Alumni Friday – Karen Dressel

In terms of our alumni, it is always rewarding to see our graduates hit the ground running building their businesses and getting work almost immediately after leaving RMSP. Karen Dressel is one such an example.

A 2011 graduate of our Career Training program, her drive and determination is beginning to make her a force to be reckoned with. What prompts me to say this, you may ask? Well, I’ll let her actions speak for themselves. Here’s a brief run-down of what she’s been up to since last November:

  • For her client, Sports Photo, Inc. she shot the Houston Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and Galveston Marathon in February.
  • She shot two weddings including one on New Year’s Eve at the Four Seasons in downtown Houston – wedding was at the stroke of midnight. The other wedding was in San Antonio, TX.
  • Shot family portraits at the Bayou Gardens in Houston.
  • Took photos for Recipes for Success, a foundation that was launched in 2005 by Gracie & Bob Cavnar to lead the way in hands-on nutrition education aimed at preventing childhood obesity and encouraging long term health. In just a few years, it has grown to the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering over 4,000 children each and every month with its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ and other initiatives to change the way they understand, appreciate and eat their food.
  • Her photo of the Esperson Building appeared in the January edition of 002Houston Magazine. This is particularly awesome because she used to work in the Esperson building just before coming to RMSP for SI last year!
  • Will soon be taking headshots for the Montrose Counseling Center in Houston which provides services to the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual community. MCC empowers their community, primarily gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families, to enjoy healthier and more fulfilling lives by providing culturally affirming and affordable behavioral health and prevention services.
  • Took headshots for local restauranteur who was nominated for a “hottest chef contest” on
  • She also has shot two children’s birthday parties.

Phew! How’s that for getting out there and getting it done…all within the past four months! Originally a native of New York, all of this work has come to her by word-of-mouth in her hometown area of Houston, Texas. This is no easy feat in a major metropolis with lots of competition. And by the way, the Recipes for Success and Montrose Counseling Center work she is doing pro bono as a gift to these foundations simply because she believes in their mission & goals. Bravo, Karen!

She’s a natural born passionate photographer having started in the film era with a Kodak Instamatic in her adolesence and later progressing to SLRs. Not one to sit still – as you can imagine – she’s been a life-long wander-luster, having traveled the world with her camera and living for several years in the great Downunder of Australia. While there, she continued her art history studies at the University of Brisbane and completed her degree upon returning to the U.S. The calling of professional photography wouldn’t let her go, and after attending our Photo Weekend event in Houston in January of 2011, she made the life-changing decision to attend the Career Training program later in the year. Karen’s vision of photography is that of a treasure hunt that allows her to find the hidden gems in her environment over and over again wherever that environment may be.  Flora, fauna, people going about their daily lives, graveyards and junkyards are all her hunting grounds allowing the beauty of the world to reveal itself to her.

We’ll see where her path leads in a couple of years when we check back in with her. Karen is just starting out in the field and is creating a wonderful new career for herself. That’s inspiration all of us can use!

To see more of Karen’s work, check out her website at and her business Facebook page. Also, some of her latest fine art work can be seen in the gallery below.





3 thoughts on “Alumni Friday – Karen Dressel

Cindy Moisant

Beautiful work Karen! Nicely written article Bob.

Moira Lennox

Great Job Karen!

Profile photo of Bob McGowan

Bob McGowan

Thank you, Cindy. And I agree, Moira. Great job, Karen!

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