Posts Tagged ‘Refuse to Say Cheese’

Okay friends, the countdown has started.  Next Monday, December 21st, is the DEADLINE for our SOAR! Scholarship!  We want to spread the word to as many people as possible.  To help make that happen…I am throwing in two incentives!  :)  Any great parent understands the power of incentives, and since the SOAR! Scholarship is my baby…you bet I’m going to parent the heck out of it! 

I am giving away a $100 Gift Certificate to AMAZON and a set of our Award Winning DVDs, Refuse to Say Cheese and Beyond the Green Box, to ONE lucky winner this week!…Friday actually! Who can’t use an extra $100 in their Holiday Shopping budget!  Right!

By entering, you will have a chance to get your name entered into a hat COUNTLESS times by completing as many of the following tasks as you can.

To enter, send ONE email with the subject “I SUPPORT SOAR!” to [email protected] listing which items you have completed with documentation as needed (photos, links to your blog, etc.)

Deadline to enter (i.e. Send us your email with which tasks you completed) will be this Thursday, at Midnight PST!  The winner will be announced Friday!

 

One Entry (For each item on the list your name will be entered once)

-Leave a comment on my blog this week and type the words “I SUPPORT SOAR!” at the end of the comment

-Add me as a friend on Facebook (you get one already if you already have:)

-Become a fan on the brand new Me Ra Koh Fan Page on FB, and post a comment with the phrase “I SUPPORT SOAR!” in it.

-Follow merakoh on Twitter

-Twitter about the SOAR! Scholarship with #SOAR in your status update (you can even more points if you Twitter every day between now and Thursday!)

-Post a status update on your Facebook page about the SOAR! Scholarship Deadline on Monday, December 21st with a link to the SOAR! website

-Email five friends, telling them about the SOAR! Scholarship AND our Newsletter (including the opportunity to win a Sony DSLR by signing up), include a link to the SOAR! website and our blog (www.merakohblog.com) for the Newsletter!

-Post a comment on the SOAR! website, underneath my video, and include “I SUPPORT SOAR!” in your comment!

 

Two Entries (For each item on the list your name will be entered twice)

-Email ten MORE friends, telling them about the SOAR! Scholarship and our Newsletter (including the opportunity to win a Sony DSLR by signing up), include a link to the SOAR! website and our blog (www.merakohblog.com) for the Newsletter!

-Write a (positive :)) review at our www.refusetosaycheese.com site for any one of our products. CLICK HERE to see all products!

-Twitter this review with a link to our www.refusetosaycheese.com site.

-Twitter about SOAR! every day between now and Thursday with #SOAR included.   

-Twitter your reviews (see below) once a day between now and Thursday with #SonyMom included!  

 

Five Entries  (For each item on the list your name will be entered FIVE times!)

-Write and post a blog about the SOAR! Scholarship that mentions the courageous SOAR! Video Entries on the website, and why you believe in soaring!  AND, link to my website and the SOAR! website (make sure to include the links in your email to us)

-Write and post a blog review about our Award Winning DVDs, Refuse to Say Cheese and Beyond the Green Box and link to our website and store!  If you haven’t purchased our Award Winning DVDs, and you want to take advantage of these points, you can order the download version by CLICKING HERE! 

 

Ten Entries!  (yes TEN!)

-Purchase any one of our Refuse to Say Cheese products (DVDs, 101 Kits, Women’s T-shirts, Baby Onsies, etc.) OR any one of our products on the Top Ten Stocking Stuffers blog post, before this Thursday (at midnight PST) and you will earn TEN ENTRIES!  Be sure to copy and paste your receipt in your “I SUPPORT SOAR!” email.  If you already purchased one of the sexy, Sony DSLR copper brown cameras—just copy and paste your receipt. 

 

We will track your specific number of entries from the ONE email you send us!  Be sure to make your subject line says “I SUPPORT SOAR!” 

 

Need inspiration today?  If yes, look no further!  The SOAR! website has some amazing Video Entries that you can see live!  Check them out today!

 

Still in process of making your SOAR! Video? 

We noticed that we have HUNDREDS of SOAR! Applications but only 30 plus SOAR! Video  Entries.  Your application will only qualify if you submit your SOAR! video too.  Gets those videos in ladies! 

 

Couple quick Video Tips from the judges and MORE FAQ:

1.  It’s most ideal to have YOU speaking in your video.  There is going to be a lot of video blogging in the next SOAR! year, and the panel of judges want to see how you hold yourself on video.  You don’t have to be perfect by any means, but to see you give it your best shot is gold. 

2.  If you’d like to redo your video, GO FOR IT!  Just re-upload a new video and let us know that you’d like to switch it out.   CLICK HERE to upload your video!

3.  A panel of hand picked judges will pick the THREE winners for SOAR!  They will base their decision on two things; Your Video Submission and Your COMPLETE SOAR! Application.  

4.  Winners will be announced on January 1st 2010!

5.  Click Here to SOAR! 

 

Coming up tomorrow!  I can’t wait for tomorrow’s blog post!  We are going to share one mom’s story of what happened when she tried my Christmas Tree Photo Tips!  :)   You’ll get to not only hear the story but see all the Photo Tips for yourself! 

And later this week, you get to meet Sony’s Director of Marketing!  To show Sony’s support for SOAR!, the Director of Marketing made a video for our SOAR! Partners page!  Goes live this week!

Pray for our SOAR! Blog Tour this week!  Brian and I donated a Blog Tour to SOAR! that will reach 200K mommy bloggers in the next several days!

 

Okay, that is it for Monday!  (phew!)  We’ve got a BIG week ahead of us!  Send us your “I Support SOAR!” emails, and let’s spread some inspiration!

xoxoxo,

Me Ra

p.s. Thank you Crystal Garcia for this fantastic Contest/Entries idea!  You are beautiful woman, wife, mother, friend and sister, and your work is beautiful too.  We are so thankful for you and Brian!

read more

Christmas lights went up this weekend in our neighborhood. We even got our first Christmas card! Eeks! I’m still finishing off our pumpkin pie! I’m not ready for the holidays to be official! Are you? You know what, I don’t think it matters if we’re ready. I think the holidays are here whether we’re prepared or not. So let’s form a circle! Gather in! :) We must support each other! I’ll support you tossing the leftover pumpkin pie as I make room for the eggnog. I’ll support you buying your own stocking stuffers b/c let’s face it, Santa doesn’t stuff our stockings the way mom did. So here we go ladies and gents; this is my Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for the Photo Enthusiast whether you are a beginner or pro!

I admit, you need a BIG stocking for #1. But it’s so worth it! The moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here!

#1 Me Ra’s Sexy Copper Brown, Sony a330 DSLR Camera and Lens!

Price: $549.99 BUY HERE!

Family Circle magazine highlighted this Copper Brown DSLR in their Favorite Holiday Electronic Picks! Check it out on the newsstands this month! And remember, the secret Sony trip we made this summer? We were filming a revised DVD for them called Kids in Focus. I’ll blog about that amazing experience more later. But here is the coolest news, when you purchase your new Sony Alpha DSLR, Sony will include a copy of our newly released Kids in Focus DVD! Exclusively available at Sony Style stores and Sony.com! If you get it, you must PROMISE to send me a photo of yourself with your sexy, new camera!

#2 The Buttery, Background 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Price: $149, BUY HERE!

I love this lens b/c it gives you the low fstop ability to create buttery, blurry backgrounds! FYI, all the images, shot live, for the Kids in Focus DVD were captured with the Sony a330 DSLR and 50mm lens! And believe me, I pushed the camera and lens abilities to the limits, and they both blew my expectations out of the water!

#3 NEW Refuse to Say Cheese Organic Cotton Baby Onesies w/ FOUR Colors to Choose from!

Price $24 Holiday Special $19.20 till 12/4!

Coupon: stockingstuffer BUY HERE!

Style 1

Style 2

Photography Printed Onsies for Babies

I’ve been wanting to make Refuse to Say Cheese onesies forever! Aren’t they sweet! They are by far one of my favorite Stocking Stuffers! We even have two styles to choose from for the little ones. Sizes range from 6-18 months. And the boys versions are green onesies with the brown camera!

#4 Can’t forget about Mom! NEW Refuse to Say Cheese Women’s American Apparel T-shirts!

Price $29.99 Holiday Special $ till 12/4!

Coupon: stockingstuffer BUY HERE!

Style 1

Photography Printed Tshirts for Women

Style 2

Photography Printed Tshirts for Women

You asked for them, and we got them just in time for the holidays! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!!!

#5 Our Award Winning Instructional DVD Set.

Price $ 49.99 Holiday Special $39.99 till 12/4!

Coupon: stockingstuffer BUY HERE!

Instructional Photography DVDs w/Me Ra Koh

Fox News recommended the DVD set on TV as a top Holiday pick! NAPPA gave the DVD set their prestigious Gold Award! Sony’s new Kids in Focus DVD was inspired from this DVD set. And thousands of customers have emailed us their praise for Refuse to Say Cheese and Beyond the Green Box! What are you waiting for!

#6 The Sony External Flash for a price that’s hard to BEAT!

Price $129.99 BUY HERE!

I love this little flash because it solves the red eye and black cave problem in seconds. With this flash, you can point it toward the ceiling and bounce the light. Bouncing the light gets rid of all the red eye, and your kids don’t look like they are climbing out of black caves. It’s light weight, easy to snap on, and the price is pretty amazing!

#7 The BEST Photo Editing Software EVER: Adobe’s Lightroom 2.

Price $169.99 BUY HERE!

We do ALL our photo editing with Adobe’s Lightroom. I could sing Lightroom praises for hours. This software has made photo editing ten times faster. When you have little ones running around, fast post process is a BIG deal. Lightroom is super intuitive and Dynamic with a capital D! Ask other users, they will confirm what I’m saying.

#8 Stop Reinventing the Wheel with our Popular 101 Kits!

Price: $99, Holiday Price $79.20 till 12/4!

Coupon: stockingstuffer BUY HERE!

Essential Nuts and Bolts for Photography Business

Do you want to stay up all night trying to reinvent the wheel on starting a photography business? Or, do you wish that someone did the research for you and just shared it all with you? I SHARE IT ALL in our popular 101 Kits. You’ll receive photo release waivers, marketing tips, package pricing, and much more. Just read the reviews when you click to buy now! We’ve received hundreds of HAPPY emails from customers! And when you buy two 101 Kits, you get an even better deal. Our Portrait 101 and Wedding 101 Kits are the most popular!

#9 Chic jill-e Camera Bags that will make Her Giddy!

Price: $24.99 to $384.99 BUY HERE!

extraordinary Pro camera bags by jill-e designs deliver function and fashion

My girlfriend Carey bought me a Jill-e Camera Bag for my birthday a couple years ago. Love it! Love it! You can’t beat the classiness of these camera bags for women (and they’ve got some pretty hip ones for men too–Brian approves! :))

#10! Me Ra’s best resource for Artistic Inspiration: The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity-10th Anniversary Edition.

Price: $26.40 BUY HERE!

If your creativity needs to be inspired, this book is for you. There are endless exercises that jog your creativity, whether it’s tackling fears, beliefs we have regarding our worthiness to create, you name it, this book tackles it! It is my Bible when it comes to creative inspiration. You’ve heard me quote it several times, why not treat yourself or someone you love to their own copy!

_________________________

You have it friends! Our Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for the Photo Enthusiast! If your purchasing a product from our store (tshirts, onsies, DVDs, 101 kits) remember to use the Coupon: stockingstuffers. This Coupon will give you 20% off until this Friday, December 4th!

Happy Holidays!

xoxo,

Me Ra

read more

16 Baby Shoots in 6 Hours!

I want to start by thanking every parent who emailed me a photo of their beautiful baby. As I said before, my Inbox has never looked so beautiful. It was painful to narrow the final count down. If you were not picked, it’s not because I didn’t love your baby. I LOVED all the babies (too much!). For this first book project, I had to fill specific holes, certain traits, certain ages, etc. But thank you so much for sharing your sweet baby with me. I really loved meeting them through your email. And I will keep all your emails on hand for any future projects!

After receiving hundreds of beautiful baby submissions, we narrowed the entries down to 16 babies.

On Saturday, I did 16 baby shoots in 6 hours. Brian filmed the whole thing so you’ll get to see behind the scenes footage of how and why I set the babies up!

A HUGE thanks to all 16 babies and their wonderful families. It was a honor to work with all of you! Thank you so much for your time.

And what a time we had!

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

I’ve never tried stacking that many baby photo shoots in such a short amount of time. Has anyone? :) Part of me was like, ‘Am I popping crazy pills?’ When Brian heard what I was up to, he was like “Really Me Ra? Your going to do a photo shoot for sixteen babies in six hours?” But when you have a book deadline, you’ve got to do what it takes. Right! So yes I am! And, yes we did. And those babies had me laughing all day.

16 Baby Photo Shoots in 6 Hours w/Me Ra Koh

We hit every emotion you can imagine from crying to cooing to screaming to laughing in seconds. And yes, I also brought a handful of different outfits for myself. I’ve been photographing babies long enough to know that I’ll get spit up on or peed on without notice. But it’s all worth it, if I get to hold those little ones before we say goodbye.

What a day! As Pascaline would say “Foofy-Do!”

p.s. A big thanks to my beautiful Genie for helping me with the emails. And I want to give a BIG shout out to Troy Nesby for all these Behind the Scene photos as well as helping us with all the in between details throughout the day! We love you Troy!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Remember to submit your Photo Contest entries soon! We’ve got two photo contests going on right now that you don’t want to miss! I’m loving the submissions, but if you haven’t submitted-you’ve got until December 1st. To read the details on what our Photo Contest Themes are CLICK HERE!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected]!

read more

I have to admit. I think I was holding on to the slim hope that at some point yesterday, our new website/blog would go live. But alas, some bugs are more buggier than others. So in the meantime, as the team continues to iron with amazing diligence, we move forward.

And what better post, then to tell you what my kids did last night. The kiddos know we’ve been working so hard on the new website and a handful of other projects. So while Brian and I were working on the new site, they decided to surprise us. They came downstairs dressed us as teenagers (or at least this is what they picture teenagers looking and acting like ;)). It was hilarious!

Photo Tips for Moms w/Me Ra Koh

I know what your thinking ‘underwear on the outside of your pants?’ The kids explained that teenage boys are always wearing their pants so low, and since everyone can see their underwear, why not just wear them on the outside? Totally!

Blaze wanted this shot. As I was shooting, he kept saying “That’s classic mom. Just classic.” He told me “classic” is a teenage word. Duh, mom.

photo tips for moms w/Me Ra Koh

Notice how they planned their socks? Yes, that was planned.

I asked them to give me their best “teenage expression”.

Photo Tips for Moms w/Me Ra Koh

Isn’t that funny?! I love the socks dynamic in that one too. :) I don’t even know if they “know” any teenagers. Nonetheless, they have a definite idea of what it means to look and act like a teenage boy.

This is my favorite! So much attitude going on.

Photo Tips for Moms w/Me Ra Koh

So how did I make the lighting happen on these images? I used my external flash.

Photo Recipe Time! This is something you can totally try yourself! If you have an external flash, turn the flash on auto and leave the buttons on the back of your flash alone. Turn your camera to an ISO of 800, Shutter Speed of 60 or 1/60th, and an fstop between 4.0 and 2.8–up to you on fstop.

Then take your flash head and instead of pointing it at your kids, point it at the ceiling. This is called “bouncing”. Bouncing gets rid of the shadows and looks more like natural light. I love to bounce behind me, but for these images I tried bouncing off the ceiling. And that’s it friends. If you try it this weekend, show me what you get! Email them to [email protected]. I totally want to see!

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a new website/blog early next week! (I pray to the website gods, please, please, please!)

xoxo, Me Ra

p.s. Oh, Don’t forget to submit your Photo Contest entries! We’ve got two photo contests going on right now that you don’t want to miss! I’m loving the submissions, but if you haven’t submitted–you’ve got until December 1st. To read the details on what our Photo Contest Themes are CLICK HERE!

p.s.s. We have 16, yep SIXTEEN!, babies showing up on Saturday for our Baby Extravaganza Photo Shoot. Brian is going to video tape the whole thing, so maybe we can give you a baby peak! It should be interesting with that many cute babies!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected]!

read more

We are in the last leg of having every piece in place for the SPARKLY, NEW Me Ra Koh Website/Blog. I know I’m super excited, but all I can feel at this moment is complete exhaustion from doing hours of ironing. You know, the kind of ironing where you iron out one wrinkle, and then up pops a new wrinkle. Our web designers have been amazing with design and implementation. They have been so patient with me, and I know I’m not the only one staying up till 2am to try and get every wrinkle ironed out.

Here is a fun sneak peak at the new “right margin” of the blog (in progress)!

Me Ra Koh Photography Blog

This little sneak peak announces a couple great things!

1. If you read the fine print for the Newsletter box, you’ll notice that if you join our Newsletter you are automatically entered in a new drawing to win a Copper Brown Sony DSLR (Me Ra’s Favorite) camera! Yep, not joking! Sony is celebrating our new site with us, and they are doing it by partnering on a new DSLR camera giveaway! So get ready to sign up for the Newsletter b/c on top of winning the camera, you’ll also get the scoop on all kinds of stuff like…new, sweet, little baby onsies that say “Refuse to Say Cheese”! (just in time for the holidays! :))

2. Do you see that button below the newsletter called SOAR!? Well that is a seriously cool project Brian and I are working hard and fast on. In a nutshell, we’re wanting to create scholarship, SUPER COOL scholarships, for women. So stay tuned! I’m updating our progress on Twitter, so if your not following me–head over there now and look for “merakoh”.

The website home page is also going to feature FOUR videos! I can’t wait for you to see them. Brian at Taco Lamp did an amazing job with the video editing! Brian and I pretty much filmed them with a camcorder, and Brian Garcia used his editing magic to make the videos sparkle! Brian Garcia has also been staying up until 2am to put the finishing touches on the videos. (Thank you so much Brian! How lucky am I? I got two great Brians on my team. :))

And our web design team…well, they are amazing. Their name is Chopping Block. I don’t know if you remember me posting a tweet in early summer about looking for a web design team. I got a handful of responses, and then we ended up finding Chopping Block in this random sort of way. They do all the design and web work for Rachel Ray along with other brands like Phish, Dave Matthews, Sex and the City, etc. They have incredible experience in what it takes to brand a personality online.

It seemed like a good fit at the time, and let me tell you, it’s been an incredible fit. They have challenged me, helped me fine tune my online brand presence, and taken us to a new level. I can’t wait for you to experience their magic on the new www.merakoh.com.

The experience (with even more surprises than drawings and scholarships) happens tomorrow (fingers crossed)!

Now to get back to the ironing!

xoxo,

Me Ra

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TWO NEW Photo Contests, TWO WAYS to WIN! Deadline is December 1st! To enter and WIN, read the details HERE!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected]!

read more

Want a fun photo exercise idea for the weekend? The gold and red leaves won’t be here much longer. When the sun breaks this weekend, grab your camera, make a pile of leaves and let the kids go for it!

Photo Tips for Taking Fall Leave Photos! Me Ra Koh Photography

I love to get kids involved with photo shoots. I had these two build me the BIGGEST pile of leaves. I told them to grab two handfuls and on the count of 3, throw the leaves in the air as high as they can. But kids will do exactly what you tell them and sometimes nothing more or less. So that just means they need even more photocoaching. I told these two to keep their arms stretched high to the sky and smile as the leaves fall down all around them (and I demonstrated what I meant with exaggeration). We practiced a couple times (I shot each run through–just in case). When the three of us knew we were all on the same page, we yelled our countdown “ONE, TWO, THREE! THROW THE LEAVES!”

For all my Photo Recipe Lovers: Aperture/ftsop was a 2.8 to give me a blurry background. ISO was down to 200 for maximum color saturation. With all that sunlight, the Shutter Speed was cooking at 640th of a second or 1/640–plenty fast to freeze their action and smiles.

Have a wonderful weekend friends! Brian and I get to spend the weekend with the beautiful November Seattle CONFIDENCE Workshop ladies, starting with a fun Meet and Greet at our house tonight. We are so excited. And next week, oh my goodness I can hardly wait, our new website/blog goes live with special announcements and goodies for the holidays!

Love you all!

Me Ra

p.s. If you emailed us about your baby being in my new book, we will be in touch by Monday! The photo shoots will happen on Saturday, November 21st, starting at 9am. If your baby fits what we are looking for, we are going to email you time slots so you can sign up. All the details (location, what to wear, how long the session will be, etc) are coming soon so watch your Inbox for an email from me or Genie! xoxo

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TWO NEW Photo Contests, TWO WAYS to WIN! Deadline is December 1st! To enter and WIN, read the details HERE!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected]!

read more

Meet Amanda DiMonda!
Amanda DiMonda Portrait Photography Featured on Me Ra Koh
Amanda is our Amazing Mom feature today. She is based out of Long Island, NY. And she has two beautiful twin girls!

1. Amanda, when did you start your business and what was the turning point of taking it from a hobby to a business of charging people and putting up your beautiful website?

I have always had a love for photography; however, my first love was animals. I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian. In college, I was always interested in taking a photography class and for one reason or another I never did. I did take my camera around campus with me when I needed time for just me and to reflect on life during a time when I was really trying to find myself.

Fast forward six years later and I found myself becoming a mom of beautiful twin girls.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

My camera and I formed a new relationship. Would you believe I actually started off taking pictures with my Sony video camcorder?! It also took still shots and it was the only camera I had. After literally thousands of pictures later, capturing my girls every moment, my video camera fell at a birthday party and broke. While it was being fixed my husband and I went to the store and he asked me what kind of camera I wanted. I said, “Well if I could get anything it would be the Canon Rebel XTi.” At the time I had been drooling over it for a very long time. It was then that he looked at me and said “OK.” What?! I was really just joking and throwing it out there…never expecting to actually get it. He told me that it may take time but that everyone always compliments me on my pictures. And maybe one day it could end up being a business purchases, and I could start my own photography business.

I received my camera for a Christmas present in 2007 and never looked back. I was literally floating. Photography woke up something inside of me that I knew was there but never actually took the time to listen too. My camera let me show and “say” more then I could ever put into words. More and more people continued to tell me that I should pursue photography because they loved my eye.

It wasn’t until last winter (2008) that an amazing woman I met by chance through a mommy and me class, asked me to take pictures of her boys. She knew I could do it, just like many others telling me, before I did. And for some reason I listened and said I would love to. After my first photo shoot I was re-newed in spirit and on such a high that I saw all the pieces of my life fall into place. And just how amazing it was to produce such a priceless gift for another person and truly love every minute of it. That is when it started. I did do a few jobs after that for free and slowly started charging people from there. In April of this year, I decided to put up a website to have some way of actually showing what I do. Through my website and mostly word of mouth, I have started to take off. Some days I find myself holding my breath wondering if it is truly happening. I mean how many people can honestly say they LOVE and have such passion for their job?

2. What inspires your photography?

Definitely my children.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

It is amazing how quickly they go from one stage in life to the next. I want to remember all the little things. The way their eyes light up when they do something for the first time, or how innocent they look while sleeping or laying next to their puppy, all those silly face only they make so well. I could go on for hours, but just to watch them grow and come into their own…is so beautiful and takes my breath away.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

They inspire me to try my best to capture that, so one day they can look back and treasure those moments and see how amazing they have always been.

3. What inspires you as a person, artist?

Just life in general and a desire to want to show people what I can’t put into words.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

I am a deep thinker, always have been and I am sure always will be. Growing up I always felt “older” then I was and the things that went through my head were not the normal things I should be worried about or thinking of. I was always sensitive to situations that would normally go right over a child’s head. Life itself was such a big question to me: Where exactly did I fit in this big world? It amazed me to think of all the possibilities. I saw and felt so much, yet I never found a way to let all that energy out and have always just taken everything in. My camera bridged that gap. Now I can show people what I see and help them notice something beautiful in places they might never have thought to look or taken the time to feel.

4. What made you decide to do photography as more than a hobby? What was your turning point?

I found my self 25 years old, a mom blessed with newborn twins and unable to have any more children due to a heart condition that was a result of my pregnancy. That one stung for a while. As thankful as I was that I was given two amazing children, I didn’t like being told I could not have any more kids. I LOVED being a mom and thinking that all these moments that pass too quickly would never happen for me again was heart breaking. Those tiny newborn hands, those belly laughs and toothless grins. Everything. Only once. It crushed me.

Fast forward a few years later and I realized that there is a reason for everything! I found my camera, this passion…and I actually took that “leap”. Just the way I felt after taking pictures for someone else for the first time, it was so empowering. I finally saw all the pieces of my life fall into place, and it felt right. And I find that I am blessed again every time a family allows me to step into their lives for just a moment and capture their own child’s story.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

I get to relive those moments every time I do a session! It truly is a special gift and dream within a dream!

5. What are the classes/workshops/DVDs you’ve watched to teach yourself photography? Were they helpful?

I honestly have never taken a photography class or workshop before. I have learned what I know from playing around and reading information anywhere I could find it. Then I bought Me Ra’s Refuse to Say Cheese and Beyond the Green Box DVDs. They absolutely helped me in more ways then one. They showed me in simple terms how to understand Aperture. That was the most technical thing from it that I truly appreciated getting out of the DVDs. Then even more then that was the confidence it inspired in me. The DVDs, just your blog in general and you, and the information you provide and your encouraging sincere way. How you show in more ways then one that you can take this amazing passion and make into whatever you want it to be. All you have to do is look any fear or doubt straight on and jump in with two feet and the rest will fall into place. Whenever I feel my self confidence lacking all I have to do is read through your blog and take a deep breath. Then I realize I can do this, just keep moving forward.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

I also attended MeRa and Brian’s CONFIDENCE workshop in Minneapolis, and I am still in awe of the whole experience. I had hit a glass ceiling in my photography and had not even realized it until the first day of the workshop. By the second day I realized why I was where I was, and Me Ra and Brian gave me the tools and the courage to go out there and challenge myself in new ways. I can not even put into words how amazing these workshops are…and there is NO question. Everyone should attend one…it is that simple!

6. What is one or two pieces marketing/self-promotion ideas that you can give our newbies? (something you did to get your name out there)

Definitely business cards. Even if you do not have a website yet, and are just starting out. I would absolutely tell anyone to just get business cards. You can put your own pictures on one side and on the other just have your name and contact information and write down photographer or child photographer how ever you choose to word it. Hand them out to friends and family to give to people, or ask if you can leave them at certain businesses. Or if you just meet someone and the conversation comes up you have something to show a piece of your work and have all the info right there.

I have also found the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation. I did not realize all that I had been through children could be subjected to as well. It is such a misdiagnosed condition and as soon as I found it, I knew I wanted to do my part to help them any way I could. I decided to donate 10% of my prints profits during a certain time frame to their organization. When they found out they were so excited and wanted to help promote me as well and in turn hopefully helping them at the same time. So they posted about me on their website, and I have gotten recognized through that. If there is something that speaks to you…something you would love to help out in some way–you can do it with your photography…you can do it! You never know the possibilities that can arise and at the same time you are helping others and that always feels amazing.

7. What was your first “paid” shoot like? How did you feel on the way, during and after?

My first paid shoot I was very nervous. I was so scared that the “idea” of actually being paid would just get in my head to much and I would never give them something they would actually want to pay for. I had my work cut out for me as well as it ended up being the coldest day of the winter up until that point. It was of two little boys and the youngest was only about 15 months. He was so cold and not happy to be outside, and he cried every time we tried to get him to walk around. I totally understood why! It wasn’t until I got home and started looking through the images that I realized ‘Wow I really can do this, I had so much against me with the weather yet I still captured images where you would never known how miserable it was outside and that the little guy was so upset!’ I ended up making them happy and have actually taken their pictures again since then. It wasn’t until I got their mom and dad’s words of how much they loved the pictures that I actually started to breathe again! It felt empowering to make others so happy.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

8. What is the best and toughest part about doing photography while being a mom and wife at the same time?

Guilt and time. By nature I find it very hard to do things for me and when I do…as much as I know in my heart I need them and despite my husband’s encouraging words and support to go get and achieve anything I want…I still feel tremendous amounts of guilt. It is funny to me, as much as this is my business and a job, it is so much fun and I love doing it from the bottom of my heart that I sometimes forget about feeling guilty for going out, away from my family to do a shoot. That I am creating something to treasure for others, making them happy which is priceless for me, and I am contributing to my family at the same time.

Also time, finding the time to sit at my computer and edit all the images I capture. I struggle to find the right time that I am not taking away from my “job” as a mommy or wife and yet not staying up all hours of the night working on pictures and then getting no sleep! (sometimes I just get so into it that I can’t stop to go to bed! Lol! The house is quiet and when does that happen right?!)

The best part is that I get to give people something and make others happy, while at the same time doing something I truly love for me. And I get to share my passion, especially as my children get older and hopefully inspire them to go after their own dreams.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

9. Is there one more piece of advice you’d give to newbies?

To stop waiting and just go for it. Fly. Do it for yourself, especially if you are a mom…You know how we all get to these points where we are doing things for all these people and then we stop for a second and think…but who am I again? It will fill that space and empower you to do more in every area of your life! And don’t let those days where you are lacking self confidence bring you down. Just breathe and keep moving forward…it will come back. You can do this!

And to have a good support system behind you. I could not do what I do with out the support of my husband. He is so enthusiastic about what I do and wanting me to grow and succeed. He is always willing to help in anyway with our girls so I can go out and meet with clients and is always by my side reminding me why I started this and how proud he is!

I love that I can make people happy and slow down for a second in this crazy life and take a moment to appreciate the beauty in love in their own lives.

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

A client once told me that she had never known her husband to cry and as he looked through their on line gallery he had tears. That was the best compliment any one could have given me, especially just starting out.

Through photography I also found a way to give back on a personal level. I found The Littlest Heroes Project, which is a non profit based organization helping children who sometimes feel forgotten because of an illnesses or life altering condition by offering free photography sessions. I have yet to do my first session, but was accepted as a photographer a few months back. I am so excited to be able to take my love for photography and not only start a business but also reach out at the same time and make a child feel wonderful. I am not the founder of this amazing organization or anything to do with how it started, I am just waiting to partake and do my part! If you are interested check them out and see if they are in need of photographers in your area! http://www.littlestheroesproject.org/Littlest_Heroes_Project/Home.html

Photography has opened my life and heart to so many amazing things and I am so honored and thrilled that you, Me Ra, have given me this opportunity to take another deep breath and open up about my incredible new journey. If I can do this anyone can!

Photography Tips / Mom Feature w/ Me Ra Koh Photography

Dearest Amanda, I will never forget meeting you at the Minneapolis workshop. You have such a tender soul. You soak in all the energy around you, and you turn the energy into beautiful images. I was looking at your blog last night, and I was blown away–just in total awe of your beautiful images. You seem to capture the human spirit in such a soft, gentle way. Thank you for sharing your story, your fears, weaknesses, triumphs, your honesty…thank you for sharing YOU with all of us. We are better people today because of you.

Much love, Me Ra

To all our blog readers,

To see more of Amanda’s beautiful imagery, CLICK HERE! To follow her blog, CLICK HERE!

Did you see the last five Amazing Mom features? If so, check them out here!

1. Interview w/ Leslie Webber from Indianapolis, Indiana!

2. Interview w/ Michelle Riddle from Santa Cruz, CA!

3. Interview w/Tracie Stier-Johnson from Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

4. Interview w/Lora Ayers from Atlanta, Georgia!

5. Interview w/Carey Schumacher from San Diego, CA!

p.s. AND, would you like to be featured on our blog too?

If you have attended our workshop, purchased one of our five 101 Kits , or watched our DVDs, and feel like your life has taken a new and wonderful turn for the better, then please send me an email at [email protected] . I will send you directions on how to be featured! We can’t promise to feature everyone, but I want to do this type of blog post more and more. Hundreds of people have sent us the most amazing emails regarding our workshops and DVDs impacting their life, their before and after photos, their revived passion; I would love for all of you to hear those stories!

read more

We have a winner to announce! As many of you know, we ask a handful of women to be the judges for our Running on Empty contest. A number of these women are also former winners. We enlist their help because there is no way Brian and I could ever choose. And even with this contest, every woman emailed a message of struggle on picking one winner. Every story was amazing. Every woman nominated deserves to be recognized. So again, I want to thank all the beautiful women who were entered or entered themselves. I am amazed at your strength and love. Thank you for sharing your life with us here. Thank you for being so strong and not giving up. You inspire me more than words can say.

The votes were collected, and we have a single winner. The winner for the November Seattle CONFIDENCE Workshop is Natalie Teabo! Natalie, Brian and I want to welcome you this weekend to the Seattle CONFIDENCE workshop. Your story brought tears to my eyes, and I would love the honor of pouring into your creative spirit this weekend. I know this is cutting it close for you to make arrangements. We hope all the logistics can work for you. Can you email Genie ([email protected]) by tomorrow at 12 noon to confirm your coming? If it doesn’t work for you, we have beautiful Runner Ups. Thanks Natalie, and I hope we get to meet in person this weekend!

For those of you who missed Natalie’s story, here it is from her own words;

I am going out on a limb here and nominating myself. I feel bashful about doing this. However I have nothing to loose except an amazing weekend finding confidence!! I giggle when I see the topic running on empty. I find myself there so often. I am on a different path of life that I ever imagined. Three years ago I birthed my third son Hudson Sawyer he was a tender soul and the sweetest thing you ever have seen. Hudson came into the world with many challenges and our lives had change drastically. We spent three months watching him fight for life, surgery after surgery of praying hard for healing and preparation for a child that would need care for probably his whole life. Hudson died in our arms at Seattle Children’s, he never made it home to his own crib. We held him and he past away right there in my arms, something that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Heartache and suffering that I have never felt I didn’t know a heart could hurt,literally hurt!

Our dream of having more kids did not die with Hudson however my husband and I were freaked out of having another child die and so we began praying about option number 2 adoption. Amazingly a year later almost to date a sweet little girl was placed in our arms in Ethiopia she became a healing for us (nothing can replace Hudson)but a new vision was given to us. If we have lost a child, perhaps we can be the answer to moms praying that God would help them keep theirs alive. We are now waiting on two more kids from Ghana, West Africa. I picked up a friends camera while working in South Africa at an HIV home this past December and I fell in love! I have found life through the lens. My hubby bought me a Nikon D90 for mothers day and I decided If I love it this much I should begin to take picture for profit or at least to help with our adoption expense. A friend introduced me to your blog and I saw your weekend, however with our adoption cost I knew I can never go. Then today like a beam of light your post about winning a spot. As silly as I feel nominating myself. I would be tickled and honored to join you. I just thought I would give it a try!

Natalie, I really hope we get to meet you! You are an amazing woman and mother.

Also, a BIG THANK YOU to all the beautiful babies that have flooded, literally FLOODED, my Inbox! My Inbox has never looked so cute and squeezable! Wow, the Northwest has some serious sweetness going on! We will be in touch with you by the end of the week!

xoxoxo,

Me Ra

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TWO NEW Photo Contests, TWO WAYS to WIN! Deadline is December 1st! To enter and WIN, read the details HERE !

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits ! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected] !

read more

Your Baby in My New Books!

We’ve got some great news to share! It’s official! Our book contracts are signed and done! We are doing TWO photography books with Random House! And I’m wondering if you and your baby want to be in it!

Baby Photos w/Me Ra Koh Photography

As I’ve been drafting the chapters for each book, setting images in place for different Photo Recipes and Photo Tips (yes, lots and lots of Recipes and Tips coming!), I’ve noticed a couple spots I want to fill. Be sure to stay tuned into the blog because I’ll be announcing a couple different age groups that I’m looking for.

Let’s start with babies that are 0-12 months. Do you have a cute baby that is publish worry?! (Okay, I just typed that and realized that was a DUMB question! That doesn’t narrow it down much, huh!). How about this…

1. Do you live in the Greater Seattle area?

2. Are you and your baby free the weekend of November 21st and 22nd?

Baby Photos w/Me Ra Koh Photography

If you said “YES!” to both questions, you may be in luck! Here’s what you need to do!

1. Send us an email at [email protected] with the following;

A. JPG of your baby.

B. Age of your baby

C. Baby’s birth date and year.

D. Any special story you’d like to include

2. Pencil me in for November 20th and 21st (we will let you know the specific date and time as soon as we have some logistics figured out over here)

The photo shoot will be on me! That’s right. I didn’t stutter. It’s an $800 value. You’ll get a High Res DVD of the images and a $50 print credit to Pictage for pro lab quality prints! AND, if your baby is chosen, we will be sending you an autographed first copy of the book!

xoxo, Me Ra

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TWO NEW Photo Contests, TWO WAYS to WIN! Deadline is December 1st! To enter and WIN, read the details HERE !

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits ! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected] !

read more

After months of intense work, we are less than two weeks away from launching our new Website, Blog and Store! The countdown has started!

I can’t tell you how excited I am! This has been one of the toughest, scariest and EXCITING projects ever.

For one thing, the designers convinced me to branch out from my colors: pink and chocolate brown. (talk about a roller coaster of emotions–AAH! Pain. Change. Pain. Unsure. Excited. Nervous. Really? Wait! Ooooh! Ahhhh! Wow!)

Welcome to the new color pallet for Me Ra Koh! Pink and brown are still prevalent, but we’ve got some fun new accent colors to play with!

Me Ra Koh's New Color Palette

Here is a sneak peak at how the designers are mixing the colors!

New Me Ra Koh Website Sneak Peak

I’m only showing you a pinch because we’re not totally done. But I still want you to see a sneak peak so you have an idea of what is coming! The Website, Blog and Store are all getting an incredible face lift! Change is always scary for me, but this feels really good inside.

What do you think so far? (as I bite my fingernails! :))

xoxo, Me Ra

p.s. More next week about who our amazing design/web team is and this crazy process of refining our brand!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TWO NEW Photo Contests, TWO WAYS to WIN! Deadline is December 1st! To enter and WIN, read the details HERE!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! The DVDs were also recently featured on FOX News as a TOP GIFT recommendation for the holidays! Refuse to Say Cheese and , click either title!

Thinking of starting your dream Photography Business?! You can totally do it with our popular 101 Kits! Inspired from the 100’s of emails that Me Ra Koh receives each week, asking the how to’s of having a Photography Business, Me Ra has compiled all her answers into her popular 101 Kits! For more info, click on the titles of your choice, read the reviews and make your dream a reality! And don’t forget to send your success stories to Me Ra at [email protected]!

read more