Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Portrait of a Confidence Photography Workshop Student PART 3 {McKinney, TX - Me Ra Koh Confidence Teacher}

WOW! I have so loved witnessing the journey and transformation of imagery by a recent Confidence Student, Jennifer, whom attended my Workshop only a few short weeks ago. To see where she is today and knowing that she has the tools to take it even further makes me so excited for her AND for her kids!  The gift she is giving them of their childhood memories through storytelling imagery melts my heart!  I asked Jen to write her story in her own words.  She not only did that but she also is sharing the images that show how she has changed her Photography of her kids from the time she spent with me Growing her Confidence with her camera!  If you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of the May Workshop that Jen attended go back and check those out too! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy Jen's story here:

Have you ever looked up to see your children playing in the most amazing light, grabbed your expensive camera and started clicking away? 

Who hasn't done that? 

Excitedly, you open up the photos on your computer and realize you didn't capture the beauty of the moment in the least bit.

I have an artistic and creative spirit...always have. I taught myself how to sew because I could never find exactly what I wanted at a price that I wanted to pay. I also taught myself how to design in Adobe Creative Suite. I am great with Photoshop. I can put people in places they've never been and delete people from moments they don't belong! I can design an ad or flier any day. But I couldn't, to save my life, capture the best moments of my journey as a parent or the simplicity of life with my camera.

Of course, I had accidental amazing pictures. Who wouldn't have one great picture out of 500 attempts? All I wanted was to capture the sun, the smiles and the thought of joy on my camera. I always seemed to get "in between" the awesome moments. You know the ones....the moment with one eye closed or the sun glaring right on a face. I just wanted to capture what my eye saw on my camera.

Well, who would have thought!? I just needed to take the darn thing off auto, turn my flash off and learn a few simple techniques. The creativity is in the eye. The capturing is in the skill! Oh boy, what I have done with just a few hours worth of knowledge!

Jill Ann, with Photography by Jill Ann, came into our lives at an incredible time. My family of three was soon to become a family of four. She captured our family of three plus a belly in the perfect way. In a way that didn't make me look fat or sick. In a way that I wanted to feel but just didn't on a daily basis. 

Here is one of the photos Jill Ann captured at our maternity session.

She followed that by capturing our family of four at home while praying that our three year old would stay still and our newborn would sleep! They turned out just the way I would have wanted if I were taking the photos myself...even though my three year old DIDN'T stay still and my newborn DIDN'T sleep!

Here is one of the family images she captured for us!

While capturing our family in our home, she mentioned finding the perfect light throughout the house. I soaked in everything she said like a sponge and used it in the following weeks. Even with the knowledge of the light and the other small things she mentioned, I just wasn't getting exactly what I wanted. They were close, but still not great. Why, oh why, couldn't I just capture the beauty that I was seeing with my eyes!?

Here are some examples of me utilizing the light that Jill Ann showed me in my own home but AUTO did not know exactly how to capture the moment perfectly!


Jill Ann also mentioned a Photography Workshop for MOMS that she taught. I so badly wanted to learn how to use this stupid camera I had for over three years! I was able to take decent pictures but they were nowhere near great. I saw a Mother's Day special on Facebook, screenshot it and sent it to my husband instructing him to get it for me! As a good husband would, he purchased the class for me after only the third reminder. :)

During ONE Saturday, I learned that I couldn't capture what I was seeing for two reasons!

First, I had the expensive camera on the auto setting. That's the only button I knew besides the on/off switch and the picture taking button! Now I know more about my camera buttons and why my iPhone pictures took better pictures. 

Second, I learned that the kit lens was worth NOTHING! All I needed was at least one new lens and three words,  "I am Sam"! You should take the Workshop to learn what "I am Sam" means. I promise, it is life changing.

I left the class feeling so inspired and empowered. I was going to get this once and for all. I immediately went home and took some pictures with my "kit lens". They were better...but still not great! After a few days of messing with the kit lens, I decided to buy a $200 50 mm lens. When I told my husband I wanted a new 50 milliliter lens, he died laughing! He said, "I think you mean millimeter." "Oh yeah," I replied, "that too!" I got the lens after only a few days and have been having a blast with it.

Immediately following the Workshop here are a few backyard playtime gems I captured with my new skills!

After buying my new friend (the 50 MILLIMETER lens), I unpacked my SWAG bag from the Workshop. (which was an awesome bonus mind you!) I stumbled across the 30-Day photo challenge. Of course, being the creative human that I am, I couldn't go by just the items listed! I took my own twist on the list and have started capturing photos of my children's lives without my children in the photos. It's great practice and helps me capture items as memories and not just "things".  

This is the lamp in the nursery that shows the books that I had as a child.

These are my toddler's shoes that I know she will grow out of quickly. I took these images using the backyard playground to show where my daughter plays wearing these shoes!

I'm loving my new knowledge and the creativity that it has inspired. 

First and foremost, thank you Jill Ann for empowering me to capture the "little" moments that we have each and every day. 

Second, watch out world, my camera and I are on a mission to capture the hearts and joy of people. 

And lastly, I'm sorry Facebook and Instagram friends! I know you have seen tons of pictures of my children over the past three years. You will definitely be seeing more! At least they will be more creative and fun to look at!

If you ARE like me from the past 3 years, carrying around a huge expensive camera without a lick of knowledge on how to use it, I have 2 suggestions for you!  

ONE, get rid of the DSLR and stick with your phone and the grainy pics you get with that.

TWO, invest in learning how to use it with this life changing Photography Workshop I took with Jill Ann!  I am so sad that I wasted so many years without this precious gift of knowledge on my camera and how to be a better storyteller through my images for my kids!  Worth every penny and more!  You can't put a price tag on the images I am now able to capture of my kids!

Here my daughter and I were enjoying a pedicure date so we stopped by the makeup counter for some special beauty fun and a photo opportunity for mama!

 Love this image of my baby girl!


Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing your journey with your DSLR!  I am beyond excited to watch you capture your kids story through the years!  So wonderful to see how much the Workshop has changed the world you see through your lens!  Wishing you many blessings!

Are you ready to go on the same journey?

WHEN is the next WORKSHOP?  That's the question I keep getting asked!  I am taking the Growing Confidence Workshop to WISCONSIN on June 28th!  There are only a few seats left so hurry to grab your spot!

JUNE 28th, 9:30am to 5:00pm, HARTFORD, WI
Still time to utilize the 20% off Discount Code: earlybird

TEXAS GALS!! Email me if you want to be placed on a special list to contact with the next Workshop sign up date before the public knows!  photographybyjillann@gmail.com


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