Comox Valley photographer earns national recognition

McKinnon a finalist in the Professional Photographer of Canada



For the third consecutive year, Comox Valley photographer Karen McKinnon has been recognized as a finalist in the Professional Photographer of Canada (PPOC) – BC Competition.

As a Photographer of the Year finalist, McKinnon won the Best in Class award for her image ‘Softly Forward’ in the Portrait of one 1 or 2 Persons category, and received honourable mention in the fashion category for her image, ‘Pink Tempest’. The awards place McKinnon amongst the top photographers in B.C. She is honoured to be included in the ranks of professionals whose work she admires.

“Maybe next year will be my year to take home the grand prize,” she says. “But I’m so honoured just to be among this group of finalists.”

McKinnon had four images accepted and exhibited in the Provincial Image Salon, judged by a panel of master photographers from across the province. Acceptance into the salon is an indication of the makers’ ability to produce outstanding images for their clientele.

Choosing which images to submit to the annual competition can be a laborious process but McKinnon had no trouble choosing which images to submit to the 2014 competition.

“I went completely on instinct,” she says. “These images represent the fun I’ve had in the past year, and the growth I’ve experienced which is an ongoing part of being a creative person.”

McKinnon is proud of the fact that all the images she submits represent commissioned work that she has undertaken to meet client needs. This sets her apart from some professional photographers who create images specifically for competition.

“This really excites me and I will continue to approach competition this way,” she says, noting that her biggest satisfaction does not come from the camera. It comes from her clients.

“I’m really connected to my career here in the Valley,” she says. “I feel so honoured to have built the relationships I have within this community. Working with people is where my joy comes from.”

For McKinnon, photography is a way to capture intimate moments in people’s lives. She believes photography is a means to tell her client’s story and is always interested in seeing how they express themselves and share their love.

McKinnon is well-known in the community for her ability to create striking images that reflect the unique character of her subject. She loves seeing her client’s confidence grow during a photo shoot, and puts a lot of effort into making each session fun and meaningful.

“It’s allowed me to feel very connected here,” she says. “People are constantly letting me in and I never take that for granted.”

To view McKinnon’s award-winning images, follow her on Facebook and visit her website at


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