I just spent the last hour reading all the summaries from our teachers on how their first CONFIDENCE Workshops went while we were in Egypt.  These ladies are my heroes; they are my Valentines because I am head over heels proud of them and in love with them!  Many of us know first hand how scary it can be to take your dream out of the shadows, the safety of it “staying” a dream, and to put it on the line–to act on it–this takes sheer, raw courage.

Brian and I selected these fourteen women to be our first teachers for a reason.  They may not have years of experience at teaching, but they had a heart to learn, be mentored, stretched, grow and most of all, empower women.  All of these ladies were nervous for their first workshop–that first experience of not just talking about their dream but doing it.

I loved reading all the nerves they felt before their workshop AND the complete elation and reward they felt after their workshops were over.  But they aren’t the only ones who felt rewarded!  Check out what their attendees have already shared!

From Jess’s workshop in CA.  See her full blog post and photos here!  I LOVE this photo by one of her students!!

“Loved every minute of it Jess!!! I learned more than I imagined I could! You have a gift…thanks for sharing it. I’m so excited to put what I learned into practice. You and Steve did an AMAZING job today!!”  -Sherry, Southern California

“Thank you Jess and Stephen. You are amazing and to be able to share with us is such a gift. You did an amazing job and I am excited to start getting those pictures. It’s amazing how the small details make such a world of difference.” -Dana, Southern California

From Amy’s workshop in Las Vegas!

“I’ve been meaning to let you know since I left that I had such a great, successful day with you today! I brushed up on some much needed info and learned something’s that will change my photography forever. Really, it was totally worth it and so happy I bucked up and came. Your a fantastic teacher and thanks for spoiling us with all the awesome goodies!” -Jenny, Nevada

One of Amy’s attendees posted on her Facebook;

“Today I took a Me Ra Koh photography class taught by Amy O’Roarke Rhodes. This morning I did not know how to take the lens off my camera, and by the end of the day, I was shooting like an aspiring, almost, semi, not quite pro. Here is one shot today I took, no work done. Workshop was amazeballs. AmazeCANNONS!!”

From the women who attended Cheryl’s CONFIDENCE Seattle Workshop;

“The booklet provided great structure and a helpful tool to take away and refer to later.  The pace was perfect. I now have the confidence to photograph my friends!”  –Jan from Kent, WA

“The workshop was one of the best investments I have made to improving and looking at photography. I wish I would have taken it before buying my camera. The investment in the workshop would have saved me thousands of dollars in focusing on the right investment pieces. Very easy to understand and felt absolutely safe and supported!”  –April from Monroe, WA.

Cheryl shared that one lady said that one woman was in tears at the end of the workshop. She said that she was so grateful that she was able to learn in a safe and supportive environment where she wasn’t made to feel dumb or intimidated. Hearing this makes my heart sing!  This is what the CONFIDENCE Workshops are all about!

Nicole is gaining speed faster than I can keep up with!  Brian and I worked with her on ideas of how to get her on to the local TV station as a photo expert, and she has been successful at not only getting on TV but also a handful of local magazine interviews.  Her first two workshops have sold out, so she now has one that just opened for April!

Here are a couple comments from women who attended Nicole’s first CONFIDENCE Workshop in Bismarck, North Dakota!

Of course the shutter speed, ISO etc etc was always so overwhelming and foreign UNTIL the day I attended Nicole’s workshop ( I have attended others and I guess I left the building with the knowledge still in the room.  That special woman gave all of her heart and soul to us and as I eventually underlined CONFIDENCE in my workbook, I felt her spirit within me.  Now mind you I have a long way to go, but she was an inspiration to me (and my special niece Denise who came over 150 miles to attend). I realize that a much trial and error will be necessary to get a base of knowledge, but she was able to help me to “get it”.  I am so in awe of her.  -Susan from Bismarck, North Dakota

The workbook was awesome and so handy to carry around for future reference!  We all want a follow up class, so there you go, something else to work on!  Thank you for creating these workshops to empower women and help up to feel more comfortable behind the lens.  -Debi, North Dakota

Tina, our Wisconsin teacher, had a private class with one special gal.

Her student wrote;  I learned not only how to better frame my pictures, but also additional technical aspects of using my camera and shooting in manual. Tina challenged me to get outside my comfort zone to get great shots of our “models” and she was right by my side when I had questions or needed suggestions. She allowed me to learn by watching her, and then let me take more of a lead role as the photo-shoots went on.

She really focused on how I learned best and capitalized on teaching me in that way.  Overall, I’m thrilled to be back home and using my camera with confidence! I’m thankful for the experience of a workshop, but even more thankful to have gained a mentor and friend. Thank you, Tina!

Beth, our Portland teacher, also had a special one-on-one workshop on a cold, Oregonian-style morning.

Click here to read her beautiful reflection and account of the day.  It makes me want to go on a photo walk with Beth!!

Check out this first photo from Lynda’s workshop in San Fransisco area!

Summie, our teacher in San Antonio, TX also got feedback that makes me want to cry!

“I just looked at the pictures that were shot yesterday and I wanted to cry. They came out so much better than I would have ever thought possible. And they aren’t perfect, but it’s some major progress! Even the ones in your room that I thought would be total deletes were actually decent….” ~Jessica, San Antonio, TX

“The workshop was such an amazing experience. Getting the personalized attention from Summie allowed me to feel at ease with my learning curve. The atmosphere is not intimidating or judgmental, which gave this perfectionist the opportunity to grow my sills through trial and error. It astounds me the level of knowledge I gained in such a short amount of time. I never would have thought that I’d be shooting in manual by the end of the day. The most unintimidating learning experience. It will forever change the way I take pictures. It exceeded my expectation. I still have so much to learn but the foundation is there now. I love working with the “magic 3″ and manipulating them to get the result I want. I can’t wait to see where this new-found confidence and comfortableness with my camera will take me! I LOVED the workshop and can’t believe how much my photography has changed since.” ~Alyssa, San Antonio, TX

“Working with Summie, I understood my camera more in one day than over the three years I have had it. Summie brings a lovely balance of instruction, encouragement, and authenticity to her workshop. Every photo I have taken since the workshop has been on the manual setting. Just reading that sentence makes me smile. Growing Confidence is the perfect name for this course. It is more than a set of “how tos.” It nurtures creativity, and provides the tools to express that creativity. ” ~Maria, San Antonio, TX

You can also read about Laura’s workshop, one of our two beautiful Virginia teachers, by CLICKING HERE.

Kelli held her workshop in her Chicago home, taking her students from room to room–trying out different types of lighting–and all the while getting to be in her family’s intimate space.  What a gift; she is the BW master!

One of Kelli’s students said;  “i loved loved loved the workshop! Ours was a very intimate class and I thought it was perfect. Kelli you are truly talented and I am so thankful that you are sharing your expertise with us.” –Shannon, Illinois

I can’t wait to hear the feedback from Allison’s workshop our other Virginia teacher, who can make magic happen with the most unruly toddlers!

We have been mentoring our CONFIDENCE Teachers every week since they came for the training this last summer.  They are the most special, talented and encouraging group of women.  I know I keep saying it, but it bears repeating “I’m SO EXCITED for you to work with them!”  When the first feedback rolls in, and it’s this wonderful, I basically jump up and down and and start dancing with Brian because we’ve had our own dream of raising up an army of women who know they are creative, have a voice, and walk in confidence to raise other women up!

We have fourteen certified CONFIDENCE Teachers throughout the nation with Spring Workshops coming up!  Click here to find a teacher near you!  And be inspired!

xo,

m

p.s.  ONE Spot Left in the two day Seattle CONFIDENCE Workshop next weekend with me and Brian!

 

4 Comments: “Eight Inspiring Photos of Women Putting Their Dreams to the Test”

  1. Jess Robertson says:

    Loved reading all of this amazing feedback and seeing photos from everyone’s workshops! You guys rock! So proud to be part of this group :) xoxo

  2. I was the “one special gal” in Tina Erdmann’s class…cheering on all the CONFIDENCE teachers! And thanks MeRa and Tina for a great experience! :)

  3. Love all this learning going on with these amazing teachers! :) :)