Speaking Events

Creative Progression: Unexpected Photo Shoot of Indian Girl and Mama

Me Ra Koh

I LOVE the unexpected photos.  When you are least expecting it, you see a connection, an interaction, a gesture of love, and you have to capture it.

Brian and I work as a team.  Some couples finish eachother’s sentences, we finish eachother’s creative visions.

While I was doing the live photo shoot demonstration for Creative Live,

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Brian caught site of the most precious moment.  One of the families who volunteered to be my models was an Indian mama and toddler.  They were standing in the back, watching me work with the other families.

But look at how they were standing–or more so, look how the little Indian girl was standing!

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This next one is my FAVORITE!

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*Both photos taken with the SONY NEX 6 and 50mm lens.

I love how Brian walked me through his creative process.  He said the moment was unexpected, and yet it had a creative progression to it too.

He told me that he noticed the two interacting out of the corner of his eye.  This was the first shot he took.

0001-Creative Live Demo_Me Ra Koh

He knew there was a dynamic between them that he wanted to photograph, but wasn’t sure what it was so he started by shooting the obvious.  Then he moved in closer and took the first photo I showed you.  But he felt like the framing was to tight, and the mom’s presence wasn’t powerful enough.  So he widened his shot on purpose to frame the mom’s hand on her hip.  That added detail completed the moment.  The vertical photo, the second shot, told the story.

This post is not about having a co-shooter with you.  Instead, the reason I’m sharing this with you is to encourage you in the creative progress–the creative progression–we often go through to get the shot our heart is looking for.    Many of us need to cut ourselves some slack (you know who I’m talking to :)) and start by shooting the obvious, if for nothing else, to just get the obvious shot out of the way.  Then we can start to listen, to dial in more to which direction our heart is pulling us, not giving up until we feel the words rush over us–until our creative spirit says ‘Yes.  That’s the story my heart sees.’

We may not capture it the first, second or third try.  But if we feel it come knocking, we can’t give up until we find it.  Most likely, we are the only ones who can give it voice.



*wonderful, beautiful photos honey.  you never cease to inspire me!


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  1. beautiful. yes, i love the the idea of creative progression.

  2. BreAnna says:

    Love it!

  3. Julie Watts says:

    The creative progression is SUCH a real thing! After over 10 years of weddings, I was actually nervous before the one last weekend; because it was for my BFF. We had looked forward to the day I shot her wedding for SEVEN YEARS. AND it was the first time I was meeting all of her family. Add the pressure of everyone saying what an incredible photographer I was. I actually couldn’t sleep the night before. I really wanted to be at my creative peak, and I knew I couldn’t “will” it into being. In retrospect, I can see that I wasn’t looking at my photo results in terms of the progression. I was ignoring the fact that it starts with the obvious and then I lead into “my” shot. I had been worried that I would only see the obvious. But of course, that didn’t happen. I DID progress through each shot and created some incredible images of one of my favorite people on Earth!

  4. Me Ra Koh says:

    Julie, you are such a treasure to this community. thank you for ALWAYS sharing so openly with us as you journey through you own creative progressions. I’m sure you ROCKED that wedding, but I treasure you sharing your thought process. I know it makes all of us go “ahhhh” with relief b/c we aren’t the only ones who fear the same things–no matter what your credentials or how long you’ve been shooting. Can’t wait to see the photos girl!

    Love you wholeheartedly!!