Awards and workshops

Welcome to Kari Douma Photography!

Kari and Jayne

Welcome to Kari Douma Photography
If you are just finding our website and blog, we’re happy you’re here! It’s been awhile since we’ve introduced ourselves here on the blog, so we’d like to take a few minutes to tell you who we are and how we choose the profession of Photography! 

Kari’s passion for photography grew from a love of capturing the fleeting moments of her four children growing up, and has since grown into an exciting and successful career! She decided to launch Kari Douma Photography out of her home based studio over 12 years ago, and since then the business has continued to grow! In 2009 she decided to move the studio out of her home, into a professional studio with more space, located in Downtown Grandville, Michigan. We’re located just 7 miles west of Grand Rapids, which is famous for gathering artists from around the world for the annual Art Prize competition, and also known as Beer City for it’s famous Founders Brewing micro-brewery (among many others). West Michigan is also home to the largest freshwater lakes in the world, the Great Lakes… the beautiful, sandy beaches of Lake Michigan are only 20 miles from our studio!

After moving to the new studio, Kari also hired an employee. Kari mentored multiple interns over the years, and in 2009 she decided to hire Jayne (after she completed her one year internship with KDP). Jayne graduated with a minor in Photography from Central Michigan University, and after years of always being the “unofficial photographer” for every family event, she decided to further her education to become a professional photographer (and has felt blessed to work with Kari ever since)! We really enjoy photographing weddings together (people always ask if we’re sisters) and love meeting with new clients to create the custom photography experience and beautiful portraits each one is hoping for!

Over the past decade Kari’s passion for learning and striving for excellence has taken her all over the country learning from the top photographers in the world! She earned her Master of Photography degree in 2012, and her Craftsman’s Degree in 2014. Kari has used her vast knowledge and unique skill to create award winning images that have earned her accolades too numerous to mention (in the categories of portrait, wedding, landscape and commercial). A few of her most recent awards are the ASP District Elite Award (covering 12 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces) as well as being named Michigan Photographer of the Year (2016) as well as Photographer of the Year (2012-2016) by the Professional Photographers of West Michigan. She has also earned many national awards and honors over the years. Kari absolutely loves to compete in Print Competition, and that passion shows through in the portraits she creates for clients also!

More than any award, at Kari Douma Photography we just love people! Part of the reason Kari has earned so much national recognition is due to the amazing clients we have been blessed to photograph over the years! The weddings, newborns, children, families, and seniors we photograph become dear friends, people we grow to love over the years! We can’t explain the joy we feel when a family we’ve photographed for years sends their child off to college with the portraits we’ve created displaying their story along the walls of their home. We’re thrilled when we’re asked to to photograph the wedding a few years later, and then beyond excited to meet and capture the amazing details when they welcome their first baby into the world. There are no words for how abundantly blessed we feel when each family chooses us to record all those precious memories over the years, and we love creating those priceless images that will be cherished for generations to come.

We absolutely love what we do, and we can’t wait to meet you! Please don’t hesitate to call or email Kari to set up a time to meet with us at our Studio… we look forward to getting to know you, and anticipate creating a beautiful photojournalistic story to tell your family’s journey too. You can reach us at our Studio by appointment: 616-437-5603 or email Kari at kari@karidouma.com .

SaveSave

Mexico!

Last week Jayne and I traveled to Puento Aventuras (an hour south of Cancun) to attend a Photography Workshop led by awesome New Orleans Senior Photographer Kirk Volclain! Each day included round table discussions (ok, it was techincally “around the pool” discussions) as well as brainstorming new ideas with other top photographers from around the country! There also was a photography assignment each day, and evening meetings every night after dinner. Kari and Jayne were thrilled to take 1st and 2nd place in the final Photography Competition of the week photographing a couple on the beach. Here are some of the winning images!

Cancun family photography Cancun family photography Cancun family photography Grand Rapids family photographer in cancun Grand Rapids family photographer in cancun Grand Rapids family photographer in cancun Grand Rapids family photographer in cancun

WOOO HOOO! 4 for 4!

I had a great year in competition this year.  I have been holding out posting about it, until the last competition was finished.  I am friends with some photography judges, and I didn’t want them to see my work incase they were to judge it in the future.  (If they know it is mine, they have to excuse themselves from judging it.)

I had a very successful year, starting in January with print competition at the local level.  I entered 4 prints at the Professional Photographers of Western Michigan’s annual print competition, and was awarded the best of show in two categories – portrait and illustrative.  The next competition was in February at the State level, with the Professional Photographers of Michigan.  I was awarded a “Court of Honor” trophy in the portrait division, and I was named one of the top 7 Master Photographers in Michigan. 🙂  This made me very happy!  The third competition was in Ohio, at the “District” level (10 states).  Here I received what they call 4 for 4…. Which means that all 4 of the prints I entered received a high score that is considered a “merit”.  This gave my prints a “seal” for the national level.  They automatically received a merit at the national level.  Finally, I sent the to the national level, where they were judged for the “Loan Collection”.  One of my images made it into the Loan Collection, which means it will be in a traveling display that will travel around the world.  That one, along with the other 3 will be on display at the Professional Photographers of America’s convention in Atlanta, GA in January.  I don’t have the statistics for this years national competition, but usually the top 15% make it into the Loan Collection, and I heard there were over 7000 entries this year!  This means that I will be awarded the “Silver Photographer of the year” award at the PPA convention in January!

So, without further adieu, here are my competition images this year!

print competition

Just Around The River Bend ~ This was the print that was accepted into the Loan Collection.

Award Winning photographer Kari Douma entered in print competition.

"Old Faithful" ~ This image won the best of show at Professional Photographers of Western Michigan, and Court of Honor at Professional Photographers of Michigan.

Print Competition - award winning photograph

"Devotion" ~ This image won the best of show in the illustrative category at the Professional Photographers of Western Michigan print competition.

Print Competition

"Morning has Broken"

Grand Rapids Photography Class

Due to popular demand, I am offering another photo class! This class is designed for those of you who are ready to start taking your photography to a whole new level. Space will be limited, so call today to reserve your spot! 616-437-5603

Photography 201 – January 7, 9:00 – 5:00 Cost $120
Lunch is included and also admission to Frederick Meijer Gardens in the afternoon for hands on practicing of what we learned.
What this Class is:
1. This class is designed as a beginner to intermediate class. It is ideal for those desiring more out of their pictures, and don’t know how to get it!
2. Get off the program modes! You will learn about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO so you can set your camera manually to get great results!
3. I will help you understand the limitations of you camera and lenses, and what you can and can’t expect them to do.
4. We will have some hands on practicing what you learned in the afternoon at Frederick Miejer Gardens.

Requirements for this class is that you have a DSLR camera, and manual. You will bring both to class. (Every camera is different, and you will be required to look up things in your manual to learn how to change some settings.) You may also want to take a notebook for notes, and a tripod if you have one.

These classes are not professional classes, and will not teach you how to take professional portraits.

West Michigan's Top Five!

On Monday evening we had our year end banquet and awards ceremony for the Professional Photographers of Western Michigan. Jayne and I were both honored to receive an award for one of the “Top 5 Photographers of the Year” in Western Michigan! The awards are earned by print competitions through the entire year. Thanks to all our clients who have given us the opportunities to do what we love, and have fun doing it!

Fine Art Photography

I just got back from a week long photography class at the Great Lakes Institute of Photography.  The class I took was on fine art photography.  I have to say that it was a GREAT class!  We were not only taught creative editing techniques, but we were taught to exercise the right half of our brain, to harness more creativity.  Here are some of the images that I photographed and worked on in my class!

062320110030623201100406232011005062320110060623201100706232011008062320110090623201101006232011011

Grand Rapids Photography Class

Due to popular demand, I am offering one more photo class in June.  I didn’t think I would have any more this year, but I have had so many requests that I decided to open up one more. This class is designed for those of you who are ready to start taking your photography to a whole new level.  Space will be limited, so call today to reserve your spot!  616-437-5603

Photography 201 – June 30, 9:00 – 5:00 Cost $120
Lunch is included and also admission to Frederick Meijer Gardens in the afternoon for hands on practicing of what we learned.
What this Class is:
1. This class is designed as a beginner to intermediate class. It is ideal for those desiring more out of their pictures, and don’t know how to get it!
2. Get off the program modes! You will learn about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO so you can set your camera manually to get great results!
3. I will help you understand the limitations of you camera and lenses, and what you can and can’t expect them to do.
4. We will have some hands on practicing what you learned in the afternoon at Frederick Miejer Gardens.

Requirements for this class is that you have a DSLR camera, and manual. You will bring both to class. (Every camera is different, and you will be required to look up things in your manual to learn how to change some settings.) You may also want to take a notebook for notes, and a tripod if you have one.

These classes are not professional classes, and will not teach you how to take professional portraits.

Award Winning Photographers!

The Professional Photographers of Western Michigan had an ammeter judged print competition last night. This is where we have people who are not photographers, who are actual clients, judge our work. There were two categories, “Seniors”, and “Families and Children”. I am proud to say that the girls from Kari Douma photography did well! Kari won the best of show in the Seniors category, and Jayne won the best of show in the Families and children’s category! Congratulations!

051611

Top Photographers in West Michigan!

On Monday night we had our annual awards banquet and Christmas party with the Professional Photographers of Western Michigan.  Our banquet was at Red’s on the River, and we had a GREAT time!  I hadn’t been there before, and it was wonderful!  But, the fun part of the evening was the awards!  Our Studio Manager  and associate photographer Jayne was awarded one of the top 10 photographers in West Michigan, and I was awarded one of the top 5 photographers in West Michigan!  I was also recognized for passing my CPP exam.

Untitled-1120710

I am Certified!

I just realized that I never made a post here about this!  I posted it on Facebook, but not on my blog…

I am now a Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America.  In the United States, you do not have to be certified to be a professional photographer, so most photographers are not certified.  In fact, at the begining of the year, there were only approximately 1000 certified Photographers in the United States. I started studying for the test last May (besides my last 8 years of photography experience!)  I will have to admit, it was a lot harder than I anticipated.  You see, since I am self taught, I know what I do.  I know how to get the results that I want.  When I started studying in May, I started studying a lot of things that I did not use in my business, but things I had to know to become certified.  I had to study things like the internal parts of a camera, the film process and emulsion layers, the scientific way the light creates an image, view cameras (the old fashioned cameras that you put your head under a cloth), filters (filters are not used as much now with photoshop)… etc…. you get the idea.

There are two parts to the exam.  There is a written test, and an image submission.  I submitted my portfolio last August.  5 Judges review your portfolio, and they all have to agree to pass it.  In September I received the letter that my images passed the review.  Then, the first week of October, I took the written exam.  It was hard, and I was nervous.  2 weeks later, I received a letter in the mail, congratulating me on passing my written portion of the exam!  So, now I am Kari Douma, C.P.P.

I looked on the Certified Professional Website, and I am only one of 6 photographers in the Grand Rapids area that is listed as a Certified Professional Photographer.  I want to say thank you to my clients for trusting your cherished memories with me!

Thank you,

Kari Douma, C.P.P.

091710

Page 1 of 212