You are a work of art

This.  Image.  This woman.  Stunning.  Fierce. Full of wisdom.  Almost smirking in the face of adversity.

If only you knew.

If only you could know a small part of the story that brought her where she is today.  Only then could you begin to understand the depth of her outrageous joy, her fiery strength, and her unreasonable love for you, and everyone she meets.  I’m sure she’s not a perfect human, but she’s certainly the kind of human I want to be. While I can’t begin to explain how much her friendship has meant to me already in this life, trust me.  It’s big.

Of all the images I’ve seen of Me Ra this one stops me in my tracks.

This is her.  Yes, she’s FULL of joy, bubbling over, smiling, almost always.  But this one tells a richer story.  A fuller story.  I can’t do her story one iota of justice, trying to tell it myself, but I desperately want you to hear it because it’s so good, and strong, and true. So today, I want you to meet my beloved friend Me Ra Koh, who is leading us in our “One Word Girls Night Out” on January 9th.

But I want you to hear her story, in her own words: 

“Each of us has a story to tell. The unique paths we travel, along with the people we encounter, help shape the story of who we are and our purpose.  Every part of our story is valuable.

In my own life, I have experienced the pain of living within the four walls of a psychiatric ward, to inspiring millions on TV.      

A few years ago, my husband and I along with our teenagers brought our national brand to Frisco with Me Ra Koh Portraits.  We go one giant step beyond taking a beautiful photo to capture the truth between people. Through a photographic experience, couples and families develop deeper connections, leading to stronger marriages, families, and communities. Our studio provides an experience that brings your family closer and ends with fine art portraits displayed in your home.

I’ve been a working artist for over twenty years, storytelling is at the heart of who I am.  I’m excited to help you jumpstart 2020 as we dive into a new chapter.

Whatever your story, however it began, you are a work of art.  

Just as I was embracing my college life, and enjoying the new anonymity of blending in, I experienced trauma that left me in a desperate struggle for self-worth through a storm of shame, anger, fear, homelessness, and the edges of madness. It would take the love of friends, family, and a deep faith to pull me through.  The woman who emerged is bubbling over with joy, courageous, transparent, and has an unyielding drive to share it all with the rest of you. 

In 2002, after a heartbreaking miscarriage, I took a break from writing and speaking and picked up a camera to capture the beauty and joy I experienced with my daughter.

Through it, I discovered a new magical path of storytelling.

Five years later, SONY signed me as one of their first two female sponsored photographers as an Artisan of Imagery. I’ve published a series of award-winning books, sharing my photography and storytelling secrets, so that you might look back on your own family photos and see more than stiff smiles and poses!  I went on to build an internationally renowned photography brand that has seen my work displayed in museums and galleries worldwide.  I’ve had the privilege of inspiring millions of moms and children who have watched my Disney show “Capture Your Story with Me Ra Koh”, appearances on Live with Kelly and Ryan and our family’s travel show, Adventure Family

But I hope I’m best remembered for modeling the work and reward of building impossible dreams as a family. 

This image, that Crystal chose is another side of me.  For the most part, I am often smiling or laughing (unless Brian makes me cry, LOL!).   I LOVE people, and if I had to choose another career I’d beg Sesame Street to take me. The magic and wonder of a four-year-olds imagination makes my heart burst with joy.

But there is another side of me. ⁠⠀

To be honest, it’s kind of nerve-wracking to share. But I have this amazing husband who wanted to capture this other side of me. This is the side that is fierce, focused and driven. ⁠This is the side that sees fear and doubt trying to intimidate others, intimidate me, and picks up a sword to fight that war again and again. ⁠ This is me exhaling into confidence.  I feel like this portrait even captures the meaning of my name which is a metaphor for silk, Asia’s softest and strongest material.  This is me excited to be approaching fifty in the next few years! ⁠

I look at this portrait and see the lineage of my family. ⁠⠀
I see my Korean grandmother, a prayer warrior who woke up every morning and prayed from 4am-6am for over forty years. ⁠I see my kids, my Korean aunt, uncles, and cousins.  I see my parents and brothers.  Somehow I see all the ones I love in this single portrait.

And I’m so thankful for the impact they’ve had on me. ⁠⠀

I’m thankful for my husband Brain Tausend for capturing another side of me. I’m so thankful for his love that embraces ALL of me. My heart sings out #familyisaworkofart.⁠⠀

I can’t wait to share my story with you at HeartStories GNO, as I lead you in one of my favorite workshops: to inspire and capture your vision for this new year in one single word.  A word that will walk alongside you this coming year. It’s time for your word to reveal itself. Come join me!


Just like Me Ra, YOU are a work art. 

Wherever you find yourself in your story today, know that this isn’t all.  Your story isn’t finished.  The chapter of 2019 is closing and you hold the pen for creating what’s next.  You can begin with committing to a guiding word with us at GNO on January 9th.

But no matter how you begin, please remember that you have such an important story to tell, and every part is valuable.

You ARE a work of art.  

to more love,


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