Artist Living

The Creative Journey is Often Unclear: The 1000th Post!

Me Ra Koh

On June 13th 2006, I wrote the first sentence to my first blog post;

“My first blog…the pressure almost makes you never want to start one. But here I am because I know I’m going to love this once I get the hang of it!”

Can you hear the anxiety in my voice?  I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But after five years, ONE THOUSAND posts, and 22, 960 of your comments, I have come to LOVE this daily conversation with you much more than I could have ever imagined.  As you can see from my first blog sentence, the idea of starting  this (whatever “this” would become) felt daunting, but I thought it might be a wonderful way to combine my love of writing with my passion for photography.  In those first months, I had five visitors; Brian, me, my mom, me and me.  🙂  Five years later, there are 50K plus unique visitors a month who meet me here, every morning, as we push through our doubts and fears to live our dreams.

With today being the 1000th post, I spent some time looking over the blog’s last five years.  Wow, what a transformation.  The most rewarding part is that the transformation has not only been in my life but many of yours too.  I want to start today’s special 1000 post by celebrating some of you.

Do you remember Shawna?  I will always remember this amazing mom who shared her story of having her car repossessed right before her first photo shoot.  Everything inside her wanted to quit, but instead she borrowed a car and went for it.

When I feel intimidation loom over me, I think of Shawna and she gives me strength.  You can read Shawna’s inspiring story here!

Lynda Kennedy’s video is another story that sticks out to me.  She is a woman determined to beat all odds.  Even though she didn’t win the SOAR! Scholarship, she pushed through her disappointment and found herself soaring with her photography dream.

When I feel foolish for pouring my heart into something that doesn’t pan out, Lynda’s story reminds me that our honest efforts are never wasted, not one second of our time has been in vain. If you haven’t, you must watch Lynda’s video, an amazing story of determination!

Last year, we took the kids and did a photography workshop for an orphanage in Cambodia.  I will never forget the experience of trying to explain Aperture through a translator.  The most GLORIOUS fun!  Sreyown Sun was the only female student.  As we went into the city for some hands-on learning, I watched Sreyown light up with the camera.

The only camera understanding she had was our last two hours of teaching.  Her photos were AMAZING–completely out-of-the-box.  When I feel intimated by all the things I don’t know to pursue my dream–when those lies come and say “You aren’t qualified ENOUGH to pursue that”, I think of Sreyown’s raw passion and joy–two things that are more powerful than any knowledge we can possess.

As I look over the last five years, I am so deeply moved and thankful for all of you.  We have approached the looming mountains of our impossible dreams, looked at each other, and have decided to still give it a try.  Because how will we ever know if we don’t try?  Together, we have made the word “try” a sacred practice whether it’s the new mom who emails me her results from a Photo-Recipe from Your Baby in Pictures or the 20 plus women

who gather in cities across the country for our CONFIDENCE Workshops and produce images that inspire us and remind them that a creative outlet is something they are worthy of!

Authenticity has been at the heart of my vision for this blog.  A safe place to grow and flourish has been my hope for our community that gathers here.  If you are new to the blog, I welcome you with all my heart.  I am so excited for you to journey through past posts and meet women, like yourself, who are living their fullest, creative lives.

To all of you who veteran visitors to this blog, thank you for journeying with me.  Thank you for every comment–yes, I read them all and they mean SO MUCH!  Thank you for giving me a place to be transparent as I try to climb my own impossible dreams.

It’s been wonderful to look back at the different posts I’ve written.  As much as I love writing the Photo-Recipes and Photo Tips posts,  I treasure the posts under Personal Reflections and Inspiration for Artists.  In those categories lives the stories of all the nerves that were pulsing through me before my first Nate Berkus Show appearance. Or the posts about taking the kids to Thailand to live in the jungle (and how that has TRANSFORMED our family) to Dealing with Criticism, the Guilt and Lies Moms Face, Regaining Our Power When We Feel Powerless, a Woman’s Power During Uncertain Financial Times, Working at Not Judging Our First Flights and Learning How to Swim with Sharks.

As photographers we sometimes get caught up in striving to have sharp photos–placing the photo’s value not on content but clarity.  And yet the creative journey, the path to allowing our creative selves to expand, is often unclear.  We face our dreams with a blurred photo in our hand of what we think we are pursuing.

There are no guarantees.  At times we look foolish and don’t make any sense to those around us, even ourselves.  But if we quiet ourselves, our nerves, our anxious thoughts, our second guessing, we will hear the strong, unstoppable pulse of life that is underground.  Creation always starts in the dark–whether it is the baby growing inside our womb or the seedlings breaking through the garden’s soil–we are more prepared for this journey than we realize.

We are stronger than we know.

And we have each other to help us go forward when we forget all these truths.

Thank you for being here through 1000 posts.  Cheers to 1000 more to come!

All my love and appreciation,

Me Ra

p.s.  The Street Portrait Challenge conversation is gathering on the SOARORITY forum with your fearless leader, Ariane Hunter, at 5pm PST tonight!  Upload your photos, be inspired by what other people shot and experienced.  And a big hug to Ariane, another woman who leads this community in living our fullest creative lives!


  1. Sara says:

    congratulations! You have been such an inspiration to so many people, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds…

  2. Michelle says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, dear Me Ra on your 1000th post!!! It has been so much fun and inspiring to follow you these last three years. Your blog is a daily staple in my life that I look forward to starting my day with. You always seem to have a way of posting inspiration, motivation, and words of wisdom when I need them most. I am grateful for you!

    Thank you for posting the picture of my Seattle Sisters!!! Hard to believe it has been 2 year since our workshop together! I miss all of you!!!!

    Sending you much love, Me Ra!

  3. jeramy says:

    wow! i’m so thrilled for you….AND inspired to attempt this for myself. i was on post #356 when i turned my blog on standby a couple months back. this makes me wonder if i will start again.

    it’s amazing really how we all tune in every day to see what it is you are going to say….or more importantly, what conversation you are going to start with all of us. maybe that’s a bit of foreshadowing….hopefully.

    so, good stuff! well done….time to celebrate i think. 🙂

  4. Congratulations MeRa!! Thank you for providing a model for honesty and success and warmth. You have taught me more than you will ever know.


  5. Katie Jordan says:

    Cheers to you on your 1000th post! I am grateful for your blog and the words of inspiration and encouragement that I always find. You have been the basis for so many of the connections I’ve made in the photography world, from the Seattle workshop, the SOAR ladies, and the audience members at your SONY platform at WPPI. You’ve brought so many of us together! You taught me how to shoot manually and how to dream bigger. Thank you for being such a wonderful woman. You mean the world to me!

  6. Kionda says:

    Wow, congrats on your 1000th post. Looking forward to your next thousand. 😀

  7. Congrats, Me Ra! I’m so honored to have been following you on your amazing journey so far! I know there are many more wonderful blog posts and years to come 🙂 xoxo jess

  8. Nickie Mullin says:

    Congratulations to you, Me Ra! I read your blog everyday. It has been a sorce of inspiration and encouragement. Looking forward to many more post to come.

  9. Natalie Johnson says:

    Wow, congratulations on making it to 1000! Much love, anguish, and a genuine desire to empower others has come from all the words you have written over the last 5 years and that is what makes you well loved. I appreciate your authenticity and you always seem to write what we have all felt at one time or another. It makes me realize how important relationships are in life even if we don’t see each other much we are connecting here daily as women. I am so grateful for all the amazing women I have connected with here on the blog, Soar, and from the workshop. It has made pursuing my dream so much more fun! I know this has been a family adventure for all of you and thanks to you, Brian, Pascaline, and Blaze for all that you put into the business of empowering women and especially me. May God bless you with many more blogs and adventures to come. Love to you all and enjoy the sunshine!

  10. me ra, i love you … you have done more for me than you will ever realize! happy 1000th and i look forward to 1000 more!!

  11. Kylie says:

    Me Ra you are a beacon and all that you celebrate, share, create and dream encourages me each and every day. You’re well of enthusiasm – I think of you as my own personal cheerleader even though I live in Oz and we’ve never met! So grateful for being able to read and see your extraordinary work, site and blog – so grateful that I found you on FB. Congratulations and here’s to the next grand! xxx

  12. Theresa LaFrance says:

    1,000 posts, that is quite the accomplishment. Let me tell you, I have enjoyed, learned, cried and smiled through all your posts over the last two years. I have also dug down deep and read through most of the older one’s. Thank you so much for your time, love and inspiration. You are a treasured part of my day. Keep up the good work.

  13. me ra! congratulations for not only setting out, not knowing what “this” would become but for starting so many of us on our own unknowns. you are an amazing woman and I’m so thankful and so proud that I know you!!!

  14. Rhonda says:

    Yay for 1,000 INCREDIBLE posts!!! Here’s to 1,000 more. (I’ll be reading every single one of them :)) Love you friend!!!

  15. denise karis says:

    I love seeing you pass new milestones – 1000 posts is amazing and each one has been so valuable. I think I found you around the time you posted ideas for newborn shoots years ago. a million x’s and o’s and I will totally be here for the next 1000 xoxoxoxoxo denise

  16. La says:

    1,000 and counting:) It has been so inspiring to be in on part of your journey. Thank you for giving of your self and the gift of your time and knowledge have touched so many.

  17. Kris says:

    MeRa, Congrats on 1,000 blogs! I’m am proud to say that you are the first blog I have ever read! The way you share your heart and wisdom is a blessing to me! I also can’t wait for the next 1,000! Thank you!!!!

  18. Addie says:

    “The road of life twists and turns, and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” — Don Williams Jr.

    Me Ra – I am so happy that you have been a part of Chelsie’s and my journey. And congratulations on your 1000th post!!

  19. Me Ra,
    I can’t wait to read your 2000th post ! Your voice is so needed in this community, and I am so happy that you provide it!