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


May Growing Confidence Photography Workshop for Moms PART 2 {McKinney, TX Me Ra Koh Confidence Teacher}

Yesterday you got to experience the behind-the-scenes of the most recent Growing Confidence Photography Workshop with Jen & Molly.  IF you missed it, you can check it out HERE.

I am so proud of the 2 women that attended the May Workshop.  They were not afraid to get down to babies level to best capture the story.  One of the key elements to being a great storyteller through imagery is getting the details!  Confidence Student Jen nailed some details of our subjects in the images below.

One very important detail in my book for babies is those stinkin' cute PIGGIES they have! Jen captured those sweet curled up baby toesies for both babies that attended the Workshop.  SO YUMMY!!

Another detail I love about babies is their eyelashes!  This is a perfect eyelash shot Jen! You not only captured the eyelashes but we get to also see the sweet nose, squishy cheekers and puckered baby lips to boot!

I love this image of baby girl because she had her face right up to the lens!  She seriously wanted to get her hands on the camera to get her photography career started right now!

Who doesn't love babies tiny hands rubbing their eyes telling mama they are tired.  Let me tell you sweet baby girl, being a model is exhausting work!

Feeding time!  Babies and their bottles, not to mention the skill to feed themselves!  I love this! It won't be long before this baby girl is eating on her own and moving on to sippy cups!

Molly had a blast utilizing mama has her backdrop!  I love having mama's presence in the shots!  Too often mom is the one behind the camera and not the one holding baby!  

What a great profile image here of baby with a glimpse of mom adoring her daughter looking on!

Molly utilized both mama's holding their baby so they could look over mama's shoulder.  I like the presence of mama as the one holding onto them! LOVE!

This capture of mom adoring her daughter knowing she is showing off her baby blues and adorable bottom teeth with that precious smile.........MELT.MY.HEART!

Again telling the story with DETAIL SHOTS!  Nuf Said!

One of the things we discuss is Shutter Speed when capturing these quick lil' munchkins! The next 2 shots show how Molly knew to have her Shutter Speed up to freeze the action!  
The 1st shot is of baby girl shaking that necklace super fast!  Had she had her shutter speed too low the pearls would be super blurry!  This way we see the Pearls in ACTION!

In the next image Molly also had her shutter speed set properly to freeze baby in action while she is playing with mama's sunglasses and getting super excited about this new toy! Can you see the babies excitement?

Seriously, let's really congratulate these girls on a job well done!!  All of these images are taken within hours of learning HOW TO SHOOT IN MANUAL!  Is that crazy or what?  I am telling you this Workshop is changing the way these mom's capture their family story the minute they leave!  It melts my heart that God is giving me this opportunity to reach moms in Dallas, Wisconsin and even Houston to equip them with the knowledge to really step back, pause and capture what they see, feel and know they never want to forget through images that will tell the story for many years to come!  I am blessed to be sharing my knowledge with these moms that have a heart to tell their childrens story AND to tell it well!  What a legacy they will be leaving for their kids!

Don't forget Jen is going to share her experience from her perspective in the tomorrow's PART 3 blog!  You don't want to miss what she has to say!

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


xo, JA

Monday, June 16, 2014

May Growing Confidence Photography Workshop for Moms PART 1 {McKinney, TX - Me Ra Koh Confidence Teacher}

What a blessed May Growing Confidence Photography Workshop for Moms!  

With several women having commitments come up that made it impossible to attend this past May Photography Workshop I was left with the decision to either move the date or keep the Workshop as is.  I have a heart for moms to know their DSLR cameras and to be the best storyteller for their family they can be.  I knew that one of the students signed up for the May Workshop had a 6 month old baby at home.  There are so many milestones in a child's life to document! I believe the 1st year of life has the most milestones at one time. As a baby Photographer I witness so many babies each year change and grow by leaps and bounds!  I am always so amazed at how I go from the Newborn session to 1st Year Milestone in the blink of an eye!  Moms with cameras cannot afford to miss those 1st year moments, there is SO MUCH story to be told!  

Sweet Jen's husband bought her the Workshop for Mother's Day, I knew her 2nd born was only 6 months old and my heart could not reschedule this Workshop and allow her to miss out on the next 6 months!  Boy am I glad I did that! You will not want to miss Jen's story on what the Workshop meant to her and what she captured the days following the Workshop!

Here are the 2 sweet ladies that spent the day with me!  We worked so hard during the sessions we were a hot mess but still smilin'!

We had so much laughter and great storytelling throughout the day! Not to mention learning the ins and outs of taking control of their DSLR Cameras and shooting in Manual Mode with CONFIDENCE!

We had 2 baby girl models join us in the afternoon for some Manual Mode practice inside the house and outside!  

I love how Jen and Molly were not afraid to get down to the babies level to capture their cuteness!

This sweet girl was so curious about the camera itself!  She wasn't crawling before she got there but I think she was definitely crawling by the time the session was over!  Maybe she is a Photographer in the making!

Jen learned the frustrations of how her Kit Lens limits her ability to capture what she sees but forged on and had some great captures!  Jen rocked the detail shots and really grabbed a hold of that very important storytelling element!  Molly nailed utilizing mama in the background to add to the story and had her shutter speed working for her to freeze the action!  Check out tomorrow's blog to see what Molly and Jen captured that day!

Don't forget Jen is going to share her experience from her perspective in the 3rd blog this week!  You don't want to miss what she has to say!

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


xo, JA

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