Karen French Photography
about karen & our team
Hi, I’m Karen French.
(Yes, that is my real name! With a last name like “French,” boudoir photography was a “meant to be” career choice for me!)
I love art, working with light to create amazing photos, and showing women that they are sexy, beautiful, and unstoppable.
Here are 10 fun facts about me:
20 years ago, I started my career by assisting some of Los Angeles’ top fashion and celebrity photographers. Today, I’m the most published wedding photographer in the country, and my work accounts for over half of the images in the top three best-selling wedding books.
My passion is boudoir photography (in fact, my 2,000 square foot studio is exclusively dedicated to boudoir photography!). Since 2013, over 2,640 women in the Orange County and LA areas have visited my studio for a boudoir photoshoot. We’ve had a blast together, too!
The outdoors is my happy place. When I’m not shooting photos, you’ll find me hiking, skiing (my favorite run on Mammoth is Race Course) and escaping to Yosemite at least once a year.
Giving back is a huge priority. I volunteer my photography services to various charities that help children in need. One of these organizations, Training, Education & Research Institute (“TERI”), honored me with its Hero Award.
I’m the past president of the California Women Photographers and listed in Who’s Who for Executives and Business.
I love dressing up as Cat Woman for Halloween! It gives me a fun excuse to wear a black corset.
Museums and galleries make me smile. I love studying the work of fine art and fashion photographers. Some of my major influences are Annie Leibovitz, Joyce Tenneson and Richard Avedon.
I’m married with two wonderful sons and live right here in Orange County. My friends would describe me as kind (salt of the earth), maternal, fun, driven, adventurous and most likely a workaholic! My younger brothers would describe me as “the bossy older sister.”
Over 4,000 of my wedding images have been featured in, or on the cover of, national publications, including Ladies Home Journal, Inside Weddings and Wedding Style. I’ve photographed over 1,200 weddings during my career.
Studio Manager and Lingerie Connoisseur
Born and raised in Southern California, Denise received her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Cal Poly Pomona. A boudoir photo shoot was one of her top “bucket list” experiences, so she chose Karen French Photography – and the experience blew her mind. Denise loved how empowered she felt after her photo shoot and she didn’t want to leave!
Now, Denise works for us as our studio manager. She loves working in a fabulous female-friendly environment, helping women see how gorgeous and fabulous they really are.
As studio manager, Denise keeps the office running smoothly and makes sure our clients have a fun, stress-free, and luxurious experience. She schedules appointments, supervises the overall production, and answers the phone. Plus, Denise is your gal if you need to know how to prepare for your boudoir shoot! She has great insider tips for where to buy beautiful lingerie in the Orange County/LA area — and knows what kind of lingerie photographs best.
When she’s not helping women prepare for beautiful boudoir photos, Denise enjoys working with acrylic and oil paints, spending time with her son and cooking up a feast in the kitchen.
“After experiencing an emotional transformation because of my photo shoot with Karen, I am truly privileged to help other women have their own amazing experience! Boudoir helps us see ourselves from a whole new angle. It shines the right lighting on all of our unique curves and lets us see how gorgeous we are.”
Social Media Superwoman
From an early age, Rachel was bitten by the business bug, thanks to her mother. Growing up in an environment where creativity was encouraged, she grew up to be what you’d think: a marketer.
After graduating from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business with a concentration in marketing, Rachel spent over 11 years playing in the corporate jungle. She worked in social media, digital advertising, branding, PR, and agency management before coming to KFP. Now, Rachel manages and assists with social media, branding, and events.
She loves spending her free time traveling with her husband, perusing flea markets, and being a dog mom of two.
“I first heard of Karen French Photography as a potential client. I decided I wanted to try to do a boudoir photo shoot, something that was definitely outside of my comfort zone, and naturally, I looked at her reviews. They were glowing, and I knew this was where I wanted to go.
During and after my shoot, I felt empowered, confident, and proud of who I was. Karen was so much fun to work with and, after talking with her during my viewing appointment about what I did and some ways I thought I could help, we decided to start working together. And, as they say, the rest is history! I love working with a group of amazing women at KFP who share the same passion of making its clients feel beautiful and provide a memorable and rave-worthy experience.”
Life-Changing Makeup and Hair Artist
After growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico with a father who was a talented artist, RJ discovered her love for the arts in high school – specifically, special FX makeup. She followed her passion and received three certifications from Empire Academy, a private makeup artistry school in Costa Mesa, CA and went on to train under, and be mentored by, Donna Mee — a legend in the beauty makeup industry.
RJ specializes in corrective beauty (symmetry using the science of light and dark highlights and contour.) She also brings a wealth of experience from other industries, including TV/film; beauty; fashion, runway/high fashion, airbrush makeup, special effects, and hairstyling. Her hobbies include balloon art, completing challenging puzzles, and embracing her inner foodie by visiting authentic, family-owned, independent restaurants.
“I love working with my “regular clients” — the everyday women. I have learned so much from them, and together, with each story they share, or I share with them, we are building our self-esteem.
A lot of my clients have never experienced having makeup done for them, or even wear makeup because no one taught them how. When these women see themselves in the mirror, they change. They light up. They become someone they didn’t know they could be.
A lot of people see makeup as a surface. As a mask. As vain. But, if you are in this profession, you know that makeup can change lives. Makeup can be therapeutic.”
Glitter Girl, Boudoir Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist
For Chelsea, it all started when she would marvel at the older elementary school girls putting on their makeup and preparing for a dance performance. Inspired, she upped her game and started to wear lip-gloss with her friends and calling themselves the “Glitter Girls.” She started reading her older sister’s beauty magazines and, in 9th grade — after doing everyone’s makeup for school dances and parties — she made a decision. She was going to make her passion for beauty and makeup her career.
Chelsea has gone through extensive training and has worked for fan favorites like Nars, MAC, and Bare Minerals. Her experience helped her perfect natural-looking makeup on a range of skin colors and textures. Over the past seven years, she’s specialized as a boudoir stylist, and her experience working in bridal photography, film sets, and photography studios, helps her determine what will display best on HD cameras. If you’re looking for an airbrush photo-finish and voluminous wavy hair, Chelsea’s your girl!
When she’s not making clients feel beautiful, Chelsea is working on her fitness dancing to hip hop, burlesque and salsa! She also enjoys hot yoga, weightlifting and enjoying the outdoors. She’s also in the process of earning her esthetician license.
“I love seeing how powerful women feel after doing their boudoir session. They’re super-nervous when they first walk in. Then, these women transform before my eyes — the makeup, hairstyling, and photo shoot helps them feel more confident. Our clients walk out of the studio with a smile on their faces.”
Her photos are amazing and I cannot believe these photos make me look like someone from a professional magazine . Her team is incredible from the makeup artist and staff. Everyone is friendly and makes you feel comfortable. I highly recommend every woman try this once in their life. Karen will make you see how beautiful you really are.
Nadine C., Costa Mesa, CA
I had such a great experience with Karen and her team! Going into this photo shoot i didn’t know what to expect. As soon as i showed up all my nerves subsided. I got my hair and makeup done by Chelsea which i LOVED!!!!! From there i went into my session with Karen and she was amazing. I usually don’t like taking photos to begin with Karen, she made me so comfortable that i truly enjoyed my session with her.
Sabrina D., Woodland Hills, CA
Loved it all! Denise is really sweet and friendly which made me feel very comfortable on the phone and when I got to the studio. Karen was the best photographer I have ever worked with! She was super fun, easy to understand when it came to poses and styles. If you’re unsure if this is for you, don’t doubt it and book your session right now, because you’ll fall in love with Karen’s amazing work!
Valentina H., Los Angeles, CA
Never thought I would do a boudoir photo shoot but I am so glad I did. What an amazing experience it was. Denise the office manager explained everything in detail as in what I should bring and expect. Really sweet. Hair and makeup was done by Rj, who did a awesome job and who I enjoyed conversing with. And Karen what a great lady, made me feel completely at ease.
Loreana H., Newport Beach, CA