CT Business Photographer ~ Bluemoon Design Studio { Ellington}

I recently had the most wonderful opportunity to work closely with Karen McLaughlin, owner and milliner (fiber artist) of Bluemoon Design Studio located in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Karen makes the most beautiful handmade hats and shawls for every season. Kentucky Derby style hats and hats for that special lady who just wants to look and feel wonderful any day of the week.

Karen is on a journey to design and create timeless pieces of wearable art. All her items are handmade with exquisite detail going into each and every piece, which also makes each piece unique in and one of a kind.  She carries hats for both casual and dressy, free-formed felt bodies, and nuno felted. Summer straws as well as fabric constructed. She is now starting to produce a line of hats for men too. Her prices range from $30 dollars to $300 dollars…but averaging around $100. She firmly believe in the philosophy of repurpose, reuse, and recycle. I love that about her! I’m all about that myself. She also promotes the use of natural fibers.

Some of you may wonder, as I did…why the name Bluemoon Design Studio?  After talking with Karen I found out she decided to call her business Bluemoon Design Studio because a blue moon occurs about every 19 years. For Karen, after 19+ years of supporting her family by working in the corporate world, and raising their children, she entered the next phase of her life. Hence…the blue moon phase has come again to her life and was ready to rejoin fellow artists in the art world. She has always been doing something artistic or creative. She ran a business of manufacturing and designing fine gold jewelry when she was in her twenties. She then raised her children and like many, was faced with financial responsibilities so she accepted a corporate position working in retail management. That position brought her from her homeland of Vermont to the state of Connecticut. But as with her art, so was her career. She spent 10 years in retail then moved into the banking industry as a financial analyst. Luckily her creativity allowed her to think outside the box and to solve problems that would stump others. At this phase of her life, she went into the mortgage industry helping people to achieve their dreams of purchasing homes that seemed unobtainable.  However, the rug was yanked from beneath her only 2 years before she planned on retiring.

Karen being such a hard worker and  positive person with her creativity, decided instead of waiting 2 years, she saw this as the hand of God opening the door to another new phase of her life.  I love that about her…always looking at the positive side of life. So she dusted herself off and returned to her gift of art again! We are all blessed that she did!

Karen is preparing to create a website to market her hats but for now she attends art shows to increase her exposure and to promote hat wearing. She has many shows she will be attending this summer and fall. Doing shows for Castleberry fairs and festivals, Art rider shows, Old Deerfield show, and the Roseland Cottage show in Woodstock where I first met Karen. She also markets to many private organizations as well. She has been approached to place her hats and other products in retail locations but at this time has chosen not to.

For Karen…what started as a passion for hats, has become an obsession to create them!  You may follow Karen on Facebook at Bluemoon Design Studio.

Please enjoy some of my favorite pieces she has recently made. Thank you Karen from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to work with you in creating these images that will help to promote your business and for your friendship along the way. I wish you the very best in your business!


Here is Karen making adjustments to the shawl by adding a pretty pin.  I love how many of her hats are sold plain and you can add a bit of “bling” to them with flowers of your choice.

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Sharon - July 8, 2014 - 8:30 pm

Catherine, these are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us. I will be checking out Karen for sure on Facebook.

Karen the Hat Lady - July 8, 2014 - 8:59 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of my hats and shawls ….it was easier to make them then setting up for the shoot …Catherine is such a perfectionist ….but was so worth it as you can see by her beautiful pictures of my work.

Laurie - July 9, 2014 - 10:48 pm

Beautiful work all around.

Donna T. - July 10, 2014 - 5:50 am

Very talented “Hat Lady”. The images are beautiful Catherine. You pay such attention to detail. Well done. :)

Bonnie - July 10, 2014 - 7:21 pm

Your post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m headed to the Saratoga Race Track next month and will need a new fascinator / hat! Now I know where to go to find one!!!

CT High School Photographer ~ Tianna {Ellington High School Class of 2015}

Tianna is a young lady I have know since she was 8! It’s hard to believe she will be graduating from high school. Where did all those years go?  Tianna has the most beautiful eyes I think I’ve ever photographed. It was such a pleasure to do her high school senior portraits and she is excited to be my 2015 Senior Rep for Ellington High School.

Tianna and I laughed and laughed throughout her entire session, you could even say it was electrifying…as I touched an electric fence while trying to bend over to capture that perfect shot!!  I’m so lucky that Tianna loves photography herself. She made my job easy as she feels comfortable in front of the camera and you could say she’s a natural. Tianna will be graduating from Ellington High School next spring and is leaning toward pursuing a career in teaching or agricultural. I’m glad to have her as one of my Senior Reps and glad she is part of my team for 2015!

Tianna loves everything country and if she could see any band living or dead she would jump at the chance to hear George Strait or Johnny Cash. She’s comfortable in her country boots and a sundress or even a flannel shirt!  She loves to shop Cabela’s but for her real feminine side…loves Victorias Secret.  Someday she hopes to own her dream car which is a Chevy 3500.

On weekends you will find Tianna spending time with her family and friends.

Tianna arrived for her photo session looking stunning because her mom knows exactly how to apply makeup perfectly and naturally. This year I will be working with two different makeup artists and I highly recommend my senior gals spend the little extra to make themselves look and feel beautiful for their session. It truly helps to bring out your best features for these important images. I would even get your hair done…you’ll feel terrific and your images will definitely show it!

If Tianna could say anything about herself it would be that she is independent. She likes to get things done by herself and doesn’t give up when she really wants to achieve something.

Tianna, it’s been a pleasure seeing you grow and I wish you the absolute best in everything you hope to achieve in the future. Follow your heart, be honest and true and you will always find happiness.

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I just love this one in Black and White too!

JoyfulReflectionsPhotography_ CT MA RI ProfessionalPhotographer

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Lydia C. - May 29, 2014 - 4:53 pm

These are just beautiful! I LOVE everyone!

Laurie B. - May 29, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Wow is all I can say! Tianna you must be so happy with these. :)

Tianna Santoro - May 29, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Love them, they look awesome! Had such a fun time photographing with you. Cant wait for the next session :)

Wendy Kane - May 29, 2014 - 10:06 pm

Gorgeous, every single one!

Sandy - May 30, 2014 - 12:15 am

Stunning just Stunning… Where were you when I was in high school? These images are so engaging and each one brings out her beauty.

Stacy - May 30, 2014 - 6:32 am

Oh my, these are amazing but then Catherine you’re work always is! You are one talented photographer! My children will be coming to you soon! Good Job!