the Me Ra Koh Blog

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Photo Contests!

Do You Know a Mom Running on Empty? Nominate Her Today!

Me Ra Koh

Our upcoming Orange County (CA) CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop is almost SOLD OUT! The weekend is April 23-24.   We are so excited! The women have already started emailing the group their stories, why they are coming, what they hope to get out of the weekend, their fears, insecurities and enthusiasm. Brian and I are loving reading their stories. Whether these women live in Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle or Minneapolis, they are excited and ready to take their creativity and photography skills to the next level. (Yes, they are nervous before the workshop, but they never let that nervousness stand in their way. And their courage brings beautiful results.)

Do you know a mom who needs this kind of group and weekend getaway? Do you know a mom Running on Empty? If so, nominate her today. Let’s turn her day around and let her know we are rooting for her!

If you know a MOM who is;

A. Running on Empty

B. Lives near Orange County, CA, or has mileage to spend

C. Can arrange for a sitter and get the weekend free, starting Friday (April 22nd for Meet & Greet at the home of our one and only Roxanne Benton from Pixel2Canvas ) night all the way through Sunday night (April 24th)

D. Most importantly, has a PASSION for photography

Nominate her TODAY! Nominations must be in by Monday night (this Monday night at 6pm PST).

We will announce the winner in time for her to jump in and make all the arrangements. So make sure your nominations are all in by Monday at 6pm PST. If you are not familiar with this contest, read below and see what it’s all about! Moms are one of the most beautiful parts of creation. This contest is all about acknowledging their beauty, even when they are Running on Empty.

Running on Empty

Here’s how it works!

In honor of how wonderful moms are and all that they do and give, Brian and I keep one spot reserved in every workshop for a special mom like YOU! That’s right, you (or she) will get a free pass to the upcoming CONFIDENCE Workshop in Orange County! (Please note, we don’t provide room/board and travel.)

To nominate a mom, you must post a comment telling us about the mom who you think deserves a big break in life! If you are a mom, you’re probably laughing because we ALL deserve a serious break. But the moms we’re looking for are the ones who have had a ridiculous amount of stress in their life whether from trauma or things just not going her way this year. She is a mom in your life that needs a serious blessing to come her way. She needs a serious surprise that gives her empty tank some fuel. If she is a woman that has miscarried, she is still a mom in my mind b/c I know her heart became a mother’s heart the moment she found out she was pregnant. Don’t hesitate to nominate her too.

I’m proud to say that our previous winners stepped out on a limb and nominated themselves. Take courage in them and feel free to nominate yourself if you know you need a serious break. Who knows, you may have your house remodeled by Oprah!

We’ll collect all the nominees, have a committee of wonderful moms vote, and then announce the winner in the next two weeks!

Nominate her today and turn her day around! Oh, wait! Don’t forget to let her know you’ve nominated her too! If I was a mom nominated I’d love to know my friends were thinking of me whether I won or not! Deadline for ALL nominations is Monday, March 1st at 6pm PST. Nominations MUST be posted as a comment on this blog post. Either your email or the nominees email MUST be included on the blog post to qualify. Nominations emailed or posted on other blog posts may be overlooked. Please post all nominees here. Thanks!

For more details about the CONFIDENCE WORKSHOP, CLICK HERE!

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Do you live on the East Coast? We have just a few seats left for our New York area CONFIDENCE!  CLICK HERE to get your spot!! And soon we’ll announce our May Seattle CONFIDENCE plus one other location from the votes we got from all of you!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, check out our popular Instructional DVDs Refuse to Say Cheese and , and our 101 Kits for starting or expanding a business in photography, click on the titles of your choice!

  1. Kim

    February 26th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    MeRa,
    I feel so silly nominating myself, but sometimes doing something like this is the best way to vent. My life is so crazy busy right now, and unfortunately, others are suffering because of it. We recently moved and have some other big changes occurring in our lives right now, but the person suffering the most is my 5 year old son. This is hard for me to talk about because I feel it is a private issue, so I’m just going to share with you the overview. Adrian has started suffering from depression since right around Christmas. I have driven myself crazy trying to figure it out. I work with students who are depressed for a living, and I manage it just fine…but there is something about it being your own son that makes it a thousand times harder. Trying to help Adrian has consumed me…I have lost sleep over it, missed work to take him to counseling, and thought and worried about it non-stop. My heart hurts so badly for him that I feel I am starting to share his struggles as well. I talked to a counselor myself yesterday trying to keep myself strong so I can be there for my son. He gave me some fantastic suggestions, all of which I won’t share. But one thing he said I needed to do was take some time for myself…that if I can keep myself strong and happy, he will feed off of my energy rather than feeding off of my concernts. I hate feeling like I jumped on here just to complain, because really in my heart I know we will get through this together…but I wish it wasn’t so hard. I wish I wasn’t feeling responsible for his suffering. I wish I could consume myself with something else again, even if it’s just for a weekend.

  2. Genie

    February 26th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Kim, Me Ra’s Genie here to say “Good job” nominating yourself. You deserve this as much as anyone else. Who knows your own struggles more than you? And to ‘out’ yourself can be a start of a new way out. Thank you for taking the risk.

    One reminder to you and others…please put your email into the body of the nomination. We need that for you to win and be notified, so remember to do it, okay? As I’m typing I realize someone might have a concern about your email address being shown – if you do then please email me (genie@merakoh.com). Be sure to give me the date and time you submitted your entry on the blog.

    Who else deserves this? Let us know! much love, genie

  3. Judy

    February 27th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I have to nominating my good friend, Rebecca (r__hsu@hotmail.com). She lost her job almost 2 years ago. She always has the passion for photography and artistic talent to see every pixel of the pictures for perfection. Last year, at the hardest of their financial time, her camera broke. There was this sadness in her eyes that came through. They didn’t have the money to fix the tool that could bring her dream come true. That’s when I realized that how empty she was. (We managed to pull some money together to fix her camera.)

    She is attending school to sharpen her skills with all photo imaging and video tools. I can see her skill growing everyday. There is still one thing missing in her: confidence. We went out for a photo shoot together. I notice that she has great potential for a wonderful photographer, but she hesitates and lacks confidence.

    Sometimes I wonder: is her lack of confidence have anything to do with her childhood? She was dropped off at a fire station in Korea at 6 months of age. Her was adopted by her American family. Although she was well loved and cared for, could that abandonment at such young age be the cause of her lack of confidence? I guess we would never know. But I am nominating Rebecca for this workshop and would like to ask Me Ra to take her under your wing to build some confidence in her.

    Judy

  4. Freida

    February 27th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I’m shaking as I post this…. wondering if I will be brave enough to click the submit button. I’m not sure how clear my thoughts will come across… but here they are.

    …I sit here holding on to the next couple days as there is a short window of amazing opportunity here. Wondering how I deserve such blessings in my life presently… wondering how I could think I deserve any more? Not wanting to feel weak or broken… I hesitate to write. I keep going back to the 6 year old me… in the middle of the night… feeling such a sense of helplessness… an enormous sense of responsibility that I didn’t know how to handle… and a complete sense of being out of control. Her addiction throughout my life has led me to try to keep control right by my side. The more the same cycles repeated… the more I realized I was not in control of her nor the pills. I tried still to be. I have held on tight to my control… as I never want to feel the way I felt that night ever again. I have though. I probably will again. Cycles repeat. It is what it is. Addiction hurts. When something or somebody in my life really matters deep in my heart… I tend to control the situation even more so. I hate this about me. I don’t give that sense of protection away to easily. For the chance of attending the workshop… and putting myself out there… being open AND being in a social situation where I know my anxiety will flare up… scares me to pieces. Truly. Not trying for this terrifies me even more. So…. I am putting myself out here and nominating myself. I feel hopeful, lame, nervous, unworthy, slightly stupid… but whatever… I am learning sometimes you have to open yourself up for great things to be able to come into your life. I am not weak… my main character traits have been developed as a means to survive I’m sure. If I were to put all of my insecurities and fears aside… I would be able to look at myself in the mirror and say out loud… “I am worthy to receive. I am worthy of great blessings. I have faith enough to let go and trust in my journey. I am not in complete control… and that is okay. I am not still that 6 year old that I hold on to.” Those five lines brought tears to my eyes. They’re huge, powerful lines… one day I will believe them…. just not today.

    When I am behind my camera… I feel the most free. I would love to allow myself to run with my photography and creativity… feel the weight lifted off of my shoulders that I have carried for all these years… and surrender to where my journey may take me… and my artist within.

    With much respect and appreciation to you, Me Ra… for all of the inspiration you continue to put forth & for sharing so much of yourself.

    Much love,
    Freida
    *mother of 3*
    (freidaketa@yahoo.com)

  5. Paige S.

    February 27th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Honestly, I can’t think of a mother who DOESN’T deserve something like this! I also can’t think of a person who doesn’t have hardship in their life to further merit this gift. For that reason, I don’t think I stand out in the crowd when nominating myself. But I will say this, hardship begets growth. And thank goodness for that!

    My husband is deploying to Afghanistan next week for 6-12 months (gotta love the ambiguity of the Marine Corps!) for his first combat tour. We have a 2 and 1/2 year old and a 6 month old at home. My family and my home town is across the country, and we just moved here. Like my garage is still full of boxes. And we bought a fixer-upper of sorts. But I don’t want sympathy. I’ve gotten enough of that. What I want is to do something! I want to really make something of myself while he is gone! I absolutely LOVE photography, and that fact excites me because I’ve seen a loss of passion in my life since becoming a mother. But I want to LIVE again! I want my children to have a full-time mom who loves herself. I want my husband to see me self-sufficent with that fire back in my eyes. He certainly deserves it. Thank you, Me Ra, for creating this safe haven for women like me to feel empowered!

  6. Kim

    February 28th, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Oops…sorry 🙁
    My email is lifesstories@gmail.com

  7. Jenessa Evans

    February 28th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I am extremely nervous doing this because I am going to enter myself in the Running on Empty Contest for a spot at the confidence workshop I so desperately need. 2009 I bought my first DSLR with intentions on shooting my lil boog *Abigail* just to capture her grow into the toddler she is today. Oh boy was I wrong, I found myself shooting anything and everything and researching and googling all sorts of stuff. And then somehow a light bulb went off and feelings of being a photographer kicked in. I had a passion for photography and had no clue about it until that moment. Since then I Have been chasing my dreams of being a great photographer, trying to capture any moment I could possible capture and trying to express my creativity on film. Being a full time mom to Abigail and working full time as a bookkeeper for a security company was a lot of work and I have been determined to make it work. As 2009 progressed I thought I found my grove juggling life the best I could and then my grandmother passed away. She was the one person on the earth that had tons of faith in me. Always telling me to follow my dreams and be the best person I could be and to always be humble. It felt like my world was empty and I have struggled with balance life without her. One morning in October I woke up with what felt like a hand that was “asleep” I thought “oh its nothing, just slept wrong” this went on for about 2 weeks with the numbness traveling up my arms and then started to cause pain. I finally found spare time to make it to the doc to see what was up. Three MRI’s later I was told I have Thoracic Syndrome along with a Herniated Disc. I have had three injections to date but don’t seem to be working. Surgery is too risky or so I am told by numerous doctors and could leave me paralyzed so I have been doing my best to cope. Lets bring you to 2010, I was filled with hope for a new year and after going through the soar program and making tons of connections finally felt like the dark cloud above me had cleared. Then lighting struck. I woke up at 1am to Abigail with a soaring temp of 105, as a new mom I flipped and did everything I was taught. Nothing prepared me for what happened next. Abigail went into a seizure and had turned blue. Not breathing, non responsive. It was every mothers worst fear, all that went through my head was, OH GOD please please not now. After a 911 call and 6 hours in the hospital Abigail was stable and good to go home. She had caught a really nasty virus. For the next two weeks I spent every night with her, not letting her out of my site, checking her temp every three hours, putting my job on hold and my passion for photography. When we thought the smoke had cleared Abigail again caught a second virus, followed by an ear infection, and finally a stomach bug. I spent a a month in half watching over my lil boog and putting my life on hold for someone I cant live without. Just when I feel things are going normal something dramatic happens, I went in last week for a follow up with the eye doc. I felt my vision was blured and need to make sure things were A OK right? Wrong I spent two hours in there, having dye dumped in my eyes and then a dilation and was told I have signs of Glaucoma. Something my dear grandmother had and was treated with by having one of her eyes removed. I am now terrified I will lose my vision before doing what my heart and soul are aching to do. Be a great mother and share my vision and passion for photography with the world. I have been struggling to keep balance and not to give up hope even when it all seems like nothing good ever comes my way. As I approach 30 *in 6 months* I am hoping that this cloud will move on and clear blue skies fill my daily life. Maybe this testimony about how hard my life has been with take me to CA and somehow Mera and Brian can give me back what seems to be fading “Confidence”
    XOXO
    Jenessa Evans jenenssa@dontblinkphotoz.com
    PS Sorry for the extremely long post 🙂

  8. Annette

    February 28th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I would like to nominate my friend Freida. She is a wonderful, caring, mother of three who is constantly trying to balance being a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter and friend with being creative. Photography is one of the creative outlets she is most passionate about, yet her habit of always putting her family first tends to restrict the amount of time she can spend taking pictures.

    I have seen Freida struggle with serious bouts of depression a few times due to different reasons, including a loved one’s addiction and family members lost too young. I’d rather not be more specific out of respect for her privacy. The thing that pulls her out of her lows seems to be a reconnecting with the joys of life, motivated by her internal need to be creative or by a cause.

    Periodically, Freida pulls back from her photography, either because of guilt over the time it takes away from her family, or a wavering confidence in herself, but when she comes back to it, it seems as though a fire of life has been rekindled inside her.

    Freida offered many of her family and friends a gift, in the form of a family photo shoot, and these photos have brought much joy – both the joy the pictures bring us, and our joy in seeing her truly enjoy excelling at the task. Her photos are beautiful, and I know that is not just my bias talking. I have heard praise for her photos from friends who have never met Freida. Photos from many of these sessions can be seen online at http://inspiredbybella.com/

  9. Cori Rivas

    February 28th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I would like to nominate myself… I wish there was different wording than that. Sounds so self deserving when I know so many other women deserve this just as much. But here is why I would love this opportunity. I’m the type of person who always puts others before myself. I served in the Marine Corps for 4 years and after my husband and I got married we had a beautiful little boy, but like most families he was set to deploy when our son was 6 months old. So I made the decision to get out of the military at the end of my contract so I could spend more time with our son since my husband was going to be gone. Since then we have moved into our new house, had to move again across country (unexpected move 2 weeks before Christmas nonetheless) and had another baby boy. After our 2nd child I went through a depression that really hit me hard since I’ve always been one to rise above a situation and when I couldn’t do that it was a real struggle. Not only did I suffer but my whole family did. I felt like I had lost everything that made me who I was. I didn’t feel like Cori anymore. I was a Marine, a mom, a wife and somewhere in there I’d lost what made me….me. Then I discovered everything that photography has to offer. I can feel the excitement it brings when I pick up my camera. I actually woke up the other day excited to try out some different shots with my kids and we had a blast! I felt like the old me again.

    I said to my husband just the other day that I feel like I finally found something I love doing and he surprised me by saying, “Yeah I can tell. You really have a passion for it”.

    My husband is going to Drill Instructor School next Fall and that means that he won’t be around much for the next 3 years. Since we have a condo in a different city we can’t afford to move to where he will be. I know my husband feels like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders since he is the one who provides for us. I would love to turn my love of photography into something that can ease that burden my husband has while still being caring for our children as a full time mom. Being a full time mom is so important to me since my husband won’t be around much. There is still so much more for me to learn and I’m so excited. My husband has supported me and given me the strength to really pursue this and I would love to show him just how great I can be. Thank you so much for this opportunity. What an amazing gift for someone.
    corilrivas@hotmail.com

  10. Jodi

    February 28th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This is an incredible opportunity for anyone. However, today I would like to nominate my friend Freida. I can not think of a woman, wife, daughter, mother, friend who would benefit more from this experience than her. She is a brave, courageous soul, rising to the challenge of juggling home and career. She has shared many times how behind a lens is when she feels most free. As Annette stated, Freida offered free photo sessions to family and friends. I think she may have assumed that she was the only one benefiting from this exercise (through fine tuning her craft) however, it proved to be a blessing to all of us. I could fill paragraphs about how Freida manages to keep her world spinning in spite of her stress but, that would detract from the essence of her beauty and strength. She deserves this because she was born to capture the essence of the beauty and strength in others. She is passionate and alive and committed. She was born to do this!

  11. Jodi

    February 28th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    http://inspiredbybella.com/
    freidaketa@yahoo.com
    Oops, this is Freida’s website and email address

  12. Kristin

    February 28th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Confidence. I think ever person struggles with this realm at some point in their lives. Mothers, including my best friend Jessica experience this differently than most. As a mother it’s so common to doubt yourself because we just want to do the best we can. We hope what were doing is enough. Being a mother is putting your child’s needs before your own.

    Along this pendulum of doubts, you reach the other side where there is just pure love and you know that this love can get you through anything. My friend Jessica is full of love and gives and gives. She’s a wonderful mom. She’s not the kind of mom to take the back seat and let society raise her child. She cares enough to take an active part in his life. He’s never left hanging. You know when you’ve done an amazing job at raising your child when they lift you up when you’re down.

    Jessica dedicated over 10 years with a company that had to let her go because of our declining economy. For months, she sent out hundreds of resumes with no response. Some people would admit defeat, but not Jessica. She knew she had to work even harder and think outside of the box. She started to explore her passions again. Photography; this is her haven. This is where she feels alive. You can just see it in her. She started booking weekends and took this time to take classes to support her passion. Her 12-year-old son assisted her on the weekends and provided moral support. They’re a team.

    She was recently offered a full-time job, which is such a blessing. At the same time it presents some obstacles. She will now have to take night classes to finish her schooling to support her passion for photography. A full-time job, night classes 4 nights a week, and being a mom requires a lot of energy and confidence. She fears her son may suffer with her time being so occupied. She is toying with the option of just taking the job and putting the schooling off for later in life. I believe in her. Her son believes in her. I know with all my heart that she will succeed. If she believed in herself as much as her friends and family does, she will be unstoppable. She’s amazing and has so much talent.

    She raves about you. I’ve heard your name, Me Ra, so many times. You are a beacon of light for her. It would be a life changing experience for her to attend your Confidence seminar. Thank you for your consideration.

    Kris

  13. Jamie Hundley

    February 28th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Dearest Me Ra, Brian and Friends,

    I would like to enthusiastically and most EMPHATICALLY nominate Lynda Kennedy of Vacaville, Ca for your Running on Empty spot in the Orange County workshop. Lynda is mother to 3 amazingly strong and talented boys. She is passionate about her art via photography, and experiences joy and reward as others are blessed by the images she captures for them. The last 2 years have been all about facing her fears and not backing down from her dreams in the face of repeated heartbreak and disappointment. The economy was all a bunch of talk until she started to face the harsh financial reality related to her husband’s repeated job loss. He is a builder and craftsman, work that has seen terrible shortages and instability in the California economy. She faces her fears of building her photography business, she faces her fears of returning to work, she faces her fears of making a way for her boys and their needs, dreams and education, she faces her fears of losing her house. She has consistently done this in front of a group of girls that she pours into, mothers of young children, whom she mentors. While her dreams have been challenged, she has consistently put herself out there in front of us…inspiring us and challenging us to face our fears, refine our hopes, and plan for our dreams to come into reality. It is one thing to be Running On Empty, it is a whole other dimension to keep on giving to others in the midst of your own difficult circumstances. This has been Lynda’s history…her character. You could not give this gift to a more beautiful heart. I pray for her to be lavished upon in the same extravagant measure that she has consistently given to so many around her. This is what Lynda told me about her desire to attend your workshop, “I have decided to face my lack of confidence and really push at learning where I have been weak. I know this workshop is going to take me to the next level.” Thank you and Bless you all for your creative ways of inspiring and giving to others!

    Sincerely, Jamie Hundley
    jamiehundley777@yahoo.com

  14. Charisse

    March 1st, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Hello MeRa and Brian,

    I would like to nominate myself for the Orange County Confidence Workshop. Originally, when I read this post, I thought about all the reasons and circumstances that I could tell you both to hopefully sway you to choose me for this workshop. Then I read the entries so far, and I realized that there is nothing that I can say, that will make me more deserving than any of the other amazing women who work so hard everyday trying to juggle the many hats that most of us wear and trying to stay afloat while doing it. My daily struggles, trials and obstacles are just as great to me as every other womans’ is to them. So I am not going to rehash all of my reasons here to elicit sympathy to my plight. Why then am I even nominating myself, one might ask. The reason is simple…I too, am struggling with issues of confidence. I have been for 30 ++ years. I will be having a birthday in 2 weeks and would love this to be “the” year. The year that I get to check confidence issues off my list. However, the bible says in Luke 11:9 “Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened for you.”

    I have asked and been seeking. I believe this is an opportunity for me to Knock, so that is what I am doing. I realize that of all the women to choose from, for these precious opportunities, the only one who will show me to you is my Father in Heaven. If it is his will, for me to recieve this assistance from you all to help me begin in rebuilding my confidence which was shaken so long ago, I trust HE will show me to you. Since I don’t know which door HE will open, I am just knocking on them all. Although I believe that this workshop will definitely benefit me…because I see so much love, light, and confidence radiating from you MeRa…ultimately the only reason you will choose me is because you were led to and not by my story. Win or win…God Bless You Both for continuing to give so much of yourselves!

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  16. christen

    March 1st, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Hello MeRa and Brian –

    I wasn’t planning on nominating myself… but my husband has been so busy that he didn’t have time to do this for me. We have both been running so hard these last two years as he has been in school and I have been working to support us. The reason I am nominating myself is that confidence is probably THE deal breaker for me… its what makes me hold back… its what makes me sometimes want to say ‘nevermind, who am I kidding??’ when it comes to my pursuit of photography.

    Although I am not currently a mom, I hope to be one very soon… (maybe BY the workshop??) in the meantime, I am a ‘mom’ to the kids in our community by having them over to make cookies, playing legos with them, teaching them how to improve in their music, and just loving on these precious children who are in a foreign culture. Also, I work at a nonprofit that supports women who become new moms… sometimes in crisis situations. I don’t have any idea how these two things combined compare to being a mother… but I do know that I am daily listening to women’s heartache and pain and trying to help them find healing in our God. These young women impact me greatly as I invest in each and every one of them and pour myself out…and am so heartbroken for them when they are in such painful situations… relationship abuse, family rejection (for pregnancy) grieving over miscarriages and abortions, and getting fired from their jobs for unjust reasons. Between my role both in my apartment community and in this particular ministry, I often feel both FULL and EMPTY at the same time… does that make sense?
    Two weeks ago, I was verbally abused by someone who I am in contact with quite a bit. I felt like something was ‘stolen’ from me… and part of that was the area of confidence. I have never felt so broken and weak before.. and powerless to change this person’s attack and perception of me. Through the prayers of friends, support of my husband, and ultimately, God, I have been able to persevere under this trial… but its been at a cost. I feel fragile right now and a little wobbly emotionally – and would so welcome a weekend retreat from the daily ministry demands on me and bearing the burden of providing for my husband’s schooling and our living needs. If we were in a different place in life, I would just invest the money to go to this workshop because I know it is worth far more than any price tag you could put on it… but I know that I need to get him through a few more months of school so he can begin practicing as a marriage and family therapist. It has been a hard two years away from family and friends… and to be honest, i would just love to experience the community that comes around sharing passion with one another, being vulnerable, and challenging each other to grow both personally and with photography. Because I am living in LA, this would be the perfect workshop (location wise) to attend.
    Again, although I have a heart that yearns to be a mother and care for others as their mother…. I know it still doesn’t come close to being the kind of ministry that ‘real’ mothers have… but I told myself I would at least go for this… and see what happens. Regardless, I am so incredibly blessed… but you asked if there was anyone running on “E”… and I can definitely say that I am in the ‘putt-putt, putt-putt, putt-putt’ of the gas tank. Thanks for being so committed to helping others find their confidence. We are always in the battle between believing lies or believing the truth.

  17. janessa

    March 2nd, 2010 at 11:56 am

    MeRa, Brian and the wonderful team that makes this possible:

    I’m taking a leap. I’m going to go ahead and nominate myself for the Running on Empty contest. I’m a perfectly ordinary Mom. I work full time, I tend to my daughter and husband, my life feels full in every way, shape and form. I, like so many other women could use a large dose of confidence. My camera is my refuge. I currently shoot for only friends and family, and part of me wants to spread my wings and fly, but the other part is just scared to take the leap. What if? What if I can’t fly and I just fall? How do I face my husband or my daughter?

    A weekend away to learn more about me, about my camera, about my spirit sounds like a dream come true. To dedicate some time to ME, not work, not home, not dishes or laundry, or the mess my toddler made. To be able to recognize the beauty in the other women, and to see that same beauty within myself would be absolutely refreshing, inspiring, encouraging.

    I know there are so many women deserving of this. So many women that could benefit from this. I learned quickly from the soarity scholarship that you can’t win if you don’t try. I was too fearful to apply there. I won’t make that mistake again. Please consider me. Thank you for your time and the opportunity.

    Warmest Regards,
    Janessa
    janessaoATgmail dot com

  18. Rose

    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    So I got home from a long, busy day, made dinner, got my 4-year-old into bed and remembered Running On Empty! I sat down at my computer to find I had missed the deadline by two hours and started reading through the other nominations – if only there were more than one spot for them. Twenty minutes later I had the realization that I didn’t miss the deadline by two hours…

    I missed the deadline by ONE DAY AND two hours!! LOL! I’m SO running on empty that I missed my email about this blog post until Saturday, tried to post a comment when my computer froze up and closed the window, and forgot about it once Sunday dawned. I’ve been running ever since.

    But God does have the bigger picture; and as much as I REALLY wanted to join this workshop for it’s very topic, for the closeness in proximity, for the intimacy of the experience; as much as I wanted to make payments when it was announced a couple months ago – it just wasn’t meant to be. At least (once again) this time around. Our lives have been turned upside down and my health became a yo-yo since the first of the year. It shook my confidence and I even set down my camera for weeks and let my insecurity rob me of a couple photography jobs. (although I ended up being pretty sick and would have had to cancel – again God knows the bigger plan and works all things to his good.)

    We are in a new apartment, my husband had some work opportunities come up and at 1:30 am I returned to my computer (forgetting about this possibility) and booked a flight to Vegas for this coming weekend. A friend has a pass for me at WPPI and a room to stay in for four nights. All I have to do is get there and pay for food. No, it’s not the Confidence Workshop (which I still want to attend some day, here on the SoCal West Coast) but God knows the bigger picture.

    Then on Sunday, I took maternity pictures for a friend of a friend who told me she wanted me take her maternity pictures when she gets pregnant – One. Year. Ago. We had a great session by the beach. I swallowed my insecurities-of-late and just had fun. As we were leaving and chatting more, she revealed she comes from a family of photographers. (lump in throat) But you see, I decided to not let that shake me, I prayed before hand. She CHOOSE ME to take her pictures based on my unique style. Why should I be insecure. When I return from WPPI, I’ll be taking her newborn pictures.

    Thank you for all you do to bless women and help build confidence in our gifts and passion. So although I won’t have a chance to jump into the Orange Co workshop in April, maybe I will be lucky enough to meet you and Brian in Vegas if you go…and even have coffee!

    Warmly,
    Rose
    [roseytsp@yahoo.com]

  19. Genie

    March 10th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Its Genie…We received this nomination from someone who couldn’t get it onto the blog. She was in time for the deadline so I’m adding it in for her. Wonderful job everyone! We’ll be back soon with the winner.

    Me Ra,

    I’m so glad to learn about your Confidence Photography workshop in Orange County, and especially the opportunity to nominate a Mom and budding photographer for a scholarship to attend. You asked two “easy to answer” questions: Do I know a mom who needs a fun weekend getaway? and Do I know a mom ‘Running on Empty?’ Tempted as I am to say, “Yes, ME!” The first Mom that comes to my mind is actually my Sister. Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about her.

    My sister may not realize this, but she is an inspiration to me. She is a wife, mother-of-two, blogger, web designer, and sister extraordinaire! She is, of course, a full-time wife and mom but in her “free” time she maintains her day job outside the house and her four web-based businesses from home. Even so, she is always ready with a smile and a listening ear and she is never so busy that her kids don’t take center stage. Because she has discovered the joys of photography, I am able to keep up-to-date with the antics of my niece and nephew through the photos that she shares. Since I live on the East Coast and they on the West, the photo updates are truly appreciated. My Sister, Stephanie, has taught me the meaning of “multi-tasking”!

    But, some days, I wish the distance between us was as easy to traverse as walking next door. Some days, her tank is ’empty’ yet the youngest’s asthma has flared; she spent another long evening at urgent care, the elder is ready for another story, and both parents are exhausted! If I could just show up with a warm dinner, a stack of stories, and a spare cuddling lap to help!

    Not so long ago, my Sister discovered the joys of photography, and WOW! In reality, this shouldn’t suprise me because we both grew up next to our father’s tripod or in front of his camera lens. Seeing how therapautic photography is for my Sister, I now understand why our Dad enjoys it so much.

    If pursuing photography helps rejuvinate my sister, then I definitely want to support her in that pursuit. Since she lives within driving distance of your Orange County Confidence Photography workshop AND lately she has been ‘running on empty’ juggling work/traffic/colds AND she would benefit from a weekend learning photography techniques, please consider my Sister Stephanie for this contest.

    Thank you!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Felicia James
    http://www.notestomysister.com

  20. A NEW Seattle CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop for Women Opens Today! Coming May 15th and 16th 2010!! | Me Ra Koh Photography Blog

    March 18th, 2010 at 6:29 am

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  21. Winner for the Orange County Running on Empty Contest | Me Ra Koh Photography Blog

    March 24th, 2010 at 6:29 am

    […] have a winner to announce! As many of you know, we ask a handful of women to be the judges for our Running on Empty contest. A number of these women are also former winners. We enlist their help because there is no way […]

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