Following a career in motoring PR, Karen’s life took a different turn when she and her husband, travel photographer Chris Coe, founded the Travel Photographer of the Year awards in 2003. Since then, TPOTY has become one of the world’s leading photography competitions, attracting entries from over 90 countries each year and open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages and nationalities. In 2011 TPOTY entered into a partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and the Society has become TPOTY’s ‘home’, hosting major exhibitions of winning images each year.
As well as celebrating the beauty and diversity of this planet and its inhabitants, through many of the images in the awards TPOTY has also done much to highlight the poverty and exploitation that exists in so many nations. The organisation has also worked with charities such as Anti Slavery International, SightSavers and the Elephant Family, raising funds and awareness. And in 2012 Karen’s husband Chris took the 2007 TPOTY winner Cat Vinton to India, where they photographed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Images from this trip, and details of the life of the Tibetan people in exile, appeared in the TPOTY exhibition at the RGS in the summer of 2012.
Karen and Chris live in rural Suffolk with their children and dogs. She is still involved in motoring PR – specialising in the classic car world – and in her spare time she is an avid reader, but is also full of good intentions to explore more of the Suffolk countryside and coast by bike!