Hey, I’m Karin!

I’m a Melbourne-based photographer, originally from Canada, with over 10 years experience as a portrait photographer. I love cats, craft beer, and op shopping.

In 2011, portrait photographer Karin Locke threw an Ugly Sweater Party and photographed all of her guests...

Since then, myself and my team have brought Awkward Portraits to all kinds of clients at all kinds of parties, events and festivals. We’ve held Christmas popups at Melbourne Central, Barkly Square, Southern Cross Station, warehouse sales and night markets; done tropical-themed portraits at Strawberry Fields Music Festival; brought our special brand of awkwardness to Darebin Music Feast, Confetti Fair, Good Beer Week, RSPCA Million Paws Walk, the Good Food & Wine Show, Barkly Barks Dog Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; and held heaps of our own events around the fine city of Melbourne, Australia.

Awkward Portraits has been featured in The Age, Frankie Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Fjorde Magazine, as well as numerous event sites such as Time Out, Melbourne-To-Do, and Urban List.

In light of the success of this little project of mine I had to ask myself: Why does my generation, a generation that is generally very picky about photos of themselves (to the point of "untagging" pictures on Facebook, for example) enjoy having BAD portraits taken so much? I've worked as a portrait photographer for over 10 years and the most common thing I hear is "I HATE having my picture taken, but I need it for this or that."

In a world of social media "image crafting," Facebook, Instagram, online dating and smart phone selfies, where people share selectively and project an inflated version of their existence, why does our generation revel in the exact opposite? When you take the ego out of a portrait, what is left?

When we stop trying so hard, when we stop taking ourselves so seriously, we allow ourselves to just BE, and that can be very liberating. The extreme of meticulous image crafting and projection of "cool" is momentarily swapped for the other extreme of goofy awkwardness. Somewhere in the middle, the extremes meet and present themselves as a genuine portrait that, I believe, captures a personality. And that is what this portrait series has allowed me to do. I feel like for one moment, when a person is goofing off in front of my camera, they're shedding the pressures and constraints of upholding an image and they're allowing themselves to be real.

And let's be honest. Sometimes we just need a good laugh.