me ra koh photography workshop

I had the most unbelievable time in Chicago this past weekend.  Unbelievable.  I learned many, many things.  About photography and about myself.  Me Ra and her husband Brian are undoubtedly the most down-to-earth people I've ever met.  They are one of the nation's premier photographers and yet, they sat and had pizza and discussed their personal lives and gave us so much strength and advice.

For me, not only was it a step further in my photography 'career' ... it was a step further in learning about life.

I also learned I'm not quite the dork {read freak} I thought I was.  I emailed Heather early Saturday morning to pray for me, as I was quite nervous.  Nervous I would be a nervous dork and not make friends.  Nervous my photography and knowledge wouldn't stand up to the others.  Just nervous.

I took the 6:43 am train to Chicago, dropped my bag at the hotel, made a pit stop at starbucks and then headed to the workshop, that began at 9:00.  I walked in nervous, but immediately {well, not completely immediately}, but within minutes, felt completely at ease.  What a wonderful group of women!  I mean, completely wonderful.  Some professional, some amateurs and some in the same boat I am.

Kelli, who's pregnant with twin boys greeted me almost immediately.  Debbi, Gretchen ... I really felt at ease.  And loved learning I'm not a dork!!  :)

Remember the line from Dirty Dancing where Baby first learns about the secret dancing party?  And Johnny asks, "what's she doing here?"  She replies, "I carried the watermelon."  And then walks away sort of yelling at herself, "I carried the watermelon?" ... brilliant move Baby.  Remember that?  Classic!  That's classic me ... I'm often walking away from a conversation thinking, "really? brilliant move einstein!"  {read freak!}


So, this is me with Brian and Me Ra.  I absolutely can't wait to attend another workshop with them.  They are so gracious, forgiving and knowledgeable.  Not to mention what a cute couple they are!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to them both.

We had a photo shoot arranged on Saturday.  There were four babies situated around the room with their moms and/or dads.  The lighting was absolutely horrible!  There were 20 other women we needed to work around and it was well ... really pretty stressful!

Then we find out Me Ra wants us to pick two of our favorite images and submit them for a critique the next day.  Say what?!?

Okay, so here's another lesson I learned.  Less is more.  Say it slowly ... less is more.  I took over 400 photos that afternoon {in about an hours time}, but many, many of the images were a rushed anxiety to get the right shot.  I really need to be more thoughtful in setting up my subjects, shot, lighting.

If I had done that, I wouldn't have had 400+ photos to sift through to find two that I loved.  It was also hard wondering what they would love.

So here are the two I went with:

Me Ra was completely gracious in her responses to me ... to everyone really.  When she saw this next photo, she turned to me and said in her super sweet voice, "Tracie ... this is beautiful."  I don't think I'll ever forget that.  :)

She said the same to many others {granted, there was a lot of talent in that room!}, but that comment and her connotation will carry me forever.

And these two photos were my follow-up choices.  I didn't submit them, but I loved them.  I didn't choose this one of the baby, because we're often warned in photography to watch out for a tree growing out of someone's head behind you.  We lots of times think, "oh! go stand by that pretty tree."  But what we don't realize is that the final product is often a tree coming out of someone's head.

So in this shot, baby Kira {who I almost stole!!} has her mommy's straps coming out of her chin!  :)

And I still love this shot.

What an awesome experience ... Once again, I'm reminded just how blessed I really am.  I feel so thankful to have been able to attend this weekend.  Me Ra wrote more about it here.


Amy Schaal said...

Those pictures are so beautiful. They make me want another just to have pictures like that!

heather said...

Your photos are beautiful!!! Looks like you were challenged, but had great success!! What an amazing experience!!

And just remember as dorky as you might feel sometimes..." No one outs Baby in a corner! " :-)

heather said...

Oooh, I just realized I AM having a baby!! Will you take pretty pictures of the new little one!! We'll even be paying customers!!!! :-)

Gretchen said...

Traci-it was amazing to meet you! You are so down to earth and I loved your photos. So so sweet. That wee sweet little one makes me want to bug my son and daughter in law to make me a grandma! Please feel free to visit me if you are in Chicago on a shoot. I am adding your blog to my list. I will try to post and not be a stalker.