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Hi, there! I’m Karen - a boutique family photographer with a special love for babies! 

About Karen

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User experience designer conducts user research to shape useful, usable and desirable products
User experience designer conducts user research to shape useful, usable and desirable products

I met Chui, a silly, curious, hands-on user experience designer from Central New Jersey, through a sewing class at KSOF (Karen’s School of Fashion) during summer 2017. I was trying to learn making maternity gowns for my own business. Long story short, I realized sewing is not my thing. However, I was so amazed by Chui’s fashion design and sewing skills. In 2019, I connected with Chui on Instagram through KSOF’s Instagram account. Watching Chui’s posts, I am blown away by her talent. I therefore reached out to her for a collaboration on an in-home headshot/personal branding session. 

In-home headshot personal branding session black velvet twist front dress standing pose whole body shoot - - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

Chui has been sewing on and off for four years. Her mom has been sewing since she was little from stuffed animals to costumes which got her into it. Chui loves asking her Mom to help her with projects because she will learn great tips and tricks and can steal her Mom’s tools.

In-home headshot personal branding session black velvet twist front dress standing pose whole body shoot - - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

For this session Chui wore two outfits designed and sewed by herself. She made this black velvet twist front dress for a New Year’s Eve party with a black and white theme.

“I wanted to pick a solid color so it doesn’t hide the twist and love that velvet adds another special touch. In retrospect, the black still hides the twist so I’d love to do it again in an emerald green or something! What I love about this dress is how the twist looks more complex than it is – it’s fun to see the magic behind the pattern drafting.”

In-home headshot personal branding session black velvet twist front dress side lean chair pose - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

Chui loves making dresses the most, one because they are easier to fit, but also because it gives her an excuse to dress up.

In-home headshot personal branding red jumpsuit standing pose - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

Chui said her biggest challenge is in fitting clothes to her body, especially pants. She has signed up for a pants pattern drafting class on Edx so she is excited to learn about that!

Chui’s other outfit of choice for this session is a red jumpsuit she made for Valentine’s Day.

“I saw myself wearing it in Jersey City enjoying some omakase (pricy sushi) and feeling cool. But mainly, I wanted to give pants a try since I’ve been sewing dress after dress and I don’t even wear dresses that often. I used a pattern I’ve sewn up before so it could be a quick, satisfying make but changed it up a little by lengthening it into pants and adding pockets.”

In home headshot personal branding women in red jumpsuit holding black clutch bag full length - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

Chui shops online a lot, but lately she prefers shopping in person for fabrics so she know what to expect in terms of color and weight and to better compare options.

Her biggest achievement was making her wedding dress with a detachable skirt idea come to life (the piece that caught my attention on Instagram). She hopes to keep exploring pattern drafting.

“I see sewing as a hobby that relieves stress and don’t plan to turn it into a side business. I like the idea of creating and selling patterns but it will be a while before I’m ready to consider it.”

In-home headshot personal branding arm crossed 3/4 body shoot - www.www.musenphotos.com - Central NJ On-Location Portrait Photographer

Chui likes the in-home concept because of the convenience and she felt more comfortable posing in her own home.  “I could also have changed my mind about outfits or grabbed extra accessories easily.”

She was mainly afraid that her apartment would be too small and that she doesn’t know how to pose. “The size of the apartment wasn’t an issue at all or the lighting, since Karen brought everything. Set up was also a lot faster than I expected. Karen had poses in mind and props to help with them so posing was easy too.”

Hair by Hair Culture in Edison and Makeup at the Sephora at Menlo Park Mall
Hair by Hair Culture in Edison and Makeup at the Sephora at Menlo Park Mall

“Get your hair and makeup done. This was suggested by Karen and it does make a difference. I felt more confident with it done. However, I would also suggest getting hair and makeup done that feels “you” so the person in the pictures don’t end up looking foreign to you. Another piece of advice would be to be open with the photographer about your insecurities (for me it’s my arms) so they can work around them.”

Here is the Chui’s advice for those who consider learning more about fashion design/sewing: “Just do it! The investment can be low if don’t give in to temptation of buying things without a plan. If it’s available, I’d also recommend taking a class to learn the basics. It will move you along faster and help you build the right habits.”

Ready to book a headshot/personal branding session with me? Contact me now! 

- JESSICA JACKSON

She listened to what type of photos we were looking to achieve and offered suggestions since she is in fact the professional! Karen was always very responsive if I had any questions leading up to the actual photo shoot and was an absolute pleasure to work with the day of our session. Everything went very smooth, and our proofs were delivered very quickly. After the selection process, our final images were delivered also very quickly and looked so amazing. We have received so many compliments and will be using Karen again in the future. I highly recommend MuSen Photography to anyone looking for quality professional photography!

"Karen was amazing to work with from the very beginning through to the delivery of our final photos"

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- SUE COLON

I hired her to do my daughters first birthday party photos and she captured the moment perfectly. I was so pleased with her work I hired her again to do a mother and daughters photo shoot for Mother’s Day. She NAILED IT one of the most beautiful photo shoots I have ever seen. Karen picked the location, lighting, told us how to pose her eye for perfection is beyond words she saw my vision and made it come true. She also was very easy to contact and communicate with. The turn over time to receive the photos was fast and easy. Karen is also very sweet it was truly a pleasure working with her.  I highly recommend her and if perfection is what you seek Karen is definitely the one.  I look forward to working with her again. Thank you so much Karen you rock .

"Karen is absolutely amazing."

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- STEPHANIE

Truthfully from the beginning when we met in the diner to the very end of our day to stay to capture all of our memories. You were a pleasure to work with and we will be using you again for sure for our family photos and every event we have. I love most about you that your attention to details and making sure you get everything right and perfect for us. 

"Karen what can I say but you are fabulous"

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