Artistic Visionary: Kara Milstein

Eagle-eyed Shutterbug

As a photo editor for TIME magazine, Kara Milstein, KLN ’16, helps to source and produce images for one of the biggest media platforms in the world. She was hired full time at the publication only a few months into an internship. 


Photo by Photo credit: Ryan S. Brandenberg, CLA ’14

Philly has such great creative spaces and community. It’s a city where you can still make waves in your individual community and industry, in a way that’s difficult in other cities.”

Temple University Logo

Kara Milstein

Photo op

Now, working from the magazine’s New York offices, Milstein spends her days doing photo research, working with reporters, commissioning original photography, producing photo shoots and working on long-term documentary projects. It’s a fast-paced job, with a heavy amount of multitasking to produce photos for high-profile features like TIME’s “Person of the Year” spread. 

Milstein attributes her success at TIME to her collaborative spirit and the hands-on learning she received as a Temple student. 

“My classes and the conferences I attended at Temple helped me realize that I didn’t want to be the photographer—I wanted to be the person supporting the photographer,” she said. “Thinking about how images are used and consumed by society is something I learned from my professors, and that’s how I’ve honed a critical eye for photography.” 

Changing frames

When Milstein enrolled at Temple, her original plan was to study business. Her dad owned a restaurant in New York City, and she imagined she’d become an entrepreneur, too.  

“At Fox’s first-year student Orientation I thought, ‘These are not my people, and this is not what I want to be doing,’” she remembered.  

At the end of her first semester, she transferred to the Klein College of Media and Communication. An initial meeting with Scott Gratson, professor and chair of communication studies, confirmed for Milstein that it was a better fit, with plenty of flexibility and options to explore within the major. 

An Honors Photography and Society class with Professor Andrew Mendelson helped her clarify the kind of communications career she wanted to pursue. 

“That class really opened my eyes to all the ways that one can interact and work with art, photography and media,” she said. 

Mendelson became a mentor to Milstein, inviting her to conferences, like Northern Short Course and Geek Fest. He also recommended her for the internship with TIME. 

Outside of classes, she explored photojournalism as a photographer and photo editor for The Temple News, covering stories in the Athletic Department and about campus life. 

“These were huge learning experiences for me around community-based storytelling,” she said. 

Kara at a Glance

Just the facts

College: Klein College of Media and Communication 
Degree: BA, communication studies, 2016 
Industry: Journalism 
Hometown: Ossining, New York 

Getting the shot
  • Kara started out by photographing indie rock bands at shows in Upstate New York, Manhattan and Philadelphia.

  • While studying abroad in London, Kara interned with the World Photography Organization. The experience helped shape her future career. 

Worth 1,000 words

As she continues to parlay her experiences from Temple into her work at TIME, the importance of visual storytelling has only become clearer to Milstein. 

“Photography and visual media make a story come to life. They have such an ability to move people and bring them to places they’ve never been before or wouldn’t expect to go,” she said. 

“Stories are one of the most powerful things we have in humanity. To pass down history, to document things, we can’t stop doing that.”