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Speaker Spotlight: Kara Mercer

“For me, photography was a dance that I felt the steps to before I even knew the choreography. It was a simple choice to pick up the camera and find my way through the process.”

- Kara Mercer


Kara Mercer is a commercial and editorial photographer and art director based in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in developing content for fashion, travel, and lifestyle brands. Her work has been featured in several magazines, including Huffpost, Buzzfeed, FujiFilm, and more. Get to know Kara before seeing her speak at our 2019 Pixel Photo Fest.

Why she shoots

Kara has been behind the lens for over a decade now. She views photography as a creative outlet designed to express feelings, ideas, and concepts that resonate not only with her, but with those around her. For her, photography is the best medium to share one’s voice and story.

Her specialties

Kara specializes in content creation for brands, as she’s gained notoriety for her eye for creative direction and aesthetic. She believes every image should stand strongly on its own while also contributing a unique yet complementary voice when serving as part of a collection.

Kara is also known for her work with light. As she says, “light is your hero.” It can spoil a photo, sure, but when used properly it can add elements like softness, shadows, or contrast.


Her work is influenced as much by minimalism and thought-provoking conversations as it is by contemporary studies in human psychology and the emotive, sometimes ethereal feel of romanticism. With these influences, she seamlessly combines playful narratives with a timeless aesthetic for commercial media campaigns (print and digital) and editorial work.


Equipment of choice

Kara uses a Fujifilm X-T2 & Xpro2. Her toolkit consists of three camera bodies, several prime lenses (23, 56, 35, 90), 16-55 zoom lens. And of course, she carries several pieces of lighting equipment with her. She also never leaves home without a camera, so she never misses a moment she wants to capture. 

Pixel Photo Fest Classes

Creating Modern Fashion & Lifestyle Portrait Workshop

Fashion & Lifestyle portraiture is all about creating a space and scene for your subjects. Kara will open your eyes to a new way of creating modern portraits, capturing your own images on travels, and honing your shooting style. Bring your gear and come ready to ask all the questions and dive right in as she uncovers all the tips and tricks to modern portraits and lifestyle imagery. 

See her work:


INSTAGRAM: @_karamercer

TWITTER: @_KaraMercer

Hear and learn from Kara and other award-winning photographers at this year’s Pixel Photo Fest September 13-15 at Cleveland State University! Grab your tickets here.

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Pixel Photo Fest 2019


Thinking about going to Pixel Photo Fest this year, but still on the fence? We might be biased, but there are SO many reasons why this year’s event is one that can’t be missed for creatives of all levels.

To help you make your decision, we’ve compiled our top ten reasons to attend this year’s festival. Check it out!

1. Hands-on Classes

The majority of our wide selection of sessions (link to sessions page) will allow for hands-on work so you can apply what you’ve learned. These aren’t just lectures or presentations. Attendees are encouraged to bring their camera equipment and join in on the action!

2. Photography/videography vendors

Our trade show floor will have representatives from leading photo and video brands, including Canon, Sony, Panasonic Lumix, Sigma, Fujifilm, Tamron, Profoto, Westcott, RODE, and many more!

3. Networking opportunities

The day ends when you decide it does! We’ve organized plenty of off-site excursions, meetups, photo walks, and more. We already have photographers and videographers coming from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and more. With such a wide variety of attendees, you have the opportunity to create relationships and connections that last beyond Pixel Photo Fest. 

4. All access passes

Your tickets aren’t just for entry to Pixel Photo Fest. They’re good for everything - and we mean everything! The three-day pass gives you unlimited access to all classes, workshops, and photo walks. And we will not limit you from packing your schedule. 

5. Models on demand

Our Model Bank program provides 30+ diverse models available for you to shoot. You can apply what you learned during a workshop with their help or “rent” a model to take out for your own themed shoot.

6. Learn from professionals

Never fear - PPF classes will not be sales pitches disguised as workshops! We have selected educators who specialize in offering some of the best learning experiences you will ever receive in the world of photography.

7. Speakers

Our speaker lineup is packed to the gills with award-winning speakers from across the country. We’ve brought together the best of the best in one location for three full days to help you create your greatest work yet!

8. Trade Show

The PPF trade show floor will be jam packed with vendors, shooting bays, models, giveaways, speaker meet and greets, and more. You can easily get lost in just the trade show floor for a full day!

9. Free Loaner equipment

We’re giving you the opportunity to try out that new camera or lens you’ve been eyeing! Your PPF pass gives you access to a wide selection of equipment you can borrow free of charge - including the latest and greatest models from top manufacturers.

10. Pixel Connection

PPF is brought to you by Pixel Connection, and we take great pride in our work providing an excellent, unique experience to our attendees.  Pixel Connection will be on hand at the trade show as the exclusive vendor of PPF. We’ll be offering all our items at prices so low we can’t even advertise them before the event 👀

You can’t put a price on the freedom to immerse yourself in a creative space for three full days! Let your right brain roam free with new equipment and information to fuel your work. 

Get your Pixel Photo Fest 2019 tickets before they sell out!