About

September 19, 2017 - MuSen made it to #4 on Hula's 37 Fantastic Family Photographers Hot List Near Bridgewater, NJ!

“I bring the Studio to you!”

Can you believe everything you saw below were taken at clients houses?

 

This is what I am best known for, a signature mobile studio solution so unique that I have been invited to give presentation on this business model at local photographer clubs. But don’t get me wrong. I produce gorgeous outdoor and lifestyle portraits just as much.

So how I decided to go into this niche? It all started with a bad experience…

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Like many Moms, I took my kids to studios and freelance photographers for portraits religiously when they were little. I don’t mean to throw anyone under the bus but when using a chain studio, we often got tired of the long wait. By the time it was finally our turn, the kids were exhausted and cranky, and the session had to be completely in 15 minutes. Sometimes we met great photographers, sometimes we met bad ones who couldn’t produce enough good pictures and had to make up the quantity to be delivered with cropped images and collages. Even so, we bought the packages because we already invested our time and energy there and we know the kids wouldn’t stop growing because of a bad photo session.

I was one time a big group buying deals fan! However, the truth was…after reading the small prints and understanding the terms & conditions, we realize a quality photo session will still cost us a good amount of money. The golden rule forever applies: you pay for what you get. Quality and cheap price can never co-exist. Value photographers are so over booked. They could be wonderful as an artist but very often, we had to wait months to get our pictures back. Our baby already grew into a complete different stage by the time. The excitement was simple killed. If we wanted the pictures quick, that means there was no editing. We basically just hired a person with a better camera. What is the point?

The real trigger point was my youngest daughter’s 100 Days session. 100 Days session has super significant meaning in Chinese culture. We hired a wonderful photographer…well…we thought we did. Her portfolio looked great, she was featured in many famous blogs, her price was affordable, she had lots of Facebook fans, what a great find!! However, I soon noticed something wasn’t quite right. She wasn’t responsive. A simple email could take her 2 weeks to respond. She often missed the details I gave her. There was little pre-session consultations. We had no idea how to prepare for the session. Then the night before, she texted us and told us she was sick and had to reschedule. We agreed. But she never followed up with a reschedule phone call.

I literally cried, tears of frustration, anger, and guilt. So I picked up my DSLR camera and took my youngest’s 100 Days session by myself. They came out alright. I still felt extremely guilty, so I decided to make it up to her by taking monthly portraits of her. The process was so enjoyable I felt in love, so much I started to purchase backdrop stands, backdrop, props, strobes…and take photography lessons. I post her pictures on my personal Facebook account and people loved them! Below is a video showcasing my amateur work of my youngest. It didn’t take me long to realize photographing my own kids could no longer fulfill my passion so I started taking pictures of my friends’ kids. Through that process I learned my weakness as a photographer. I then went on a self-taught boot-camp and mastered professional photo editing software in a very short amount of time. I introduced a series of children’s fantasy editing and attracted a number of Moms wanting to pay me for my services. Because I like to do things the right way, I formed my LLC business right away and purchased liability insurance.

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So that is how I became a children and family photographer. Now let me formally introduce myself and my philosophy as a photographer:

My name is Karen Kwong, and I’m the owner and principal photographer at Photography by MuSen.  MuSen means “Wood-Forest.” The name was chosen by a Fengshui Master to offset the natural elements that I’m lacking, reactive to my birth time. It is believed to bring me luck, peace, and balance, all which I have in abundance. (Curious about learning more about Fengshui? Start here.)

MuSen Chinese
MuSen in Chinese by East Brunswick based Chinese Calligraphist Mr. Lewei Shang

You will find your investment with me worth every single penny. I strive to provide outstanding customer service and meet your photography needs. Every session comes with complimentary consultations. I spend time get to know you and want you walk out of the session with not just beautiful images but also a life-long friendship.

Other than photography, my passions lie in my community and helping others around me.  I’m heavily involved in volunteering and charity. I have a particular place in my heart for Girl Scout and helping children get STEM educations. I am a Girl Scout of Central and Southern New Jersey, Inc. approved vendor and I host Junior Digital Photography Workshops across the region. My ultimate goal is to form a non-profit media organization primarily using photography to help bring awareness of local children facing hardship.

In addition to photography, I am a Rutgers Engineering school graduate and working as an Engineering manager at an innovative precision and digital hand tools firm. I also hold an MBA degree from NYU.

My indulgences include gourmet coffee and fine chocolates. I am a VIP of Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panera Breads, Godiva, and Lindt…just to name a few. My latest love is for OrigamiOwl jewelries. Their high quality photo gifts and customizable story telling products create such a synergy with my business I have decided to include them as session gifts for my clients.

Everyone has weaknesses. For me, it is the lack of motivation to workout. But I am beginning to become interested in yoga and the Max Challenge program. I’m excited to see where my fitness journey takes me, especially as it means that I can enjoy more coffee and chocolate.

I look forward to working with you and marking milestones for you and your family through the art of photography.