MY ​​STORY: I've Always been a dreamer!

From Dreamer to Visual Brand Artist

Taking a leap of faith:
 to follow my dreams and passion!

'My Brand Message' 

Visually telling your colorful and vibrant story, brand, and visual message with power, authenticity, and truth!

Karen Marie Images & Branding (formerly Spirit & Soul Photography), specializes in personal brand/ editorial photography for entrepreneurs, young people, and boss businesswomen!  My aim is to empower entrepreneurs, in particular, businesswomen, to create unique 'stand out' images that reflect their brand message and colorfully and boldly aligns with who they are without apology.

As a woman, and an entrepreneur, I know how hard it is to stand out and feel confident in oneself. I have experienced these feelings far too many times throughout various times in my life. My mission is to support women in owning and embracing stand out, 'eye-catching' images that truly represent who they are and who they desire to be without apology!  My ultimate purpose is to provide an experience and uplifting environment that produces images that connect my client with their story and brand message. 

Bio Update 2024: Never shrink yourself to fit in, nor settle for mediocracy. 

Always push to learn and become better than yesterday!

Turning  67yrs,  in 2024 and I am blessed to have rediscovered my teenage dream of becoming a fashion designer. Like many during Covid and the loss of my only child in Nov 2021, I began looking for ways to soothe my soul and uplift my spirit.

While planning for my son's art memorial copying his artwork in our public library's Maker's Space, I discovered a sewing class in that same space. I reunited with sewing and fashion design and it gave me an outlet for my grief and loss.

Art truly heals. I designed this dress. It's never too late to follow or rediscover your dreams.

For information on my beloved son, Treye Jenkins Smith art Fund , click here

Simply Me, Karen Marie! 

                A little bit about me!  I am inspired by fashion, art, businesswomen, and young people.  

Each of these were instilled in me by my parents and maternal grandmother. My grandmother was an entrepreneur, fashion model, and a top saleswoman for Johnson Publishing Company (Chicago, Illinois- Ebony/Jet Magazine) in the 1960′s, and appeared in the popular publication, Jet magazine. She later became her own boss owning real estate, operating a fashion thrift shop, and selling Mary Kay. Her daughter, my mother supplied me with lots of art supplies incubating a creative spirit that led to a passion for fashion illustration: designing my own dresses and elaborate gowns in my sketch pads. My dad, a high school dropout who later in life graduated with an Associate Degree while becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). He went on to earn his  Master’s Degree in Finance with honors and opened his own successful accounting/finance business after a 15 year plus career as an IRS agent and auditor. He also captured my entrepreneurial and educational aspirations. His creative side for taking pictures propelled my passion for photography upon giving me his 35 mm camera in the 1990's. Years later in 2007, I started Our Spirit and Soul Photography, photographing kids, fashion and nature-inspired images to create a card line. After being asked by a business owner to take pictures representing her power as a boss, I discovered I love supporting business women in producing a creative vision of themselves and their business.  I especially love encouraging businesswomen, who wouldn't typically be bold, to step outside the box in representing themselves in feminine, yet powerful, and confident way! 

Branding with Purpose Podcast with Shantha Wetterhan

Podcast topic: 'Creating Your Brand Image'

 Up2Me Radio

"Life isn't easy! The pain I have endured, I don't choose to show it, nor do I pull back from it. Instead, I use it to become the 'Bold' woman I want to be and to create the visual story that reflects my life and who I am. My mission is to support others, particularly women, girls, and creatives by producing creative imagery that visually tells and embraces their story with power, authenticity, and truth!

   My Story: Who is Karen Marie Jenkins? 

Up2Me Radio Spirit Awards Luncheon, October 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Receiving Spirit award for my interview on the topic Personal Brand Photography

​​​A major, disruptive transformation on the horizon in 2015! 

About the crown: For Karen Marie’s 60th birthday (2017) celebration she wore a silver crown, visually marking the transformation of embracing her own inner power with confidence and style.

 ​​​​​​Karen Marie is an Advertising/Commercial photography contributor 

for the internationally recognized iStock By Getty Images.

Photo by Peter Phillips. Concept and creative direction by Karen Marie Jenkins

  In the summer of 2015,  I began to be transparent about my own issues with confidence and authenticity, and within a few months, I experienced a major shift in mindset that would change the trajectory of my life as I knew it. Facing my own issues, in October of 2015, I had an epiphany that led me to go back to my beginning of creativity: my childhood, to embrace my artistic identity; I reclaimed my full name, Karen Marie Jenkins to mark a new beginning for acknowledging and owning my own power, authenticity, and truth! I also stepped into a new look to mark this major shift! This intuitive, reinvention felt like I was moving toward my own inner power and truth! Prior to the end of 2015, an emotionally draining year for me, I re-named my company Karen Marie Images & Branding to reflect my newfound freedom and journey for capturing a personal brand image and message that truly reflected who I am, and what I wanted to convey.  I also made a dramatic life-changing decision to not only resign from my 18+ career in Higher Education in April of 2016 but to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia to begin a new life and build my business, totally disrupting my financial lifestyle, at this point in life. In 2017, still feeling the financial disruption, but the journey wherever it takes me feels like home to me, as I follow this new path leveraging my skills from Higher Education with my creative passion and gifts, to support women, girls, artists, and entrepreneurs to embrace their own power, authenticity and truth, projecting 'stand out' images and visual messages that truly reflects who they are! 

For a more secure financial grounding, in August of 2018, I moved back to my hometown in Cincinnati.  Again, I am thankful for the journey.  It has been a blessing to have resided and experienced the diverse cities I have lived in: Denver, Colorado, Washington, DC,  Atlanta, Georgia, and back home to Cincinnati.  ​​