She Came with Expectation, Part 1

Me Ra Koh

*What’s our Special Announcement?!  Brian and I have decided to extend the Early Bird Discount for our CONFIDENCE Workshops for another two weeks.   More details below!*

It’s hard to believe that we only had two days together– just forty-eight hours.  And yet, I feel this way every time we end one of our CONFIDENCE Workshops.  I get to witness transformation happen in twenty women–every single time.  The inner changes, awakenings, joy, tears, deep laughter–the kind of laughter that is healing and refreshing,

and most of all the confidence that blooms for so many reasons…it’s an amazing forty-eight hours.   Why do these powerful things happen every time?  I have no doubt of what the answer is.  The women come with great expectation.

Every woman comes through the door with expectation for herself.  And in the midst of that, she comes feeling a little afraid that her expectations are to high.  Yet, she still comes–ready to take a risk, a risk that may lead her to uncomfortable places.  But she expects the discomfort to be worth it.  Before she walks through the door the first morning, she has decided that the place she has been existing in is no longer good enough.

Every woman comes with determination to go deeper in their passions, creativity, dreams and confidence.  And it is a honor to spend the weekend with such courageous woman who roll up their sleeves and fight to gain confidence, no matter how vulnerable they each feel.

The attendees aren’t the only women who feel vulnerable.  We also have baby models come the first day.  And I just have to say that these sweet mamas who bring their babies, who feel vulnerable to be photographed, and still let us go wild on experimenting with our cameras, lighting and poses…

…these mamas are just beautiful–glowing from within with their sweet munchkins!

I can’t wait to see what our attendees captured!  Here are a few of my favorites!

We sat this little guy on the table top because trying to photograph a baby on the floor is limiting for how low you can go and vantage points to shoot from.  I also taught the ladies one of my favorite tricks for slimming mom.  Have her stand behind the table top and baby.  She instinctively leans forward which gives her the most flattering, natural pose.  And is that the cutest baby face or what?!!

And then there was this little peanut!  She was all bundled up and ready to head home when I stopped mom.  I’d been helping out the different groups when I spotted the baby wrapped up.  I had to capture it before she left.

One of the things I LOVE about the baby shoot is how the women gain confidence when it comes to shooting indoors!  You don’t always have to be outside waiting for the perfect light.  That’s especially good news if you live in the Northwest, like we do.  With the right tools you can capture amazing shots indoors too–even when your environment looks more like a hotel banquet room than some one’s home!   Wait, we were in a banquet room!  😉

One of the ladies already posted up a few beautiful shots from that old hotel room!  Judith, this was my FAVORITE!

More samples from what the ladies shot to come!

San Fransisco ladies, Brian and I were honored to spend the weekend with you on so many levels.  To watch some of you go from shooting in Auto to shooting in MANUAL (oh YEAH!) by the end of the weekend, to hear about your current trials and see the strength you already possess and the strength that unleashed inside this weekend…I mean if we thought we would hold it together we were mistaken by the time our beautiful Andrea shared her story!  (we love you Andrea!  I think we’d all vote you as our hero!)  Thank you ALL for sharing your hearts, fears and dreams with us! Brian and I are so EXCITED to see what happens with your journey in the very near future. Love, love, LOVE YOU ALL!

And for those of you who haven’t made it to our CONFIDENCE workshop, yes, it’s true…we are extending the Early Bird Discount!  Why?  As I spent the weekend with the women in San Fransisco, I was reminded of how many had been waiting for over a year for us to come to their city. And I thought about how the recent Early Bird Discount only lasted four days instead of two weeks.  Some of you have emailed because the four days came and went to fast for you to get the Early Bird Discount.  I believe with all of my heart that these weekends are meant to be.  Does that make sense?  It seems like every time we do a workshop, every woman that “is meant to be” in the workshop is there.  I’ve read your emails, and I do hear your heart’s request.  I want to support you coming, even if this means we credit money back to the ones who have already paid full price.

So starting today, the Early Bird Discount of $799 instead of the regular price of $999 is re-opened for the next two weeks.  If you need to split the amount up into four payments, use our popular promo code; fourpaymentsdeal.  And yes, we are still giving ALL five of our 101 Kits and both award winning DVDs to each attendee.  That’s over $600 in tools to help you get your confidence soaring!  Brian and I have been doing this to support our attendees during the recession.  Ladies, there is no way you will walk away from this workshop without CONFIDENCE!

I hope this Early Bird extension helps your “meant to be” happen a little easier. If you have any questions or need help getting registered email us at!

I will see you this Winter!

much love!


CLICK HERE for the Early Bird Price and Details to Upcoming CONFIDENCE Workshops!



  1. Christina says:

    Some really beautiful shots!!

  2. Sara says:

    The workshop sounds awesome. I’m shooting for 2012 as my new little one will still be so dependent on me in January (we’ll see if I can ever get him to take a bottle!).

  3. Abbey says:

    Love the pictures, love the you ever come to Boston or Providence?

  4. Me Ra says:

    Hi Abbey! The closest we’ve been to Boston is NY, NJ or DC. But Boston would be so fun in itself!

    So glad you are all enjoying the photos!! More to come!

  5. Genie says:

    Judith, what a gorgeous, sweet image of Miss M’am – and I thought it was all ‘just winding down’ at that point. 🙂

    I know I work for Me Ra so my opinion gets a bit discounted but I’ll say it anyway ~ you two are so amazingly honest and your selves which is hilarious, thoughtful, authentic and knowledgeable in a user-friendly way. How a workshop is delivered makes all the difference in the world! There’s no better way, in my book, then to learn with laughter at ourselves and with each other. How vulnerable and beautiful.

    And what’s always an unknown is who else will be there. We may live far apart but I know I have new friends and learning buddies, new sisters of the heart. Truly priceless.

    Thank you Me Ra, Brian, and each of you (Richelle, Andrea, Nicky for your sharing. Ajira, Lynde, Charisse for your silliness. All for your courage at all levels.). I feel like I now truly belong to the growing Me Ra Koh Workshop Graduate ‘Crew’! 😀

  6. Keri says:

    Wow! Thanks for letting Miss Ma’am and me be a part of such an amazing experience. Special thanks to Judith for that wonderful shot of Tessa asleep. She’s only still when she’s sleeping, so its the one chance I get to really see her and not her antics. Its my time to drink her in, so to speak, and to have a photo of that is more precious than you know!

  7. Michelle S says:

    I know for a fact that the workshop was definitely a “meant to be” for me. There were opportunities to attend before, but they just never happened. The one I went to was meant for me to attend! There was SO much more than learning about photography involved. I walked in there with so many inhibitions and fears and walked out with confidence and different fears (good ones, though).

    You both are so amazing at what you do and put your hearts into it. In return, I witness after each workshop, that the women pour their hearts out, too. I love hearing the stories of how women feel changed because I can tell they mean it!

    BEA-U-TI-FUL images, SF Ladies!!!!! I can’t wait to see more! (You know I’m stalking some of your FB pages for sneak peeks!!! LOL)

  8. Jessica says:

    What a wonderful workshop, worth every penny and more! Thank you Me Ra and Brian for creating such a safe and fun-filled two days for us. I walked away more comfortable using manual mode than I ever imagined. I learned more in your workshop in two days than I have in endless months of reading books and following blogs. I feel much more empowered and in control with my new skills, THANK YOU!!! I also learned a few tips on making a marriage work – with lots of laughter 🙂 You two are awesome!!

    Thank you SF ladies for sharing your knowledge, inner fears and big big dreams. What a wonderful and fun group. I laughed, cried and walked away very inspired. I’m so eager to see more of your photos and will get to posting some of mine too.

  9. Amy W says:

    Wow, this past weekend with MeRa and Brian was amazing!! I was so excited to go, mainly to finally get myself off of the dang “auto” setting on my camera, and to learn about photography!

    I had read all about how much I would learn about myself and others, as well as about the emotional aspects – the laughter and the tears – but I wasn’t prepared for it at all! It was all that and so much more!! Not only did I gain the confidence to shoot in “manual” (yes, not just Aperture Priority or another preset setting, I LOVE manual now!!) and learn a little bit on a bunch of other subjects – this workshop really touched a part of me that I really didn’t know that I needed.

    The emotional connection that I now feel to this group of amazing women is indescribable! I am a woman-on-the-go, we all are, but I’ve been so focused for so long on my career, moving up in the corporate world, making friends but not really “friends who know me” beyond what they see on the surface – and that is mainly because I am always doing 50 things at once and my mind is on the 10,000 things to do at work or get done at home. It was so AWESOME to just get away for a weekend, to focus on me, to connect with other women and just be. I know I was probably one of the more reserved of the group – and that really isn’t me but that’s just where I’ve been lately and where I needed to be – for me to be able to sit back and just take it all in, to learn from others, to not have to be the one “leading” all the time or to be the expert (like I do in my corporate role), it was fantastic and somewhat out of my comfort zone (because my type-A personality needs to be in perfect control of everything I do and I need to know it all!) and so refreshing!

    So, MeRa & Brian – thank you for opening your heart and arms to embrace us all. You two are fantastic, I love you both and just the thought of you brings a smile to my face!

    To the rest of wonderful ladies – I miss you guys already and so wish that we had a week to hang out, get to know each other better and help/support each other on the journey we are all taking, whatever form that may be. I have soooo loved connecting with you on FB, learning more about you and getting a bit more of a glimpse into your worlds! You all Rock!

  10. Love seeing all your smiling faces…and beautiful shots! What a joy to see so many lovely ladies building their CONFIDENCE together, supporting and nurturing one another. Thanks MeRa for helping us flap our wings just a little bit stronger and more confidently each day. Your words, your tips, your generosity and your genuine SMILE gives us all encouragement to go after our dreams. Hope to be one of “the meant to be” gals one of these days, when the time is right! ; )

  11. Judith says:

    I don’t even know where to start in describing the experience I had this past weekend. I walked into that room shy, nervous, and a little scared, but when I left on Sunday night that shyness was gone, the nervousness was gone, and my scares have all changed, all for the better. I am so excited to take the next step in not only my life and my career.
    Me Ra and Brian thank you so much for being you. Thank you for caring, for loving and for sharing with us. I learned more in 24 hours about my camera, then I have in the years of classes and books. But I also have to say I also learned more about myself in that 24 hours that makes me smile and cry 😉 then I ever thought I would.
    No words can describe how honored I am to have attended this weekend and how much I learned. I cannot wait to get out there and start using my Manual mode with CONFIDENCE!!!
    To the SF Ladies, thank you for sharing this wonderful weekend and for keeping it going on FB. I cannot wait to continue to learn and get to know you all better. You guys are the best!!! To my Soarority sisters…thank you!

  12. kimberly says:

    The workshop was incredible. Looking back, I learned so much. I say “looking back” because there were times during the shoot that I was convinced I had no idea what I was doing, I was taking the tiniest of baby steps. But after I got a chance to look at my pictures (after I got in from the bright sun!), some of them are pretty great. I am officially figuring this thing out! And the pictures from day two were better than day one, allowing me to have clear proof of my progress.

    Last night was the test, though. I had to go take real photos (of food). I tested the lighting at first, to brush up, but it felt so good to know where I should set the ISO, the shutter speed, etc. I had to make some adjustments on the fly, but the pictures came out well. I showed a friend how I was able to “blast out” the window and she asked if I learned the lingo during the workshop. 🙂

    It was so much fun and everyone in the group was so nice and welcoming. We should do it again next month! 🙂

  13. Me Ra says:

    Oh my goodness ladies, your comments make me laugh and cry at the same time. The progress from what you described Judith to the success you had last night Kimberly and Amy–I’m so proud of you for allowing yourself to soak it all in b/c from one type A to another, that’s not always easy and you did it so gracefully. These comments mean so much!

  14. Sara says:

    Me Ra – you just made my day 🙂 I am gonna make it happen this time!!!

  15. DanelleB says:

    Thinking about this weekend reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. We all came for different reasons but looking for something that we already had inside. Like the Tin Man for a heart, the Scarecrow for a brain, the Lion for courage and Dorothy to find home. I think we all found that we had all these but didn’t know how to use them. We also learned so much about ourselves. Thanks Me Ra and Brian for a great weekend, and showing us we all had heart, courage, a brain and were all at home together.


  16. Richelle says:

    I definitely walked into this workshop “with expectation”… The expectation that life would be forever changed after this two-day experience. But from the moment I sat in my chair surrounded by Me Ra, Brian & all of these amazing women, the fear and doubt set in. Mostly the fear that I would take this once in a lifetime opportunity and let it pass me by without being fully open to it. Fighting cancer, personally, was not as terrifying to me as this thought was (I’m sure that sounds stupid and a little dramatic to some of you), the thought of , once again, sitting on the sidelines watching life pass me by.

    I, like Amy, walked in to the workshop with my new camera completely on automatic. The next day, I walked out on manual, never to look back again. Talk about confidence! I was reminded to take baby steps, but let me tell you, in just two short days I improved by LEAPS & BOUNDS (no baby steps here). Not only did I learn how to use my camera (among many other things), I got to spend the weekend with some really fabulous women (oh, and Me Ra & Brian, too). And even if words weren’t exchanged between everyone of us, I feel a connection to them & an excitement for them as they begin or continue their life’s journey.

    I am still pinching myself! Did I really just spend a weekend with Me Ra & Brian?! I feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world. My heart is so full. Me Ra & Brian, thank you so much for your time, your talent, your honesty, your authenticity (my new favorite word), your support. You are changing lives every day. Yes, I can honestly say this experience was absolutely life changing for me, and for that I can not thank you enough. This workshop was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I am a new person!

  17. What an awesome experience! I enjoyed every minute. I was so nervous. EVEN though I knew 4 other girls personally. Then we had the introductions. WOW! Hearing everyones stories was so amazing. The way everyone opened up in their own time! We laughed, we cried, we learned, we shared!

    I learned that photography is very healing. I knew that, I just never thought of it as that. What a HUGE blessing Me Ra and Brian are. And all of you ladies! It was so awesome meeting all of you! Connecting with you! Sharing in our obsession of photography, insecurities, and doubts. We are so much alike.

    I loved getting out there and shooting the models. And then getting to talk to Me Ra and Brian about anything that we struggled with!

    I learned so much about myself. I learned I need to love myself. Value myself. I am worth it. I learned that it’s time to do something I have been avoiding for a long time. Thank you Me Ra for your encouraging words at dinner!

    I am just so excited for what the future holds. For you Me Ra and Brian, for each of you ladies and for myself!

    Richelle I totally agree. I keep pinching myself! So awesome that I actually just had the most amazing weekend!!

    So grateful and blessed!!

  18. jeramy says:

    these stories and comments are amazing. the gift of encouragement is so special and those that give it are the ambassadors of compassion. I love change! especially when it’s happening in your heart. great stuff!

  19. Lynde says:

    I keep sitting here thinking about something that I want to write…something that could adequately sum up the weekend but I just can’t find words that exist. I wish that the workshop lasted at least a week! I am pretty sure that it could have…I felt like we were just getting started. 🙂 I am hoping that we will continue on our adventure together and I am pretty sure that we have secured a bond that is unwavering. Thank you to MeRa & Brian for your encouragement and hard work. I really appreciated feedback on my own individual work.

    I hope that you had as much fun as I did!

    I would love a “part II” or extra workshops in the future…maybe some international outings in the future… I would love to meetup with you all in Thailand!

    Be well. Looking forward to what is next!

    Blessings with Glow Bracelets & Manual Mode only~


  20. Jody says:

    Just being there with you ladies on Sunday as a model was a true boost for my confidence. What a truly lovely group of ladies. It was inspiring to see you all so excited to capture the moment. What a joy! I look forward to attending soon!!!!

  21. Rose says:

    What awesome stories; I can’t wait to attend!

  22. Andrea says:

    Thank you for the life changing weekend. It was “Meant to be” for me to attend and I still tear up thinking about the 48 hours we had together.

    It took me a few years to learn how to move from shooting in auto to shooting in manual. You can learn this in one CONFIDENCE workshop! I no longer fear shooting in tricky indoor lighting and the bright afternoon sun. I learned many valuable tricks and tips to getting great pictures of babies & families and processing them. (We, as moms, appreciate learning how to take better pictures of our kids) If you’re thinking about booking a CONFIDENCE workshop, please dont wait!!! It’s worth every penny and they sell out fast!

    I came to the workshop exhausted with life’s busy-ness and unclear about the relationship between myself, my DSLR, and the world. I left the workshop INSPIRED and READY to share my passion with others. My heart has blossomed and I gained CONFIDENCE!

    I also walked away with a new photography cheerleading team of 20 beautiful women….I love you all and and am so blessed to have you in my life.

    MeRa, you are an amazing woman and you have inspired me with your courage to hope and to dream. My heart is filled and I no longer am “running on empty.” Every day, you are making a difference in the lives of women across this country. You really do give them wings so that their dreams can take flight. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet you and I am excited for what the future holds.

    Brian…You’re a pretty cool guy too 😛

  23. Charisse says:

    Well I tried go to bed, however, I could not close my eyes without saying some final words about my experience at this San Francisco workshop. First let me say, that from the moment my heart purposed to go, and through my struggles to make it happen, once I received the call from Genie that there was an empty last minute space…I knew that my attendance would be a divine appointment with God. I came with ‘running on empty” actually pretty empty already. Yet I came with anticipation, expectation and even a little trepidation (got that word from Ajira) that there was something big waiting for me there. I know that God can work through one or many so I was ready. Let me say that I was not dissappointed! MeRa you and Brian are truly being used in a way to bless women around the country with what you deliver at these workshops. The heartfelt love, and giving of yourselves along with all of the knowledge you share in the most authentic way I have ever seen is nothing short of amazing. You have the ability with just your energy to foster bonds between such diverse groups of women who may have otherwise never venture to know how deeply they are connected in spirit.

    Before I even arrived, your heart and prayers reached mine and I knew this place would be safe for me to lay down my facade of “handling it all” and simply absorb. I was able to get back to the “I’ in me along with confidently being in manual. Those two things combine with the twenty plus other women whom I now have cheering in my corner and whom I can scream and cheer for was the culmination to a wonderful weekend. I walked in with those three things that I mentioned in the beginning and I walked out….more confident, excited, and acceptable just as I am. I now even love my “giant smile”. I used to hide it, but now when I feel it coming…I know it is because this weekend has reminded me that it is a smile from the inside out. Funny thing is, I can hardly believe that by the end of the weekend…everyone else’s smiles seemed a little bigger too.

    If any of you want to read further how I feel about this weekend, its on my blog at

    MeRa, Brian and the girls…..Thank you from the depths of my heart! I love you all!

  24. Katie V says:

    Wow! All these wonderful stories make me more excited, anxious, nervous, scared, happy, gracious… Gosh I could go on and on. But I can not wait for the San Antonio workshop so I can gain the much needed confidence & knowledge and much welcomed new friends. A person can never have too many friends, too much confidence and knowledge! Thank you for sharing your wonderful weekend with us all!

    Me Ra, Brian and Genie- Like we say here in Oklahoma- See y’all soon! 🙂


  25. denise karis says:

    excellent!! i love the baby face!!! looks like fun like always 🙂

  26. such beautiful photos. I love the expressions and moods in each one. My fave is of the ladies sitting on the floor and laughing. So fun!

  27. Cyndi says:

    Me Rah,
    When will you announce more of the upcoming workshop locations for summer and fall? I am hoping to get the earlybird discount if I can get there. Anything else upcoming in Northern California?

  28. Sharon says:

    Wow – what a fabulous weekend that was! I only wish I had taken this sooner. Like some others, I too have been on my own learning path, doing lots of reading and even taking several online photography classes. I knew many of the basics that were covered, yet it took this workshop for everything to crystalize. A large part was the hands-on photo shoots (which I absolutely loved) but equally as much was the confidence that was instilled in me thanks to Me Ra and Brian. You two are so down to earth and real. And because of that, you are truly able to connect with each of us, many wavering in our confidence to do what we are passionate about. Oh my gosh, after leaving the workshop, I totally felt like I can do this! I can actually do what I love part-time and get paid for it. Something that I didn’t think I could do, I now feel empowered to do. And I was so excited to view the photos I took when I got home – and so proud because this is just the beginning. You guys rock! Me Ra, you truly have hit upon something with your Confidence workshop for women. Thank you so much for such an inspiring weekend. Oh, and I have to say how much I enjoyed laughing that weekend – apart from learning so much, it was totally fun. The lessons, the laughter, the ladies (and Brian :-)… I wish I could do it all over again!

    P.S. I’ve been taking photos with backlighting since I got home half expecting it not to work and I’m still amazed that I’ve conquered so easily what I used to find so difficult. 🙂 Thank you!

  29. […] read what past attendees think, wow, last week’s comments were such a gift.  Enjoy! Workshops. | | No Comments » […]

  30. […] 2009.  She did not win that year, but she didn’t give up.  Months later, she attended our San Fransisco CONFIDENCE Workshop.  I still remember her raising her hand and asking how it was possible to pursue your own dreams […]

  31. […] 2009.  She did not win that year, but she didn’t give up.  Months later, she attended our San Fransisco CONFIDENCE Workshop.  I still remember her raising her hand and asking how it was possible to pursue your own dreams […]