My Little Niece Sat Up Today!


                                                                        Alexandra, I miss you!

I did this photo mini photo shoot back in March, on black and white film, with black velvet. It was the last time I saw my little niece in person. My sister said she sat up today all by herself for the first time! I cannot wait to see her in three weeks in Montreal. How she must have grown…

il ponte vechhio, a mezzogiorno


An image to tide me over until my film from Italy is developed…

I took these photos on my last trip to Florence, back in January '06. I shot this while I walked over the Ponte Vechhio from the Duomo side, south, on the way to find Beatrice Galli's yarn shop. Her beautiful shop* is just around the corner to the right. Check out her yarns and chat a bit (ma, ho bisogno parlare italiano). She is really friendly and has many stories to tell, she has been situated there for 30+ years!
*The ribbons and tweeds are out of this world. It is now my favorite yarn store EVER.

Nothing but FILM

Update: Since I posted this blog post (2009), I bought a high end digital camera!

It’s been a few years now, and I’m shooting both digital and film photography at weddings.


as you might already know, i shoot exclusively with film!
my film:
i’ve always been a film shooter, ever since i graduated from RISD in Photography. from my first wedding shoot onwards i continued to shoot film. even as my assistants shoot with film and with digital SLR’s, i continue to be a medium format film shooter at wedding.
medium format is larger than the commonly known 35mm film and thus provides a larger negative with more detail in the enlargement. not only is there more detail in medium format film, but the colors are truer than digital, natural and saturated in color and rich in black and white tones.
my studio:
up until last year when i moved my studio and bought an apartment in park slope, brooklyn, i had a black and white darkroom. i printed fiber prints for clients in that darkroom, including the many pages of the cookbook: The Way We Cook” by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven. the cookbook took a week to print, but i loved every minute of it. (especially while i learned new indie music that my friends gave me to get through the week in a darkroom-chemical infused room ;-).
at the time, i had a bit more time to develop negatives in tanks by hand and to print contact sheets. now that i shoot so many local and destination weddings per year, there isn’t enough time to be in the darkroom anymore (but it’s nice to breathe in cleaner air).
my labs:
since then, i found 2 incredible labs in manhattan to develop my b&w and my color film. they use the dip and dunk method which is similar to the agitation in tanks in the darkroom needed to provide the film with an even and timed coating of developer, stop bath and fixer, similar to developing it by hand…
my printer:
after the developed film is dry, mary, my amazingly talented and award-winning printer at my manhattan color lab, makes gorgeous 4×6 prints, which my clients are so extremely happy with.
i trust mary entirely with my wedding clients’ film (mary, you’re the best, thank you).

Shooting at Blue Hill at Stone Barns






Nothing is more gorgeous than the light at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, at the "magic hour".
These photographs were taken in early December 2007, before my clients' Jill & Eric's wedding began.
A Most Creative Affair in Westchester planned and coordinated this party…
More photos from the wedding to come…

little miss wise

 Today, as Chandler and I were walking home from my delicious Birthday dinner at Al Di La, on 5th Avenue in Park Slope, we crossed at President Street going East and stopped in our tracks. We nearly stepped on a pristine floppy, soft and glossy white children’s book buried under the shadow of the dimly lit concrete sidewalk. Clearly it had been freshly-dropped, as it had not yet had the horror of being trampled upon or smeared into the sewer in close proximity to the corner, but at this late hour no stroller-pushing Mommy was in sight. 


Through my wine-goggles, the children’s book appeared vaguely familiar. I picked it up. The white background stood out brightly contrasting against the night, a colorful fuschia and round figure centered upon it.

The title read, “Little Miss Wise”. It was from the Little Miss series books! What a coincidence! What Luck!*

Chandler and I looked at each other with eyes wide-opened and roared with laughter. My mother used to read that to my sister and I before bed. We had a few of them, and clearly this was our favorite. Of all of the 30+ books which exist, this one lay directly at my Wise-Old feet!

a blast of photos from the past

Wetplate Photography in the 21st Century



Phalaenopsis Orchid in Black Painted Vase

Quail Eggs

Flowers on Ledge of Eric's Fence

Tamara Leaning Against a Tree

Jessica, a Reclining Portrait



Self-Portrait with Boa



Portrait, and Self Portrait Against Eric's Shed

Eric's Shed, East Hampton

Portrait of Karen by Keliy Anderson-Staley

Self Portrait, Dorsal View


Phalaenopsis Orchids in Tall Glass Beaker
Here are a few of my wetplate collodion photographs (quarter plate, full plate and mammoth plates) from the workshops I've taken in the past 2 years at "The Center for Alternative Photography" in New York City and in East Hampton, NY.

What an amazing feeling to be so hands-on again in a darkroom with tin and glass plates of all sizes brewing in silver nitrate baths, with eagerly awaiting students.
What an intense process it is: the wet-plate process is no misnomer, it can be no longer than whole minutes from start to finish.
From the coating of collodion on the glass or tin plates, to the adhesion of silver nitrate molecules to collodion creating the wet emulsion on which the image will be exposed, to 25-second exposures of attentive and braced-models, to the development and fixing of the wet plates in darkroom trays immediately after exposure…
The rush! I cannot wait until the next class begins.


Karen Wise Photography