Photo & Video > Portrait > Breaking Through Creative Barriers > 11:00 Am - 10 Stages Of Growth

11:00 am - 10 Stages of Growth


Breaking Through Creative Barriers


Lesson Info

11:00 am - 10 Stages of Growth

We've done our coffin his workshop for more than five years and so I've gotten tio spend amazing time with women all over the country and then get to see their growth from that weekend and what they encounter and I find that there's these ten stages that seemed to happen and like I said before the break that we're not absolutely not limited to these stages but I think it's really free when you go oh, that is totally my stage so as I'm listening there as I'm listening to me dot as your listening I would love to know at some point what stage people find themselves in right now and not that you go through them on ly one at a time but like maybe you bounce around or maybe you find yourself cycling back through their first stage I would say is I'm just falling in love with taking pictures I feel like there should be like violence it's like playing right because it was like so romantic it was like the honeymoon with our way like just val in love with taking pictures either some of my first p...

ictures when I bought that camera from cost sco when I had no idea what I was doing and just pictures of past colleen capturing the different sides of her personality and just falling in love with you know all the little expressions that blaze and pascal lincoln make no real like sense that I'm going to make a living out of this, but just falling in love with taking pictures. So to me, this is really an interesting stage, because I think that when we're in this stage, we show everybody our photos, whether they want to see him or not, you know, I'm saying it's, like, we almost have this ignorant, like courage and enthusiasm and it's really like, I'm fascinating to me how that as you move out of this stage, the critic, it starts to show up more and more more where in this stage, there really is no critic it like, I can't believe what I captured, I have to sell you, you know, and we just show it to everybody, and then all of a sudden I think things start to shift, so the second stage, I would say, is do that finding a story and it's not necessarily finding these story, but just finding any story that you can tell so impasse killeen was about, I think, I think she's about four and a half years old, she I'm gave herself a haircut when I went to the grocery store, and she I knew something had gone amiss because I walked into the home and it was like soup berg quiet in the house, and it was like barbie like hair here on the floor and barbie hair there on the floor, it was like a massacre had happened of barbier on I was like an m brian, I'm brian wasn't seen ng anything, and so I was like, he must not no, that pass clean, got scissors and decide to give all her barbies a haircut. But what I didn't know is that she decided to give herself a haircut, tio, which in the moment was so terrifying when I realize that my daughter had had the scissors up to her face and was using a of course, that was all brian's fault, right? Because I was at the grocery start now, but I'm I decided because I wanted to capture the story of her giving herself a haircut. I focused on her base because her eyes, like, weren't the story to me. It was this uneven, jagged thing I had done. Now, this is her in egypt. We spent the month in egypt for january, which is a whole nother story self, but this is her I, now a twelve in bedouin garb, and I love that her eyes and that just like that kind of frame, you know, shot still continue to tell a different story to me of who she is, and so I think this stage is really, like, exciting because we have maybe not lifted ourselves as a storyteller, and all of a sudden in we start to see stories everywhere, and so we kind of go a little cuckoo. We start trying to capture, like every part of the story to where if you looked at our photos really fast to be like looking at video, right? And we've taken like three hundred stories I love with three hundred pictures of like one thing I love the comedian jim gaffigan. Do you know him? He is so funny, he as you can watch his, I'm his comedy on netflix. Why is it called it? How, anyways you jim gaffigan is his name, but I love how he says that he has more pictures of his kids right now. Then his dad ever even looked at him. I like it so true, and so so what is the story that we're looking for? And and what is the story that we're wanting to tell finding that story? It can be something as simple as I one year old, like learning how to stand on her own and she's super proud, and she feels undefeatable, you know, or it can be the favorite toy of seven month old, which is hilarious to me, it's the remote control, the mom hit it in her purse on the way to the shu, she would not bring out the tv remote control until the very last second, because once she wants her baby saw that remote control, that was going to be in every other photo from that. But what a fantastic story I mean, isn't that so? So finding the story I feel like, is the second stage of growth, the third stage to me that I've noticed and that I've experienced myself is going indoors with window light because you kind of, like, done the outside thing, and you're starting to feel yourself hit that creative right? We were talk king about in the last session, and you're like I wanted I want to be able to shoot inside, not just outside, so you go in and you have your subjects always facing the window light, right? And you're using that window light to illuminate them and get what you need and it's just it's it's, just so simple, and you love your results because it's this beautiful, flattering light. I love this little one, you know, saying that I did all these babies shoots one day in a row at this hotel room, and it was areas because every we had every ethnicity represented at this like day of baby shoes and every ethnicity has their own sound they make to get their baby to respond. And it was like, I wish we could have just an audio that day from the indians like and their their sound they make to the native americans sound too, like the japanese model was hilarious, but just using linda light in a hotel room on a hotel bed and it gets see that it gives you that result. This is also windows like this there's nothing. No, no back job set up to this is just, you know, that beautiful window it. And I would say that in this stage, as well as the one before it, you're starting to experiment with aperture. You're starting to blur your background because really, no one knows what the story's about unless we tell them right we and we see that more and more with movies these days when one character is speaking that we notice everything goes blurred around them. And we know that that's where attention should be, and then they move our attention as they bring the other character into focus and so plain with amateur but then, like, you kind of hit this I would say barrier in some ways you hit this right again of like, well, that was fun now like what's next and this is this is the next one that came for me blasting out out the window light I fell in love with blasting out the window light and I'm still in love with it. This is blaze and a tent like a for like ten that he made in our living room now blazes to make these forts behind the couch up against the wall where there was no light and so you know that you needed set yourself up for success to really get the lighting results that you want. So one day I was like, blaze, how about if we make a fort in front of the booth? You know, I'm like why I'm setting that maybe he's watching going um, I totally amman to you now, but I didn't have enough why, where he would typically make it so and I wanted to blast some windows out because that I'm that blasting in that light had so much drama and emotion sometimes when I worked with clients that are very reserved and their emotion isn't like riding on the front of them, light becomes my key I'm tool because if I can figure out a way to blast the light behind them blasts a window light use light as one of the pieces of the story it will make up for the motion that maybe they don't express on their face as much as other people does that make sense? So a couple other examples of this is a shoot I did in seattle and just I always ask my kinds like what's your favorite thing to do together and I wanted because I want to start with the story of them and this happens as you grow in more and more confidence with your camera but I'll never forget she said I love it when like I'm dressing him we have this little giggle game you know that we play and so I thought, okay that's that's his room there is those beautiful windows I want to blast out that light to bring more attention to them and then I want to get in close so I get more of that like intimate connection between the two of them so blasting out the window like it does it and it doesn't have to be this technique we all know can I'm be used outside too like if the sun is like really bright, you know, really shooting in media ring on the kids and shooting into the sun and it just like just all our attention right toe like what's happening right right then in that moment I love blazes face passed colleen is my event like she'll pick up anything she she's help scorpions, she'll eat crocodile like you just like just just try to challenge her, unlike something she can't eat or touch and believe like e I don't know about that, susie, I'm the next stage. Stage five I think is finessing that backlight, but not seen that blasted out when no light and this just takes practice. There is no way around this without practicing it. S o this next photo I'm going to show you was at this really amazing, huge wedding that happened in idaho, and they had all set up where they wanted me to take the photos off the bride getting her dress on, and I walked into this room and it was like it looked like someone had just, like sprayed the whole thing with mob and pink tones, and and there was no way we're getting out of this without her looking totally pink because everything was pink in his room and the lighting wasn't like super great either, right? So I'm but at the top of this stairs that goes up to the second floor, there is this open landing, and it was just beautiful light coming through this arched window, and I just thought, oh, you should have her put her dress on right here well, I you know, so I would always go to the mont and ask her what she thought before I asked the bright because the mom is really in the data of the ones who paid all the many for us to come right? So I asked the mom when she thought about that and she was like oh um well I don't really want everyone to see see my daughter get dressed I know if I ask the daughter and she's going to be like let's do whatever you know but I really wanted the mom to be onboard teo and so she was like no no no no that I don't want to do that that's on a good idea and so I said, well I said one and I want you to remember this as I say this because this is true for all of you and all of you very watching right now I said to her well one of the reasons you've hired me is because I'm really your expert on light today I'm your expert on finding light looking for a light setting us up for good success with our photos and so I need you to trust me because you wouldn't have paid me all the money you did if you didn't believe like I knew something about that so I really need you to go with me on it and she was like she said she was never like really a full believer in doing it but she gave me her permission okay, so we set up and everything and and the daughter is excited and she's putting on this dress and she starts twirling around and I'll show you this photo she start and this is a photo and I mean there is an angel at the top of the stairs on like and the back of that arched window and there's a glass ceiling you know? I mean like this is nothing compared to like a pink spray painted room but there but like your clients don't have the vision for what the lighting should be because they're not the photographer they may have looked at a brazilian websites before they chose you, but they still don't have the training and all the work that you've done and learning where the light should be and you should expect them to sometimes not be completely sold on your idea because they can't be they can't they don't have the vision of what you're seeing and all the things that are going into it and so if they resist a little bit or if these say that's on a good idea that's when you smile really big and say, well, we're just going to try it because the truth is is that they often don't have an idea to replace that right? So why not try your idea? So this took finessing this stage I spent so much time in I would say I spent I good solid three to four years in the nastiness backlight so it's not just like a blasted out window, but every shadow everything is like exactly where I wanted to be. Does that make sense? And it works outside as well? This is the house we were for four years we rented a house in the jungle in thailand in and live there in the jungle for six weeks with our kids and just had crazy insane adventures and maybe we'll have time I'll talk about those more later but finessing the back like how much light is on pasqua lean how much light joining on plays his face to get it right and it's not like you dialling your settings and you're like, oh, I have so got this and like you get your side right way have additional that's the best part is you can look at the back of your camera or like sony's a ninety nine you actually don't even need to like let people see you champing because it's the only camera that has the playback inside the view finer so you can just be like I'm just setting up my shot why you're looking at your lying actually and getting it in asking and exactly like where you want it the next stage stage six to me is letting creativity lose ok, so let's look at this because remember our stage one we started with just falling in love with taking pictures and everything we took a photo of we like just loved and then we fell in love with finding a story right but as we fell in love with finding a story we quickly learned that we were going to need to learn more technically to make the story really come through because we would get well I like I had so many people call happy accidents and we would just be like why can't I get the same shot to be over and selene new then at that point that we needed to learn more technically about our camera I think that when you it stage six you are finally in a place where you're not thinking as much about what's going on technically with your camera it started to become second nature to you shooting emanuel has become second nature mita ring on people getting the light you want is not this huge exercise and you all of a sudden now start to do it second nature so that's I think when you hit this stage we're creativity gets to be let loose again like it first was when you first started taking pictures so I want to just like pause on this for a minute because this is this is really key here I have so many women email me who are beating up on themselves because they are not feeling like creative and inspirational in their shoes but they're still trying to figure out technically the camera you know I'm saying they're expecting so much out of themselves is that it's not it's not realistic because photography the beautiful thing about photography is you're never done learning it continues to unfold and unfold and involved but for some reason back to that perfectionism barrier we talked to doubt we put all this pressure on us to know how to do everything in this shot that I take and if we fall anything short of it way all of a sudden go to this place that well maybe I shouldn't be taking photos right does anybody relates in that right so stages is so free no no because then you can go ok like you know what I am in a stage right now where I'm learning and practicing and rehearsing over and over and over again to get my cameras technical settings to become second nature to me so I don't have a ton of creativity coming out at my shoots I can cut myself some slack because that's really not the stage of growth I'm in right now and here's the thing your client out if you are excited about what you're doing your clients will be excited about you taking your photos it's when you look at the back of your camera and go me that's the only time your clients wonder they should jump ship with you because up until then like you guys are all having fun, they don't know that you're working on all this technical stuff they don't even know what aperture is right? They don't even it's insane to me like this is so cool, but I I've shown so many moms who have no desire to like become photographers so many moms that these different pictures and I asked him to pick out their favorite one they always go to the one that has the blurred background I asked him, why do you like those three over? Like all the rest? I don't know on they don't know because they just know intuitively there's something beautiful about this image, but they don't know that I shot with at one point ear that I a wide open aperture, whatever so I feel like I'm they're neat we need to give ourselves some more grace in this technical like stage because stage six is waiting to us it's out there, we're headed towards it, but we can't really fully embrace this until we really feel that's second nature with their camera and to me like that's kind of the stage where the butterfly hangs himself upside down because everything that we thought we knew about our camera, you know I don't know how many of you like experiences when you switch to manual your photos get worse before they get better right? Well, there's but there's no way around that that's just the way the nature of like growth and so when you get to this stage letting creatively creativity lose now set in and you know when you get to it because you won't be putting all this mental energy into your camera anymore and know that you get to get down with the kids and you get to be like, why do you want to take a picture up and you're fully present and you know what I'm saying when you're not present in that creative space, you know, because you're too, like focused on the camera that's ok, but when you get to this stage you're fully there so there is this little boy this family kathy probably may even be watching right now the mock pedro like twelve hours for me to do a photo shoot of their family in denver, colorado and so they get out of the car and this kid is tired this's like we're here are photos you know, but he's so sweet he has such a great attitude and I know like I need to connect with him because he's giving me so much and like being in a car that long to stab his picture taken so I get down on his level and he has a steady bear with them and I asked him you know to tell me about his teddy bear so he tells me about his teddy bear his name and all the things that they talk about and I'm just like oh my goodness I love that you have a friend so close to you who's with you all the time and so then I say you know can I ask your teddy bear what we should do for a photo and he's like yes, of course you can't so he gives me his daddy there and I say it was daddy there what you think we should do for a photo today I want to know your ideas I hold the teddy bear up to my ear and I'm like oh, a lot of that and his little boy's eyes are getting bigger and bigger and he's like he talks to you tio course the dogs to me and so I'm living I'm like hi I love that idea yes we should definitely start their eye absolutely no question about it I am still think well you brought this teddy bear because he is full of crazy fun ideas I give the teddy bear back to him and I say ok you teddy bear teddy you tell him what you just told me he puts a teddy bear out to his ear and he's like you're right miss mira that is a good idea I could have never have thought of that mice sell and always, then he's runs over to the steps and he gets set up and he's like this is what we're going to dio and that's the photo that they set up really on our time, even word is going to steer it each other, and I love it and his mom is starting to cry, and I'm starting to cry because this is, like, totally her son. And this is a dynamic and the story of their life that they're in right now, right? But I can't get to this place mentally until I get my camera, okay, and and putting any pressure on myself to do this before I understand my camera is really, like, not fair that's really in just in myself, but once I know my camera and I know my settings, well, then all of this can take off and he said, we want to sit and look at the camera. We want a boat just look right at you and every photo we took did the mom lover wife because when women, but why isn't mom love those photos? Why gase like, really, like just appreciate and treasure their photos? Was it because I was an amazing photographer, the there is no I am a photographer ryan a professional photographer but their reason she loved those photos is because that's her son and her son was a part of the creative process and it wasn't showing up for photo shoot where I just direct and tell them everything we're supposed to do but her son I got to tell me what we're supposed to create and so I'm not shooting for a print judges okay? I'm not shooting for my colleagues that are professionals photographers if they like and resonate with what ideo I love that and I received that but what really I'm shooting for is for that mom and that child to feel like I gave them a voice and being with me they had a voice and that voice was beautiful and we captured it together but that does not happen unless I know my camera settings and so I give myself grace until I'm there and I can do that and I am excited because I know that's what I'm headed tio it's frustrated I am with my camera at the moment yes stage seven plane with shadows I love shadows I used to be all about the white we have to have an apply we have to shoot like when it's overcast till like make sure the windows and ride enough I have like I just have been blown away in the last few years by shadows I just I'm I think for me, it's a personal journey, too, because I spent so much of my life trying to get the shadows out of my life, trying to get the darkness out of my life, because if I just had a light all about me, then that's what you want and that's what I should beginning you. And then all of a sudden, and while I was shooting this wedding with my husband and napa, I like was, like, just blown away by some of the shadows that we're presenting themselves to me, and all of a sudden I realized that shadows define the light, that there is no definition toe light without the shadows, and I started embrace even my own darkness in my life that those dark things that I've gone through that I've had a persevere through are actually what defines the light inside of me. So shadows, holy smoke. So I to go on for three days about shadows, but I'm not going to you, but this is stage seven to me because I think we start playing and we start creating and we start having fun but then way feel this, urging us to take it up a notch, technically to like way see stuff online, and we're like how to be, too. That how did he get stuff to be like that I mean it's everywhere this was just I'm a retreat I took by myself every quarter I go away by myself sometimes more and there was sunset and I pulled over to the side of the freeway because oh holy smoke look at this the shadows run the rogard looks like the sun race light is like I love this I love how shadows and define exactly where the light is and I just you know and just wind and fold that an impact that as much as I can this was I'm a photo shoot in new york and guess who her first baby wass her first baby was spencer spencer is not on the bed anymore right? So the story for me is like this this which name me bottom he's like you used to be up there with her I like this is so unjust this is so unfair and so as I'm saying this like I can say we really need to get the dog out the shot because spencer kept jumping high to like see like the two of them to see like do you know this meeting you notice me I used to be important in your life but for me like it was in just capturing the three of them together but how am I going to use shadows in the room take send she wait where I want the light to be what I want to be illuminated and so now I love to go into rooms and just turn off all the lights it's because when all the lights on our overhead my shadows air deluded right? But when I turn off all the lights now the window light pops and now you start to see like we're all the shadows are and how aiken set set something up this is a photo I took in january when we were in egypt and this was this is a brian and blaze at sunrise and we you know, we were just playing out there we were at okay so seriously like was just like take a tangent for a minute I know so ignorant sometimes of countries I never knew it was beyond the pyramids I was just like the pyramids would be cool to see oh my goodness I had no idea that there is like a valley of the kings and the tombs and this place that we were at called abou symbol where ramus ease like in the middle of nowhere get this you have to drive for hours by convoy into the desert you have a guard in your front seat with a gun driving with you by convoy you all leave together because of any of you break it breaks down in the middle of the desert you're in the middle of the desert and there's like bandits in the desert there's all kinds of things that go on in the desert and so we went by convoy four hours into the desert into the middle of nowhere, and there are these mammoth like stone carvings like four thousand years old of ramen sees and he's sitting like in this thrown on this turn in this sort of this four times and it's the four stages of his life it's a four stages of like critical changing masculinity of his life and his toe is like as tall as I am how did the cartons it's just like insane? So we're waiting for the sunrise to come up so we can shoot this and video this all happening and I turned around and I see blaze and I'm like how she shadows of dad he is his dad's a shadow he loves his dad he's got the camera while he's gotten any sex photo he's taking photos constantly why is dad looking and they're creating together and so shadows like how can they play a part in the story that we're wanting to tell? I'm stage eight do you like that instead of it being white is black? How dark can I go, how dark and I go how dark have you ever done that? Have you ever challenge yourself to see how little light you can work with and like what? That what kind of results that would make this was a wedding that we did, and this was like a big four five day event. And you know when when jewish people get married from what I understand so please forgive me if I'm getting this wrong, I'm right after the ceremony, the bride and groom go somewhere private where no one can see them and no one can bother them. So in that moment I was like, I need my seventy two, two hundred million your lands on I need to go find a bush because this moment not going down without me. So I am like hiding in the middle of these bushes, trying to like, you know, capture the two of them and oh, my gosh, like sheer curtains and the sunlight, and so they're just illuminated he tenderly reaches up and holds her face. It was the most genuine affection of the whole four days in that moment, and I just thought, like, I love how dark all of this is, I love the contrast it going to make them shine that much more, and then all this obviously and light room, I can add a vignette like make it, you know, the contrast that much more, but how dark can you go about this is that this is blaze he fell asleep on our deck and in that house in thailand and in the jungle at night is dark like there's no lights anywhere you know and so all that was here was the spotlights and I was like kind she knew how high can I bump up my eyes so and I mean I just love with the cameras we have now you know that like, you know the sony a ninety nine or the other ones that came before and I could goes crazy high in my eyes so when there's no grain but just like how dark can I go and like let you really like be moved by the light of the only thing that's eliminated is what I want you to see brian took this photo of us we were this is when we were in egypt and we were camping in the desert with better win ana and there's boxes they don't have squirrels they have foxes in the desert that run around at night and they kind of are there a lot like a squirrel and they're about this big and it was so funny because our our guide was like oh don't worry they'll never come near us they just get close but they never come in you and that night so he had set up tents for us but we were welcome to sleep under the stars but they were like a lot what harm or more as we were like making are like dinner and I was like yeah, you know I'm going to sleep in the tent I think and so we like your this I have a million night and he are all bed that was sleeping under the stars and one of those boxes had crawled on his lap and we around himself up and was sleeping on his belly and he like freaked out and he like well like the fox went like lie yeah on so but in the gesture like all the what you have is what you've brought and so we were like, you know in the middle of this canyon in the bottom and brian got you know up to the top with his tripod and you can even see like the stars in that crazy I just left that you can see like this light right here in all this is like in shadows how dark how dark can you go that's something fun to play around with with your clients and so instead of meeting them at the park you mean about their house like at sunset and you let the sun go down and see how dark can you go this's that a wonderful woman that is in new york I shot her wedding and this is her pregnancy with twins and this was in I'm what's the name of that park in new york city's thank you, central park. Ok, so this is central park and and I loved I'm how the bridge like curves and stuff there's this like there's this flow that's happening and so I had her get in the middle and I love that like the sun was gone and we were still out there playing and she's like, how can you have enough? Why? I like, don't worry, I have light just where I need the light don't you have all light? We just need the light that we need and so just plain with like how dark can I go? Because to me, she's, like the story for this to me is she's like approaching the birth of her whole life, changing she's like right in that dawn and that darkest hour right before her life is about ready to change. And so what is the story of our clients lives? What is it we're trying to capture to preserve for them? This is that another? Just oh, just one of my favorite photos. This is like brian shot this and eyes is my favorite wedding photo because the eyes always crazy high on this and here you can see the bride's dad, you see his tax hit her day, I was like super super tall so you could see his tux there on that side she's getting ready and her sister in law has just made just finished her toast and the mom just grabs her and embraces there and everything that we don't need to see his dark all that we need to see, you know has life. So how dark, how dark can you go? Stage nine collar with purpose we see in dollar, right? So how do you like tap into photos that have color with purpose because everything unless you know, unless you're colorblind, everything is in color and so really like when I'm when I first started, I would pick like one thing a year to work on and that and I would just work on that one thing because there's so much to work on with photography that if you try to tackle all of it, you'll just like forget it, you'll be so frustrated, so one year I picked color color I want to capture images that really like just speak color. And so this photo is I'm this is when we were we had tracked up to this lake and the jungles of thailand, and we were sleeping on these floating bamboo huts and color the greens and the turquoise is in the blues was such a part of this to me and so how can I capture this moment? Ah pass clean and she was ten at the time and this was a very pivotal trip for us as a family with her because she was starting to cross over from being a little girl and to becoming a young woman and that's a huge thing for ah girl to like transition through she's in her own grow stages, right? So when she opened that back door and had her foot and she was teeter tottering it I just thought I love the story of, like passing from one doorway into another and capturing the story of her teeter tottering these two different places that she's in she's one foot in one of the other I'll tell you that funny about so I was kind of like this has nothing to do with photography, but I was like we're sleeping and floating bamboo huts like can't we sleep on the way you know on they're like well, no, because that night you'll hear it like wild elephants come down and herds and now like drink at night and the jaguars are loud at night in the wild boar run through the grass is at night and I was like, ok, I was like, so can we like detached sleeping like bamboo hut so we're not even because I'm like to the jaguars come on the bamboo hot like how does that work and so these little boy floating beyond boo huts literally their ceilings like our flaps they go like that and so it's literally like there and they're not fast and now so in the middle of the night I'm in one with past clean and blazes in one with brian and the middle of the night this crew raising insane monsoon comes the room and I am not joking you that flap opens and past leader just like during lunch with water and then she and I both have to be but we're like we're not going on land and so we literally like open this back door and we're squad c e o and I'm like wait so I'm just but you know that has nothing to do with color or photography but I just you know what? What is it that just just gets you so excited inside that you've got a capture and how concolor play a part in that this is this little baby is half native american half japanese mom was so cute she brought the native american blanket and then she brought the japanese come on like both shoots the baby looks totally different and ethnicity but to me like collar's such a part of this you know, and telling the heritage that story of of this little guy okay, so I can't believe we're already here but stage ten creating outside your own box and I'm I think that this is one of the most rewarding stages ever because you have all the tools you understand your camera technically you're I'm you know, you're experimenting with the story that presents itself spontaneously when you get together with people and and you feel confident about it, you feel solid about it and now you're like, I want to create something outside of I sat in my box I want to do something outside of what I normally do well, I'm always been really tight with my portrait's instead that I take so my challenge this last year for myself has been to go really wide and it's still hold a story, and though even though I'm really wide, so I've been picking the other sony artisans I've been picking their brain it's like christina mittermeier is here tomorrow because she shoots a lot of wide, you know, with her nature in her animals and I've been picking to heaven mcclain's mine because he's a national geographic guide to how do you do this? I just don't see the worldwide, you know, and so when we were in egypt I felt like I was experiencing that stage ten where all the stages came together and I was creating out of my own box and this personally for me is my favorite photo from egypt and it's, because I broke through my own barrier of the limits I put on my myself in my box that I can stay inside, but blaze was I'm this is where brian stood with that tripod and took that night shot of our tents. I'm but blaze was up here, plane at the top of the hill, and he started running, he started running down and I saw this shadow, and I'm like, oh, my god, just get me so I like I and I just like second nature set up my settings for my camera so that I could capture him in the shadow, and I waited for him to run into the shadow and literally just shot it. It was there because it was like I saw this story, I knew how to dial in my camera, and I I knew what I was waiting for, and then it came, and so for me, this was my own stage ten moment, because it's super wide and yet there's still like joy, and even though he's like so small in the corner, this is, um, another one. This is when our car broke down in the desert and we were just like, get me out, you know, and they're trying, you can see, they're trying to rock the car back and forth and I've never I'm shot in black and white mode in the camera but with sony's black and white because I always have not really enjoyed like the results I get it's too gray scale for me and so I'd rather shooting collar make it black and white on my computer later on because I really like black, black, white, white, right? But this is like literally like pretty much straight out of camera because in the desert I feel like all we have is contract, so I thought, I'm just going to put my a ninety nine onto my black and white mode and I'm just gonna let this rib in black and white no, because it's either lighter, dark in the desert and so this is another moment for me of breaking out of my own box because it's super wide and I and this is in this place called the valley of the whales I'm literally there's laid out skeletons of wales that once were swimming in the ocean there's there's not water for five or six hours drive and you see these like skeletons ease is amazing and their seashells everywhere it's the ocean used to be there and so there's these huge, like you can just imagine like this was like coral reef at one time, you know so I had the kids and brian get up there and just like that at first they were just standing up there but it looks like they were bored and I was like everybody cheer for me because I needed to see some more energy coming out of them so they all cheered when they got to the top and for me it was like, oh, I can take a wide shot you know? Because you tell yourself these things like I only do close steps or I only do I'm you know things that are really tight or I only do wide shots and you start to tell yourself these like lies and I was sending you limit yourself as an artist and and then like this process of like breaking through those things and going I could take a wide angle shot shot I've been doing this for ten years and I feel like I just took my first photo I feel like I'm back in stage one I'm just so excited to take you want to go see us so I'm any questions your work is this is so beautiful it's a e I love the stories it's very exciting your world travel travels I have to say it's that in itself is very inspiring so thank you for sharing yeah, you're beautiful work and we do have many many questions do we have anything here in the audience amazing and inspiring um the first class that I took with you, the first class that I took with you was a game changer and I'm sure that everybody at home and we were talking at the break total game changer again, it's a resurgence and just awesome thank you, you didn't really have a question, I'm sorry three right? And actually that is perfect timing with your comment, because as we lead into break, I wanted tio askyou about we had it a question coming in about confidence, my favorite, I know it is, and the workshop that you're talking about is you attended one of myra's very well known confidence workshops. And so this question is, do you have any suggestions on how to put the dream into action if you don't feel confident? But you are ready to find that first paying client? The question is like, how do I step out there when I'm ready to start getting baby like yes? And in terms of if you don't feel confident but you're ready, but you don't feel confident. So how do I start charging? Is that the question you think? Any suggestions on how to put that dream into action if you don't feel confident, but you're ready to find that first paying client so I think it just it does come down tio yeah the confidence you know call and confidence is like my my favorite thing to talk about so that question is great like that where do I start when I'm ready to like take my stuff you know, work to the next level and I always like to start with I'm friends you know and just you know ask tell tell them that you're launching this and you would like them to help you spread the word and and it's ok that there's five brazilian other people doing it because like just light has always reminded me jeff yoka anybody can do what you do but nobody can be who you are and so just you know, launching that you have to start somewhere and just putting it out to friends and when I'm ivor started I remember like charging gosh eighty five dollars that's what I charge and you know and I shot film and I had to pay for the development of the film but I needed to charge something because I needed to start practicing value my time because my time is valuable and I wasn't yet ready to charge twenty thousand dollars but I needed to start somewhere so I think even charging a small amount is a baby step in building confidence that your time is a value because a cz long is it's for free then there's really like no here we go is it skin in the game that there's no, like the phrase, you know what I'm talking about as long as it's every there's, nothing really risked, and so I get so excited when women start to put themselves out there and start to charge a little bit here and there, and slowly growing grow, because then it ignites their ability to grow, but they're not really growing until they start risking and start trying something, whether it's putting vote, I put photos up when I first started in my I'm gynecologist's office, I was sitting in there for my appoint my o b appointment, and there was like nothing on the walls, and I was like, this is the most boring waiting room I've ever been in in my whole alive, and so I asked the lady at the desk, I'm like, do you ever feature artist? I'd only been taking pictures for, like nine months or something, I and even I was on auto mode, I don't know what I was doing, and she was like, I'm yes, like I think are building manager would love to do that, so I said, great, I'm I'm going to set up appointment with her and show her some of my way work, so I had a handmade album, double sided satin ribbon, hand bounded that I put these photos in a friend's I took I just I got every single friend that represented any population you could think of from my african american friends to my asian friends to my grand care if it's you know and had all in that book and I went and I presented it to this building manager and I said if you'd like to exhibit some of my work you can buy prince of the us and and she and she bought twelve if you can believe it and to this day ten years later you can still go to that obi and they're still hanging on the wall and I have never updated him you know what? I've never gotten a single booking from that but putting my work up there did something for my confidence it gave me like I'm up there yeah I really I want to share this story yeah talk about paying it forward because it's hard to put yourself out there but I would encourage other photographers to pay it forward and pass along an opportunity to another one robin and she's going to kill me for outing her on tv um from our class yeah in florida in florida yeah she decided to take that leap and charge yeah I my very first paying job after your workshop was a maternity shoot I have photographed this family a couple times now and this opportunity came up and I missed their first birthday I had said I would do it, and this came up and I said, I can't, yeah, I had robin so I said, robin, would you like to do this? Shoot, yeah, so my first paying job this family has traveled with me is now her first paying job on I would encourage other photographers to do that, you know, when you have this opportunities past that out, yeah, somebody a little bit of a push, yeah, it's, a little bit of a push. Yeah, I know that's. Great, I love that. You said that.

Class Description

Join Sony Artisan of Imagery Me Ra Koh for a photography course on breaking through creative barriers. In this creativeLIVE course, Me Ra outlines her signature "10 Stages of Growth for a Portrait Photographer." This comprehensive guide is designed to highlight the different phases of a photographer's journey andoutline the various challenges each photographer faces during their professional career.

This photography course is all about breaking through the creative "glass ceiling" that photographers face. Ma Ra showcases real-world examples on how to overcome common barriers, and how to leverage them to build strength for yourself and your photography business.

This inspirational workshop was part of creativeLIVE's Shoot What You Love event, a 3-day inspirational event sponsored by SONY featuring fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.