Last week, we wrapped up another amazing online Magical Light class!  Wow, the students pushed themselves for over four weeks–on so many levels with their creative limits and technical glass ceilings.  Every week, the progress was so exciting–so powerful!

I wanted to share a handful of Before and After examples that I know will inspire you with capturing magical light!

Maria from Texas captured this first photo for Week 1’s exercise.  We start with the basics for understanding light, and each week we build.


Look at how she was finessing the light, calling the shots of what she wanted her camera to capture in the degree of light, by Week 4!!  Isn’t this photo below AWE-mazing!  She not only has two different skin tones, but very little light.  And yet, “the light went on” for Maria in how to capture it all!  Stunning Maria!

Magical Light online course with Me Ra Koh, Award winnig photographer

Jill Ann (also from Texas) started the class with a strong foundation for her camera settings, and yet the freedom and creativity that unleashed with her over the four weeks…just beautiful!

Here is a photo from Jill Ann’s Week 1 photo assignment.

Week 1 photo assignment BEFORE exxample of magical light

Check out the magical light that she captured from a recent family portrait session!!  Can you see the beautiful, yummy, magical light that she is finessing?!  GORGEOUS!!!

Magical Light AFTER example by Jill Ann from Me Ra Koh class

I loved hearing this week from her about how wonderful it felt to be able to dial in her camera settings and capture her vision!

Magical Light in Tween Bedroom

We had another Jill, from Pennsylvania, in our group who worked SUPER hard with every photo assignment!

This was from one of her first photo assignments (super, SUPER cute little guy with dog!).

BEFORE example from Magical Light online course

Look at how she started taking more and more control of the depth of light she wants by metering the light on their faces and allowing the background to be darker.  See how intimate the lighting can make a photo’s story feel?  Amazing.  This is a HUGE step when moving off Auto or Aperture Priority mode.  I am so proud of you Jill–me and the whole Critique Team!!!

AFTER example from Magical Light online course with Me Ra Koh

In Week 1, part of the photo assignment is to BLAST out the background window light to experiment with the extremes of how bright you can go.  Colleen did a wonderful job with this.

Week 1 Example from Magical Light Class with Me Ra Koh by Colleen

By Week 4, we are finessing the degree of light we want for our photo’s story.  If you’ve never shot in any thing but Auto mode, you can still achieve this–but you have to switch to Manual mode.  Finding creative freedom and confidence in Manual is what the CONFIDENCE Workshops are all about, and the online class helps practice it.  So seriously, check out Colleen’s photo below!  Would you say she did a MASTERPIECE job at finessing the window light for her photo’s story of this sweet lamb?  Colleen, takes my breath away!

AFTER Example of Magical Window Light from Me Ra Koh online photography class

Emily from Ohio told me during the course that she started photography in Manual mode.  And then somewhere along the way, she was encouraged to shoot in Aperture Priority mode instead.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but you do hit glass ceilings in being able to capture dramatic , magical light.  This is what Emily turned in with Week 1.  Super sweet and gorgeous lighting.

BEFORE example from Magical Light Course with Me Ra Koh by Emily

But I LOVED getting her note by Week 3.  The class’s photo assignments had her shooting in Manual mode again, and she was finding her creative voice even more!  I could just hear how empowered she felt!  It is AWE-some!  But don’t just take my word for it!  Look at how creative she got with her lighting in Week 3!  Her creative spirit felt renewed and free to look for as “little” light as possible to tell the story with that much power and drama.

AFTER Example from Magical Light course by Me Ra Koh, from student Emily

These Before and After photo examples could go on and on.  We capped the online class at 20 students, and we have 20 awesome transformations that happened!

There is no way I could have done this class without my awesome Critique Team!

Julie Watts was back and gave so much wonderful input, as she always does!  Her input is always so detailed and empowering!

I also had four of our CONFIDENCE Teachers join our Critique Team.  I took them all through an intensive Critique Training, and by the end of the course, they each clocked over forty hours!  Their feedback to the students was invaluable!  In fact, they knocked it out of the park with such power that they are now offering “Breakthrough Photo Critiques”.

Click on Jess, Amy, Nicole or Kelli for all the details!

If you are stuck in a creative rut and wonder if some constructive, empowering feedback would make all the difference, check out what Jess, Amy, Nicole and Kelli’s private “Breakthrough Photo Critique” Sessions offer!  I’m pretty sure these online students would agree that their critiques played a huge part!

A big congratulations to our online class!

Teaching this class every June is one of my favorite parts of the summer.  It is so powerful and rewarding to see you take the video content, lessons and photo assignments and put them all to work.  And then I get to VISUALLY see the powerful growth that happens in only four weeks together!  But it’s because you gave it your all!  You went for it, got uncomfortable, let me push your own creative boundaries, and look at what you accomplished!

I wish I could fly you all here and treat you to homemade margaritas!  You earned it ladies!



p.s.  Needing Confidence in Your Photography?

We released Priority Registration for our last 2013 & 2014 CONFIDENCE Workshop in Seattle with me and Brian.  If you didn’t get that email, let us know asap.  Spots are going fast!