The Chat with Karen Hutton: Tamara Lackey

My guest on this episode of “The Chat” is award-winning children’s portrait photographer Tamara Lackey. She’s a radiant, beautiful ball of fabulous energy!

She and I had only met briefly once before at Photoshop World last year: this was actually our first real conversation. I can tell you she’s just as natural and easy to be with in person as she is in her videos, on stage or behind the camera. Tamara possesses a rare blend of authenticity, along with a genuine joy, interest and zest for life that shows up in everything she does. I’m also convinced those qualities are a huge part of what makes her such an outstanding photographer as well.

Part of what we photographers do is present a unique vision and point of view. Tamara’s photographs positively bubble over with both hers – and that of her innocently delightful subjects.

I ask her how she keeps her crazy schedule together (did I mention she’s also a teacher, author, speaker, host, mom and wife?), how she manages to have some kind of balance and flow… what her 3 favorite tips for better photographs are… and what legacy she hopes she is creating for her own children… and so much more!

I hope you are as inspired as I am by the amazing Tamara Lackey…

Keoki Flagg: on Art and Original Perspective

There was such a great response to my recent episode of The Chat with Keoki Flagg! Thanks to all of you who watched and appreciated. Keoki has such depth to his talent and perspective that it’s always a treat to chat with him. In the course of his episode, he shared so many awesome ideas and tips that I just had to highlight a couple!

This is just one of them… and perfect byte-sized minute for anyone who hasn’t seen this episode yet, or just want a reminder and a “think about it” moment to take home with them:

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Keoki Flagg

I’ve been a fan of fine art and extreme sports photographer Keoki Flagg’s work for years. You’ll see the photo that did it for me right at the beginning of this video… I giggled when I first saw it, and still do when I see it today! It’s emotional, original and timeless. Those are the 3 qualities Keoki always says are what brings a photograph from “a picture” to “art”… a topic we talk a lot about in this episode.

We have a fantastic time chatting about photography, art, living life as an artist, some ways of approaching one’s photo work to set it apart from others’, what it’s been like to transition from the “old school” to “new digital age” of photography… what’s possible now that never was before and how he’s trying to push it to the limit.

Sitting in his fabulous Gallery Keoki, it was hard NOT to feel more artistic! It’s a beautiful space, created to hold a vision “bigger than a lifetime” (to coin my friend Daria Musk’s term!).

It was the perfect place to bring you this episode of THE CHAT with my friend Keoki Flagg.

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Stacey Powell

Part of being a whole and healthy creative/artist is taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally – and financially. When it comes to the financial part, Stacey Powell is the bomb! She’s a speaker, author, consultant, CFO and financial coach who specializes in creatives and artists. In fact, she was MY financial coach for 3+ years, during which time I tripled my income in voiceovers. Her life’s mission: “To change the way people interact with their money, so they can lead a more peaceful, confident and purposeful lives.” In today’s episode of THE CHAT… she shares perspectives and super simple ways to do just that. I adore Stacey for her passion, her unique wisdom and her way of making the sometimes emotionally charged topic of money simple and artistic unto itself.

The other reason I love Stacey Powell? She’s the one who began my highly intentional “living life as an artist” focus, which lead to the creation of this show! At one point in my coaching, I was struggling to let go of my overly controlling, judgmental attitude toward myself and my work. But the artist-photographer in me was rattling the cage to get out and be a force in the world. So she tasked me to dedicate 30 days to “living your life as an artist” (by a definition we agreed upon) – and doing nothing but that. No judgments, no fussing, just lead with heart and gut and see what happens. 30 days became 60, then 90 – then I never looked back. It changed absolutely everything about my life!

And so, without further fanfare and ado (although trust me, it continues EVERYWHERE in the background!)… I’m thrilled to present Stacey Powell.

Gordon Fowler: The bits you DIDN’T see!

In the last episode of “The Chat” (click this link to see it!) I talked with Gordon Fowler, President and CEO of 3 Fold Communications. He’s also a dear friend of many years, whom I’ve seen through more than one job, cross country moves, a divorce, raising three boys, starting a multi-million dollar ad and marketing agency from scratch.

Gordon’s a bit of an overachiever. One of our bonding points. Heh. Consequently, when we recording HIS Chat episode, we did not one – but two complete run throughs. Each had so many choice nuggets of information and insight, I couldn’t let the second one go to waste! So here are some of the OTHER topics we covered that day.

Here, Gordon talks about Legacy (one of my favorite topics):

Continue reading “Gordon Fowler: The bits you DIDN’T see!”

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Gordon Fowler

One of the biggest quandaries I hear creatives and artists having is dealing the business side of things. If you’ve chosen to do your art as a profession – that adds a WHOLE other layer to the life ‘n career cake! In dreaming up THE CHAT, I knew up front that I wanted to bring in some of the best people I know who are uniquely successful at combining the creative and business side of things for some valuable input.

Meet Gordon Fowler. President and CEO of 3Fold Communications in Sacramento, CA – a multi-million dollar, award-winning ad and marketing agency. His bio on the 3fold website reads: “Visionary leader meets savvy marketing guy. Disturbingly addicted to reality TV “just for the commercials and product endorsements of course.”
This dedication to “research” must contribute to his truly exceptional strategic thinking.”
Hehhehheh. Naturally, the lightness of the message belies the depth of his experience, brilliance, dedication and leadership.

I know a thing or two about what’s “behind the curtain” with Gordon, because he’s also been a dear friend of mine for 20 years, give or take. He taught me some of the most valuable business lessons I’ve ever learned. He was super excited to Chat with me and share some really simple – yet profound insights that he’s distilled down over the years. Simple yes – but not always so easy to do. You’ll see me take mental notes more than once in this episode!

BTW… this was my very first CHAT episode done on-location. I did it as a trial – and loved the results so much I haul my gear around and do them this way as much as possible now! It all started with Gordon. Alot of things do. 🙂

Can’t tell you how thrilled I am to present the awesomeness of Gordon Fowler!

Behind-the-scenes with Kalebra

Whenever Kalebra Kelby and I get together – which isn’t all that often, BTW – it always feels like we could talk for days and days. Our visits always end too soon and they’re filled with laughter and deep thoughts. Plus alot of really silly jokes – and musings about chocolate. She’s a TOTAL choco-freakaholic, did you know that? Yep, true dat!

Did you miss her on “The Chat with Karen Hutton?” last week? No worries… it’s here.. 😀

When we were done with our Chat… the conversation had only just gotten started! A small group of us – including Dave Bell, who took these lovely photos, yakked for about another hour, sitting right where we were. Part of me wishes I’d recorded everything. But 1. I didn’t know that was going to happen and 2. sometimes out of respect, I don’t won’t turn the camera back on. Sometimes enough is enough; life really wasn’t meant to be a reality show, despite what television would have you believe.

We only HAD to quit talking because we all needed to be somewhere. But we picked up the next day over lunch with the same group though; skipped the small talk and got into the heart of things. I love people like that; with whom you can just be yourself and say what’s on your mind – and they’ll do the same. Is this a lost art nowadays? I’m wondering. But it’s one of the things I most treasure about time with Kalebra. Here’s a moment Dave captured of us recording “The Chat”:

KarenKalebra Continue reading “Behind-the-scenes with Kalebra”

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Kalebra Kelby!!

Talk about being a living, breathing inspiration for living an artful – and an art-filled life! Kalebra Kelby is all that – and more! Co-owner and principle of Kelby Media Group, pilot, singer, artist, iphoneographer, host of The Pinterest Show on Google+, wife, mom and awesome friend… Kalebra has her own unique approach to just about everything she does.

In this super special episode of The Chat, I caught up with Kalebra at Photoshop World convention in Las Vegas. It’s an event she and her husband Scott created and present each year – where they also perform with their band, Big Electric Cats. That’s only fitting, since that’s how they originally met; creating music in a band together. That collaboration went on to include much, much more!

Every time I talk to her, I walk away with new ideas and a new appreciation for the power of simple things – and how “being in the moment” can have HUGE impact in life, art and business. She lives life to the fullest, succeeds big and has her great big, beautiful heart leading the way. Call me a fangirl – but I loved Chatting with Kalebra – and can’t wait to do it again! Soon, please!

It is my sheer delight to present the one and only, Kalebra Kelby…

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Ron Clifford!

I’ve known Ron Clifford for over 2 years now. For close to a year of that, we co-hosted the show “LIFE Through the Lens“. We’ve talked via hangout and phone, solved the problems of the world many times over.

However, the day we recorded this episode of THE CHAT was the very first time we’d met in person!! It was completely amazeballs!! A whole gaggle of us photographers descended upon Las Vegas, Nevada for Photoshop World earlier this month – including Ron, who flew down from Canada. Knowing THAT was going to happen… I decided there would be no Hangouts OnAir for us! Only an in-person, on-location Chat was going to cut it.

Continue reading “THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Ron Clifford!”

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Laurie Rubin

In keeping with our “awesome photographer” roll of late, I was SUPER stoked to Chat with Laurie Rubin!

She’s a Googler, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer and I’m delighted that she’s also my friend.
When it comes to animals and photography – you have never seen someone drop into “the zone” faster than Laurie when she’s got a critter in her photographic crosshairs. It’s an amazing transformation to behold! She’s so understated about her fabulous work… but I think you’ll agree with me that it’s pretty much jaw-dropping.

Laurie’s made a career and life out of photography… both with camera in-hand and as part of the NIK Software team that joined Google. There, she is part of a team on the cutting edge of some of the most exciting developments in photography today. Even still, home and heart is out in nature with her beloved animals. It’s all part of the inspired world of Laurie Rubin… who today, shares her photography, advice for young’ns just starting out, and the great humor and passion that makes her photo-awesome!

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Nicole S. Young

Episode #4: Nicole S. Young

I have long admired Nicole S. Young. Not only is she a fabulous photographer… she lives her life as an artist AND a successful entrepreneur, tirelessly creating content and growing her empire. I often hear photographers and other artists wondering how to make a living at their craft and passion… all the while Nicole is cranking out yet another ebook, stock photograph, print book, tutorial, preset photo pack, blog post, interview, guest article, fine art print, you name it.  All the while being a fantastic dog mom, wife and budding potter! It’s all just part of being Nicole…her intense creativity combined with an unparalleled gift for building her business make her a creative force magnificent to behold. She knows that if she can imagine it – she can do it. And boy, does she ever!


I’ve said often; one of my aims with this show is to chat with all kind of people who are “living their life as an artist… or better yet, living their life as if it were their art.” By that, I mean folks who spend their time creating their life by looking up and moving forward. They often make unconventional choices, find success using a combination of their imagination, hard work (which, because they love what they do, doesn’t seem so hard) and, as my mother used to say… using every permissible aid to further their mission and cause. They find joy and delight in doing so… and know that their great ideas are only as good as the actions they take to manifest them.

That’s what’s so inspiring about Nicole. She just has that “can do” attitude. She built her own online store, handles the writing AND the design on many of her eBooks, builds her own websites, cooks all the food she uses for the hugely successful stock food photography arm of her business, the list goes on. She’s also now taking classes and making pottery. I’ve seen a few of her pieces – they’re amazing!

As photographers, most of us use Lightroom and/or Photoshop… it’s just that as Nicole uses them, she also creates presets, actions and texture packs that she then sells on her website’s online store. She not only goes out and takes gorrrrgeous landscape photos, she writes a book and makes an accompanying video tutorial to help others do it better. And then shares some of the best tips on her social streams for free and does a quick (also free) 2 minute tutorial about some important aspect of the process.

I’m constantly fascinated to see how her mind works – the business and creative sides so closely interwoven it’s effortless.

What can I say? Nicole inspires me so much –  I figured you’d love to meet her too.

The Daily Grind

I named this photo “Daily Grind.” Mostly because it ended up looking the way coffee smells to me. Which is odd I know, but there it is.

“Daily grind” also made me think about the artists, photographers and business folks I’ve talked to so far on “The Chat” and some consistent traits I’m already noticing. They kind of redefine the entire daily grind notion.

My last guest, “Red” HongYi has a daily “grind” of doing her art/work every single day, PLUS traveling between her two countries to do them. But she loves it, is always upbeat about everything when I talk to her and is always has a sense of childlike excitement about what’s coming next. I don’t mean “childish”… but the ever-magical “childlike”. Big difference.


Continue reading “The Daily Grind”

THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: "Red" HongYi

Episode #3: “Red” HongYi

If you haven’t already met her, I know you’re going to fall in love with this week’s guest “Red” HongYi. She is a Malaysian artist/architect, who splits her time between home in Malaysia and Shanghai, where she works for an Australian architecture firm. But the real story is her art. So imaginative, so stunning and so fascinating in its scope that most of the time I look at it with my mouth hanging open!

Continue reading “THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: "Red" HongYi”

Living Life with "The Chat" is an Art

After only two weeks of my new baby being out in the world (I’m referring to “The Chat with Karen Hutton” here, lest we get off-course on the first sentence. heh.)… I can tell you it’s been an unexpected ride. Unexpectedly AWESOME!! More about that in a second. But first: who, oh WHO can my next guest on “The Chat” BE?? Remember… it’s coming up this Monday at 10 am! Wheeee!!

Hint #1: Finds the materials for his/her art in 2 lands.

Continue reading “Living Life with "The Chat" is an Art”

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Daria Musk, Part 2

It’s here! It’s here! A week goes by SO fast! And now, seemingly in the blink of an eye; Part 2 of my Chat with Daria Musk.
We pick up talking about choices… and the enormous power of our thoughts in creating our reality.

She also sings! Two songs, actually. The first one is by my request. It’s one she sang a little bit of one night during a hangout when we were discussing this show… and I asked to her share it with you. It’s just beautiful and so elegantly, eloquently Daria.

PSST! Daria Musk, Part 2 is Coming!

 The Chat: Part 2 with Daria Musk on Monday!

Part 2 of my Chat with Daria Musk is coming this Monday! Watch it here on the blog and on my streams on Google+ and Facebook. It’s so much FUN!! We finish our conversation from last week (if you didn’t catch that one… you can see it here!) Then she sings!

Did you know: Daria has a philosophy about “Laughing in the Face of the Lion”. She explains it here. It’s very cool. It was just one of the many insights she shared with us throughout both episodes.

That IS what this show is all about, after all.. insights. From folks who have been/are engaged in living their life as if it were their art… and being successful at it!
They laugh in the face of their lions (or tigers, as the case may be)… stay focused and follow their star.

Let’s all do that, ‘kay? Wheee!

Some People, Like Forests, Are Deep

Looking Back on The Chat, Episode 1

I loved my visit with Daria Musk on our debut episode of “The Chat with Karen Hutton” ! And I’m super excited to share Part 2 of our Chat on Monday… she sings, just for us!! I’ll definitely be posting reminders… you won’t want to miss it!

Daria’s got a ton of energy; she’s a powerhouse. She’s super smart – and she’s deep. Complex. Full of wonderful textures and interesting light. Kind of like this forest. More than a little magical.
She’s also the CEO of her burgeoning empire; she makes the calls, sets up the shows, handles the marketing and social outreach, decides on which projects/engagements/concerts to take, you name it. Beneath it all: she has complete clarity that she was given a gift and  is doing her best to live up to it. She follows her inner guidance and thinks about Light. She prays that standing in her own truth as she does That Thing she does could possibly heal the world in some small way.

I think about this too.

Continue reading “Some People, Like Forests, Are Deep”

The Chat with Karen Hutton: Daria Musk, Part 1

Well, the moment has arrived! Welcome to the premiere episode of The Chat! WooHOOO!
Everybody was EPIC with the guesses they made about WHO the first guest would BE. THANK YOU!! And now…

For this auspicious debut, I chose a 2-part episode with a super star on the rise… who has a big vision about life, giving and the power of a dream.

Singer/songwriter/musician Daria Musk became a friend and inspiration in the course of the first two years on social netowrk Google+. We hit it off immediately and discovered that we share a similar outlook on life, philosophy and approach to our art. She’s a thinker, that one. And she’s so marvelous at putting it all into words – and music – that I wanted hers to kickoff the entire series. If you haven’t met Daria; you’re in for a treat! If you already know/follow/admire Daria: you’re in for a treat!
Two-fers are G+nius!

Click here to see Part 2. We wrap our chat – and move on to some singin’!

The Chat with Karen Hutton – Promo Due

Promo Week is almost up! I’m gulping a little bit out of what, nerves… excitement… giddiness? Oh yeah, I should breathe! This weekend I’ll be sharing who my first guest is; the perfect person to kick off this series for oh-so-many-reasons! For now, here’s your Friday reminder; “The Chat” starts Monday! And it’ll appear every Monday right here – as well as on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and wherever else I think to station it – all to kick off your week with a smile. 😀

(If you’ve been entertained by the back story to this whole adventure, read on: I’ll tell ya how I’m actually doing this thing – the gear, the software, the works!)

Continue reading “The Chat with Karen Hutton – Promo Due”

15 Minutes. Go.

15 minutes. That’s how long this new show needed to be. 15 minutes is the new hour-long format. Get in, get out. Boom. The bird looked startled. But we both knew I was right.

It needed to be strike a different note than the norm. It had to respect people’s time and intelligence. Offer something of value. Be fun, entertaining – and also have some meat. Folks should walk away satisfied, energized, start their week off right.  It had to have a point – but be flexible enough for variables. Each episode unique. And in the overall: start simple and allow room for growth. It needed a name, a tagline and an attitude. And did I mention… keep it simple?

In 15 minutes. Go.
How hard could it be?
Continue reading “15 Minutes. Go.”

Life As Art? Yes please!

Living Your Life As An Artist




Birds do it. Bees do it. I don’t know if educated fleas do it, because I haven’t done a careful inspection. I think more humans should do it; live their life as an artist.

So here’s the thing. All my life I’ve been a people watcher. This came in really handy in my acting days.  I discovered that if I listened with heart and great intent, I’d learn the most amazing things. One little insight could trigger an entire perceptual shift!

I always wanted to ask of the folks who succeeded in the ways I desired; how did you do it? What do you know that I need to know too? What path did you take? What pitfalls did you experience? What should I avoid… and which things should I always, always  do?

Above all… how do I wrap my head around the best way to manifest my own dreams? 

Because I learned that how you think about something determines your outcome. Every time.

I still remember reading a quote from an interview with 1940’s film star Loretta Young saying   that she never applied her makeup on in the same order every day. She felt that it was her job as an actress to be present and aware at all times; never doing anything by rote. Mixing up the order on an activity that for most people is “automatic” was simply one way she did this.

Continue reading “Life As Art? Yes please!”