Northwest Author Spotlight: Karyn F. King
By Bobbie Hasselbring
A Photographer’s Eye, A Giver’s Soul
For Karyn F. King¸ a whole new way of seeing and appreciating the world began at age eight with a Kodak Brownie camera. Today, she’s sharing her vision with thousands of appreciative readers —and giving back—with her beautiful new photo book, San Juan Islands…and Beyond: A Photographer’s Journey. Karyn’s transformation from curious child with a boxy amateur camera to professional photographer and author was anything but linear. As a young girl, she was fascinated with her little Brownie camera. By the time she was in her 20s, she’d discovered a second passion: the ocean. “I found I loved boating and sailing, and that’s when I became an ocean-related photographer,” she says. She began boating off the California coast and documenting her trips with a film camera. Her photography was good enough, even then, to earn exhibition spots. Her attraction to 54
the ocean led her to the University of Southern California to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in oceanography. Jets, Submarines, and Rocket Scientists Of course, a girl’s got to eat, so after college, Karyn snagged a job at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she became a communications administrator. “I had a technical degree,” she says, “so I worked in the flight projects office and in an undersea program that involved an undersea vehicle that explored the ocean topography. I was the liaison that helped translate engineerspeak for lay people like the managers at CalTech.” It was also where she met her husband, David, “a real rocket scientist.” When the couple decided to move from Los Angeles, David received several job offers, including one in the Seattle area. “When we were flying over
Puget Sound, I turned to my husband and said, ‘This is where I belong.’” She and David left family and friends and wholeheartedly embraced their new Northwest home. “It was November of 1989 when we moved up here,” she recalls. “It didn’t stop raining until June, but it didn’t bother me at all. I found it calming, and I loved it and still do.” Five years ago illness in her family took much of her time. “It was difficult,” she says softly. “I needed some beauty in my life right then.” She turned to an old friend, her camera, albeit one a bit more sophisticated than her original Brownie, and headed to Seattle’s Japanese Garden. In the Garden’s gift shop, she asked if they had a calendar of the garden. They didn’t, but thought it was a great idea. So Karyn produced one and her career as a professional photographer and publisher of calendars and note cards took off.
The Kenmore Air Destination Magazine