California FAQ

A lot of people have asked me the same questions about my trip to La Jolla, so I’m going to take the easy way out.

Q. What was the point of your trip to California? Why did Sony pick you?

A. The short answer is, I don’t know but I was glad to be included! The longer answer is that it wasn’t Sony that made the choice, but a marketing company that is doing a campaign for Sony. Sony wanted to get mommy bloggers excited about their cameras, and Rocket XL chose participants, presumably from a list of previous contacts.

There’s a lesson to be learned here: if a nice lady named Andrea from Rocket XL ever emails to invite you to review a product, be nice back to her and say “oh, yes please!” You want to be on her contact list. Thanks, Andrea!

Q. What did you do in California?

A. Fourteen mommy bloggers from all over the country met and mingled a bit; we ate far too much; and we oohed and aaahed over our new cameras.

Then we got down to business: We participated in a live tutorial to get familiar with the basic operation of our new cameras. With the help of Sony personnel, we explored many of the features and learned to navigate the settings and menus.

Finally, the real fun started: Photographer Me Ra Koh taught us to make use of all these wonderful tools and fancy features. She gave us tips on composition and framing, lighting, choosing a setting, and helped us understand how to make sense of the different modes in our cameras: we learned to use shutter speed, aperature, white balance, and light metering to actually make our photos turn out the way we see them in our heads! Well, with practice…


She answered endless questions about getting action shots of children, handling shadows or bright light, achieving realistic skin tones, and more. She told stories and gave examples from her own experience; and she reminded us that nearly everything we were learning was also in her set of instructional DVDs – which we received free.

Which reminds me…she also said I could give away one of her DVDs here, so watch for that after I get home.

On the second day, her husband arrived to play Me Ra’s funny sidekick and together they gave a friendly critique and analysis of some photos that we volunteered to share. This was really helpful and highly entertaining. 🙂

I also found a few minutes to MIRL with some virtual friends. Hi, Rachel! Hi, Elizabeth!


Q. So Sony gave you a camera? Why? Do you have to blog about it?

No. Sony gave me THREE CAMERAS. Because they’re really nice people. And I don’t have to blog about; I want to blog about it. To the best of my knowledge, they didn’t actually mention anything to me (or the rest of the group) about blogging about our new cameras. I’m pretty sure they expected us to feel that way about it all; after all, we’re bloggers and a blogger blogs. It’s what she does.


Q. You’re already done in California?

Yes, I was only there from Wednesday afternoon until Friday afternoon. The entire event was a whirlwind! I could have been pampered like royalty, but really just wanted to soak in as much info as I could. I never took time to use the monstrous garden tub with the jet thingies; I didn’t find time for my spa treatment; I didn’t walk down to the seal beach; and I even skipped lunch on Friday because the last session ran late and Brendon the “limo” driver was waiting. There was just too much to learn, and I get enough pampering at home.

Q. Why is “limo” in quotes? And where is the picture of the limo driver?

OK, nobody asked me that yet, but I figure somebody will ask eventually so I’ll come clean now. There was no limo. There was a sharply dressed driver with a British-sounding name and accent, but the vehicle from the airport to the hotel was a very nice SUV. Don’t ask me what kind; I’m a girl. I can tell you it was white, OK?

The same driver took me back to the airport 48 hours later, this time in a big shiny black car, but I’m sorry. It wasn’t a stretched car. Somehow I just don’t feel like complaining, though, you know?


Q. When are you going to blog more about your cameras?

OK, nobody really asked me that either, but I’ve really got camera-on-the-brain so I’m just waiting for someone to ask. Please! All of the photos in this post were just quick, unplanned snapshots with the tiny, too-small-to-be-a-real-camera Cybershot, and I’ve even got a preliminary post ready about it. Who wants to see?


  1. Hi Kim!
    Great answers to the questions I think we all got – I will just refer everyone here now 😉

    I was such a pleasure talking to you and getting to know you better – I could have chatted your ear off given half a chance…I can’t wait to see more of your pictures!

  2. Well, my personal experience with SUVs is limited to a white 1990 Suburban from Cleveland, OH. It was so rusty when we finally parked it that the lower 6″ was covered with holes and the steps were about to fall off.
    Obviously, the Escalade was much higher on the food chain.

  3. Girlfriend, It was an ESCALADE!! 🙂

  4. Oh Kim!! Say yes, say yes!! We want a DVD giveaway!!!

    (Thanks, Me Ra!!)

  5. Hi Kim! It was such a pleasure to meet you and spend time with you this last week. I had the best time watching all of you open your new camera boxes–Christmas in April in San Diego! 🙂 And yes, if you want to have one of the Refuse to Say Cheese DVD sets for a drawing of some kind, let me know.

    Kim, you are an amazing woman, wife, and mother. And as one of your commenters already said, you are especially beautiful pregnant. Wonderful meeting you and I hope our paths continue to cross!

  6. I’m not suppose to be jealous, right? I’m not jealous… I’m not jealous… I’m not jealous… do you think if I keep repeating this that it will actually become true?

    Love to see a in-depth blog about the cameras!

  7. I would love to read the camera post since I am in the market to buy a new one, Sony should give you a kickback (hahaha)

  8. Hey Kim! It was really nice to meet you! What an amazing little trip, huh? I’m not sure why they picked me to go, but I sure feel blessed that I was included in such an amazing group of women. I can’t wait to see your pictures! xoxo

  9. That was a great overview of the trip! It sure was a whirlwind – I am still exhausted from it all. But it was a dream come true for sure!

    It was fantastic meeting you – hope we meet again! 🙂

  10. You know, I had to look really closely at your pictures of yourself, because I was for sure they were your daughter!! You look FANTASTIC!!!!!! I think you’re pretty anyway, but pregnancy really becomes you.

    I always want to read anything you post! I’m camera-dopey, so I have no idea what camera is good or what camera is bad, so I’m interested in your posts about your cameras.

    I’m glad you got to go to CA, I think it couldn’t have happened to a nicer , more deserving person.

    And your comment “I get enough pampering at home” really made me smile!

    I really like you!!!! And I really wish I could see you tomorrow!

    Leanne in Longview

  11. I don’t know why, but I suddenly got the urge to ask you to post about your new camera. Weird, huh?


  1. […] friends of ours.  Remember when fantasy and reality blurred and I was chosen to receive a luxurious all-expenses paid trip to La Jolla, California where Sony gave me ~$3k in cameras and photography classes from world famous photographer Me Ra […]

  2. […] La Jolla, a ritzy suburb of San Diego, California.  Both trips were once-in-a-lifetime events, entirely […]

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