I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd taken a sneak-peek at the blogs of the other attendees, and had even briefly chatted with a few of them on Facebook. But I was really, really nervous, having no idea what was in store for me. One of the attendees had set up a meet & greet for the night before the "big day." So, on Monday evening I drove to Claim Jumper with my heart in my throat... with thoughts of "please don't let me make a fool of myself, please don't let me make a fool of myself..." playing on repeat in my mind. I walked into the restaurant, reminding myself to not bite my lip, twirl my ring, or talk too much in my nervousness. (Oops... I think I did them all.) Because I was about to meet one of my heroes, Jasmine Star.
A little background for those who haven't yet heard of her: Jasmine Star is a wedding photographer who is very well known in the photography industry, as well as the local/national wedding industry. She is a young (30-year old) self-taught photographer. She had a full ride to law school but decided to give it up, realizing it just wasn't the life she wanted to lead. Jasmine turned to photography, started from scratch... and made her dreams come true. She started out only about 5 years ago, and was charging $1,500 for her first weddings. Within her first full year of business, she booked & shot 40 weddings, and now averages $9,000+ each wedding. She works in the high-end market, shooting beautiful locations from San Diego to Santa Barbara, and also traveling for destination weddings. Jasmine has been voted photographer of the year by various companies, and has been published in numerous magazines.
Besides shooting weddings, she now holds workshops to help others in the industry. One of the goals I'd sent for myself for this year was to attend one of her workshops. So, when she announced that one was to be held in April, I jumped for joy... and held my breath that I'd be one of the 20 lucky attendees. And I got in.
Attending this workshop has been one of the highlights of my life so far. Seriously, it was just that good of a day.
You know how it is when you actually meet your heroes? How, oftentimes, they're better in your head than in reality? This was SO not the case with Jasmine. From the moment I arrived at the restaurant on Monday night, she was completely warm, welcoming, and sincere. She made sure to take the time to greet each & every one of us as we arrived, and really made an effort to make us feel comfortable. I'm glad I attended that night, as it gave me the opportunity to relax a bit in her company, as well as get to know the other attendees (and also our models for the day... Michelle & Colton) a bit better.
Tuesday was the BIG DAY. It was an all-day workshop, running from 9-6, and ending with a wonderful dinner at Maggiano's afterward. Jasmine poured her heart into this day... sharing her expertise, her "secrets" and her SELF. And it was such an incredible experience... I can't say enough good things about it. Where words fail me, my tears of joy express it all.
I am so incredibly grateful that I had this wonderful opportunity, and wanted to share a few of my favorite images from the day.
We were all greeted with branded stationary and a personal note from Jasmine.
There was a photo shoot held during the day, so Jasmine could show us how she worked her magic.
Here she is, giving us a pep-talk before we get started.
Our models, Michelle and Colton. You'd never know that they aren't professional models, right? They both volunteered to be our "guinea pigs" for the day.
They might not be real models, but their love (and outfits) are 100% real. They were recently married in January, and even more recently moved to Virginia, where Colton is stationed for the time being. And check out Michelle's GORGEOUS wedding dress... yes, this IS her actual wedding dress. A friend's mother made it for her. SCORE!
Jasmine... showing us all how it's done.
Quite possibly my absolute FAVORITE images from the day! Um, HE-LLO?! Look at those SMILES?! And check it out... her shoes are PURPLE! best. shoes. ever.
Jasmine, jumpin' into my shot...
I am still on Cloud-Nine from this amazing day. If you'd like to see a few of Jasmine's own shots (including a group picture of all of us from the day), you can head on over to her blog.
And see a slideshow of more of my images from the day by clicking here.