Confessions of a Groupie! My visit with Jasmine Star

It is time to come clean!  It is time to admit this to myself and the world!  They say confession cleanses the soul.  So here it is.  I am a groupie.  There, I said it!  I AM A GROUPIE!  Do I need to climb a tall building and scream it from the rooftop?  Ok, maybe that is extreme.  Let me back track.

On Monday I found myself sitting in a rather dark and hot ballroom at a local hotel.  I was surrounded by a hundred or so people who, despite it being only noon time, were already wilting.  We were all at a conference for photographers.  The morning session was amazing.  Justin & Mary Marantz, two local wedding photographers, had rocked the house with their presentation.  Everyone’s head was spinning as they all contemplated how to incorporate what they had learned into their own businesses.  It was wonderful yet exhausting.  But there was more to come.

That morning I had befriended a few other photographers.  A few other ladies who were all their for the same reason.  To learn more, to grow, to expand, to become the best photographer/business owners/people they could be.  We had swapped notes, stories, and ideas all through lunch.  My brain was full.  My heart swelled.  I really hadn’t expected to make friends that day and was amazed by the open and gracious attitudes of those I met.  But the best was yet to come.

 

my new friends

She walked up to the front of the room.  Jasmine Star.  The woman who has played a key role in the last 6 months or so in my business and in some ways my life.  I feel drawn to this woman because she reminds me of me.  Like me, she started in the world of photography when she realized she wasn’t fulfilled by the path she was on.  She faced challenges, criticism, and even some self doubting demons, just like me.  And just like me, she walked into a world with INSANE competition.  And she has rocked that world.  5 years later she is at the top of her field (though some curmudgeons would like to knock her down) and living a dream come true.  If she can do this, so can I!  I want to rock that world too.

So how did I come to know Jasmine Star?  Well, “know her” is relative here.  Until this day I had never spoken to her directly.  But this is how it happened.  This woman had the kahunas to shoot a wedding, LIVE with a production company called Creative Live and broadcast it all over the world.  (did I just use the word kahunas in blog post.. I guess i did)  I watched every last moment of the long weekend where she unabashedly shared every last detail of what she does, the good and the ugly.  Her personality was infectious.  That weekend she shared her successes, her struggles and her tears.  She alluded to some of the criticism some in the industry doused her with.  I saw me in her.  I saw hope that I can build myself as a photographer, a businesswoman, and yes even as a better person.

So there I sat.  In a room full of other photographers, hot, tired, and suffering from a mushy brain.  But it didn’t matter.  I had come to learn from someone I have followed closely for the last 6 months.  And learn I did.  The brain mush fell away and I gained a second wind.  I jotted down notes.  I asked myself questions.  And I came away with a new plan, a new hope, and a better path.

At the end of the presentation a lined form.  Everyone wanted to say hello.  I was no different.  I handed my camera to one of my new friends as I reached out to shake Jasmine’s hand.  And… ok, I was a bit “Star struck.”  You know that moment when you finally meet someone  you have wanted to meet forever.  Tongue tied I was.  What do I say?  So I just said thank you.  Thank you Jasmine Star because without you, I might have given up already.  A few photo snaps later and my moment with her was gone.

 

 

So there you have it… I’m a groupie.  I’ll wear that badge proud.  Some day I hope to get more than a few moments with some of my favorite photographers/business people/bloggers.  But for now, I’ll wear my groupie badge proud!

ps.  Jasmine is only about an inch or maybe an inch and half taller than I am.  The girl was rockin’ some HUGE heals!

A Photo I Love! Despite the Flaws!

Photos can be many things.  They can be beautiful works of art that inspire emotion and interpretation.  They can be spectacular visual creations that brighten a dark space or tie all the elements in a room together.  Photos can make a statement, have an impact, declare a thought or idea.  Photos can be used to help and heal or to tear down and break apart.  Photos are also spectacular for freezing a special moment in time.

This photo of my two boys was taken during a recent family weekend getaway.  I just thought they looked so cute sleeping curled up together like this.  It was taken with my little point & shoot.  The lighting was terrible and the on camera flash made it worse.  It was snapped as fast as possible so as not to disturb the sleeping beauties.  There is nothing technical or artful about this photo.  One might call the composition boring.

WHATEVER!  It is a very special moment in time for this Mommy!  It says so much to me about who they are right now and about their relationship together.  I want to take this photo and blow it up as big as my wall and remember it forever.  I’m sure it’ll find multiple homes in our family photo albums.  I love it and that is all that matters, right?  Before long they’ll be well grown beyond this stage and I’ll treasure this photo all the more.  I think I need to take more snap shots like this.

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