Part 2: See What the San Fransisco Workshop Captured!

Me Ra Koh

I’m so excited about today’s post!  Get ready because it’s a BIG one!   You get to see what the San Fransisco women were seeing!  Even though there were sometimes four or five women with the same mom and baby or family model, the different view points were amazing–inspiring!   See for yourself!  And if the photos knock your socks off (like they did mine), check out their blogs/websites but most of all, let them know in the comments today!  (Way to go ladies!!  And thank you for all the incredibly moving comments in Friday’s post.  Brian and I read them and were speechless.  We love you!)

Lynde Alvarez captured this moment of little Ms. Maam.  So sweet!  I love the composition that has us go right to baby’s eyes, but mom’s eyes are a soft detail in the background.  I also love that Lynde made this image more black and white than color.  Taking out some of the color makes Little Ms. Maam’s eyes and chubby rolls show that much more!!  Oooh, I just want to squeeze Ms. Maam!

Richelle Wetzel captured this image below.  Notice how tight she got on this mom and baby.  The extreme tightness of how she framed this moment makes it feel so quiet and intimate.  Richelle, it takes guts to go this tight, and you did a GORGEOUS job!

And then we had this little pumpkin who was Mr. Smiles!!   Judith, you did an AWESOME-AWESOME job of capturing his electric energy!!!  But it doesn’t stop with him, I love mom’s expression too!

Heather Elise captured this next image.  There are so many things that I love about this photo.  I love that it’s not all sharp because I can feel the moment more.  I love how tight the framing is.  I love how big and beautiful mom’s smile is. This photo is such a great example of the story telling element: Less is More.

I just have to say one more thing about Heather…SHE PICKED UP A CAMERA FOUR MONTHS AGO!   Look at this family moment she captured!

Baby Corrine was so sweet!  Her personality is already so strong.  She watches everything, a little unsure of what to think, and keeps her eyes on you (reminds me of when Pascaline was a baby).  Sharon Giordano did a wonderful job of catching all that personality in this single expression.  Sharon, WONDERFUL!!

Genie Ohashi (our Genie that works for us!) was drawn to this little peanut too, especially wrapped inside that sweet sling.  Genie, you rocked this photo!

I know this is so unfair, but I had to put up one more of Genie’s photos.  Genie helps us organize all the details for our CONFIDENCE Workshops (and does so much more).  When women sign up for the workshop, Genie is right there to welcome them into the next steps to prepare for the weekend.  This was the first time she ever got to attend a workshop herself, so it was pretty special to have her there.  And this photo below of Michelle Cruz Slape’s little guy (a former workshop attendee) was so priceless.  But as long as we are all clear, Genie, you are not allowed to leave us and start your own photography business!  🙂

Jessica Seibel captured a sweet family moment with Michelle’s family!  I LOVE how everyone has joy on their face, but it’s expressed in four different ways!  Awesome Jessica!

Julie Barnhart from Corvallis, OR captured this sweet, precious moment between mama and son.  Julie, I love the diagnoal motion to the composition on this with mom looking down and her son looking up.  It’s so flattering on mom (not that we have to be because mom is so beautiful), but there is just a wonderful feeling of love and adoration oozing out of this image.

Shara Juenemann flew down from Washington for the CONFIDENCE Workshop!  And we were so lucky to have her with us!  I mean, just look at this moment below!  Look at the little boy’s face!  It’s so FANTASTIC!!!  Great job Shara!!!

Before the families showed up for the live shoot, we talked about several aspects to creative composition.  I love-love how Amy Wakeham used the Third’s Principle in her composition of this sweet family (love those green boots!)

Taryn caught this perfect moment between Jodi and her daughter.  I just have to say that it was a complete honor and gift to have Jodi and her family come be models.  Jodi had applied for the Running on Empty contest, and even though she didn’t win, our hearts were connected to her.  What a wonderful gift for us all to meet this amazing mom in person.  Thank you Jodi for making the time.  You are beautiful, inside and out.

Wait.  Are the attendees all wearing animal ears?  Huh?  Details below with the Group Shot!  🙂  (Richelle Wetzel caught this moment–girl, HILARIOUS!)

After the women were settled with shooting in Manual, I forced them out into the bright sun to take the challenge up a notch.  And holy smokes, they rose to the challenge!!  Kimberly shot this image of Linda Baylis (SOAR! Recipient) and her family.  It is just precious, and it’s done in BRIGHT SUN!  Go Kimberly!

Andrea Hsiao captured this moment below.  I LOVE the emotion on this little guy’s face!  Andrea, runs a powerful non-profit organization in honor of her sister.  I encourage you to check it out and Like It on FB.  It’s very moving and changing the world, one child at a time.

I love the side angle that Josie Freeman shot from. Sometimes we can get stuck with the idea of shooting straight on, but if we shoot from the side angle–a whole new story opens up for us.  Great job Josie!

We talked about the story telling elements in photography.  One of the elements is Defining Details.  Lynde made all of us our own Halloween treat!  We LOVE you Lynde!  I love that Richelle caught this memory!  Great close up, detail shot Richelle!

And speaking of Lynde, Charisse captured a beautiful portrait of her.  I gave some of the women an exercise in taking each other’s photos, and Charisse did a beautiful job with Lynde’s photo!  The expression on Lynde’s face, especially in her eyes, really holds the beauty I found in Lynde too. I must say bravo to both ladies because 1. It’s tough taking head shot type photos and 2. It’s tough having your photo taken and relaxing your face when you would rather be the one taking photos.

Well friends, Jeramy Sossaman finally snuck into our CONFIDENCE Workshop!  Here he is shooting alongside Brian.  But he didn’t really sneak in.  He and Sharon brought their baby Jillian for the photo shoot on Saturday.

I didn’t let him stay behind the camera the whole time though.  Here he is with his miracle baby.  This family is so dear to us.  More on that later!

And now for the Group Photo!!  The ladies really got me!  Genie asked if I could share more about the Pet Photo Shoot I did for The Nate Berkus Show.  I started talking, and then Genie said, “Well, we wanted to give you the opportunity to do another Pet Shoot!”  And all the women whipped out bunny, cat and dog ears!  It was HILARIOUS!  Nicholle Peterson was so awesome to capture my moment of my total shock!

I LOVE the ladies we meet in our CONFIDENCE Workshops.  DC ladies all wore headbands, the San Fransisco ladies wore pet ears!  Goodness, what will they think of next!!

CLICK HERE to watch the Pet Segment!

And now, here are some funny out-take shots for you!

Ajira dives deep into the close-up approach with full intensity, and as you can see, Lynde was meant to model these types of moments!  Hilarious!

When he was a little boy, he wanted to be a bunny because he was so cuddly!  Some dreams never die.  🙂  (Oh, he’s going to get me for this!)

Genie caught this Behind the Scenes moment that is too priceless not to post!  😉

And one more question San Fransisco ladies!  When did this little party happen!  I spotted this on your FB group page, and I’m thinking “I don’t remember this!”  🙂  Hilarious Charisse!  But Genie’s quote with this photo is the BEST!!

“if only I’d known about metering….and had more than my iphone!” from genie

Thanks for the most wonderful weekend ladies…thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’m so proud of you all, and I’m so honored to call you friends.



p.s.  In case you missed last week’s blog post, the Early Bird Discount of $799 for our CONFIDENCE Workshops is now in effect.  We’ve only got three spots left in the Seattle Workshop, but the funny thing is that a handful of Seattle women are signed up to go to the Arizona workshop (and can you blame them?  by February, we will have not seen the sun for five months!  :))!   Brian and I are so excited to offer you the discount for the next two weeks!  Thank you for all your emails and letting us know how much this blessed you.  It’s such a confirmation that we did the right thing!

CLICK HERE to grab your spot and CONFIDENCE for this Winter!

Read more on what past attendees think, wow, last week’s comments were such a gift.  Enjoy!



  1. jeramy says:

    when i read this post today, i’m so thankful. sounds funny, right? i’m thankful for my family. for my best friend sharon and our kids. for what truly is our miracle baby jillie-bean. i’m thankful for our dear friend nicky who finally made it to your workshop to experience what we’ve been telling her about for years. for jody and tim getting to still make it and get amazing family photos done. i’m thankful for all the gals that came to the workshop to take a risk on something that they are passionate about. for the husbands and families that were left behind for a few days and sacrificed financially to sew into their wives and moms. for this generous community, that until my very own “mom with a camera” discovered it, i had no idea there could be a place that is still sincere and wholesome and giving…even behind the curtain. 🙂 brian/mera…i’m thankful for you both so much…that you listened and pushed and risked and didn’t turn in, but out…and that you still do all of those things. we love you guys! but most of all…as if all of this wasn’t enough….i LOVE….wait for it…..wait for it…..that i finally got to shoot at one of your workshops! YES! I SAID IT! i can cross this off my list, finally!!!!!

    🙂 you’re the best.

  2. Me Ra says:

    Jeramy! Your comment made me cry and then Laugh Out Loud!! We love you too!! Soak in your CONFIDENCE photo highlight on the blog today. It’s all you friend, all you! 🙂

  3. Sharon says:

    Jeramy! You have to blog your images!! =D Get the full experience!

    I love reading about all the workshops! And stalking blogs about them! Totally brings me back to my workshop experience!

    And to have had the honor of being one of the models! OH MY! Seeing all the lovely images of me and JIllian… I’ve cried looking at each and every one of them! Me and my teeny girlie! Thank you all! XOXOX

  4. Shelley says:

    Stunning photos! Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. I can’t believe i miised this especially now that i live so close to S.F. I just have been so busy getting settled from our move from Oregon to here. I will definitely have to keep my eye out for the next San Francisco workshop. Thanks MeRa for teaching and sharing so much. I am so inspired by you and the amazing woman you are!!


  5. Sarah N says:

    These photos are awesome ladies!!!

    I was so sad that I missed out on the workshop and have been following on the blog to see how it went. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend one in the future! Until then, I’ll be watching the DVDs and reading this blog to learn all I can!

    Mera and Brian, thanks for all you do! You are an inspiration to so many! 🙂

  6. Lisa K. says:

    LOVE EVERYTHING about this post!!!! You go girls!!!!!

  7. Genie says:

    So many emotions I can’t even write! Pride, love, fun, hilarity, happiness, amazed, revengeful (Me Ra- you’re so wonderful and totally evil. you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout young lady! ;)) . This workshop and blog are a highlight in life.

    Funny thing is, I even have a paid photo gig this week with a musician friend – wow, do this workshop and they call! Their photog can’t do it and they’re calling me in! I’m amazed. (Think of this: cherry red convertible with drums and cello inside. Somebody got a ladder? Brian? You’ll have to come and hear his ‘ladder’ story – it’s worth the price of admission.).

    Thank you both again for creating this amazing learning empowerment community. Jeramy said it so well “sincere, wholesome and giving”. I’m grateful to be traveling this time with you.

  8. Phillipa says:

    Nice work ladies. Loved seeing my sista, Michelle and family, from the Seattle workshop.

  9. Jody says:

    At a time when I’m feeling that there is not a whole lot of “sincere and wholesome and giving” people in this world, it was really nice to read this blog and read your comments. Thanks for the little pick-me-up! I really can’t wait to go! I’m trying to figure out how to make it to the LA workshop… I really need to be there!!!! A whole weekend of “sincere and wholesome and giving” would really do me some good right now. Thank you so much for the beautiful images ladies! Heart warming!!!!

  10. Delanae says:

    I don’t think I can handle looking at all of these workshop photos anymore. Gets me TOO PUMPED and I’m already PUMPED for the Seattle workshop in January. Any more excited and I will have to switch to decaf, and for that they may kick me out of Seattle before the workshop. YIKES!!!

  11. Diane says:

    I am soo hoping to be able to come to a workshop soon especially after seeing all these shots I can not pick a favorite they are all so unique and beautiful!!! You have all done what I try to all the time and that is capture that special moment in time!!! Way to go!!!

  12. Lynde says:

    So ready to sign up for the next one! When is part II? 😉

  13. Michelle S says:

    It is so exciting to see what you wonderful ladies have captured!! Each of the images made me smile!!

    My family and I are grateful for the images that you have all captured for us and we CANNOT WAIT to see more! Thank you, ladies, for sharing your talent with us!!!!

    Jeramy – you deserve a WOOT WOOT for getting in there and having your moment to shoot! 🙂 Does this now make you an official workshop “lady”????

  14. Marlena Reese says:

    Thank you everyone for all the beautiful pictures. We had a wonderful time. Each day a different picture becomes my favorite!

  15. Amazing…absolutely AWESOMELY AMAZING!!! It’s incredible to scroll through all these images and see the pure beauty each of you captured. I am in awe of the power of each and every single image. MeRa when you take the time to string them all together… the images weave a powerful testimony of your truly “sincere, wholesome giving” What a gift you give each time you teach, encourage and bless others with your smile images and words. You breath life into dreams and give hope to those yet even brave enough to fly. This whole post just makes me smile, cry and hold on tight to my own hopes and dreams! Beautiful ladies, just beautiful!

  16. jeramy says:

    @michelleS oh yes….I have been a workshop lady for YEARS! 🙂

  17. @Jeramy…Oh Yes, Yes you have! A lovely one at that! ; )

  18. […] some of you may remember me talking about the awesome experience I had a few weekends ago at the MeRa Koh’s Confidence workshop in San Francisco. I wrote about it here. One of the things I went into that workshop realizing was […]

  19. […] my head like the girls on the can can line. However prior to attending Me Ra’s confidence workshop, it became my nemesis when attempting to consistently capture images in the middle of the day that […]

  20. Lynde says:

    reunion, ladies…seriously…