Saturday, March 5, 2011

Private Garden Party with Me Ra Koh

A couple weeks ago, I found out that I was invited to a very special event: Me Ra Koh's Private Garden Party.  If you know me, you know that I LOVE a party, I LOVE photography, and I LOVE Me Ra Koh! 

Side note:  For those of you who don't know who Me Ra Koh is, check out this link.   Me Ra Koh is a celebrity photographer, a published author (I just pre  ordered her latest book, "Your Baby in Pictures,") and she is a  correspondent on The Nate Berkus Show who shoots photos live on the show.  She gives great tips.  Also Me Ra Koh and her husband came up with the idea for the SOAR! Scholarship.

Those invited to the party had to be a previous SOAR! Scholarship Applicant (like me), a SOAR! blog follower, a previous CONFIDENCE workshop attendee, or other women photographers (pro or beginners) who want to get into a group of supportive women.  The first 65 ladies to sign up to this FREE event were in!

When I first saw this invitation on her blog and realized that I was invited, I just knew I had to find a way to be at the party.  As I read more details, I could feel the wheels turning in my head and my smile getting bigger.  My brain was thinking, "Las Vegas?!  I've never been to Las Vegas.  I want to go check out that city.  Yes!  Jenny lives in Las Vegas.  Right after Presidents Weekend?!  Sweet, Brian already has a few days off of school and I'm sure Sam could take a couple days off of work.  Hmmm... I better go call Jenny and see if she'd be up for my family coming for a visit."  So Jenny tells me that she'd love to have us come visit.  We had so many details of the trip all planned out before Sam even got home from work and I could mention this wonderful, can't-pass-up opportunity.  Sam had to "think about it" for a couple of days.  On Valentine's Day, he informed me that he'd be able to take off work and that we could go to Las Vegas.  YIPPIE!!!

MGM Grand Hotel Valet Parking 

The big day came.  I'd been corresponding with one of my SOAR Sisters, Lynde Alvarez, over email a couple of days before the party.  We decided that we would meet up at the MGM Grand Hotel and wait for the limo shuttle together.  I drove myself to the MGM Grand Hotel and met Lynde.  It was our first time meeting each other and I'm glad that she let me tag along with her.  She led me to the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) Trade Show (I had a free pass for the Trade Show) and we walked around for ten minutes before going out to wait for the limo shuttle.

There was a great vibe going on just waiting for our ride to the party.  I enjoyed putting names with faces (several of the ladies I recognized from their profile pictures on the Soar Sisters Facebook page.)  I met Julie Watts (inventor of the brand new Photo Pantz... genius idea) Melisa Draper, Jennifer Sharon, Rhonda Kane,  Christine Barker, and Amy Rhodes.  Oh, and on the bus, I sat nest to and chatted with the Vice President of Rangefinder Magazine, Lauren Wendle. 

 Our ride to the Garden Party - THE Limo Shuttle

The Garden Party was so fabulous.  Good food.  Great inspiring speakers.  I especially enjoyed what Lynda Kennedy had to say.  All the women in attendance got a few gifts too.  I'm excited to claim my prize soon.  I wish this afternoon could have lasted longer.  I had fun getting acquainted with other women photographers. 

photo courtesy of Rhonda Kane

Me & Amy Rhodes


Metering the light off my hand

photo courtesy of Rhonda Kane

Photo taken by ME!

The picture above is my favorite picture I took during Me Ra Koh's photo coaching session.

Dane Sanders, a famous photographer and author, was also in attendance.  

He did some photo coaching as well.

 Me & Me Ra Koh

The highlight of the Garden Party was meeting the host, Me Ra Koh!  A week before the party, I participated in a free teleconference call with my Soar Sisters, the women of The Wisdom Connection business coaching services, and Me Ra Koh.  I answered three questions on the teleconference and Me Ra remembered who I was!  I told her my name and she just smiled and said, "Oh Lisa!  So great to finally meet you!"  We gave each other a quick hug and my new friend, Amy snapped this picture really quick.  

The two hour party went by so fast.  I decided to wander around the WPPI Trade Show for another 30 minutes before heading back to Jenny's.  I picked up some free tote bags and magazines.  I stopped at a photo booth for a minute because there was a presentation going on.  The 50ish year old man doing the presentation called me out of the crowd to help him demonstrate some bride and groom modeling poses... talk about awkward.   

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Las Vegas.  I love spontaneous road trips!  I love hanging out with family and meeting new friends that share my passion of photography.  A special thank you goes out to my husband for doing all the driving to and from Las Vegas. 

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