Last week we introduced you to Me Ra Koh and the start of her journey towards healing and hope. Today we’ll continue with what happened after she was named one of Sony’s initial seven sponsored Artisans of Imagery. Me Ra and her husband Brian had also started speaking once again, bringing their CONFIDENCE workshops to women across the country.
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After lobbying the producers of the Oprah Winfrey Show for two years, Me Ra was invited to be the photo expert for Oprah’s interior decorator Nate Berkus. This turned into a two-year regular engagement as the guest photo expert for The Nate Berkus Show on ABC.
In 2012 Disney reached out to Me Ra: they were looking to spotlight a few moms with an inspiring message and a clear voice. Her show ran on the Disney Junior channel for several years, teaching mothers how to take great photos of what they love the most – their kids! Brian loved directing while she loved producing, so it was a perfect blend of their talents.
Adventure beckoned in 2014, and the entire family – Brian, Me Ra, and their teenage son and daughter – took a huge leap of faith and headed overseas. For five months they traveled New Zealand, Thailand, Israel, and Italy, filming Adventure Family. Both kids were homeschooled, and as Me Ra explains, “one of our desires was to make the world their classroom.” What an unforgettable experience!
Here, and Now, and Then
Me Ra has had her family portraiture exhibited in New York, at The Museum of Natural History, the Chelsea Museum, the Aperture Gallery, and the American Photo Magazine Gala; in Los Angeles; and at Somerset House in London. She published three stunning photography books, and then she and Brian decided it was time for a shift to a local portrait studio for the community. It was an intense first year since in some ways they were starting over. They love Frisco and its exciting options for friends, family lifestyle, and maybe dining too (more on that in a minute!).
When asked what she’s most proud of when it comes to the business, Me Ra talks about their unique process that begins with an initial “discovery call” that takes place with the parents. This allows what’s most meaningful to them to guide how the photoshoot evolves. Me Ra explains, “It’s made such a difference, because over the years I realized I’d been shooting what made sense to me, without digging deeper into what is most meaningful to them.”
This requires listening – because it takes work to listen, especially when you’ve been working at your craft for a long time, and you feel like you already know what to do. Me Ra continues: “You intentionally take all that and put it to the side, and then take the time to LISTEN to people. I know our studio has done a great job when families see the portraits we’ve taken, and they see everything they shared on the phone calls that is most meaningful to them being beautifully captured and celebrated. And then I hear them say ‘That’s exactly who we are.’”
Me Ra loves the special stories that have resulted from her work – you can read one of them at Photographing Beauty on the Spectrum. The girl in the story is indeed on the spectrum and has never been comfortable having pictures taken. It was amazing for her to feel seen, heard, and at ease with Me Ra. Her mom cried when she saw the portraits because she wanted her daughter to see how beautiful she is. A week after their wall art was installed, the mom told Me Ra on the phone that every day her daughter stops and looks at her portraits. And then she looks at her mom with a big smile and says “I’m pretty.” Her daughter’s photographic experience with Me Ra and her team literally changed how she sees herself.
Last but definitely not least…one of KIS’ favorite questions to ask a friend or client is: What kind of tacos would you order if Iza took you out for lunch? Me Ra has a fun one: cauliflower tacos at Crush Taco, located on the Tollway and Eldorado. She loves the combination of the cauliflower, pumpkin seeds, and sweet caramelized onions. We’re definitely up for that!
Me Ra is the go-to photo expert sharing tips and joy on the Live with Kelly and Ryan Show. She speaks all over the country inspiring audiences with her story of restoration but calls Frisco her family and studio home. You can find Me Ra’s amazing personality and work in Frisco and all over the internet, well beyond the beautiful website where you can find tips for better smartphone pics: there’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can also send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to enter their One Year Anniversary Giveaway! Deadline to enter is 08/15/20.
One of Oprah’s many quotes is “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Me Ra Koh took her wounds and turned them not only into wisdom but also into a life of creating beauty, inspiring others, and especially empowering women for almost two decades. We’re proud she calls Frisco home!
Check out other blogs by Keeping It Social here.