20.2.09

WPPI Highlights I

Raise your hand if you don't like Jasmine Star.
I think for the first time in photography history, we all just agreed.
Nikon vs. Canon - disagreement. Lightroom vs. other programs - disagreement.
Prime vs. zoom. RAW vs. Jpeg. Actual pictures vs. slideshows. Leather albums vs. modern books. Wearing all black when shooting vs. Whatever colors you want.
All of it - dissension, confusion, disagreement!

Liking Jasmine vs. Not liking Jasmine?
Everyone likes Jasmine.
For young photographers, I think we have fallen in love with her almost miraculous sprint to the top. It's inspiring! "If she can do it, I can too!"
For "experienced" photographers, I think they have fallen in love with her almost miraculous skill. She is a stinking good wedding photographer, no question.
For brides, I think they have fallen in love with her quality work & service, as well as her romantic writings and contagious energy.
For the human part of us all of, we have fallen in love with her funny illustrations, her not-so-flattering pictures of herself she humbly loves to laugh at, her honesty and, well, her photography skeelz.
I can't speak on behalf of her husband, but I bet he fell for that big smile, that awesome personality, that head-turning beauty and that sincere character his wife possesses.

I so don't want to be "that" blog-stalker-annoying-fan. The one everyone rolls their eyes at when she walks away.
But I so am when it comes to Jasmine, not gonna lie.

I stumbled across her blog back in February 2006 - I think she had just done a little post about how afraid she was to ask people to let her shoot them. She was just beginning her amazing journey, and I liked reading along.
You all know the story and have been just as inspired by her as I have, so let's fast forward to February 2009 :D
Jasmine-the-mini-celebrity in photography was opening up a chance for 20 photographers to shoot with her. Bright and early in Las Vegas! All you had to do was a leave a comment on her blog and you would be entered into the grand raffle.
I was like Charlie Bucket hoping for my golden ticket. "Pleeeeeease.Please.Pleeasssse. let my name be picked. Pleassssssse." I even made a funny joke - I think your odds are always better if you include Dwight ;D

Thursday morning, I slid out of bed onto the floor and laid on my stomach while I checked my e-mails.
"Hi Kristen, I just popped over to check out your work after seeing that you were one of the lucky ones to grab a spot at Jasmine Star's Vegas Shoot - CONGRATS on that!"

What? Whatwhatwhatwhatwhaaaat. I scrambled to Jasmine's blog and there was my name.
I was so blessed and so excited - of about 370 people who wanted to be there, I was going to be. I totally didn't deserve it and I held my hand over my heart looking at the screen. "I am so blessed."
You may say "Ok, Kristen - yes, Jasmine's great, but you are kind of over-exaggerating a one hour shoot with 20 other people, aren't you?"
Probably! But I was thrilled nonetheless. Thrilled I tell you :D


All of us photographers gathered in the MGM lobby. We were groggy and blinky-eyed, hoping the mascara was helping hide that, but it totally wasn't. Jasmine and her prince charming husband, JD, showed up right on time. I instantly loved her.
She greeted us all individually with a big smile.
She told us the game-plan for the shoot.
She told us she was so nervous that she wanted to give us a refund, then remembered it was a free shoot.
She told us we had to tell her if she was sucking.

The entire shoot was filled with laughter, ooo's and aww's, friendly conversation and some hooot shots. Jasmine was so easy to learn from and made sure we were all understanding. She was able to treat us like adult proffessionals - not like dummy's or "inferiors," there was definitley a whole lot of that going on with other photographers I had met. I either felt like they were talking down to the people they were teaching, or just guuuushing about how AWEsome they were. Jasmine wasn't like that. I lost track of how many times she asked if this was "going terrible." She's quite humble and really has not gotten a big head. That was nice :D

She is absolutely a proffessional who knows what she wants and how to get it. She works hard to make clients feel comfortable and to truly look beautiful. I learned a LOT from this little workshop. I was encouraged when she did things that I have already been doing, and was soaking up all the other things I hadn't thought of before. Seriously, you did SO good. So so so so good.

But the most important thing I learned from her wasn't about poses or exposures or locations. It was about care. Genuine, interested care. Jasmine has this way of making you feel like the most important person in the world when she is talking to you. She is totally, 100% focused on you and doesn't seem rushed or bothered or distracted. I so want people to feel that way when they leave talking with me. I want people to feel like I am excited to talk with them, like I am interested in everything they are saying. That doesn't just happen though - being focused on other people takes character.
Dear blog-readers, Jasmine has character. She is a woman who loves God with her whole heart. She is a woman who respects, honors and loves her husband - that's character. She is a woman who works hard to do things with excellence - that's character. She laughs at herself - that's character. She is genuine and truly interested in helping other people - again, that's character.
While yes, I do want to be as good a photographer as this woman, I more want to be as good a woman. Jasmine, thank you for everything. I can't say it enough!

Aaaaand I guess I should post some pictures I shot! Jaclyn and her hubbsband Mark flew from Kansas to model for us! They are goooorgeous and had never had pictures together! Life fail! But, I guess having your first shoot with J* makes up for it haha

See, it's not really fair though, cause Jaclyn isn't just stunning, she's an amazing photographer AND writer! Next year I'll probably be standing in line, crossing my finger and praying I'll get to shoot with her! Make sure you check out her blog and leave some love!



















37 comments:

  1. Kris.........This post is amazing!!
    I totally agree with you about Jasmine.....I'm glad to hear you had a great time shooting with her.....

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  2. Hi Kristen,
    Have to say I LOVE this blog, as another fan club member cough* I mean fellow photographer I wholeheartedly agree with all of your wonderful compliments about Jasmine! So lucky for you all to participate in such a fun break from Vegas, love ALL the shots.

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  3. Um WRONG! I will be trying to get into YOUR workshop because you are too incredible for words!!! This is such a sweet, sincere, inspiring, well written post Kristen!
    Okay, I digress. I'll meet you in the middle; let's just do a workshop together, 'k?

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  4. :) i hope i get to meet her one day.
    lovely photos, missy.

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  5. Such awesome shots! It's hard to pick a favorite!
    That mini workshop was nothing short of amazing! I felt so blessed to be there!

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  6. SUCH A CUTE POST. Jasmine really is all those things. She's just so real and honest and I can definitely testify to her amazing heart!

    P.S. Um, where is the credit to Jamie Delaine (www.jamiedelaine.com) for showing you how to watermark your images?!!! THANK YOU!!!!!


    Love,
    J.

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  7. I just have to say it; I love you both. I'm not a photographer, but I'd love to be one. And I heart Kristen AND Jasmine*! =)

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  8. I love Jasmine too. I hope to catch a glimpse of her someday too. just a glimpse. maybe a smile. :D it would prob, no, most def, make my day or life. yah, life.

    awesome job, kristen! thank you for finally coming home. =)

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  9. WOW!! Fabulous and fun shoot with J* you had!! Love your images, you have a fabulous talent and I see big.. no HUGE things happening for you in the near future! Thank you for sharing!!

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  10. wow. kristen. fabulous job! wonderful! great, great images...i especially LOVE the one of the super attractive guy holding the yellow camera bag. stunning! :-) take care.

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  11. This is an absolutely incredible post. And 100% true. I have never had the privilege of meeting Jasmine, but my hours and hours of drooling over her website and yummy images and inspiring stories, I've fallen in love with everything about her. She is truly someone that everyone wants to be like that. And the fact that we can all see that through writings on her blog? Incredible. Jasmine is truly my photography "idol" and you are so sweet to write all that about her! Btw, you are an incredible photographer too and I will be bookmarking your page! Lots of love! Emma

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  12. Wow, Kristen, these are GORGEOUS shots!! Love' em!! I had such a great time meeting everyone and hanging out shooting that morning...hope to meet you again in the future! :D

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  13. Great shots Kristen. It was a really fun shoot :)

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  14. You're so cute!! Great shots! It was so fun to shoot with Jasmine Star!! :)

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  15. Kristen, it was so fun being a part of the posse with you! Everything you said about Jasmine is SO TRUE!! Your photos turned out wonderfully too!! xo

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  16. you really summed up the way i think everyone feels about Jasmine sooooo well... & for those of us lucky enough to be part of her morning shoot felt in her presence. absolutely AWESOME job with your words,,, as well as your amazing photo documentation! :D you go girl! you rock. :)

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  17. Aww I LOVE Jasmine too! She is awesome. It must have been so much fun to shoot with her!!

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  18. Kristen, AWESOME photos and I love your writing style! It was so fun to meet you! I especially love the photo that is third from the bottom! Also, thanks for the one of me...I'm in the orange coat, probably getting in your way the whole time! :) I'll now be stalking your blog to see more incredible work from you! :)

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  19. Anonymous22.2.09

    your PHOTOS are beautiful .

    love the way you ...
    capture the emotion of the moment .
    bring us into the world you are shooting .
    send the moment our way .

    happy for you on meeting jasmine
    ... the PHOTO of the "2ofyou" is precious .

    thanks for being faithful with your gift .

    praying for you .
    love, tracey campbell


    -*-

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  20. what an awesome opportunity and great job on your pictures!

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  21. Absolutely beautiful. Great job. Nice meeting you also.

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  22. hey, you got linked from jasmine and i'm leaving this comment from clicking on that link. wasn't that one of your dreamlist thingy? check that off now. maybe i'll link you on my blog one day. keep dreaming. ha!

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  23. Love you story and I too love Jasmine and her work.

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  24. So glad I stummbled onto your blog via Jas*. I think your photos rocked! You worte awesoem words about your experience and how her. I too am a blog stalker fan of her I ain't gosta lie. But it's all in who you know will motivate you and she motivates me. I willcontinue to stalk your blog too! =) Love your photos! My pal Kristin from Michigan was with you on that morning and I can't wait to see her photos.

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  25. I love the post!!You rocked the shoot too.. I stumbled upon J* and loved her instantly. How lucky and fun for all that got to shoot with her.. and it is amazing to hear that she really is as great as she seems!! I am a local NOVA Lifestyle photog and its nice to connect with someone else close by. I'm a fan ;-)

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  26. Gorgeous images, and perfect storytelling, Kristen! It was so great to meet you, and such a great experience with Jasmine and JD!

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  27. Awesome write up on this experience. I missed this year but will be there in 2010!

    Great pictures from the shoot. How did anyone manage to be awake so early? Unless of course they were still up.

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  28. these are fantastic!! BRAVO!!!

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  29. sooo cool! i was fortunate enough to be shot BY her and it was amazing. she's incredible. I was just reading through your blog... you sound pretty special too! Keep up the good work!

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  30. What a treat to be able to shoot with J*! I love that girl.

    Your shots look amazing!

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  31. GREAT post! I too, share a love for all things Jasmine and wish I could get the chance to shoot with her. And the photos...HELLO?!?!?! UH-mazing!!

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  32. so i just found your blog from the fabulous blog of sarah anne photography and WOW, girl!! you are amazing!! these images are *absolutely gorgeous* and you definitely have a way with words. so glad i found your blog! :)

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  33. Girl, these photos are so great! Love all the commentary... makes me sad I didn't get to shoot with y'all, but glad you had such a great experience. =)

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  34. Oh my gosh...what a sweet thing to say about someone. You said that so beautifully!
    It looks like you had a great time. I bet you are glad to be back home with the family too

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Oh, you've made my day! Thank you for the thoughts and words!