her camera of choice is her Nikon D-90, but also finds her I-Phone is often most readily available for that immediate shot. But more than equipment, she believes photography begins with composition, light, and the unique perspective of one’s eye. “Sometimes the perfect photograph presents itself, and you must shoot it – regardless of whether or not you have your best equipment at hand,” she says.

Browse photos

Karen Thuermer: Electronic images

Thuermer image 1

That's my brother!

This photo was taken while visiting a school in Tanzania. The children walk five miles to attend class, yet are so full of life and joy. Some are real characters as this young chap demonstrated when I photographed him and who I will suppose is his sister. Look at how silly he is in front of the camera, yet mature she appears. You can just read their minds! The children are dressed in their "school uniforms" -- very shabby hand me downs. Their shoes are worn. Yet their enthusiasm was electric!
More about this photo: https://kthuermerphotos.smugmug.com/

Thuermer image 2

Vietnam Holy See

Cao Dai Holy See in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, about 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, is a major site for Caodaism, a religion that was founded at the end of 1926. Experiencing many turbulent waves during over three-quarters of a century, the Cao Dai Holy See has turned into a pilgrimage site for nearly 5 million believers around the world. Caodaism is a syncretistic religion which combines elements from many of the world's main religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hindus
When visiting this unique place, I was able to walk along a catwalk looming above the interior of the temple. I shot numerous photos of worshipers who were chanting throughout the morning. Caodaism is the third largest religion in Vietnam behind Buddhism and Catholicism. To this Western, the experience was surreal and other worldly. My photos do not come close to the experience, which included strong visuals and sounds.
More about this photo: https://kthuermerphotos.smugmug.com/

Thuermer image 3

Time Tells

This photo was taken at the American International School in Geneva, Switzerland. The photo has been photoshopped to highlight one particular student. As a note, I rarely use photoshop.
This photo was taken at the American International School in Geneva, Switzerland during a media tour to highlight "quality of life" in Switzerland. The goal of the tour was to demonstrate the benefits of companies locating to Switzerland and what the country has to offer families that come to live there. During the visit, the teacher gathered a group of students who performed a song and dance routing for us -- obviously pre-rehearsed. As is the case with children, however, there is always some character who is defiant and does not want to participate. I chose to highlight him in photoshop not only because he is center to the photograph and his stance is quite different from the other children in the photo; he also made me wonder what sort of character he might turn out to be. Will he be a future trouble maker? Leader? Scientist? He obviously enjoys going against the grain and is a free thinker. It's fun to imagine! But I'll never know!
More about this photo: https://kthuermerphotos.smugmug.com/

Thuermer image 4

Water Sticks

Photo taken of a pond in Wisconsin. This photo has been on display at the Art League Gallery in Alexandria, VA.
I decided to enter this photograph because it shows the artistic side of my photography. In this case I was interested in the bright colors of the reeds against the black water of the pond. I also found the pattern of the reeds to be quite abstract. Most people would not even notice -- let alone take a photo of something like this. But I find it fascinating as I find all repetition of patterns in nature interesting. I like noticing the world around us, especially that offered by nature. It's fun and makes me appreciate our fragile world.
More about this photo: https://kthuermerphotos.smugmug.com/