Check-In Q&A Part 2
Good morning, wherever it is you're tuning in from the world, welcome to CreativeLive. My name is Celeste Olds, I was the producer of the series, but for the next hour I will be your host. You are about to watch the complete Wedding Photography experience with Jasmine Star. Over the last three weeks, we've been broadcasting two lessons a day from this epic bootcamp. Jasmine has covered a lot of ground, so much that I'm not even going to try to remember it, I'm just gonna go off my little cheat sheet here. Over the last three weeks, she's taught lessons on how to find your photographic style, how to shoot with intent, how to, the best wedding photography marketing, how to conduct the first client meeting, preparing for engagement sessions, how to photograph ceremony details and reception details. How to prepare for the wedding day, the best lenses for a wedding, and all the post-stuff. And that's literally not even half of it. She's covered so much ground that we thought we needed to ge...
t her in here for an hour, and answer some of the questions we know you have building up, and to ask those questions, look no further than right below this video player. There's a little box down there, just type your question in, it will shoot them over to us. For those of you joining us on Facebook Live, just type your question in as a comment, and we'll get it that way, too. I think that that's all the fine print, we can get to the good stuff. It is my honor to introduce to you Jasmine Star. Jasmine, welcome back!
It feels so good to be back, it's like visiting family.
Yas, girl. Have you been watching the rebroadcast?
You know what, there was, during the first week I would try to tap in, but there's no greater critic than yourself, so I look back at that, and I'm like, what were you wearing? Girlfriend, why were you so sweaty? Why were you stressed out, why were you so crabby? So I just decided for my sanity it's better to just kind of let the memories push us over. The memories are always better than reality.
Keep it like nostalgia and less a little, like, PTSD-esque, right?
Yeah, although I have to say, we should actually let people know that after the live wedding when we were in, when we were in Napa Sonoma, after that wedding, it was hot, we were all exhausted, and I think that people who have seen the wedding are like, oh my God, that really happened? And the answer is yes. And there was stuff that was cut out that would actually made it that much more like Real Housewives, but either way, we made it through. And there was this total, like, small little dive bar restaurant. We were just like, we need food and we need some beverages, asap. We ended up, we sat there for hours. We felt like we were swapping war stories. We literally had probably like 12 hour celebration. We're like we're done! Wish you could have recorded that, because that would've been great footage. But either way, just wanted to give people who are tuning in now, a sneak peak of how we coped with all the drama.
With lots of barbecue and beverages, yes. We should've brought in a camera and made that a little bonus behind the scene feature. How we party.
I would have been neat.
We celebrate very well here at CreativeLive.
Well it's a shame. Because we were like, hittin' it hard. We're just like, it was like a frat party. It was like a CreativeLive frat party. Although if Chase Jarvis is seeing this, we should probably, we were totally drinking Koolaid, and eating cookies.
We were pinkies up the entire day, folks. That's how we roll at CreativeLive. All right, let's get to it. We've got a handful of questions already. This one is from Serena Pau. And she asks, "How would you recommend someone "who is a new photographer, to get your foot in the door? "I know you started as a second shooter, "but what's the way to learn and "reach out to photographers?" Starting big.
I know. Okay, well that is, outside of the advice that she already regurgitated, which would be to get out and try to become a second shooter. Which a lot of people say, oh it's difficult. But prior to me becoming a second shooter, and I think that I outlined this extensively in my previous CreativeLive photography courses, was like, I would give myselves, myselves, yeah me and my multiple personalities. I would give myself homework assignments. Because I knew that if I wasn't actually active, and getting out, and processing, and practicing, and learning, that I couldn't just show up on the wedding day and be like, oh I'm just gonna learn on the job. No. If I was learning on the job, nobody would hire me, right? And so for me, it was important to give myself homework assignments. These are really, really, really basic, and really silly. I'm gonna tell you a few of my homework assignments were, and you're gonna be like, that's ridiculous. And I will say, I know, but guess what? They worked. So, one assignment. I had this orange tree in my backyard. JD and I lived in this totally sketchy neighborhood, in this totally sketchy apartment complex. But the apartment complex on the inside was beautiful. It was built like in the 1940s, and it had wood paneling. And so I thought to myself, what can I do here in my apartment to recreate what it would be like on a wedding day? So I would grab a pair of my shoes, and I would put them on the wooden floor, and I would shoot my shoes in window light, and I would shoot my shoes with flash. And then I would practice different angles that I would have. So I was basically creating how I would shoot shoes in a hotel room. And there was this orange tree in my backyard, and in order for me to understand how to shoot in really harsh light, which is a lot of the content we go through in the boot camp. Those techniques, that ghetto fab lens hood, where I'm using my hand over my camera, I learned that shooting the orange tree. And there's nothing that can substitute. There isn't 400 CreativeLive classes, although we all hope that you buy at 400 CreativeLive classes, but you can buy all the classes, and you can go to all the workshops, but until you're actually doing the work, until you're actually doing the grind, the hard work, the unglamorous work, and really understanding the tools that you need to create, that's where you need to start. So when you're talking about building your business, well, don't worry about building a business. Worry about mastering the foundation, so that when you do get small, little gigs, I think that I also in the boot camp, outline, I didn't get paid for my second shooting jobs. In fact, my first second shooting job was actually a fourth shooting job. So the photographer had her second shooter, and a third shooter, and then invited me to just come along for free. And I was like okay. And the little experience that I had, I showed up being like hey, I might be the fourth shooter, but I'm gonna shoot so well, that I'm gonna earn my spot as being your second shooter. And in just maybe two or three weddings, I earned my spot as her second shooter. And then she started passing my name around. So the problem, or not the problem. The difficulty that may seem with a lot of people being like, well if I just had second shooting opportunities. Listen, the one or two second shooting opportunities that you have, you need to hit it out of the ballpark. And the only way that you can hit it out of the ballpark, is until you do all the nitty, gritty, grimy stuff in the beginning, to know, hey when I show up, I'm gonna deliver.
Was that a little bit too attitudy?
we could just be honest.
It's 9:06, and we are learning. (laughs)
Well keep going. Drink some more coffee. Keep up with me. Here we go.
All right, here we go. From... Let's see. From USer1A7969. People, get your name in there and tell us where you're from. We don't want any 1769.
Hey man, you know Celeste's name. We don't want 24601 John val John, lame as Rob up in here. Come on, let's personalize it.
Well this person still has a good question, even though they need to work on their user name. You mentioned that you shoot 100 images per hour in a wedding day, for a total of 800 images. Out of these 800 images, how many roughly, do you deliver to your clients?
That's a great point of clarification. So, I think I denoted, and it could be tricky to understand. I tell my clients I shoot 100 images per hour on a wedding day, but in reality, so if I shot a 10 hour wedding, but clients will see 1,000 images. But what I shoot on a wedding day, is around 2,000 to 2,500. So clients are really only seeing about half the images, because that's myself and my second shooter. I do not think that a client wants to or needs to go through 2,500 images, because one, it's very overwhelming. Two, I don't shoot 200, 2,500 images that I'm like, I feel really good with. There's a lot of duplicates. Some are blurry. Some people are blinking. Sometimes the exposure's off. So I really just wanna get the best presentation of what I'm doing. And so an eight hour wedding is around 800 images. A 10 hour wedding is about 1,000 images.
And well... What I think a follow up question to that, which may differ based off of your answer. How in the world did you sort through 2,000 shots, and make selects to send The Knot at three A.M. on the day, or three P.M. on the day?
Oh, well I should actually tell you that she was at that particular day, we brought a third shooter. Because I felt like we were running around, we had so much, I needed somebody to carry my bag. And she also was shooting. So it wasn't 2,000 images. I think it was close to like 2,800 images. And we had to go through all of that. And you'll see how I go through my work flow. I give a sample of how I chose the images from the engagement session, in the boot camp. And if you haven't seen that particular lesson, I heavily encourage you to do so, because you will see how quickly I go through them. I have trained my eye. And I look at a photo, and I'm like, do I want this photo? It's really stupid and really basic, but hey, it works. I ask myself, do I wanna see this photo on Facebook? And then if it's a yes, then it automatically makes the edit. And if the answer is no, then it doesn't make the edit. and to me, that has expedited my process so much, Because it never fails. The photo that is kind of like on the margin, like on the bubble, you're like, I'm not sure if I should include it, I'm not sure. That's the one that comes their cover photo, right? It's just like how life works. You're like that photo? That's the photo you chose? So when it came down to choosing the selects for the images, I just ask myself, do I wanna see this on Facebook? And if the answer's yes, it makes the edit. Now when it came down to getting all the images edited, like a sneak peak for The Knot, we got that down real quick. And that question was, do I wanna see this photo in The Knot? That was 100% it. And so, that became very, very, very tight. That edit, what I ended up sending them, I believe if my memory serves me correct, somewhere around 100 images, 125 images. And what actually made the actual spread, was something like 16 photos. And that was a big spread. On average, for a national magazine feature on The Knot, you're getting anywhere from eight to 10 images. So the fact that we got upwards of 16, really did say a lot about how the wedding came together.
Darn right it did. For those of you that are watching, and asking about how is she doing all of this? And there is so much going on. Yes, yes to all of it. It was actually I think, closer to 40 hour day, somehow packed into 13, 12 hours, or whatever it was.
And people are like, how are you shooting with all those other cameras in the background? Or how are you navigating around all those people? And how are they turning these? How are you shooting in full sun? You all see it, the whole thing, in its full glory, and how myself and my team were able to work around. And I feel like, I'm not gonna lie, the day that that happened, I felt so disappointed. I was so overwhelmed. I don't feel like I gave, what I wanted, I'll just be honest. The vain part of me, wanted to show up and have this gorgeous, glamorous wedding, that had a perfect timeline, and everything was smooth, and everything was just flowing and glorious. Because those weddings exist, right? And I'm like, why isn't CreativeLive shooting this way? But the thing that I realized that was so, so, so powerful, was that people were able to see what I felt, oh my gosh Jasmine, are you making the right decisions? Are you moving fast enough? Are you shooting it like you know that this has to be guaranteed publishable feature? And everything that could go wrong, like 90% of the things that could go wrong, went wrong. And the fact that we were still able to end up on the upside, and the editors were happy, and CreativeLive was happy, and I can stand by that, and the client, still to this day, we follow each other on Instagram, are so happy with their images. Every time their anniversary comes around, they're always tagging me, and talking about the day. And to that I say, hey, if I can do that on that day, I am empowering other people to say, I can move past the difficulties that are in path on a wedding day, and still make magic from it. So in retrospect, I'm like hell yes, I'm glad that that wedding was as difficult as it was.
And to those of you who might not quite catch on to what we're talking about, we're talking about lessons 15 through 20, when Jasmine was photographing the Knot wedding. Every lesson is a different portion of the wedding shooting the reception, or the ceremony, or the bridal prep. And it is a marathon of lessons. She is literally running. She's just like a tornado with fabulous hair and a camera. Running for five lessons. So it's really great. You're just literally a fly on the wall, following Jasmine. It's good stuff.
I'm gonna make that my Twitter and Instagram bio. Like a flying tornado, great hair, and a camera.
Copyright Celeste Olds. You're welcome. (both laughing) All right. From Megan, in Cairns, Australia. "How do you remember all the poses you wanna do? "Do you have an inspiration board "for reference at the shoot?"
There was a time early in my career where I would create inspiration boards. And this is days of pre-Pinterest. I know, I sound like I'm a grandma, right? So, my Pinterest boards were actually just magazine cutouts that I would put into a folder. And in this folder, before I would go to a wedding, before I would to an engagement shoot, I would just look through this folder. So it's basically a bunch of things. And then I would put them in my mind, and then I would go to a shoot. And I realize that I didn't wanna actually take photo, I didn't wanna look at phots on my phone. And this is where I wanna caution photographers. A lot of photographers will create these inspiration boards on Pinterest, and then they bring them up on their phone, and during their shoot they're looking, and they're like oh, this pose, this pose. But when you're looking at something, and you wanna recreate that thing, the chances are, you'll never be able to recreate it. You're not in the same location, you're not in the same light, not in the same time of year, you're not with the same people, they're not wearing the same clothes. And so what happens, is when you try to copy something so close to the actual photo, it looks like a really bad copy. So in my mind, I feel like it was better for me to look through the images, get in my car, drive to the session, and whatever was in the top of my mind, I could do given my situation, my location, my couples, and what they were wearing. So, how do I remember the poses that I want? Well now, being a photographer 11 years, I now know how their bodies work together. So it's specifically for the Knot wedding couple, we knew Taylor was very, very, very tall. And so based on my engagement session that was also photographed, that was also shot for CreativeLive, that you guys can see, by the time the wedding day came around, I knew that I would need to position them on slants, where Samantha could be a little higher, so they could be even. I would have Taylor come down a lot to him. I would have Samantha get up on her tippy toes. So, I knew this stuff, and it looked like it was effortless, but in all reality, I had a lot of practice on their engagement session.
One more very important question before that, though. This is also from Megan in Australia. And I like her style. I lie the way she thinks. "Do you have it in your contract, "the client must provide food, and a time to eat, "or do you not eat while shooting at the wedding?"
Yes. I 100% have in my contract that a meal should be provided. And not just any meal. I request a hot meal. And I go out of my way to ensure that happens. Now here's the irony. This is what was actually, oh, I don't even know if we actually showed this part during the wedding at The Knot. I had requested a hot meal for my team and I. And I said, I have myself, my second shooter, and our assistant that day. And I said, in addition to that, we have the CreativeLive crew coming. I understand that I don't expect you all to pay for CreativeLive crew. Invoice me for the cost of the food, and I will pay for the food. Because they were having a caterer. And they said yes. We'll make that happen. And then all of a sudden, the day of the wedding comes around, and we did not see a single spring of parsley on that day. If it wasn't for the amazing crew. The CreativeLive crew drove from San Francisco, down to Sonoma where their wedding was, and somebody in the hospitality at CreativeLive had this brilliant idea of like, let me just pack a cooler with some granola bars and water. And I'm sure probably Celeste scoffed a little. Like oh, there's mama bear taking care of us. And let me tell you. That cooler filled with granola bars, it was like, I don't know guys, I don't know if I'm dating myself, but there was this movie called Coneheads that I saw later on, and the Coneheads would get these Subway sandwiches and just go, (groans), and just put it all. That's what we were doing that day. We're like, give us these granola bars, give us this water. And here's the thing. You can contract all you want. And I do contract all I want. But on the wedding day what are you gonna do? Throw your camera on the floor and say, I'm done shooting, I don't have food. At that point in time, it is what it is. And I have to tell you that that has happened just twice in an entire 11 year career, that I did not eat on a wedding day. And the first time it happened, when the bride found out that JD and I didn't eat, because it was a small reception area, and they just had photographers, they didn't have videographers, they didn't have anybody else. It was a small table outside of the reception, and JD and I just sat there. And she got up during her reception to go to the bathroom, and she saw us sitting there, and she's like, are you guys not eating? And we're like, oh no, it's okay, don't worry about us. She felt so miserable that from her honeymoon, she sent us a gift card to the Olive Garden, because she felt so bad about not feeding us. So you know, by and large, clients do definitely pay for, arrange for us to be fed. The irony is, that I have cameras, and literally hundreds of thousands of people watching this wedding take place. I don't have food, because that's how life works. But yes, it is in my contract Megan.
And the lesson and take away there is, bring a granola bar. Just always, in life. Bring a granola bar.
All right. From User233522, guys come on. Tell us where you're from, tell us your name. I'm gonna call him Jim. Jim says, "thank you for your awesome course. "It's been epic and so very helpful. "My question would be to you, what do you do "in really bad weather? "Like thunderstorms, hail, rain, heavy winds, "when pretty much having to shoot outdoors? "Do you have it in your contract that a couple "has to provide a bad weather alternative location?"
No, I absolutely do not have that in my contract. Because listen, as a photographer, I have to heed what my clients want. So a perfect, perfect, perfect example. And I actually wrote a blog post about this. How to shoot in the rain. I shot the wedding for, I shot a wedding for the Anaheim Angels baseball pitcher, Jared Weaver. Actually, I think he was just transferred to a New York baseball team that I'm unfamiliar with, but at the time he was the main pitcher for the Angels. And it was a very high profile wedding. A lot of privacy. They were getting married at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, which is like the premier location in southern California. Beautiful views of the coast. It was a big event. Of all days, it doesn't really rain in California. It was a torrential downpour to be expected. It was like 99% chance rain. And the coordinators, and the designers, and the florist, and myself as a photographer, the videographer, we were just like, are you sure you don't wanna move the wedding indoors? And she was like, no. I am having a wedding outside. This is what I've dreamt of, and I'm not changing my plans. So who am I as a photographer to be like, no that's not gonna work? Hey, if she wants to walk down in the aisle in a pond of water, that's her prerogative. And guess what? She ended up walking, she had these beautiful expensive shoes, and this beautiful, gorgeous dress, and she ended up trudging down, probably, I think, no exaggeration, four inches of water. And it was raining so hard, that I decided to hire an umbrella holder. People probably thought I was acting like P. Diddy. But you know what? I can't hold a big umbrella, and shoot at the same time. When it's light rain, I can do that. And I have done it. But not when it's torrential downpour. So JD had his umbrella. I hired somebody to hold a big umbrella for me. I asked the bride to get clear umbrellas for herself and all of her bridesmaids. I said hey, if you wanna shoot in the rain, then we need to make the best possible scenario. And that was to get clear umbrellas, which is what we did. I do not have a contingency plan. I just say this is what you want, and then I have to find a way to make it work.
Being that we're in Seattle, we get the rain shots, can be made quite dramatic and beautiful. And the umbrella ones, I guess you probably don't experience that a lot down in southern California. But way to make it work.
(laughing) Absolutely, absolutely.
From Lauren Ryan, she asks, "I'm struggling with clients "finding me and not hiring me for what I'm worth. "How do I reach 25 weddings a year?"
We actually go through this. And it's coming up this week. So I wanna really readdress this question after you've gone through the content, because I can give you a short answer, but I really go through and a break down the finances, and then one, what I'm charging, what are my fixed costs, what are my variable costs, what I'm profiting per wedding? And then I talk about how I raise my prices each wedding. Now I think that there's this misnomer where we feel like, oh, we should raise our prices $500, $1,000. Do I think you're worth it? Probably. Do you think you're worth it? Probably. But it doesn't matter what I think, or what you think. It matters what the market dictates that it wants. If you cannot book weddings at a low price, and you want to book more weddings, and you're not booking them there, then you're probably not in the position to raise your price. And here's the thing. I know that probably sounds a little bit rude, but I'm just a straight shooter. So I'm gonna tell you, if you want 25, and your prices are low, and you still can't get to the 25, then I would probably say let's take a step back, let's work on your portfolio, let's work on your online branding, let's work on your client experience. Once you have those three components all dialed in and lined up, then you can talk about raising your prices. Then you can talk about creating demand. But first and foremost, before you grow, you need to really set a solid foundation. And this week in CreativeLive, I walk you through exactly how to do that.
From Kim Cortogeano, which I believe is from, she's watching on Facebook. She asks, "I was stuck at a wedding "when my flash broke, and I didn't have a back up. "What do you do when faced with a situation "that you didn't prepare for?"
Well, my knee jerk reaction is to say make it work. But, there, isn't it, I'm sorry, I'm just gonna be honest, and please forgive me if I offend you. We are paid to always have a back up. And I think that it's really important for me to understand that I have a back up gear, and my second shooter has back up gear. And it's really, really, really important. Because there are certain moments, and there are certain parts of the day that require flash photography. Specifically at the reception if it's indoors. If we're unprepared, that's our fault. And our clients could actually create a legal dispute, as to why their photos weren't captured the way that that they were when they were supposed to. But I will say, that even if you have back up, so for instance, I had back up gear. One of my very wedding. It was the first wedding that I had my flash, and it was working, except for the fact that I didn't know how to create a timeline, even though in the CreativeLive boot camp I walk you through how to create a perfect timeline so that you're prepared. This is my first wedding, I didn't know how to create a timeline. The bride insisted on having all of her family pictures after the first dance, and at the reception. So anybody who has any experience would know, that's gonna be really dark. And then, she wanted them in a garden. Okay, so this garden had no light. We were literally standing in the dark. We were only illuminated by the moon. And she's like, oh well you have flash. And it was so dark, that my flash couldn't find a point to focus on. So I had a panic attack, and I turned to JD, my second shooter, my husband. I said, I need to get light from somewhere, just to have a focal point on their face. He ran to our car, opened an emergency car kit, brought out a flashlight, and he held a flashlight on the bride's forehead, so that my camera could actually focus, and then my flash would fire. So in that situation, it goes back to hey, you do whatever you do to make it work. But the foundation is, always have a back up. And if you don't have a, you need to have a back up, and your second shooter needs to have a back up.
I like it. It's like being a Girl Scout or Boy Scout in photography. (Jasmine laughing) Always have that plan. Saracat asks, "For a photographer just starting out "with limited funds, what are the highest priority "pieces of equipment particularly lenses, "that I should invest in?"
Well, you're not gonna like my answer, because again, I'm gonna deal it to you straight. I don't think, when you have limited funds, I had limited funds when I start, everybody has limited funds when they start. By and large. Unless you come from a very wealthy family. Which I did not. And nothing against you, 'cause I wish I had a wealthy family. But either way, everybody has limited funds. So my theology, which is what I still maintain to this day, was to buy things that really set me apart. Buy things that I couldn't rent. So I could rent a camera. And I could rent memory card. And I could rent lenses. But I couldn't rent a website. And I couldn't rent business cards. I couldn't rent a blog. And so the limited resources that I had, really went to building an online presence, that made me look legitimate. If I did not look legitimate online, who was ever gonna pay me to hire, who was ever gonna hire me, and pay me to shoot their wedding? And so, in the beginning, I had a camera. It was a Canon 20D. So it's about 1,000, at the time it was around $1,200. And that was, to me, in my mind, a very nice camera. So I just had the body, but when I went to a wedding, I would rent all my lenses. Because I couldn't afford to buy the whole spread of lenses that I would need. I just rented them. And then I saved up until I could buy the 24 to 70. And then I rented all the other lenses. And then I saved up so I could buy the 7200. And then I saved up for the other ones. And so I just basically paid cash for what I could afford, and then would rent. So on average, for each wedding that I was photographing, I was spending about $300, 250 to $ renting all the lenses, and the CF card. Let's reprogram our minds. Back when I started in 2005, 2006, CF cards, people were shooting on four gig CF cards. And I don't wanna get all geeky on you, but on average, people are using like 36 gig cards. 16 gig cards. And at the time, you got a four gig, you were like so legit. I couldn't afford. And a four gig at the time, was like $150. I couldn't afford to buy all the gig cards that I needed. And so I rented gig cards. Which I know right now, people are like, oh my God, who would ever do that? Listen, based with what I had, my option was, spend money and put everything on a credit card that you don't have, and you're not sure if you can make back. Or, use CF cards from a professional camera store that's renting them out. And I chose that, and it did me right. Now if you're just starting your business, you can get CF cards for a steal, and so you don't have to be faced with that decision. But at that time, I was like, I need to rent before I can afford. And that's exactly what I would recommend for you.
That's great advice. "What are two or three things that you believe "a wedding photographer must have on their contract "to protect themselves?" Oh, and then they follow up with, "And the course is fantastic, and I can't tell you "how much I've learned, thank you."
Oh good, thank you. Thank you. Like Celeste will absolutely attest to how appreciative I feel. The people that I've met on this journey. I always talk about my why when I teach on CreativeLive. Like why am I doing this? Because I think on the outside, people can say, oh it looks like it's so much fun to be on CreativeLive. It looks very glamorous to be on CreativeLive, and it is. But, I'm not doing it for fun, and I'm not doing it for glamor. I always, and I know that some people are gonna roll their eyes. I know, I get it. Okay, but I have always decided to make the decision that when I started my business, I promised God, like if I'm successful, if I can help other people, I will. And so to me, this is like my opportunity to pay it forward. So when somebody says hey, I'm enjoying the course. I'm learning so much. All I know is that your business is gonna change. And when your business changes, your life changes. And when your life changes, your family changes. And when your family changes, your home changes, your neighborhood changes. I believe that small, little micro changes in your life could yield really big results. So thank you for saying that. When it comes down to the most important thing in a contract, I wouldn't say there's just one important thing. I mean, there's really a litany of things. And I know that there are third party organizations that sell specific wedding contracts. So, I wouldn't say there's just one thing. Like to me, I have a meal in there. I have deadlines by which they have to complete their albums without incurring extra costs. I have... I need to have the wedding day time line, and all emergency contacts in advance. And I actually walk through this during the boot camp, of what I'm actually expecting and needing in advance. And even though I'm walking my clients through it, I actually have it in my contract, should anything happen on the back end, I can always say hey, this contract was signed, you guys knew what was expected of you, and I followed up via email. So I don't think there's one thing. I think it's just really important to have a really good contract in place.
Yeah, pretty early on in the boot camp, there's a lesson on how to conduct a first client meeting. That's one of my favorite lessons. I think that's, if you scroll down, if you're on the course page, and you scroll down, you can see the whole schedule, and where these lessons lie. That one's already aired. So you have to buy it if you want it. But, that's one of my favorite ones, 'cause it really, Jasmine does a great job of setting expectations up front, with these people that she's never met in person. And it's talking about a lot of this, but in a way that is a little softer when dealing with a client. And then later, there's another one where she actually gets into the back end. More harsher, snappier. Like this is what you need to do to cover yourself. So, yeah. She goes all up into that.
I love that you just snapped in z formation. You're like, (snapping). (laughing)
I find that when I work with you, Jasmine, I snap more than I usually do.
My attitude just rubs off on you.
Yes, basically. I'm okay with that. All right, from Ian. He asks, "How do you relax people for a group shot, "so you capture the real feeling of a moment, "rather than a set of individuals "presenting their face the camera group pose?"
We actually walk you through how to do this on the boot camp. I walk you through how we do it actually on a wedding day. And here's the thing. The wedding took place at 12 o'clocl. It was like high noon, right? And so it's like, pretty much a nightmare of a situation to shoot in. So when we had the bridal party, we decided to shoot the bridal party after the wedding, to see if the sun would fall a little. But it was in the summer. We were having like a 7:30 sunset. So even though we shot them after the ceremony, it was kind of like, well it's not as harsh as noon, but it's still 1:30 in the afternoon. So what I tried showing, was putting the group, a rather large, medium-sized group in a small, small, patch of shade, and then what I have come to be really effective, is I will go through, and I will position a bridal party. People always ask, are we looking at the camera, are we smiling? Right now, I just want you to relax. Just relax, just hang out. Feel good about yourself. And so I'm talking to them, and I'm up and close. And I really do feel like physical proximity to people, personalizes the experience. I'm not 10, 12, 14 feet from them. Like hey you, you in the black suit. They're all wearing a black suit, right? So I go up to people, and within two, one to two feet of them, and I'm like hey, and I don't put my hands on their body. Can you position yourself? Here, can you do this? Can you move your head down? And I'm showing them what I want them to do? I'm getting in their personal space. I have everybody that I like. I back up, and like okay guys, just relax right now. I'm gonna get my camera settings right. Just take a deep breath, look at each other, hang out, laugh, talk. And I'm shooting as, and they're just kind of like, yeah, you know, this super jocular. And JD, my second shooter, is shooting with a tighter lens, and he's getting people laughing, he's getting people talking. He's getting the groomsmen like talk trash to the groom. And the groom just kind of looks down and laughs. He's getting all of that. I'm getting them talking. And I'm like perfect guys, here we go. Everybody look at the camera. So what we just did in a really short amount of time, is capture candid photos of them totally relaxing, talking trash, drinking, toasting. And then JD, during that time, is shooting really tight angle shots of everybody in the bridal party. And then we have the classic one. Hey, everybody come here and look at me, at the camera. So now my clients definitely have options. And you can see exactly how we did this during the boot camp, too.
All right. On that note. Tara from LA asks, "You refer to different styles "of photography, like classic, lifestyle, documentary, "dramatic, artistic. "Do I need to try all of them in order "to find which one is best for me?" And I think someone else asked where you draw your inspiration from? And I think just you talking about your group poses, and how you get that, does speak to your sort of, lifestyle style, but then you also get this very romantic look as well. So anyway, I'll let you answer it. Take it. (laughs)
No, I love that you're answering. Go ahead, Celeste. Please, I can drink coffee when you talk. So, do I think that you need to try every style of photography in order for you to determine what's best for you? No, I don't. I can tell you automatically that I'm not gonna be an artistic photographer. I would love to be an artistic photographer. But there's so much that doesn't come for me naturally in that regard, that I can just say, and realize, hey, probably not your skill set. Probably not something that you could sustain. Probably something that you can't compete head to head with other artistic photographers, who are naturally inclined to that style. I know what I lean very much into, and that was lifestyle. That was what you see in a magazine. What you're really seeing on these, I hate saying it, but social media is really changing the way people understand their presence in front of a camera. So it's like, I really want this real life vibe, so that when they post their photos to Instagram, it really just looks like a highly curated picture, that looks really good as people are scrolling through their feed. That's just something that's in the back of my mind. And so, do I think you need to try everything? No. But if you're debating between a few styles, it's gonna be really important for you to hone in on what it is. And I will say, like even Celeste had mentioned this. I am primarily a lifestyle photographer. But I do have a lot of romantic components to what I do, because it's a wedding day. So, I am just gonna say, to give you creative freedom, and not feel like I need to be 100% something. I'm not dogmatic. I would heavily encourage you to pick a style of photography that comprises 80% of how you're documenting a day. So whenever I go to an engagement shoot, or a wedding, 80% of that is gonna be lifestyle. And the other 20%? Hey, I can experiment. So this is gonna be my creative. This is where I'm gonna shoot for me. 80% for the client. So they look at their portfolio and they say, oh, this is stuff that I'm very used to seeing from Jasmine. I feel like I got what I paid for. The thing that I see a lot of times happening is, photographers are so hungry to change their style, that they'll book a client with a portfolio looking one way, and then they go to a shoot, and when they turn the portfolio back to the client, they're like, well today I felt really evocative. And people are like, but I hired you for this. Now you're giving me this. That's like the big mistake that I see happening. Or not big mistake, excuse me. That's where a lot of people can struggle between who they are, who they're booking, and what they want to. So as long as you're shooting 80% for the client, and 20% for you, it's kinda gonna be a nice little mix, and you can experiment over here. And if your clients start responding really well to the 20% creative stuff, you're like okay, there's a market. Now I can start building out my portfolio more along these types of imagery.
We've got a couple social media questions coming in. You've come to the right place. We've got social media queen here. And before I even ask it, I will let you know that for those of you that purchase the workshop, there's an entire social media q and a that Jasmine does, that is exactly what it is. It is one hour of Jasmine spilling, answering every social media question you could come up with. But, a little peek for those of you that haven't purchased yet. Sam from Toronto asks, "What has changed "in the social media world for photographers "over the last year? "Where are the best places to focus my efforts?"
If you can believe it, but the same place. The same places, Facebook, Instagram. It's just, I'm actually really surprised with how powerful it still remains and continues to be. Now, if you were to ask me this exact question a year ago, I would say a heavy, heavy contender and big hitter would be Snapchat. I was really into Snapchat. I was really using it a ton. I really felt like it was super valuable. All of my clients were on Snapchat. And so for me to experience who they were in such a personal capacity before the wedding, and for them to experience who I was in a very personal capacity before the wedding, was a powerful piece of real-time content, that they're holding in their hands all the time. But then, Instagram stories came out, and has pretty much, I don't wanna say it, but it is what it is. It's pretty much abolished everything that Snapchat was trying to do. They created a clone, they did it really well. People can actually view their Instagram grid and photos the same way, and then experience stories in the same platform. And it's just been slaying. So, in that regard, I think it's been a total win. So where should photographers be? Facebook and Instagram. Where your clients are. And the thing is, I'm not emotionally tied to a platform. If next week, platform x comes out, and that's where all of my perspective clients are really excited to be, I go there. There's a time right now, Musical.ly, if you have a business that targets 10 to 17 years old girls, Musical.ly is the only app you wanna be on. Period, the end. And so I understand that as that demographic grows and changes, if Musical.ly becomes the next big app for 25 year old, I'm gonna sign up for Musical.ly, right? I'm gonna go wherever the attention is, and create content for that as a way to get attention. When you get attention, people trust. When you build trust, then you can sell them on your service.
Bruce asked about a Snapchat problem he was having, saying it demands full access to your device, and contacts, and ability to manipulate et cetera. I will not do that. Now what? The answer is, Bruce, Instagram stories. Is that right?
Instagram stories. Yeah, absolutely. And, you have to understand that the reason why Snapchat wants access, is because they want to grow their network. From a strictly business perspective, and customer acquisition, it's great. Because when you get access to your phone contacts, it will, on Snapchat, it will let you know, oh this person, this person, this person in your current contact list, is also on Snapchat. So you're gonna wanna go and add them. That's how they're growing their base. Because Snapchat doesn't have searchability. Or, they're attempting to work on their levels of searchability. But it's just not really there. And so, they wanna get access to your contacts so they can pair you up with people you already know. Whereas Instagram, there's high searchability. I mean, even the fact that they have hashtags in the stories themselves, now, is freaking bananas. So, to me, if you're gonna choose, if you had to choose a platform to really push, it's gonna be Facebook, and it's gonna be Instagram.
Kara the photographer says, "Hi Jasmine. "I'm struggling with changes with my business. "I changed a lot, including my price, "and listened to the crickets for six months. "Now I'm fairly desperate to regain my traction. "I feel like I'm throwing everything at it. "When making changes, how long should I "stick to each change before giving it up?"
Well, six months is a really, it's a nice tester. Because that's half a year. And that's a lot of prospective bookings for weddings. So, when I hear $500, I could think a certain way. That could or could not be a lot of money. If you were charging $1,500 for your wedding services, and you raised your prices $500, that's a 25% different. That's a big chunk of money. But if you were charging $10,000, and you raised your prices $500, it's not so much. Your client and demographic could probably understand that price change. But here's the thing. If you raise your prices $500, and all your hear is crickets for six months, and you haven't booked anything. That is the market telling you that the jump was too high. Does that hurt your feelings? Yes. Does it suck? Yes. Now you have two options. Say, this hurt my feelings, and this sucks, now I'm gonna drop my prices, hustle to kind of get the momentum back. Or, you're gonna say, I'm gonna keep my prices, I'm gonna have crickets, and ain't nobody gonna talk to me. What do you want to do? If you wanna get busy, if you wanna hustle, and you wanna reframe how you build momentum, drop your prices, understand what the market wants, and then raise your prices when you have momentum, but probably not $500. Move it up $200. And then shortly thereafter, move it up another $200. Right? So ultimately, you can get to that higher price range, but you probably might not be able to get there so quick.
We have a number of people asking, second shooter questions. BB asks, Hi Jasmine, is your photogra, is your husband photographer, was your husband photographer, a photographer from the beginning, or did you educate him to be your second shooter? That's from Bianca.
Awesome. So, when I started my photography business, I wasn't, for all intents and purposes, a photographer. There is no misnomer here. I literally opened up, unboxed a camera, a digital camera, and I had never in my life touched a digital camera at that time. So I taught myself by Googling how to use a Canon 20D, and then I had the user manual. And at night, I'm not the kind of person who learns from a book. Somebody can explain it to me, and I get it. But from a book, I'm like, oh my gosh. So then, I would sit with my husband, and he is a book learner. He could read something and understand it. So he would read the user manual, and then he would show me. Oh, this is how you exchange exposure, oh, this is how you change your focal point. I'm like okay, I got it. And throughout the process of him teaching me, he was actually teaching himself throughout it. And so we learned together. Now there came a point in our lives, in our businesses, that I was working part-time, and trying to build my photography business. So I was working three to four days a week, and trying to build my photography business. And JD was working full-time, trying to pay the bills. And so, there came a time that the two days that I had off during the week, I would dive 100% into photography. I'd be reading, I'd be Googling, and so at that rate, at that point, I learned faster than he did. Only because I was applying more time to it. And so then, when we would go out and shoot, I would say okay, so this is how you do this. And so, where he kind of was the catapult in teaching me the early technical aspects, I came in and said, this is how we're gonna start changing out lighting, this is how we're changing our exposure, this is how we're changing our style. And so I think that we both kind of taught each other, I definitely became the lead, only because I was in it a lot more than he was. So we both had each other, at just different times.
We have, like I said, a lot of questions on working with your husband as a second shooter. And rather than asking them all, maybe you can, if this isn't too personal, can you just give us like what's highs and lows, working so closely with your husband as a second shooter? What's good, what do people need to look out for?
Oh, I mean, we have the art of second shooting course on CreativeLive. So if you are looking for a second shooter, or if you want to become a second shooter, we go into so much detail about how to become the bombest, I just said bomb, what is this? Like 1999? Oh, my God. Oh, God. I really need to think of cool adjectives. What are the cool kids saying? If you really wanna become a very strong, and effective, and profitable second shooter, that's gonna be a great stinkin' course. But, we actually went into this in a lot of detail. But I think the hardest thing working with your spouse, is understanding there are specific roles that you need to play in the business. And if those roles are not clearly outlined, there's gonna be a lot of friction. And so, I recounted a story during that course, where I had asked JD for something. And it was stupid. I don't wanna make it secretive. I was like, can you get gas? Like, that was my big request. Can you get gas before we get on the freeway? And he said no, I'll get gas when we get off the freeway. And I was like, well, it's a wedding day, and if we hit unexpected traffic, or something happens, i don't want there to be a freak out. Okay. He says no, we'll get gas when we get off the freeway. And I don't know why, but that particular action, and that particular behavior set, incensed me. And so I do the thing that wives are so good at doing. Crossing their arms and looking out the window. I'm like, I'm just gonna pretend you're not there. So I'm just like, because here's the thing. I'm not gonna get in an argument over gas. And I'm not gonna get in an argument on a wedding day. Because I have to have my head right, I have to get my heart right, get my soul right, 'cause I gotta be there for my client. So I was like, you're not gonna rain on my parade, homie. So I just look out the window. We pull off, we get gas. He pumps the gas, he gets back in the car, and he's like, see, we're fine. And then I just lost my ish. I had steam coming out of my ears. I was like, oh really, we're okay? Oh, so we're okay? But what if we weren't okay? And he's just like, I think that you're freaking out over nothing. And I said, you wanna know what? This isn't about gas. If you were a second shooter for, and then I listed another photographer's name. If you were a second shooter for him, and he asked you to get gas, you would've gotten gas. But what was happening, is that you were having a husband and wife conversation, and I was having a first shooter, second shooter conversation. So on wedding days, when we're in the zone, we are only ever having first and second shooter conversations. And he was like, you're right. And I was like, I am right, but that was too easy. I was like, okay, okay, okay. So I think that that was a really big, pivotal point in our relationship. And then on a wedding day, if I ask him to do something that really sucks, like hey, can you go and take table shots? Who likes to take table shots? Nobody likes to take table shots during the reception. It's the boringest job. And JD will be like, really? And I'm like, really. 'Cause I'm working on the same-day slideshow. I showed you how I did this in the boot camp. We had a same-day slideshow. And when I'm working on a slideshow, he's gonna go do table shots, because that's not a husband and wife conversation, that's a first and second shooter conversation. And we have our roles clearly identified. Then we can have a really powerful kind of dynamic on a wedding day. And I love it. I love working with him. It just took us a little while to actually outline the terms of our engagement.
Do you usually triple snap at the end of those conversations? Or no? (laughing) Tease.
Well heres the thing. When I'm right, which is the vast majority of the time, let's be real, there's no reason to gloat. Because he like, pretty much he's always like, all right, cool, yeah, you're right. And I think that's just, we met when we were in high school, Celeste. And it's like, there comes a point in time, where you're like listen, life is short. We're not gonna argue over gas. We're not gonna argue over photos. It's kind of like, are you right? Are we cool? Okay great, drop it. And I think that it's really good. It's very healthy.
Yes, it sounds like you guys have a very healthy thing going on. Working together in general, but also just the dynamic you have working at CreativeLive. You got. I didn't mean any shade, JD. You know that we love you. (Jasmine laughing)
I wonder if he's around? Hang on a second. Hey J! Are you around? Oh, dang it. Okay. So last night, we actually had a few of our friends come over and he hosted this beautiful dinner, and it was amazing. And our friends had stayed over. And I heard them talking, but I just asked, and I was like is he here? And they're like, no he left. Dang it. If he does come in, I'll just drag him on.
I'll just drag him on.
Yes, the internet wants it. We also saw Polo walking around back there too.
Oh, did you?
Maybe we get him in here, too.
Okay, let me just text JD. If he comes back before time, I'll make sure that he gets on camera.
From Kara the photographer, she says, "Thank you, Jasmine. "You always have the best information. "Keep on slaying."
Aww, thank you.
That's Kara. Let's see, we got about 10 minutes left. We can do a couple other good questions. This one's kind of random, but I like it. Because I'm not even a photographer, and I've been there. Ruth Garney asks, "Are you worried about sand "when changing your lenses at the beach?"
Oh, gosh. I think, so at the end of the boot camp, CreativeLive, those sneaky little devils, put together this blooper reel, that was pretty stinking amazing. And you will see, I am pretty tough with my gear. I'm not afraid of it. I feel like... Somebody had once explained, I'm not a mom. One day, you know, God willing, that will happen. But somebody had said, the way that you treat your baby is how you're baby reacts. So if you're like rough and squeezy, and you're lovey, and you can jumble the baby, the baby just rolls with it. But if you're one of those parents who are like, oh no, no, no, shh, the baby's sleeping. No, no, no, don't touch the baby. The baby all of a sudden becomes extraordinarily fragile. And that's how I feel like my camera gear. I take extraordinarily good care of my camera gear, but they're built tough. I'm not afraid to change lenses. Because I've learned that when I change the lens, I turn my camera upside-down, so that the sensor isn't facing up, so something can fall into it, right? And I'm a good, I'm short, but like, my camera is about four, four and a half feet from the ground itself. So if I turn my camera up, and I just remove the lens, I have my side bag here, no where near the sand. And I put my lens in, and I take it out. And so basically, I never, I've been shooting that way for 11 years, and I've never gotten a piece of sand in my camera.
I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment. You get the gear, you use it. You bought it to use it, so use it. Don't baby it.
That was my, yes. When I got a car, that was my sentiment too. And I've banged that thing up. But I've never worried about taking it off road, or well anyway.
You have adventures with your car.
And, I have camera insurance. This is gonna be really important for photographers to know. Hey, I went to a wedding, and I had a lens out on a table. And I was shooting, and I came back, and the lens was gone. And I just assumed that JD put it back in the bag. And we got home, the lens was not there. And so I called the venue, I called everybody else. And then I realized that this lens, which is the 85.12, which is about $1,400, somebody had taken it. And I was so disappointed. But I was like, you know what? I've been paying for my insurance for 10 years, time to file a claim. So I filed a claim, and I got a check for $1,400. So there you go. So it's definitely worth it.
Agreed. It's not worth it. The time wasted babying, and taking that extra time to put the lens cap on when you're like hustling. It's just not, the time that you lose is not worth it, when 10 years down the road you just get that $1,400 back.
I'm with you.
And I just got a text from JD, and he said he's about seven minutes away. So maybe he'll do a close off.
Yes. Right at the end. Yes. Let's see. This person asked, "I missed the segment "where you said you don't like a lens hood. "Why? "Also it looks like you don't use lens caps, "at least when you're working." That's what we just kinda talked about. But yeah, take it.
Yeah, so I don't use lens caps, because it slows how much time it takes for me to swap my lenses. So I just keep my gear back very clean. Before every shoot, and after every shoot, I'm cleaning it out, I'm dusting it out. Cleaning out my lenses. I don't use lens caps throughout the shoot. Then immediately after the shoot, I put the lens caps on. And I don't use a lens hood, because I shoot really fast. And I really prefer to shoot with prime lenses. So I'm not having zoom. And when I have lens hoods on various lenses in my bag, it becomes cumbersome to take them out and readjust them. And I have felt that if I could travel with less gear, I will. And I have found that they shoot, which has been very clear on CreativeLive, is I simply put my hand up to block where the center of the light source is, and I can still get exactly what I need and what I want. And that is without a lens hood. So that's just a personal preference. It's not a right or wrong. I've just learned that I like to shoot quick, I like to move fast, I like to keep the experience going, and if that requires me not shooting with lens hoods, then so be it.
You can't be a tornado with fabulous hair and a camera, if you've got lens hoods. (Jasmine laughing) You can't throw a lens hood in there, it's gonna be lost in the tornado. I know that camera bags are something that are near and dear to most photographers heart. Frank Frank asks, "What camera bag do you use, Jasmine?"
I use, and I talk about this, I go through my gear. I go through my gear on CreativeLive. I walk through all the lenses that I use. I walk through my light set up. I walk through the gear bag that I use to take everything, like when we travel, and what we'll take on the wedding day, but not. So I'll call it my main bag, and a satellite bag. And the main bag that I use, is from Think Tank. And we'll go through that segment. And the satellite bag, the side bag, the satchel that I use, is ONA bags. And it's an all leather bag. It's been with us around the world, multiple weddings. It's just built really tough. I absolutely love it. And it doesn't look like a traditional camera bag. This is the one that I shot, this is the one that I wore during the 30 day wedding. So you can see that it does kind of look like a side bag, instead of those traditional, heavy, big photographer bags.
The lesson I think that you're talking about is lesson 14, the best lenses to shoot a wedding. It's a question we get so often, we just made a whole dang lesson about it. And Jasmine brings her bag out, and brings all the lenses out, one by one, and talks about them. When, and why, and how. We've got another question from Saracat. "Jasmine, you are a straight shooter "with these questions. "I love it. "Do you have anymore tips for shooting a couple "with different skin tones?"
I get asked this question so often. And I think it's because, I'm really proud, I'm really proud of the diversity in my portfolio. I think that if you go to a website, and you see one type of person on a website, you think that that's the thing that that photographer is specialized to shoot in. I love the fact that I have different colors, and shapes, and sizes. I love that. And it's very valuable to me. So when people say, well how do you shoot people with different skin tones? I'm like, I don't know. I just do it. When i look at a couple of any shade, next to their partner of any shade, I'm not thinking, how is this really gonna effect me? Okay, the only time that this would be a truly considerable thing, is if you are shooting a person who is extraordinarily, extraordinarily, extraordinarily, extraordinarily dark. And a person who is extraordinary, extraordinarily, extraordinarily light. But the probability of that happening, the frequency of that happening, just for geographic proximity, just for like ethnic, how it breaks down. Here in the states, people are closer than we think, and I don't look at somebody who's African American and dating a Caucasian, and I'm like, oh, what am I gonna do? They're not that different. They're really, really, really not. If you know how to light people, and then you put it in LightRoom, and you can lift certain areas of a photo, or lift skin tones with relative ease. But guess what? I have never, in 11 years, and I have shot multi-racial couples, blacks, whites, Asians, Haitians, Croatians, I've never changed my pattern of behavior to shoot them. Whatsoever.
And on that note, I'm gonna take a minute to talk about some of the bonus materials that you cover in how to... How to get along in difficult shooting situations. Like a really tall and a really short couple. How to shoot in really and light. How to shoot a curvy bride. And how to shoot, what was the other one? There was one more. Oh, shooting with intention. For people who purchase this course, Jasmine's put together these beautiful, I didn't print them all, because I didn't want our office manager to get mad at me using all the ink. But they're like thick, paper PDFs that have these beautiful, visual breakdowns of all, it's basically posing guides for these difficult situations. So, for those of you that choose to purchase, she covers a lot of these difficult shooting situations. And she also covers these, I think it was last week, we do shoots on these. Like, you follow along with her on a shoot. How to shoot in the worst light. Five top tips for bridal portraits. She's got a lot of these tips and tricks sprinkled throughout. And I'm just gonna like, fluff this course a little bit, if a may. This class is normally $249. It's 29 lessons. When we calculated it out, it was like 34 hours worth of content, or something crazy like that. For the next couple of days, until Sunday at midnight, it's gonna be on sale for 199. And you don't only get those 29 lessons that are targeted at all these different topics, and tips, and things that you're gonna need to be able to succeed as a photographer, but it also comes with a bunch of bonus videos, social media q and a, it comes with these shooting guides, it comes with gallery access to every single shoot that you see her do. So the Knot wedding, the engagement, all these difficult shooting situations we've put her in. Every single one of those galleries will be available to you. You'll get a login, and you can go and see all of the images that she gave her client. And it comes with a bonus video of, three bonus videos on how to officially start a photography business, social media q and a, and a handful of other q and a's that we've just done throughout the course, that we just tossed in there for those of you that purchased. This class will be rebroadcasting 'til Sunday midnight, and the 199 deal you can take advantage of until midnight on Sunday. So get it while it's hot. We are gonna do two more questions before we run out of time. Well maybe one question depending on how thorough you are in your answer.
I can be very long winded.
Let's see, what's a good one to go out on here? How do you maintain your work life balance? Even when you're trying to achieve all of your goals?
I realize that my goals can't be achievable if I don't have sort of self-care and balance in my life. So even though there are times like, let me talk about today. So it has been very long for me. I have a lot of projects going on. I have this call, and then I have two podcast interviews right after this. I have writing, and I have a shoot. But the thing that I know, is that my mom's health has been, she's okay, it's fine, but she has a long history with cancer. And so she's been kind of going through a few things. And I just knew that I need to keep her a top priority. She's probably very healthy, and everything's fine, but I just realize that that balance for me can't always be about work. Her life and her legacy is the thing that actually brought me to where I am today. She had brain cancer, and the doctor said this is it. It's time to make her funeral arrangements. She was 50 years old, and I was 25. And I was really forced to reckon with this idea of I think I might have a mid-life crisis. What if I die when I'm 50? And I feel like her life really empowered me to pursue my dreams with reckless abandon. And the fact that she's still here with me today, is such a big gift. And so I feel like I would be neglecting the power of her life, and the thing that she's given me, if I do not have balance between my work, and just making time for her. So I talked to JD today, and I said we have so much going on, but you know what? I think we really need to stop working at three, I need to pick up some food, and I need to take it to my mom, and we just need to hang out. We just need to sit together. And to me, that is creating work, life balance. And understanding I should probably be working 'til five or six tonight. But I'm making the decision not to. I'll find a way to make it up, because I won't ever get this opportunity on this particular day, to have dinner with her, and enjoy, and be fully present. So I think that, how do I achieve everything I want? I will achieve everything I want. It might not be in the time frame that I want it. It might not be as quick as I want it, but it will achieve it. And I'm not gonna sacrifice the things that are of the most, utmost important to me along the way.
We wish your mom well.
And wish you a good meal.
And we're just about out of time, but we have one last one that I wanna hear your answer on. So we're gonna go there. Sorry, guys in the booth. (laughing) What advice would you give to you, five years ago?
Five years ago. So it's like 2017 right now. So five years ago, five years was a little bit rough. And in fact, I actually keep a 365 day journal. I just write a few sentences in each day. And as i was journaling this morning, I went back and I was able to look at the year 2015, which is when we did this course. That was like two years ago. And to look back even farther than that. You wanna hop in? JD's here.
I'm gonna hop him in. Get this answer. Come in, come in. Sorry guys in the booth. They're like, see what happens Celeste? We ask one question, and it turns into a very Latino--
But we get to see JD, that's so great! Hello!
It's great to see you.
Yeah. I just wanted to make sure that you guys connected. Y'all were such a big part to what we were doing, helping us, and you guys were talking to him to keep me sane throughout the boot camp. And it's just good to bring us all back together.
The whole gang's back together.
We were talking about advice I would give myself like five years ago. And I would--
JD, I'm gonna ask you the same question now, too. So get ready. Now you're on. Now you're in the hot seat.
You're gonna say what advice he would give himself five years ago?
yeah I think for general photographers, as from where you are now. What would you give yourself, maybe not five years ago, but when you were starting out. What words of advice would you give yourself?
Oh I like that question better. When I was first starting out. Okay, I would tell myself when I was first starting out, is to take bigger risks. And understand that success will come. Because you can't be successful until you actually convince yourself that you are worthy and capable of that level of success. And there will always be doubts, and there will always be fears, and you will always feel like you're never good enough. But when you can say, I choose to move past the fear, I choose to move past the doubt, and I choose to decide I am worthy of this level of success, it will happen. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. And if I could tell myself that thing back when I started 11 years ago, I firmly believe my business would have been bigger and stronger. But what I wanna do is pass that advice on to other people who are sitting in that position, being like, can I make this work? The answer is yes. Now proceed as if success is a foregone conclusion.
Can you top that, JD?
You know, I can't. So I'm actually gonna piggy back on that. I think that's what I'm gonna do, Celeste. You know me. No, honestly, I would say. Five years ago, or five years ago, or when we were just starting off, the advice that I feel like I would wanna give myself and other photographers is, when Jasmine was talking about success, I feel like understanding what success really means to you. Because I feel like we so easily could get lost in what we wanted when we saw other people, and what we thought was success. The nicer gear, or having all the cameras available to us. When at the end of the day, success to us was nothing that was tangible. Or nothing physical. It was pretty much being able to work from home together. And being able to live life and do things together. And that right there. The fact that we could see our families when we wanted to. It wasn't having the nicest car, it was just being able to spend time with the people we loved. And I feel like, if that was our measure of success, if can add to help people that your measure of success is something that you define yourself, and not what you see out, out one of these facing from other businesses, I feel like that's just, that right there was gold for us. When we kind of came to that realization.
Celeste, I married up. I mean, come on.
You always say that. I think you both somehow managed to marry up. I don't know how that works.
I won, I scored. I snagged this girl when she was 17. So it's like I knew what I was getting, I knew I better take that.
He says he snagged me. I literally begged him when he went away to college. I was like, please love me for the rest of your life. (laughing) Okay sorry, the guys in the booth are like dude, soap opera, we're done.
I could go on for hours. But yes, I know that we actually have a reschedule, the rest of the class is scheduled to be broadcast I think, in a couple minutes here. So we actually literally need to get off. But what I will say to the eviewers at home, if you liked that last answer, if it maybe goosebumps, inspired you a little bit, definitely stick around the last lesson that they're gonna be broadcasting the rest of the day, is the last lesson from the entire boot camp. And it gives goosebumps, it inspires. You just want to pick up your camera, or just go, I dot now, create some amazing change. I'm not even a photographer, and I'm like yes, yes. What's the name of the title? it's something great. It's countdown to some thing new. And it will inspire. You will... You will carry on to greatness right after this lesson, I guarantee you. Just stick around. It's like about a 45 minute lesson. And you'll also learn the reason why the CreativeLive team in San Francisco was finding confetti in Studio D for one year after this class. So stick around for that. Again, the glass will be broadcasting until the end of Sunday, midnight. So thanks so much for tuning in. JD, great to see you.
Jasmine, a pleasure as always. Thank you so much.
Thank you for having me.
Bye, much love.
Love you, buh bye.