Photo Contests!

Running on Empty winner for New York CONFIDENCE Workshop!

Me Ra Koh

Our New York Confidence! Workshop is coming up April 16-17 in Jersey City, NJ. And we have our Running on Empty Winner!

It’s Genie for Me Ra, who’s cooking up more fun for all of us!  Her new book, Your Baby in Pictures, is SOARING SWIFTLY UP THE BESTSELLER LIST!  And did you get to play in the ‘Ask and Learn’ on the SOARORITY Forum last night with Christine Barker? Wasn’t that FUN and so HELPFUL! You can still access all her tips and resources by clicking HERE – and also last month’s with Sara France!

As you know Me Ra and Brian try to include one deserving woman–a mom Running on Empty–per workshop. Then a hard working panel of past winners read the nominations and cast votes. It’s an honor, privilege and no cake walk to do. Heart-wrenching so many times. And each one of them so deserving. Me Ra and Brian honor each one of you – whether others nominated you or you nominated yourself. Your strength, love and passion are beautiful to witness, especially through times of hardship. Thank you again for sharing your stories and those of loved ones.

Our winner for the New York Confidence Workshop is …Laura Hanis!  Here is the story of her journey from her nomination:

“I would like to nominate myself for this workshop. This is not the first time I have nominated myself for one of Me Ra and Brian’s Confidence workshops. How do I even articulate why I feel like I, me of all people, deserve this opportunity. Confidence is something I have always struggled with. Not just in photography, but in life. The word itself makes me want to cringe. As a child, I was sexually abused by a family member for many years. The ramifications of how that has touched my life is something I can’t put into words. I believe it’s why I struggle so much with confidence. In so many areas of my life, I have been unbelievably blessed. I am originally from Olympia, WA and found God in my sorrow as a high school senior. It’s amazing what God can do in a person’s life. I found peace in my incest and began ministering to high school students in a youth program. Through that program, I met my husband and moved to Ohio to start a new life with him. I never realized how much I would miss my family. I think because of the abuse, I didn’t think I would. It never occurred to me how much of a rock my mom has been in my life until I left her and moved 2500 miles away. When my husband and I had our son, I didn’t want my mom to miss anything. So, I took out my little point and shoot to capture every single moment of my son’s life. Little did I know that photography would turn into my passion. In December, I applied for the SOAR scholarship and feel so energized and excited about being a part of the community. In my previous confidence nomination for the last Seattle workshop, I spoke about how badly I desire to be able to stay at home full time with my son; that raising him means more to me than I ever dreamed possible. It would be such an amazing gift to be able to have my passion for photography be my career. I feel so lacking though; that my work is not good enough to share with others. How can I confidently pose people, when I feel such a lack of confidence myself? I guess that being a part of this community is showing me that these workshops are so much more than just having confidence in photography and that excites me. It gives me hope. It would be an amazing gift since it’s also on my birthday weekend :). I know every woman nominated for this is so deserving and have faith that whomever is chosen is the absolute right person to go. Thank you for reading and good luck in choosing!”

Maybe your birthday did the trick 😉 But I doubt it. You deserve this. Congratulations Laura! We’re all rooting for you to find Confidence and skill to fuel your passion beyond belief! Email me,, to let me know if you’re coming, okay? Please do so by Sunday night at 9pm PT. (I know you sent your address to me, but we ask that you email me first). If it doesn’t work for you, we have beautiful Runner Ups.

Will you help me congratulate Laura!


*Me Ra is EXTENDING the Early Bird Price of $799 (instead of the normal $999) until Thursday, March 24th at midnight PST!!  Make sure you get on this deal to save some dollars!

Our THREE SPRING Workshops are New York, Seattle and Chicago!  They are already more than half full, so click the city below for more details on how to grab your spot!!  If confidence is your goal and photography your passion, it’s an amazing pool to jump in.  You never know what may open up!

New York, CLICK HERE! (over half full!)

Seattle, CLICK HERE!  (4 Spots Left!)

Chicago, CLICK HERE! (5 Spots Left!)

Major hugs to all!



  1. BreAnna says:

    CONGRATS! Laura, you are so deserving of this and I’m so happy for you! Have fun & enjoy your birthday…what a fun way to celebrate! 🙂

  2. Laura Hanis says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? My mom just happens to be visiting from Washington right now (I haven’t seen her for 9 months) and we’re jumping up and down. I am moved beyond words and literally have tears in my eyes. Thank you SOOOO much. All of you women that were nominated deserved this. I can’t tell you how humbled I am for this opportunity.

  3. Debbie says:

    Congratulations Laura,.. what a great birthday present… Enjoy yourself and realize that you are special and deserve this time to grow, and become all that you are meant to be..

  4. Addie says:

    Congratulations Laura!!

  5. Debbie Allan says:

    Congratulations to you Laura. You deserve this so much. I know you will have the most AMAZING experience that weekend. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate your birthday. I look forward to seeing your images on the blog very soon.

  6. Sarah C says:

    Yeah Laura! Look forward to meeting you in NY, less then a month away now! I remembered your soar application because it was displayed just a few from mine. Who could forget that cute little fella on the dock. Cheers!

  7. ajira says:

    Congratulations Laura!! I cannot WAIT to hear all about how the workshop goes for you. Sending you much love and encouragement!

  8. Natasha says:

    ~Congratulations Laura,what a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday.
    ~May your confidence bloom and your dreams soar with this experience.
    ~This is well deserved:0)

  9. Claudia Constantino says:

    Congratulations Laura! I am so very happy for you! Attending Me Ra’s workshop was such a healing and life-changing experience for me! I hope the weekend fills you with the inspiration and confidence needed to follow your dreams! xoxo

  10. outlook 2010 says:

    serve. I’m constructive I’ll be back again yet again and can deliver a number of of my friends.

  11. […] head shots get me all the time!  I just plain love this shot!  Way to go Laura Hanis (Our Running on Empty Winner)!And this snuggly moment is so precious Laura! Nikki Buchalski, what a super shot of “Baby […]

  12. […] to express my gratitude.  On Friday, I received word that I was chosen as the recipient for Me Ra Koh’s New York Confidence 2011 Workshop Running on Empty Contest.  What does that mean?  That means I’m going […]