In April, I had the opportunity to attend  Jasmine Star’s Workshop in beautiful Orange County.  Holy Smokes! No wonder Southern California is such a popular place to live. The area we were in was gorgeous! I have no pictures to prove this because I was too busy staring at everything with my mouth hanging-open to remember I had a camera.

I have followed Jasmine Star’s Blog for a couple years now. I love her writing-style, crisp and clean photography, and willingness to share everything that she knows. This was actually my second time to hear her speak, the first being Showit’s National tour in Houston a couple of years ago. At the finish of that seminar, I began making my way to the door. I had a long drive home, it was late and I was very busy trying to justify to myself why I should just dash instead of mingling with the other photographers.  However, as much as I wanted to avoid akward conversations with strangers, I knew that Dustin would kick my tail if I went home without at least introducing myself to Jasmine. I looked over and noted that she was surrounded by adoring fans. I would have to wait forever to talk to her, and did I mention that it was late?

I stood there debating my options when the crowd around her disappeared and she was standing alone. In a moment of  bravery, I nervously approached her. Our conversation went something like this…

Me: Hi, I just wanted to say hi before I left, if I don’t say something my husband will kill me when I get home. Okay,… well…. you’re great. Bye.

(And then I turned to bolt out the door)

She: No wait, why would he kill you?

Me: Ummm….Well, because I am always looking at your blog. He would be ticked if I was in the same room and didn’t say something. Ok, I don’t want to bother you. Bye.

She: No wait, don’t leave I would love to talk.

Me: Gotta go… (as I charged for the door)

…At this point I envision myself like Cinderella racing away from the confused prince and rushing off into the night. Well, maybe I am getting a little carried away.

So yes, it is sad that years later I can still recall our 45 second conversation with clarity and yes, it is a lot sad that I am comparing myself to Cinderella. My point is that she was nice, down to earth, and wanting to help three years ago; and now she is still nice, down to earth, and willing to help.

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This is the part where Jasmine showed us her super-secret posing techniques. I am really not even supposed to show these, but I will take the risk…

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Ok, so yes, that is a joke. Please, please, Jasmine if you ever visit my humble little blog- don’t hate me! I just couldn’t help myself.

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So yeah, those are all the jokes I have. Let me get serious.

The day long workshop was focused on branding and moving your brand forward. She shared her story and what has worked for her. Jasmine did not hold back with anything, she was 100% herself and shared everything she could. She gave tons of time to answering questions and to helping each attendee present. I am pretty sure that I drove her absolutely bonkers with my silly questions, but she always responded graciously to my pestering. JD, her husband and second shooter, was great too. I asked him an equal amount of questions to which he responded thoughtfully and affably. He was so good-natured and amiable that I am sure every attendee (well maybe not the guys) there left with a little JD crush (oh please, you know you did!).  She also fed us well and good food makes me very happy.

We were also given the opportunity to watch her in action and shoot  beside her for a styled wedding session. It was very inspiring to see how she connected so easily with her clients. She made the models Michelle and Colton comfortable and at ease and she has a natural talent for making her subjects laugh. It was great being able to photograph such beautiful people in such a beautiful location but it was even better watching Jasmine work her magic. Afterwards, she shared her post-processing techniques and work flow. I appreciated her candidness and honesty in how she runs her business and I am in awe of how organized and efficient she is. I think as a photographer, I tend to look at wildly popular photographers and  think that their success came from luck, having money, or knowing the right people, and yes these things help but Jasmine showed us that hard work, intelligence, persistence, creativity, and business know-how go a long, long way.

Some of my images from the day…

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Woah. That was a long post. If you are still with me, let me hear a “Hey! Ho!”

Seriously, I should have been in bed hours ago.

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DawnD
June 8, 2010
I've been anxious to hear how this trip went for you and I'm so glad you learned alot and had a good time. These photos are GORGEOUS! I can't wait to see how you incorporate all your new knowledge into your growing business. I wish you all the best, Leah!
June 9, 2010
I have been waiting to see this post too! Sounds like it was wonderful! Great images!
June 9, 2010
Wow, looks like the workshop paid off- the photos are "off the hook" (for a lack of better words). :) Great work!
June 11, 2010
I so want to go to workshop someday. It looks awesome. And your photos are fabulous. I especially like the one of them laughing (but I'm always a sucker for natural, laughing pictures) and the bw. Oh, and your processing is gorgeous! Skin is PERFECT! (Can you tell that I have a slight obsession myself now?!)
June 14, 2010
Hey-Ho!! :) gorgeous girly.... looove them! you are seriously hilarious... btw! :) can't wait to shoot with you soooooon! btw... got a feeler out about a wedding in lubbock!! we'll see!