Photo Shoots

PURPOSE: Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop

Me Ra Koh

PURPOSE: Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop! – Dallas Frisco Photographer-Me Ra Koh

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

The Reviews Are In!

“I’m ending this weekend empowered and inspired! Me Ra and Brian have brought so much meaning and purpose into the portraits they create with their clients. It is a shift every photographer needs to experience. Photos shift from just being a photo into an entire story that brings meaning to both the photographer, and most importantly, the client.” -Kim, WA

See Their Results from the Weekend!

“Absolutely amazing and life changing!! I am walking away with confidence that I can do this! No doubt in the world! I got this thanks to Me Ra and Brian and their studio lighting and posing workshop! A MUST for any photographer! I loved everything about this experience!” -Jun, Texas

How Do You Pose Someone in an Authentic Way?

WOW, it felt SO GOOD to be back teaching our photography workshops!

This first one was all about how to use studio lighting and pose people with purpose. Photographers who were once intimidated or overwhelmed by the whole subject lit up with confidence! For the last 17 years, our CONFIDENCE Workshop has always been about dispelling intimidation and confusion, replacing it with inspiration and confidence.

But there is something different about this new workshop!

We went deep into purpose.

This wasn’t just any studio lighting and posing workshop about how to use a 3-light set up or a 1-light set up. There weren’t 50 poses to do with a model. We spent two, nine hour days, teaching our ladies how to light and pose someone for a specific purpose.

And the purpose is always anchored to the client’s words.

What does that client need to see every day? What truths about their identity do they need to be reminded of? When they look at their portraits, what do they want to feel? The answers to these questions begin to form the purpose behind how we light and pose someone.

Seeing Joy and Strength!

Leslie’s daughters used joy and strength as two key words to describe their mom. Those two attributes drove the purpose behind how we posed Leslie. Hand on her ribs (not hips) speaks to strength, and Leslie’s smile ALWAYS radiates JOY!

Let’s unpack this even more!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

Next is the same photo with the light in it. I thought it might be helpful for you to see how close the light is to her and the angle of the modifier. By turning the modifier away from the backdrop and toward Leslie, it makes the backdrop that much darker. This is also one of my favorite modifiers, Profoto’s 4ft Octa. It casts such a soft, flattering light on our subjects. And if I only had one modifier to work with, it would be this one every time!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

Giving Shape to a Shapeless Dress

I also love that Leslie brought a dress with pros and cons. Pro: she LOVES the green color of the dress. Con: she doesn’t feel like the dress gives her much shape. Perfect!!! I got to walk our studio lighting and posing workshop attendees through steps to help give shape to a shapeless dress while also capturing Leslie’s joy and strength.

We bring shape to the dress with one hand on her ribs (not hip). Placing the hand on the ribs helps bring more shape to a woman’s figure. One foot is on an apple crate to add shape as well. Her other arm is draped in front with a slight bend in the elbow to direct our eyes down, slimming Leslie that much more.

And then we turned on the music and tapped into even more of her joy and strength!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

The movement of her dress also adds shape. And then the lighting. Brian had that light high and pointed down at an angle so shadows would give her shape too.

More Examples of Joy and Strength

I love how Kristal got in close and captured Leslie’s joy and strength!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

And then she switched it up with a different dress and movement! So proud of you, Kristal! You jumped in and went for it! And you did such a great job communicating with your models!

Teresa shifted the light and brought in a gold chair. I LOVE the lighting on this and the strength I see in Leslie’s face! Great job Teresa!

Jun captured this last one. It is so powerful. Knowing Leslie and how important her faith is to her, this speaks volumes. Beautiful job Jun!

New Purpose as Photographers!

For years, I never asked my clients what words they’d choose to describe their resilience–their Rising Phoenix within. Or what words would they use to describe what they love most about their loved ones. But all that has changed!

I love people and feel drawn to their emotions and connections. We now do phone calls with every client before they come. Then our team meets and discusses how best to light and pose them to capture the words they’ve shared. It was such a simple but HUGE mind shift and creative shift for our workshop attendees! I LOVE how Kim worded it in her above testimonial.

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

In fact, at the end of the workshop, we asked the ladies if they thought a more appropriate name for this workshop is PURPOSE. They completely agreed!

Not only did they feel like their whole approach and philosophy of photography had shifted, but they felt like their own personal purpose was ignited! They found NEW meaning in being a photographer, a creator! I’d say that is a HUGE, WONDERFUL WIN for our studio lighting and posing workshop!

See Their Best Of Photos!

Everyone had homework before they came to our studio lighting and posing workshop. The homework was something we built on all weekend. They were asked to find specific poses on Pinterest conveying certain attributes and feelings. We walked them through the tricks and ease of dialing in your studio lighting. And then the models arrived! Each day we started with unpacking a specific pose that had purpose to the model. This was a BIG eye opening exercise for them! Then we built on that pose into even more poses and ideas.

They got to watch me build a vision with the client/model as we discovered poses that best reflect their purpose. It was so much fun! So powerful! Our workshop ladies got to see it all come together!

What Does FEARLESS Look Like?

One of Ankita’s words is FEARLESS! I LOVE how the women captured this FEARLESSNESS in so many different ways!

Dustin knocked it out of the park by using the white-side of the V-flat to create a high key lighting look that accentuated Ankita’s fearlessness that much more!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured, Photo by Dustin Yonke

Teresa went the other direction with her studio lighting and posing in the workshop! Isn’t it AWE-mazing how many different ways we can communicate being fearless?!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured, photo by Teresa Rish

Olena switched up the pose for another strong, powerful variation of being fearless!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured, photo by Olena Thompson

What Does CAPABLE look like?

Lucas and his family recently came to FIORIA for their own Senior Portrait Experience. One of Lucas’s words to describe what he likes about himself is the word CAPABLE (love that word!). Our studio lighting and posing workshop attendees went to it on practicing how to capture an energy that says CAPABLE.

I love how Jun had Lucas squat and yet still capture an energy that speaks volume of him being capable. Placement of hands, angle of shoulders, turn to his head…it’s all these subtle shifts that declare their words in powerful ways. (This is the same backdrop and light for every portrait. But notice how the angle of the light creates a completely different look and color.)

I love how Kim had Lucas stand with a buttoning of the jacket!

Dustin shifted the studio lighting and posing on Lucas for a totally different look and feel of being capable.

And Teresa zoomed in, shifted the lighting, and had Lucas’s hands accentuate being capable in a completely different way.

Notice how each photographer used Lucas’s hands to add to the message of being capable. We talked about how the hands can be just as important as the face when posing people.

I love the energy Kristal captured in this one! Notice where Lucas’s hands are too!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured, photo by Kristal Jones

What Does Focus Look Like?

One of LT’s key words in this season is FOCUS. Kim posed her in such a way that says focus one hundred percent!

Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured, photo by Kim Kisslo

Dustin had LT lean forward, folded hands, and zoomed in for her idea of what FOCUS looks like.

LT is radiant! Her JOY is infectious! Jun did something totally different with LT’s hands to communicate focus and joy within the focus.

I switched the light’s angle and showed the ladies another version of FOCUS. A second word that LT shared is PURPOSE, so this was a pose that combined both those attributes.

Women of Purpose, Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

Where is the Studio Lighting?

If you’re like me, you really appreciate knowing exactly where the light was for the shot. Here it is for those kindred spirits! You can see the bottom of the light stand and the modifier above.

Women of Purpose, Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

The Impact of Our Workshop

So many times throughout the weekend, workshop attendees told us how they’ll never see photography the same way (often with tears in their eyes).

Women of Purpose, Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

Brian and I are so passionate about the experience we give every client! It was such a GIFT to spend two days teaching it to our workshop attendees! The Rising Phoenix Experience is a huge part of that. But it’s not limited to it either. We got to walk our workshop attendees through the impact you can have on families, graduating seniors, and branding. And it’s all about PURPOSE. Purpose in what our client needs and purpose in how we light and pose them.

50 Poses Gets Old

When I started doing studio lighting and posing, I didn’t want to use the same 50 poses for every person who came. That doesn’t feel creative to me AT ALL. Fifty poses get old fast. Instead of creating, I felt like I would be re-producing the same look over and over again. I think a lot of us get in those creative ruts with photographing families or individuals. How do we move beyond that and feel like our work has more meaning than an annual holiday card?

With our new approach to photography, oh my goodness, you never get bored!

Every experience you give your client is totally different! You are co-creating with your client! And the end product has profound, powerful impact on their lives. Our studio lighting and posing workshop ladies now have the tools to give this type of experience to their own clients. And they’re also giving to themselves a deep sense of reward and meaning to their photography.

Business Side of Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop

For several weeks, Brian worked on a 25+ pg workshop workbook with every technical detail you need to know in regards to studio lighting! That alone is now such an awesome resource for our ladies! The technical made simple in a hundred different ways!

Brian and I also spent time teaching them the business side of what we do from pricing to helping our clients pick something powerful for their wall. A majority of our workshop ladies expressed how burned out they felt with their photography. We got to unpack what makes our photography, our sense of purpose as creators, sustainable and rewarding. Whether these conversations happened over dinner or during the workshop, you could see each woman being refreshed, re-inspired, re-ignited!

“This was an incredible workshop and all around amazing experience! I learned new photography and lighting skills that will take my creativity to another level. And I got to meet wonderful people and make new friends. Lots of learning and LAUGHTER! So thankful I made the decision to take this workshop!” -Kristal, LA

And Boy…Did We Laugh! LOL

It’s not a “Me Ra and Brian” photography workshop if your face doesn’t hurt from laughing so much! LOL!

Women of Purpose, Studio Lighting and Posing Workshop for women with Sony Artisan Me Ra Koh, Disney Host and NY Times Featured

Brian may have spontaneously did some stand up comedy with the light stand. LOL

“I learned so much and came away feeling so inspired and empowered to create! I always love how much I learn at Me Ra and Brian’s photography workshops, but even more than that, I just love the friendships that are cultivated and the laughter that is shared.” -Dustin, FL

The Vulnerability of a Workshop

I took a specialized workshop last month from Zig Ziglar’s team on speaking–specifically speaking to corporate audiences that are arena or stadium size! Have I ever spoken to an arena, stadium size audience? Not yet! But when I do, I’m going to be ready! It’s not about vanity but believing a vision I had thirty years ago to do just that!

I was so nervous about it. Was it the right timing? Would it be worth the investment? Was it even necessary?

Anyone ever struggle with those voices? After this two day workshop, I walked out with a whole NEW LEVEL of SOLID CONFIDENCE and a NEW skill set! It was worth every dollar because of how much it shifted my goals, confidence, and enthusiasm! I left so inspired! My speaking manager already sees the difference, and my bookings have tripled! She thought I was solid before! Well, look out! LOL

Brian is also taking a workshop in January! It’s actually a workshop he’s done, but you know how you can only process so much information the first time around? He’s so excited to redo the workshop with our business coach and see how far he’s come in three years and what new gold nuggets he will bring home to better serve our clients.

As creatives, we’re often alone in our creating. Yes, we can have community on social media. I love our Rising Phoenix Facebook group for this reason. But being connected on social media never compares to being in person. Zig Ziglar, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, John Maxwell, and more great leaders all emphasize the importance of investing each year in YOU, your skill set, your creativity, education, to stay inspired, keep building your vision and community around yourself.

But I get it. Taking a workshop can feel so vulnerable. Will it pay off? Or will everyone be too advanced, and you’ll leave feeling more discouraged?

Our Workshops Guarantee…

No matter how old you are or what your level of photography is, when you take a CONFIDENCE, PURPOSE or PORTRAIT OF THE WORLD travel photography workshop with us, we guarantee magic happens!

You take a leap of faith, trusting us with your desire to grow. That leap is sacred to us! Not all photography workshops are created equal, but I can say with confidence that you’ll always get MORE than you expected from ours! That’s why ladies return to us after 17 years! And Brian and I are so PROUD of it and so HAPPY to be back teaching them!

We’ll be announcing dates for our original CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop for women soon! As well as our Studio Lighting and Posing with Purpose workshop. We may only offer them once in 2023 because we are so busy with our Rising Phoenix Experiences. But if you’re interested in either, email me (mera at to be added to the waitlist so you’re the FIRST to know when we open the dates! Put “workshop waitlist” in the Subject Line. xo

still we rise!

Me Ra

One Last Testimonial

“Me Ra and Brian have done it again! They have made something that always intimidated me easy and now I’m EXCITED to practice these new skills! I’ve had such a shift in how I will take photos with purpose and meaning! And I’m so inspired to encourage people to have these photos for themselves because I now see the powerful impact it will have on their lives. I’ve fallen in love with photography all over again! This workshop changed everything!” -Teresa, CA

Special Thanks!

BIG thank you to all our wonderful models; Ankita, LT, Lucas and Leslie! You were all AMAZING to work with!

Thank you to SONY for being an incredible partner since 2007!

Ginger, all our workshop ladies wanted to meet you! Thank you for doing such a beautiful job with the hair and makeup!

And Danon, your catered lunches blessed, nourished and sustained all our creative, mental energy! Thank you for making the lunch spread so FUN and BEAUTIFUL each day!

What is a Rising Phoenix Experience?

This is about you finally seeing the truth of who you are. Seeing your resilience on the wall every day, reminding you of who you are, transforms you from the inside out. If you are overwhelmed with all the reasons why you shouldn’t invest time or money in yourself, I want you to pause and think of all the obstacles you have overcome in your life whether it’s a weight loss journey, depression, anxiety, cancer, the seasons changing with kids leaving the nest, the list goes on and on.

You’ve most likely given to everyone else. The time has come to give something transformational and lasting to you. Just read the following stories.

Losing 150lbs and celebrating it with a special Rising Phoenix Portrait Experience at FIORIA by Me Ra Koh.

Have you achieved a weight goal (read Jamie’s inspiring story of never going back after significant weight loss). Maybe you’ve overcome a serious illness, been promoted in your career, pivoted with resilience in your career, or found healing from something painful in your past?

Do you relate to Tiffany’s story? Maybe you need a deeper healing from childhood trauma. You’ve done the counseling but still struggle to see the truth about who you are.

Or maybe you’re turning 40, 50, 60 or 70+ and feel the need to reflect and celebrate who you are and the possibilities of what this next season of life holds? 

The first step is to fill out our Phoenix inquiry; CLICK HERE.

Michelle Found Courage to Step Beyond Grief

Meet Michelle. She is definitely someone who has known great courage. At one time, she was an interrogator for the US military in the Middle East. This 5’4 woman knows confidence. But two years ago, the loss of her mom changed her life.

There are some seasons in life when we feel unshakeable courage and other seasons that leave us feeling lost. After great loss, it takes great courage to step forward.

Kristina Overcame Cancer

Meet beautiful Kristina who overcame cancer! Even though she was thankful to have defeated this enemy, she struggled with seeing the scar that remained. Once she stopped to think about all of the incredible obstacles she has overcome, she realized that now was the time to celebrate the strong woman she is today. The Phoenix Portrait Experience allowed her to celebrate not only the healing but also embrace this scar. Now every morning Kristina wakes up to see that brave, powerful woman on her bedroom wall. Nothing will ever stand in her way again.

Click Here to see her Phoenix Portrait Experience!

Crystal drove to us from Las Vegas.

A single woman who has always been known for being responsible and quiet, yet there is another side of her that wants to come out. A side that is brave and takes risks—that believes she is worthy of doing something special not just for others but for herself too. Every time Crystal looks up from her computer in her home office, she wants to be reminded of that part of her who is beautiful and brave.

All these women have something in common, they were ready to …

Rise above the ashes of what other people have said
Rising above their fear and doubts
Embracing their beautiful Rising Phoenix within.

Through our Portrait of a Phoenix Experience, they not only did something special but transformational.

I want to invite you to experience it too!

The Portrait of a Phoenix Experience includes:

  • Signature Phone Calls with You and Loved Ones
  • Professional Hair & Makeup
  • Wardrobe Consultation & Vision
  • Phoenix Photo Shoot with Me Ra Koh (Sony Artisan, Disney Host, and Live with Kelly & Ryan Guest Expert—You’re in good hands. I will pose you, drop shadows and light on you in the most flattering way that radiates your Phoenix Rising.)
  • Same Day Cinematic Reveal & Custom Design Session with our In-House Design Specialist
  • Beautiful Artwork of Your Rising Phoenix, Custom Designed for the Best Place where it will Speak Truth to You Every Day.

CLICK HERE to fill out the inquiry and begin your Rising Phoenix Experience!

I can’t wait to speak soon!
Me Ra


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Modifier: Profoto Octa 254712 RFi 5ft Softbox:
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