Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the first workshop i ever attended

14 months ago i had no clue who Jasmine Star was. some of you might be reading this and still have no clue who she is. and that is ok. i came across a website while i was searching for a photographer to take my maternity pictures. since E was premie, i never had any taken, and i was determined second time around, that i would have those photos to look back at. hours and hours after searching through websites, i came across one that caught my attention. i emailed her with my story, i was 7 1/2 months pregnant, and didn't want to wait much long, in fear of the baby coming early again. just my luck, a response came quickly! she was able to schedule a session the next week. perfect! alicia met us for some family pictures and during that time, told me she was getting married the next month. how does an awesome photographer find one she trusts to do her own wedding photos? Jasmine Star she said...

it's been a few months now since i attended the Jasmine Star workshop, and it's been a few months since i've looked at my photos from the day. Not because I wasn't happy with how they turned out, and not that I didn't learn a LOT from the workshop, but because well, i couldn't figure out what i wanted to say in my write up about the day. 

there are two types of photographers i have discovered: those who love all things j*, and those who don't. i was not aware of these two groups until the day after i attended the workshop, and came across a very rude man on another one of the photographers blogs about the day. i was in aw of how rude he was, because the workshop he attended was not what he expected. hmm, i don't see that as anyone else's problem than his. 

j* is very open about what her workshop is about: branding. having just started my business this year, i hadn't thought a lot about branding, and while i wasn't entirely sure what that meant, i now know. it is making sure all you do, and all you show fits who you are, and who you want to market to. from the first contact (websites and blogs) to the importance not just of a handwritten note (swoon!) but the letter pressed stationary it is written on (double swoon!) 

it is posting ONLY your best work and the images you want people to remember. and if there is only one of those images, then that is the only one you post. the family, couple, parents, might love them all, but you have to find your "signature" image, and stick with that one. if you are lucky, you might get 5, but sometimes, the elements aren't in your favor.

j* also set up a gorgeous shoot for us, so we could watch her in action. the way she poses and works the couple really is what she is most known for. her sassy attitude somehow both intimidates and makes you feel at complete easy. she knows what she wants from the couple, and will show exactly what it is. 

the elements were obviously in our favor that day, the forecast called for rain, and it waited until about an hour after we finished our shoot and were back at the club for more lecture! 

now as far as those two groups of photographers, i will admit i am not a lover of all things j*, but i do respect everything she has done to make it to where she is. she admits she might not be the most technically perfect photographer (she is mostly self taught), but she is one bad ass business woman, and a hard worker. we differ in shooting style -she is shutter happy, where as i learned on film, so i am more apt to wait for the shot i want, and we differ in work flow -she pays to outsource, and charges for it. i don't. who's the dumb dumb there?(that answer is obvious). but would i recommend her workshop to other photographers, yes. if you are in a funk with where you want your business to go, you need a little facelift, but don't know where to start, or need direction in the branding side of the industry. if you are looking for someone to hold your hand as you shoot a mock wedding, or teach you what the little symbols on your camera mean, by no means would i recommend this workshop to you. 

was it worth the investment? some days i say yes, and some days i say no. today is one of those yes days, and that is why i finally posted my pictures from the day! 


  1. Very insightful and honest. I love that you gave some pros and cons!

  2. Love your review. We think alike, and I would probably always be on the fence if I paid that much to attend a workshop. No matter how amazing it is.




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wife of 1, mother of 2, the youngest of 3. a creative soul who expresses it through photography and sewing. (and baking, painting, writing, and anything else that would fall into a "fine arts" description)