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Alexandra KnightAlexandra Knight

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What is your favorite AK item and why?

I bought my first AK item at a memorial for the Berry Family. Alex was selling red alligator heart keychains to help raise money for their children. I also have a matching letter "K" on my keychain. I have come to think of them as good luck charms.

What can you not live without and what are your latest obsessions?

I married for the first time five and a half years ago

to my sweet husband Jon. I have no intention of ever living without him. He is my rock.

Our two cats. Sam is chubby, orange, and spoiled, Miss Tucker is understanding of Sam, sweet, grey and white.

Dig Inn, in NYC - yummy, healthy

"It's All Good" Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook. Great recipes, great pics, great way to cook and live.

Nail Polish: Essie "Merino Cool" and Deborah Lippmann "Stormy Weather".

I live somewhere between my Columbia fishing shirts and my suede Cucinelli wide-legged trousers and love both.

I love astrology...I'm a Taurus with Leo Rising... :) this makes me fiercely loyal, great at naps and a tad bit intuitive. My mom would add "stubborn," but I would call it determined....

FOUND for the Home. Unique furniture and accessories with an artistic bent.

Comfort Zone Sacred Nature Bio-Certified body butter - it's deliciously healing.

Affordable and fun reading glasses from Betty Newton at à bientôt in Houston.

I have a perpetual wish that moms would be in more photos with their kids. Too many moms opt out whether with me on family shoots or on their own...(ask people to get a shot of you with your kids...random people are happy to do it...EVERYONE snaps pics today...let them help!!!). I think we are all way too concerned with how we look and are missing out on what matters most...making memories that your kids and their kids will treasure forever...please...don't opt out!

Who or what inspires you and why?

My husband, Jon, because he brought me true love.

My family and friends...they are my life.

My Wednesday night group that I have traveled the world with on spiritual adventures for 25 years and my parents. I wouldn't be who I am without any of them.

A quick wit and a clever sense of humor, because life's too short without a good laugh.

What is your favorite place you have travelled to and why?

It's not that Shirley McClain and I are tight or anything, but my time at Machu Picchu in 1986 truly woke me up to the muses of the mountains and the essence of soul and spirit. It initiated a journey that I continue to this day. With that said, I go to our Galveston Bay house most weekends and that is where I truly love to be. With Jon, with family and with our family of friends.

Best advice you have ever received?

Be true to yourself. Have fun. Trust the journey.

Tell us about the non-profit you started...

I founded Heart of Humanity to bring awareness to social issues by collaborating with nonprofit organizations to creatively tell their stories and the stories of those they serve...especially by focusing on the human element. These partnerships have given me a chance to educate and bring awareness to social issues. We use photography exhibits, classroom teaching and other public outreach programs to bring to life the humanity in each group and to connect the viewer to the subject. My goal is to develop national and international projects that will creatively educate.

How did your exhibit with Bo's Place come about?

Bo's Place is a nonprofit organization that helps children who are dealing with grief after the loss of an immediate family member, perfect for a Heart of Humanity project. They approached me to help with an initiative to raise awareness of the need for grief support services for children and families.

The educational exhibit "Life and Death...Let's Talk About It" opens next week at Williams Tower in Houston. The exhibit has become a unique and uplifting way to address an important but sometimes uncomfortable topic.

I spent time this summer photographing and visiting with five families that have lost a child or other family member. The photos were taken in environments what reflect and honor the person who died. Johnny was a surfer-skateboarder so we shot at the beach and skatepark.

The exhibit includes "tips" on how to talk with and best support those grieving. For example, "use the name of the person who died when talking with a family member, speak in the present tense... i.e. - when IS Johnny's birthday?"

This is one of my most favorite projects. If people leave the exhibit knowing just one appropriate thing to say to someone that will offer comfort and support, things will be a bit better when we all go to sleep at night.

Any tips for a novice photographer?

Buy a new camera from a person, don't order it online. Later, if you need help, you have a person to speak with. Keep a camera on you at all times. Have a camera that fits YOUR lifestyle. If you don't want to lug around a SLR, then master using an iPhone (or other camera phone). Shoot what fits your fancy and what's fun for you.

Who is the most interesting person you have photographed?

The most interesting person I ever photographed was The African Rain Queen in South Africa.
The "Modjadji".

She was the least chic queen I have ever seen and she was one of the most powerful women I have ever met. My seven traveling friends and I found ourselves in the dust of a canopied hut where she led us in meditation. We held hands, closed our eyes and shared a moment of silence in hope of peace, goodness and love for her people, and humanity. Her spiritual quest became one with ours that day in 1989. Mokope Modjadji V - Fifth Rain Queen of the Balobedu people. May she rest well.

What is your guilty pleasure?

My Valentino black patent studded skimmers. I can almost walk in them all day.

AND, these crazy yummy cookies from Central Market called "Mini Alfajores".

What kind of camera do you use?

NikonD700 and an iPhone, but remember, people take pictures not cameras. My D700s work great for the way I shoot and my style. I've never studied photography. I'm self-taught, so I try to keep things as simple as I can. I am WAY more concerned with good available light than I am about anything extremely technical.

What would be your dream shoot?

My dream shoot is really, multiple shoots with a theme. I have a few concepts in the works for a series of exhibits: children of the world, women of the world, and classrooms of the world. I hope one day to bring these projects to life.

Who are your favorite photographers

?

Alfred Eisenstaedt and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Who is Karen Sachar and why do we love her?

I admired Karen's images long before I met her. I would always see images of my friends or others captured beautifully in the perfect light at that perfect moment and oh and ah and get the same response over and over again...Karen Sachar shot it. Once I finally got to meet her when she shot my son's birthday party and provided us with a memorable keepsake book (a generous gift from a friend) I not only received beautiful images of my family and sons but I was also blessed with the honor to call her my friend. Her creativity I find inspiring and the way she lives her life and mantras are motivating.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Karen is a self taught, inspirational professional photographer who captures the emotion and beauty of her subjects and their experiences. Both her artistic endeavors and her spiritual quests have enabled her to partake in much international travel and enjoy numerous adventures around the globe. From the villages of Ethiopia to the mountains of Machu Picchu, to the third grade classroom down the street from her, Karen revels in the diversity that is all around her.

After founding her business, Karen Sachar & Co., Inc, in 1995, Karen has taken on countless corporate clients, exhibits and awards in addition to having her photographs grace the likes of Town & Country, Modern Bride, Texas Monthly, Hallmark Cards, Modern Luxury and more.

In 2005 Karen founded a nonprofit organization, Heart of Humanity, which strives to educate and inspire others through photography and creative writing. As a photographer with a background in marketing, graphic design and creative writing, Karen's goal is to develop national and international projects that will creatively educate.

Karen received her BS in Advertising from the University of Texas and currently resides in Houston with her husband, Jonathan ("Jon") Novitsky. Treat yourself and have her shoot you and your loved ones. Allow her to capture that perfect picture you will have forever.

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