Countdown to the Start of Something New


The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience


Lesson Info

Countdown to the Start of Something New

(audience applauding) Hello, everyone, and welcome to CreativeLive. My name is Kenna Klosterman and I am your host for the final wrap-up of The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star. Now this has been an event of epic proportions. For the past six weeks, you have seen 30 different lessons as part of this boot camp. So, before we actually get started and bring Jasmine up to the stage, many of you have been watching this for the past six weeks. Maybe some of you have missed different pieces of it. People have been inspired from all over the world. It's been an incredible thing to see the response to this course. Five years ago, Jasmine was here and went out on a limb and did her very first live wedding shoot, our very first live wedding shoot, live, in front of the world, and five years later she has done that again, and this time so much grander. So we put together for all of you out there a little inspirational video so you can see some of the highlights througho...

ut the past six weeks, so roll that, please. (gentle music) It's valuable to take a step back and really just be okay in your own skin. It's okay to say, "This is what I want, this is who I am, "and this it was what I do." That is entirely okay, because when you say those things, it allows the recipient, the viewer, the potential client, to look at you and say, "I see what you do. I see who you are and I want what you do." That's a powerful shift in the types of weddings and work that we start getting. If what you're getting is not what you want and you think, "If I push through and if I push through, it's gonna be it." No, stop it, change. The best way to break the mold is by simply being you. If you want people to hire you, be unique, be different. By being unique, it's simply by being you, 'cause there's only one of you. This means engaging with your clients in a way that showcases your personality. Because what I have learned the hard way is that being somebody who you think other people want you to be will always leave you dissatisfied with your work. So let me encourage you that if you might not be the person who shines in the center of the room on your photo shoot, you must shine and you will shine. Because as a byproduct of your shininess, people reflect that as a result. I don't think that we as humans know how great we can be until we're pressed. If you would have told me two days, the day before we went to Sonoma that that was how the day was going to end, I feel like I'm getting credit when I shouldn't. It was the team from CreativeLive, it was my husband, and it was Tammy. Everybody was behind me, pushing me. And I feel like it's a really emotional thing to talk about a little bit, because I was like I wasn't enough, but in that moment they made me that way. So it was really important for me to keep in the back of mind that, for me, it wasn't the wedding, and for me it wasn't about my business. It was about two things, Samantha and Taylor, and the greater good of the photographic industry. I believe in it. So the big picture was give until you can't give any more. And I felt like, when we left at the end of the day, I gave it all and, sure, some people might not think it's enough, but it was all I had. Those who think about doing, they insist they can do it better. They would have done it differently. They would have used off-camera flash. They would have left room for cropping. They might have Photoshopped the sky back in. Could have, would have, should have, but they didn't, right? Because those who do, those who do, well, they make mistakes, they trip, they overexpose. They underexpose, they fall flat on their faces. They clip highlights, they crop out toes, they blow out the sky, but they embrace their missteps and they know that it's making them better. To fail publicly and grow is far better to than stay in a point of stagnation doing nothing. So basically those people who do, get better. I am enough. I have made mistakes. I am moving forward. And on those days, I have really bad days where I really feel pretty crappy, it's nice to say, "I might not be where I want to be, "but I'm sure is happy that I'm not where I used to be." and that tiny little shift of perspective can change the whole day, and so I have to remind myself, as silly as it sounds, that when I go to a shoot, I am enough. These people hired me, I am enough. That on my worst day, I could produce something better than anybody else because they picked me. Does this sound like some psychoanalytical babble? I don't know, but it works for me. I would rather speak to myself with kindness and grace instead of saying, "You suck." This is gonna fail. You're not good enough. Imagine what the people are going to say when you post these online. I have two options, I listen to that voice or I listen to this one. I'm healthier. I'm in a better place now to say, "I am enough." I deal with myself with love and grace and contentment, and I hope the same for you. (audience applauding) Whoo, powerful words from Jasmine Star. And now it is time for her final lesson. Jasmine Star, you are more than good enough. Please come on up to the stage. Whoo! (audience applauding) (murmuring) You will. Jasmine, was that just like really trippy to watch this whole montage-- Yes! of the past six weeks? I mean, this act of creative love is setting me up to cry. (audience laughing) I mean, I'm sitting in the back and it's like sometimes you just realize this, that you go through motions and you just do it because it's in front of you, but like putting it here, like that, it just kind of like made it, like we, like, made it. And I think that that was moving, so thank you, guys. So, thank you for throwing me off my game. I totally appreciate it. (laughs) That's when it gets real, Jasmine. Yes, no kidding, no kidding. That is when it gets real. No kidding. Well, I know you have some more inspirational words for us all-- Well no pressure. in this lecture. I mean, everyone's like, "Wait for it, wait-- You've been doing this for six weeks, come on, and planning for six months. I mean, this has just been, what is so incredible to me is the response, and you have truly given it your all. Thank you, though. Except for a little bit more that you have right now. Just a tiny bit more, yes, just a tiny bit more. How about you take it away? Thank you. Thank you, Jasmine. Thank you guys. Wow, like wow, right? I mean, this has been incredible. I will say that now, standing here, it's been nothing but incredible. A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend, and I was telling him that this course felt like the end of a really exciting challenge in my life. And we spoke for a few more minutes, and he had said that it couldn't possibly be the end, that, having gone through these 30 lessons, that there are so many photographers who feel empowered to start again, that this is really, truly been six weeks, 30 lessons, of you preparing yourself to reassess where you are and to move forward. Which is why I decided to entitle this conversation The Countdown to the Start of Something New. Now if you've joined us for this Wedding Photographer Experience, you cannot be the same. Because you've gone through these 30 lessons and you've seen that the principles that I have applied have been successfully working for my business. And having seen other people, I now believe and know that it is successfully working for other businesses. Now, I'm going to be honest, because what I'm standing here saying today is shiny. It's retrospective. This is the icing on the wedding cake. This is the pretty stuff that I want photographers to see and experience, right, because we get really emotional. We see this video, or at least I did, I saw this emotion, I saw everything we went through, and I was just like, "Wow, yeah, you can do it. "Rah, rah, rah," but getting here, going through all of those moments, standing on this stage, has been very difficult. There were moments during the filming of this course where I wanted to quit. Like outright, I wanted to stop, because I realized, "I think I bit off more than I can chew." That was the God-honest truth. I was nervous and I was embarrassed a lot of the times and I was terrified of sharing so much of my personal business so publicly. There was a moment when Creative Live flew the crew down to Orange County, and they said, "We're gonna have three days of intensive shoots." So we had six shoots, I had a client meeting, I had interviews, I had things to do, and for a girl who literally just stays at home or in the studio and works in yoga pants, three days of all of this was a lot. And it became so overwhelming because I felt like, as I was going through the shoots, that I kept on messing up, that I kept on missing the mark, that I kept on falling short of the things I wanted to do. Finally, as we get into day three, we're going into our last shoot and we all meet back at the studio and everybody's running around and there's so many people, I literally walked into a storage closet and I cried into a mop. And I was like, "I can't do this any more, I just can't do this." And then what I realized was I thought once we did finish that, I said, "Okay, great, we got it done." But what happened was that that paled in comparison to what happened, to the things that I experienced as we shot the Knot Dream Wedding live. Now, Creative Live had suggested that we show my images straight out from my camera as I shot them, so there would be no retouching and there would be no editing. Now, of course, when I say this, it made me, like, physically ill. Like, I was thinking, like, "Um, no, like what's the possibility of us not showing those photos? Like, what's the possibility of me editing the photos and then you putting them in? And they said, we want integrity. We want people to see what you are doing and then show the transformation. And I can't help but think of that as a life principle. What we want to do is show how pretty everything looks at the end, but in the middle, it stinks sometimes. Now, when I thought about sharing these images, the first image that I had was like when I was in junior high and I would have these, like, really terrifying dreams that I would show up to school with no clothes on. I was having issues of vulnerability, and that manifested itself much later in life, so there I was and I relented. I said, "Okay, we finally can," after some discussions, but I laid in bed at night worrying about how my work would be criticized. Now, all of that paled in comparison to what happened to me a few weeks ago. So what happened to me a few weeks ago is we are getting ready to fly up to San Francisco to film a few days to finish out this course in real time, to talk about what happened at the wedding, the workflow for the wedding, the marketing for the wedding, and it had taken me weeks to prepare. I was feeling good and I was feeling confident, and I told J.D., "All that stuff that happened "in the beginning, all the stuff that happened "at the wedding, well I'm ready now, this is great." Except for the fact that the night before we were to leave to San Francisco, my presentation disappears. So I had 150 slides on the Keynote presentation, and I opened up my Keynote and it had 10 slides. And I was like, "Oh, no, no. "Like this isn't happening. "This isn't happening to me right now. "This is the stuff that happens in movies. "It doesn't happen to real people." Except that it did, and we were on the phone with support. So J.D. was on one phone with AppleCare, and I was so desperate in this moment that I was calling anybody who knew anything about Keynote, I was gonna be on the phone with them. Well lucky for us, one of the co-founders of Creative Live, I called him. It's almost nine o'clock at night. I was like, "Greg, I'm just so upset right now. "I don't know what to do," and he tried working through it with us. J.D. was trying working through it with us, and so a couple hours later we realized it was gone. Now, I was humiliated because there I was crying at nine o'clock at night with one of the founders from this entire, amazing organization. I was tired. I was frustrated. But once I screamed a thousand screams, I had no choice but to let go because I needed to start over, and as much as I wanted to hide, as much as I wanted to cower, I had to make the best of it. I had no other choice. That night I stayed up working on my presentation until we left on our flight to come to San Francisco. I worked on the plane. I worked on the taxi ride to the studio. I met with the producers, then I went back to the hotel and stayed up the whole night again to finish what I had to finish. Why? Because I had no other choice. In retrospect, as painstaking as these experiences were, I wouldn't change them for the world. Now, I didn't know what I was capable of until I was desperate to survive. But we don't know what we're capable of until life thrusts us into where we're supposed to be, and that was what happened. I had a jolt and it said I needed to be here in that moment, but I had to prove how much I wanted to be here. But this made me ask, "What if I lived my entire life this way?" as if I'd never had another option but to continue moving forward. What if I stopped giving myself reasons or excuses to not have to deal with the struggle or the hurt or the fear? Now, having gone through this bootcamp, this is what I've learned. I want to fight. I want to be uncomfortable, because when I am uncomfortable I am growing far more and far quicker and far greater than I could be if I was simply going through the motions. That's what I want to focus on today. I'm not gonna talk about my experiences. I'm not gonna talk about mere suspicions as to why I think uncomfortability is a good thing. I'm going to talk about concrete, academic examples that prove success has very little to do with being the best. Success has very little to do with being the strongest or the fastest. Success goes to those hustle all the time. On the note of hustlers and success, I realized that I have focused so heavily on education about the things that I did in my business to bring me to where I am today. But I failed to talk to you about things that were going on in my personal life that further changed the trajectory of where my business was going. There were a few things and one in particular that made me shift, that made me the person that I am today, and it has to be said today what that was, because that change has allowed me to have longevity in my business, and that's what I want to share. Today I wanna give you the complete story of how things unfolded. So, as you know if you've joined us for previous lessons, in October of 2006, I booked my first wedding, but technically in 2007 that was my first year in business. During that first year of business, I was building my brand. I was learning how to market my business, and those marketing principles that I use today were what I was developing back in 2007. Not too much has changed, and those are the things that I shared with you in previous lessons. But at the same time, because I was outsourcing a lot of the minutiae of my business, I felt like I could hone my focus on photography. So what happened as a result? As I started focusing on photography, it freed me to pour energy into that one thing. So when you pour all of your energy into one thing, good things appear. You grow faster, you get smarter, you learn more. So as a result, doors opened for me and new opportunities presented itself. Because I was still a very new photographer, but my work was getting better really quickly, and I was gaining momentum, which is a great thing, which is what I want for you, which is what I wanted for myself. But, as these new opportunities presented themself, my life became very fragmented. My attention was divided and my attention was divided because, yes, I was trying to start a business. And, yes, I was trying to learn photography, but I also worked part-time three days a week. I was also attending a local junior college in Los Angeles on how to learn Photoshop. Truth be told, I really didn't learn too much in that Photoshop class, but I had to go on Mondays and Wednesday nights from seven to 10. I was volunteering at church in Sunday School. I had just gotten married. I had to learn how to make a dinner which, years later those lessons didn't really pay off in any way, shape, or form, but all of this was happening at this time. So then I had to realize that I found myself staying up late at night. I found myself making empty promises. And I found myself waking up almost every morning completely overwhelmed. It was very common for me to come home from work, and JD and I would make dinner together. I would turn to him and I'd say, "I just need about an hour and and a half to get some work done." And he would say, "Okay." And then when that hour and half came around, I would say, okay, can I just get 10 more minutes? Can I get just get five more minutes? And then three and a half hours later, I would walk downstairs and I would see my husband alone, asleep on the couch. This was not a one-time thing. This became a regular thing in my life, and it just wasn't with my husband. It was with my friends. I was like, you guys, I'm just so tired. I just can't go out. Can you guys get to coffee without me? Or can you guys get the coffee and bring it to my house? And then where would I be, everybody would be having coffee and chatting, and I'd be on my computer, yeah, mm-hmm, and I'd be working. My mother had, during this time, was kind of like on the rebound. She was trying to get into remission from cancer, and one of my top priorities was to hang out with her, but what did I find myself doing? Calling, Mom, can I get a rain check? And, of course, she would always extend one. But then something radically changed in May of 2009. In May of 2009, I got a phone call from a dear friend. I had met her, she was a photographer within the industry, and she had called me and she had said that she was at the hospital and she was with her husband, who had just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. And the news had hit her so hard and the things that we would think we might be concerned with, the things that we had constantly, our relationship, we were always talking about work, about workflow, about clients, about expectations, that was the last thing on her mind. She was a girl trying to deal with the boy she loved and the possibility of losing him. And all of the sudden everything changed as a result. And so I was desperate to help her. I said can we rent you an apartment by the hospital? Can we send you money? Do you need food? What can we do? And her response was so so great because she said, can you hug JD, can you tell him you love him? Can you press your nose against his head and take a big whiff of everything he is? And it was just like a dagger in my heart because I realized should anything happen to my husband, to my mother, to my friends, that I would not have been there in the way that I should have been, and what I realized was happening was I was becoming chained to my work. I was becoming enslaved to my own expectations. So we got off the phone, and I tried to walk down the stairs, and I saw my husband again alone on the couch, and I sat in the stairwell, I cried. I cried, and I said I'm sorry, I'm doing it wrong. I'm doing it wrong, and I see it. And something has to change. I cannot keep this, our lives this way because we won't last. My business won't last long term, and I knew this. So I knew that I had to make changes, so the question then begged itself, how? How do I make these types of changes? Well I set up parameters within my business, and does it make you kind of, especially as creatives, we don't like rules, we don't like parameters, right. But in order for healthy living, what are the things that we have to do? Now here are a few things that I have employed in my business, but as you hear me talking about them, can you find ways to go through your business and find what your pressure points are? One of my first things for me is that I stop working at 6:30 PM every night. That's hard. Like 6:30 hits, and I'm shutting the computer. And let me tell you there are nights where I'm just like no, no, no, give me a little extra time, just a few more minutes. And JD and I had a conversation that if I am not in like code red stressed out situations, that the computer closes at 6:30. How do I get all of the work done? I'm an early riser, I wake up and I am working at 6:00 AM every morning. So for all intents and purposes, I am working from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM. Now these are the parameters I set on myself. Yes, I take time to go and I practice yoga, and yes I take a lunch break. I do those things, yes, but by and large I'm working on average about a 10 hour day. If I cannot get all the work that I need to get done and prioritize it within those 10 hours, I really need to rethink about the things that I am doing. But on that note of making time, studies have shown that you are more productive if you take a 10 minute break after every 90 minutes you work. So how does this unfold in a day for me? I walk my dog. JD and I take Polo and we walk him. So I work about an hour and half, an hour 45 minutes, and we get up and we go on a walk. And what does that walk do? I don't know, I'm sure it has some sort of scientific like anatomical thing, but guess what? The vitamin E does you good. Smelling wet grass does you good. Hearing the crunch of things on the floor underneath your feet do you good. Because as artists and as creatives, we want to be creative, and yet we find ourselves in cubicals or in caves that we create or in dark offices. What do we need to do to create balance? 10 minutes, can you give yourself 10 minutes? Can you give yourself 20 minutes every day? I'm unafraid to admit that we take midday movie breaks. There are times I get one class, that's right. That's right and I don't feel guilty. You know why I don't feel guilty taking a midday? Sometimes JD and I, we're really fortunate, we have like three or four independent movie theaters where we live, and so we will go and see a foreign independent film, and it makes you think differently, and it makes you feel differently. And then you know what? Sometimes we don't do anything artistic. Sometimes we're just so tired, and we just had such a long run that week that we look at each other, margarita? Margarita, okay. So we go and we enjoy happy hour in the middle of the day. Why, because we're wedding photographers. We work on Saturdays, and then we're dealing with the wedding coma, or the wedding post after party. You're in bed and you're like I can't move, right. So our weekends are working, and then what do we do? We get up on Monday, we go back to work. That's what we do, so when are we finding time for ourselves? On the note of finding time for ourselves, the key for me, and this is a hard one, is turning off social media. Now not all the time cause social media is a big marketing component to what I do, to what we do as professionals. However, what I have noticed is, and it might not be for you, what I have noticed is that social media empowers me to not be in the present. It empowers me to be other places. It empowers me to make friends on the Internet when the friends who are sitting in front of me are going neglected. This time last year, I keep a small little journal, just a few sentences every day, this time last year I had taken a social media break. For seven days I decided to not get on social media at all. And it was a very hard conversation I had with JD because I thought I'm going to lose momentum. People are going to stop talking. What if I miss out on a really great opportunity? What if this, what if that, and I sat in worry, and then I just decided that if I was having such this panic attack about not being on social media, that indicated that something was going on. Now I will say that as part of this 30 day course, I have been a lot up in social media. Me and social media like we are like old friends at summer camp, like we you know. We sewed our initials on the pillowcases, you know like KIT, keep in touch. So that's me and social media these days. But let me tell you living with me, while I have a quasi affair with social media, is not fun, and so as a result I noticed I was starting to put like a lot of pressure and a lot of tension. So I told JD after this course, we're going to just kind of slip away for three days. Just kind of go de-frag, relax, and he said during that time I'm going to make proper arrangements for me to kind of slip away from social media. And his exact words were, I cannot wait to throw your phone in the pool. And that's still debatable whether or not that's going to happen, but I will tell you if my husband is like thank God, then I know that that's something I have to change. Now, and this led me to asking why. Why did I have to make this decision? Well I was learning how to balance my life and my work. I wanted my job to serve my life, I did not want my life to serve my job. Now what you've heard me say is that this is a struggle that dealt with in past tense, right, because I'm talking about 2007, 2009. The struggle is real. This goes on still to this day. So do I want to walk my dog every day in the afternoon if I was honest, no. There are sometimes JD is like come on, come on, I'm like sigh, why are you making this so hard for me when I'm telling you this is so good for your guys. Like know that these decisions come really hard. So, amen, I got an amen, that's right. Now I have to ask are you struggling to find balance between your life and your business? And if you are, I ask, are you chained to your computer? Do you constantly live in this fear of letting go? In order for you to start living the life you have dreamed of, you must let go of the things that are keeping you from that. It sounds so easy, but it is so hard. But I promise you that by you making these decisions, what is your priority? Do you want to tuck your daughter in every night and read to her a bedtime story? Is that your priority? Do you want to go to your son's soccer game at least once a week? Is that a priority? Do you want to plan a date night for your significant other so that he or she is not left alone in the bed or on the couch by themselves? What must you do to let go and ensure that that remains balanced, that that remains a priority? Because I will tell you that caressing your mouse at night, making out with your computer, is not as fun as doing the real thing with somebody you love in bed. Amen, I will amen my own amen, I mean right. But what do we do, we make those decisions to say I choose the computer tonight boo. No, no we can't. So I know that the minute you start making these changes and these decisions that you will be closer to your version of success. That might not be my version. It will be your version of success. And this is awesome, and I think it's awesome because you have been given the opportunity to do something great. We have worked together for 30 days. We have worked together for six weeks. You now know everything I do to run my business. And now you know the things, the decisions that I have made to ensure that my business does not run me. Because I am not in this for the short game. I am going in, I have been in the game 10 years. Had I kept doing what I was doing in those early years, I don't think I would be in a healthy state now. I don't think that my marriage would be in a healthy state now. I don't think that my priority being with my mother and my father saying, you know what today, I'm done. I'm driving to my mom's house. That's what I'm doing today. I don't think that I would be where I am today had I not made those decisions. So please join me in that crusade against the inner workings of our fear. Don't let fear run your business. Let hope, let grace, let the belief in yourself by saying I don't have to do everything in this moment because it will come together, I will find a way. I want to talk a little bit about what that looks like now. That is success to me, finding a way. I came across this fascinating Ted talk. This Ted talk was given by Angela Lee Duckworth, and she spent years studying what makes people successful. She was an inner city school district teacher, and she noticed a pattern with her students. And this was the pattern, that normal predictors of success, privilege, IQ, race, this had little to do with actual success. So Angela set out to discover what makes people a success? She studied West Point cadets, it's a five year program, and she wanted to know this person is primed for success, and this person is primed for success, will they finish it, will they finish the five year program? Because statistics how a lot of people quit the five year program. She studied rookie teachers in really tough neighborhoods to see if they would make it through their first year of teaching because statistics show that most people don't. So she said this person looks like they would be making it through their first year, and she started allocating who is going to make it. She also studied high profile Fortune 500 companies, and she wanted to know which workers were actually going to take time to climb the corporate ladder and if she could predict who it would be. Now everything she thought would be an indictor, a significant indicator, of success. So she listed IQ, good looks, economic status, intelligence, health, wealth. Those things didn't matter, they hardly mattered at all. So what's the one thing that makes a person prone to success? Her answer, grit. So what is grit? Grit is the disposition of pursuing long-term goals with perseverance and passion. Basically it is sticking with something over the long run and working hard. You want to be successful, stick with something and work hard, that's the answer. Her studies show that the grittier you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Now the part that I just found the most intriguing was that she took her ideas even further, and she said that people who have natural talents, who were born with God-given dispositions and abilities for things did not mean that they would be successful. In fact she argues the opposite. She says that if you have natural abilities, if you were born talented, you aren't used to getting up after failures because it has come to you for so long so easy. So if you're gifted in sports or academic or art. Academic, wow, I need to go to school. If academics, photography, if this came easy to you, she says that it's almost like your brain is wired not to know how to deal with failures. So when I first heard this, when I first heard this, I took a big sigh of relief. Because my entire life I have never been one to stick out. I was never the smartest, I wasn't the fastest, and I was not ever picked first for team play. In fact it always came down to me and the kid with the iron lung, right. It's like fine I'll take Jasmine. But none of this changed as I went into adulthood. The things that I noticed was that I also did not have a history with familial connections, with wealth, or experiences with people starting a business. In fact at this time in my life, I didn't even know a single person who had started a business. So for all intents and purposes, nobody would think that I would be a success. Or at least that's how it appeared on the outside. So what I didn't know then, which is what I know now is that I possessed grit. After hearing Angela Duckworth's description, definition, I realized that this was the one thing I knew I had. She says great is most prevalent in people who have failed and gotten up again. Well failure, me and failure are like bffs. We go back to my days in childhood. I had grown accustomed to falling flat on my face and finding a way to stand up and keep going. I did not have much, but what I had was grit. And these are a few things that I think people with grit possess. Five things. One, gritty people believe that the ability to learn is not fixed. It can change with effort. So if you have gone through these 30 days, you must prove to yourself that you learned at least one thing at minimum. And if you've gone through this 30 days and you realize you have so much more to learn, guess what, you have the ability to learn if you want it bad enough. Two, gritty believe that if they acknowledge that failure is not the end, they are more likely to persevere because failure is not a permanent condition. If you are gritty, you must tell yourself that either I have failed, or I am failing. But because failure is not a permanent condition, I will get up and I will move on because I have grit. Three, gritty people believe that change is possible always. I have used the word change synonymous with hope. I hope that even if my present situation is not what I wanted, I believe that my future situation, my future life can be better. I believe in change because I possess grit. Four, gritty people don't let setbacks disappoint them. Gritty people knew that setbacks were coming, and now what they have to do is find a way to work around them. Lastly, gritty people believe in finishing what they started. If you feel in your heart that you have not finished, get up and go. There is still something in me 10 years later, but I know there will come a time in my life where I can say it is finished. I have done what I came to do, and until that point, ain't nobody going to stop me. Until you know that you are ready to be done because gritty people create the terms of their own game. So everything we have spoken about thus far can be boiled down to one sentence. Pushing yourself and getting up after disappointment is something that you must always do to be a success. Have you had failures in your business? Good, because this means that you're finding your path to success if you continue moving forward. That is a dependent clause. You will not be a success simply because you show up, it's you will be a success if you fail and you continue to move forward. And sometimes I believe it's easy to respond to our failures by blaming a lack of x. I didn't have time to follow my dream. I didn't have the money to pursue photography. I didn't have the technology to build my business. I did not have the education to become a professional. Now sometimes it's easy to list our lack of resources, and maybe it's true, maybe you do legitimately have a lack of resources, but that cannot stop you from being resourceful, right. I heard somebody say, you don't lack resources, you lack resourcefulness. And I was like, yeah, exactly, because the most successful entrepreneurs take the little they have and they make it work. We see it time and again. So in order to survive, in order to be resourceful, you have to find a way to get off this merry-go-round. This cycle of going round and round of disappointment and frustration. In order to get off the dizzy ride, you must be willing to change. And there I go, I said that c word. I began this 30 day course on day one. And I said that change is hard. And change is hard because change and struggle go hand in hand. We stay away from change because change scares us. Change forces us to admit that we're stuck, and we don't know where we're going. But we possess the power of decision. In our minds, we hold the ability to say no more. If you don't like your job, change it. If you don't like how you feel, change it. If you don't like how you think, change it. That is the power of decision. Now but what's the, but what happens when we make these changes? We know the struggle will come. Failures will come. It is simply the natural order of starting something new. But the more, you will fail far more than you will succeed, but the more you fail, the more you will succeed. The most successful people, they don't let the past define them. They don't stay stuck on that merry-go-round of fear, frustration, and disappointment. They take risks and they become resourceful in order to follow their dreams. So I hope that today, I hope that today you make the decision to succeed. I hope that you stop looking at everything you don't have. I hope that you stop comparing your work to another photographer's work. I hope that you stop listing your lack of resources. Today I hope that you make the decision to get gritty. I believe that we are capable of wild successes the minute we become desperate to survive. Today is not the end of the 30 day Wedding Photographer Experience, it is the start of something new. It is your dreams becoming a reality. I want to thank you people in the studio audience, I want to thank the people online, because what this course has taught me is that I want to fight. I'm not ready to go anywhere. I want to get uncomfortable. I want to grow, I want to get bigger, better. Bigger and better. I will say it. I want to get better more than I want to get bigger, but I will take both if they come. (laughter) That is what this course taught me. So for that, and a thousand things more, thank you for giving me something so implicitly priceless. (applause) Wow, Jasmine, you did have more to say. I totally did. Wow. Thank you. We've got tears at home, we have shouts at home. You've covered so much over the past six weeks, and gosh that grit word really really stuck with me and resonated with me. We all possess it. We do. We do, you just have to dig deep. Sometimes we bury it. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. I wanted to let you know what people's reactions are. We've had such an overwhelming series of people saying what this course has meant to them and how it has changed them. You've told us about how it's changed you. Nia says thank you so much Jasmine for not only reminding me that although this is my passion and career, we are humans. Seeing you tear up made me realize how much I need to set up the limits and balances. Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you. So you've taught us so much, we wanted to hear from some people who are here in our studio audience about how they've already been taking what they've learned and putting that into action. Fantastic, I'm excited. And being the change that you have been talking about. Good. So we're actually going to start with Jen. Hello, so I was here in the studio audience before, and or course I've been watching it every single day, and I have always shied away. I have done weddings in the past, but I've always really shied away from them because I lack the confidence. And what I learned from you was not just the rah rah confidence because I have that internally, the grit, that kind of thing, but what I learned was the step by step, what can go wrong, how to fix it, watching you shoot the Knot, which literally everything could have gone wrong, and you have gorgeous pictures and didn't kill anybody during the making of it, so that was great. And within the past three weeks, I've already booked four weddings. Congratulations! (applause) You often said that when you think about it and you focus on it and you learn about it, that it comes to you. Well I mean it's proof, it's proof. There's nothing standing in the way except yourself. And so that's the one thing that I got from you, aside from all the others, so thank you so much. Thank you, thank you for that gift, truly. And that really is the most important thing. It is. Is that belief. Absolutely, sometimes we stand in our own way. The person that you need to say, to the voices in your head, I have multiple voices, stop. Simmer down now, I'm going to do something, yeah, get in the back seat, mom's going to drive the car. (laughter) I love it. Thank you, Jen. Thank you, Jen. Now Tammy, your third shooter, let's hear it. I want to take a minute and just introduce Tammy because I don't think that I formally did it at the wedding because oh we had a few things going on that day. Tammy is a photographer, Tammy Page is a photographer based in Chicago. I actually met her as a result of a CreativeLive class. We met by way of re-sort, one of the other courses that I feel so passionate about. Tammy had done since then, has done amazing things with her business, and she's just kind of doing great things so I wanted to invite somebody who I respected and who I trusted, and who would be there on such a deep and profound level, and Tammy delivered in spades. Thank you. (applause) I think that I got a really unique perspective, I'm going to get emotional, I can feel it already. I'm sorry. I feel like that one thing that watching you, working with you, that I have carried with me is don't waste time making excuses, just deal with it and make it work. And it doesn't do any good to sit and try to complain about, like you were saying, why things are the way they are. It's just, you know, acknowledge it and then deal with it. And I think the other thing is you said to me give until you can't give anymore, and I don't think the cameras caught this but when we were shooting the Knot wedding, like three different times during that day, Jasmine looked at me and she's like are you okay, do you have water, and I was like okay, your teaching the lesson, your shooting a wedding, your like dodging all these cameras, and you're looking at me, asking me if I am doing okay. And I think having that spirit of giving and generosity is what makes me want to have your back and make you a success and thanks for doing that for me. And now I'm gong to sit down because I'm going to cry. (laughter) Thank you, thank you. Thank you. It was really great to have a team. It was really great, and I think I get a little teary eyed because one I'm a girl, and two is that when you go through something that's a little difficult, you realize, a little bit, is you realize how strong you are only deriving strength from people who surrounded you. So the crew that was there with me in Sonoma, the film crew, my producer Celeste, JD, my second shooter, and Tammy, our assistant and third shooter that day, was such a profound thing. And I know that the course would not be what it is or what it was without their help. Absolutely. Thank you for being here Tammy. Allysa. Hi, so as a follow up to last time we met, I had a question about my pricing, and how I lacked confidence in my pricing, and basically I was saying how I went up at the urge of somebody I knew and I respected, and then I felt uncomfortable so I went back down, I didn't know what to do. And one of the things you said was you were like, girl, give yourself grace and own it. (laughter) If I really talk like that I need to back down, girl. Yeah, you might have thrown that. So anyways, as a follow up, yesterday I met with a bride and the question of pricing came up, and I'm like oh God, here it is, here it is. So I was like, so I went from 2850, and I went back down to 2450, and so I'm like here we go. So I said, my hands are shaking, 2850. And she was like oh perfect, okay, great. So she literally just did it, and it was such a great moment, and I'm like yes, like own it. Yes, you deserve it, you're worth it, you got it. Yes. So thank you. I'm glad, I'm glad that that is what you walked away from, the pricing section, because so often I would get follow up emails in regards to that pricing section, and people are like well this and oh this and oh that, it's just like I can only give so much. But this right here is you saying I'm owning it, I'm yes nervous to say it, but the minute you put it out there and you think that you can earn that and you've worked for it and you deserve it, it manifests itself, you attract that thing. Thank you Allysa, thank you for coming back and being here. Thank you, you're pretty. No, you are. (laughter) I think that's so cool to see in so many of the comments that it's like you have been you know afraid to say something. That person, that bride is coming to you, she wants to pay you. Absolutely. And we just get in our own way. Absolutely. And you have given us the tools to be able to do that. Thank you. I wanted to read a couple more from the folks at home. We have Jodi McNary who says, I purchased this course about a week ago. I already put so many of Jasmine's marketing steps to work in my own business, and I'm already seeing the results as we speak. Good, good. People are doing the work. A week later, that's great. Just like Jen, and then Susie Zoe says, I'm blown away by Jasmine's generosity in sharing so freaking much information. Every day my head is full, and I'm having countless rethink moments. Already this course has reshaped how I'm shooting and changed my direction and my dedication to my art as business. I can't thank you enough CreativeLive and Jasmine. And JD of course. (laughter) So Jasmine, we'll have to capture them for you, but there are so many wonderful stories that are coming in, and we have some videos to play as well to hear from some more folks. Thank you, oh, that's great. This is the first I'm seeing. What I want to say first is thank you Jasmine Star and CreativeLive to give me the strength to believe in myself. What I am taking away most from Jasmine Star's boot camp is that success doesn't happen by accident. And that hard work, preparation, efficiency, and your passion, those are the things combined that are going to take you from here to there. I really wanted to thank you because you and your course have taught me to be more confident as a photographer and have also taught me to be more gracious and loving towards myself. Her tips and tricks have helped me define who I am as a photographer and where I want my business to go, and the steps on how to get it there. The number one thing I've learned from this whole experience is I'm not going to screw it up, that I'm actually on the right track. And I wanted to thank you for the last 30 days, they've been a game changer for my business and for me personally. I've made wonderful friends, I've connected with wonderful photographers across the world, and I've learned if I have a dream, I should go after it. And that I can do it. We wanted to say that you are an inspiration and an amazing role model. We are no longer fearful of the harsh sun, we are using blogging and social media to increase our business, and we love your ideas on exceeding expectations. We hope to be successful one day, and be able to work in our pajamas and travel the world. The number one thing I learned is, as Jasmine says, to give yourself grace. I know I can be hard on myself and I just need to realize it's part of the process, and to do just that, give myself grace. I can't believe that my business has already progressed so much. I look forward to being able to excel in the future. And she's given me that hope for success. And I think that's the biggest takeaway, apart from all the technical stuff, that's pretty big to takeaway, and I can't thank her enough. Thank you J Star. Thank you CreativeLive, thank you Jasmine, for such a great course. Thank you so much Jasmine and JD, CreativeLive, and all the people I met while being blessed enough to be a part of this whole experience. We love you and thank you so much. Thank you, gracias. (applause) Jasmine I can see the tears tearing up in your eyes, as are my own, how incredible. Thank you to everybody who submitted those videos. Yeah, what a surprise. What a surprise, I feel like I can't thank you guys enough for what you guys have given, and so to see people who walk away with things that are a lot more profound than f-stops and ISOs, it's like you have hope for the future. You're giving yourself grace. You love yourself in spite of the mistakes. Amen, if that's what people are walking away with. I love that, I can get behind that message. It's all of it Jasmine, it's the whole package. You are the whole package. Thank you. There's nothing that I can say more, you've just heard it from all of these photographers, how this class, The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star has changed their lives, is changing their lives, is allowing them to change their lives. Alright, well, we've seen a lot of Jasmine being real. Now we have brought to you a little bit of Jasmine being silly. Oh God. Now is the time for a blooper reel that our crew has put together. There is so much footage of you teaching us. So much I'm sure. And inspiring us. We wanted to have some fun and share a blooper reel. Testing one two three. Testing, oh shoot. You can back up, you can back up. (laughter) Oh shoot, oh shoot. Oh my God, you guys, I was like oh God you're going to fall. That was amazing, shut up, oh my God. If you do not see the implications, God bless you, which camera, I'm talking to you Steven. Dang it, dang it. Wah wah wah, okay. Big mistake, because Twitter, why I went like this, no idea. We're going to go into that right about now. Just kidding, shoot, that was really cool, I walked off great though. Big mistake. Okay, I'm like whoa I'm sweating. Okay, here we go. Are you guys ready? You can tell me when you're ready. Okay, we're ready, okay. Okay, whoa, okay you can cut that out. I saw you going for the clap. It was like the slow clap. It was like an after school clap, like. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm going to get the giggles, I'm so sorry. I feel like I'm on QVC. This is what, oh shoot, okay, no QVC for me. I know that, I have verbal diarrhea, that's the problem. The flow of events changes then, there was, then, somebody help me out, what am I trying to say. I'm going to start zacky, zacky, I'm just going to call you guys zacky. I want to remind you that if you plan to fail, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I'm going to start it a little bit differently if the editors have the option. You saw the good, the bad, and the oh so fabulous. Okay, that needs to change because I would punch myself in the face if that made the edit. What happened, I got like von queekley real quick. So join me as I go along with ride, and thanks for being here. Thanks for being here. Edit knows that goes out. I sound like I'm a tough cookie, right? I do, like the Peurto Rican in me, let me tell you something mami, shut up. Awesome, so what we, it's like a default word, have you guys noticed? Awesome, awesome, there could be a clip at the end of this show, it's like awesome, awesome, awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Fantastic. (applause) Oh my God. What is life if we can't just laugh at ourselves? That's right, I gave the editors a lot to work with. Thank you for being so real. From watching the inspirational parts to you just putting it all out there, being yourself, and being real, through and through. Thank you, thank you. Well before we wrap, there's still more. We have some words of thanks that we want to do. We also have another very special person that we want to bring up onto the stage, JD. JD is usually behind the scenes, but let's get him out here in front of the scene. Hey, how are you? Thanks for having me, it's always good to see you guys. Always great to see you. But you know how much I don't like being on this side of the camera. You taught a whole CreativeLive class. I was always pretending that the cameras weren't even there, so yeah yeah. That's a good way to be, this is just us chatting. What I want to know, we've heard from Jasmine about this experience, we've heard from students here and all over the world about this experience, you have seen all the blood, sweat and tears behind this, what are you feeling with this coming to a culmination? What are you, what have you seen Jasmine do? You know, I got a little teary eyed today. I wasn't expecting it, I'm glad the blooper reel came on because that made me laugh, but you know, there was a lot of highs, and there was a lot of lows. But what I learned is that this course wasn't about Jasmine, it was about everybody that I met in the audience and everybody online that's making a difference in their businesses, and they're inspired to go out and live out their dreams, so that was kind of like the biggest thing that this entire experience has taught me. Yes, it's glad to me that we're on the same page. I'm glad to know, if you felt it, and other people felt it, that the course I hope the course was not about me, I hope the course was individualized and tailored to what people needed at that moment. So for you to say that, is just extra credibility that we accomplished what we set out to do. Oh yeah, at the end of the day it's been really fun. I love just being here for Jasmine and helping out, and being here with this entire crew, it's just been such a great memory. Thank you guys, thank you guys for it. And as you said Jasmine, I mean this is just the beginning, like this is the culmination of creating. Right, right, but it's not the culmination to execution, this is just the beginning y'all. The beginning for everybody out there. So I believe that you had some words of thanks. I do, I do, I do, I do have thanks, and I think I am glad you are here with me because I can't do this without the team who supports us, so I just kind of wanted to go through and list a few people. And I say it's tongue and cheek because there are a lot of people to thank, and I will probably miss a chunk of people. But first and foremost to Craig Swanson and Chase Jarvis, the co-founders of this amazing organization. That these opportunities would not have been given to us, had they not taken a risk to follow their dreams. The studio audiences in San Francisco, the studio audiences in Seattle, and the studio audiences at home, this would not have been possible without your support. I will tell you that I was so moved and profoundly touched that after the Knot wedding that people saw live, and after the broadcast that week, people were offering so much support to where I felt there would be criticism. I did not get that, I got support. So thank you for that. To Kenna Klosterman, who has been with us since the beginning, who makes this course personable. She really sets out and execute and what she does is see someone in their element. I also want to thank George Varanakis, the head of the photography channel here at CreativeLive. He was the first person to say you gotta get out again. I don't know what's going on in your life, but come on, CreativeLive is here, and I'm going to push you. He was the catalyst in this, and I appreciate him for his faith and belief. To Arlene Evans and to Sue Bryce, two powerful women who really helped and encouraged me every step of the way, I appreciate them fundamentally. To Tammy Paige, our wonderful third shooter, who stepped up big time boo. Nothing but love for you. The Knot's Dream Wedding film crew from CreativeLive, Steven, John, Eliza, and Stacy, these are my backbones. I will tell you that after that wedding, I knew I shouldn't say this because this is on CreativeLive budget, we went through like seven bottles of wine, we earned it. Like we earned that, let me tell you. (laughter) Yes, and some people are like what, true story. It was a long day. I also want to thank the CreativeLive studio crews, everybody behind cameras, everybody who mics you up, everybody who's getting snacks, everybody who's doing hospitality. When you walk through the door, there is somebody smiling to greet you there. That makes a difference in what I do, so thank you guys for that. Also I have to thank my most special person backbone, who's been with me throughout the entirety of the process and who has said you can do better, every step of the way she said you can do better. You are doing great, but you can do better. That was my producer Celeste Olds. I can't look in this direction of the room because I'm going to get all girl, but I will say that there was somebody who was behind me, helping me in ways that I couldn't articulate, so I would say, I'm really struggling with this, I'm really feeling overwhelmed, and instead of her saying, it's okay, you got it, she would send me a list of things that I had to do by a certain date and a time with every slide, that is my love language, and color coded. I was like you're only missing unicorn stickers, if there was unicorn stickers, we would just be in it. Lastly I have to thank my amazing husband and backbone, I can't look in this direction, I'm just going to look off in space, it has been a wonderful struggle. It has been a wonderful struggle, I cannot do it with the man who stands at my back, with his hand out my back, pushing me, I appreciate him, I have the ugly cry. I have the ugly cry, so on that note I need to stop. But I will say that I love you and I appreciate you, thank you. It's been great Jasmine. I have to thank the sponsors, you will find sponsor links. I'm crying over sponsors, wow, okay, I'm going to pull it together. I have to thank the sponsors, Photographer's Edit, to Blog Stomp, to Totally Rad Actions, to Pixieset, to Albumesuqe and to White House Custom Color, thank you, I can not do what I do without their support and the wind at my back. Thank you guys. Whew, Jasmine, thank you from all of us. Sorry. Don't be sorry, come back on up, come back on up. I can't believe this is closing out. You have, I mean six, you guys have all been here six weeks, 30 lessons, people get to now start watching it again and again and again. And I can't wait to see what you all do as you embrace your grit and get out there and move forward. So I'm really excited for now to say Jasmine Star, thank you so much, JD, that's a wrap, that's a wrap. (cheers and applause) Yeah unicorns and yeah. Oh my gosh, this is my glitter. (laughter) That is hilarious, thank you guys, thank you. Oh that was so funny, thank you. We'd thought you would enjoy that. I did! That was all Melissa. Thank you Melissa, thank you. Oh, that's hilarious, that's pretty awesome, I'm not going to lie. (laughter) Look at that, that was not really a wrap. We actually, you've just given so many thanks, and we do have a few final words. You are incredible, you are such a pleasure to work with always. We have a history going back five years when I withstood your first CreativeLive, and many since then, but to see you, whoa, yeah. To see you continue to shine and continue to give it all, on behalf of everyone and myself, thank you. Thank you. There are some people who, they're still coming down. It's still a party. There are a number of people who have worked so hard as you've said on this course, along with you, and some of them are in Maine, some in Bali, so a lot of people who have a few words of thanks, and so we're going to share those with you. We are done, we are done. Congratulations, you did it. Thank you for seriously being awesome at what you do. I just wanted to say congratulations on all your success with your boot camp, it was pretty amazing. I of course knew you were going to be great because I recruited you. Congratulations on a fantastic workshop, I had a blast working on it with you at the wedding. I just wanted to say it was a pleasure working with you, you and JD were both rock stars at the Knot dream wedding. I am just impressed, I got the pleasure to work with you on the Knot dream wedding shoot, and to see you in action, and boy were you in action. Your first CreativeLive workshop put us on the map. And it has just been fantastic working with you over the years, this last course is your best to date. I am just so blown away by how hard you work and how smart you work and just how you really deliver. People on screen don't know half the obstacles that were thrown in the way of this event, and you took every single one of them and you turned it into an opportunity to make the content even stronger. You have brought back to the industry the true learning experience, along with your capability of drawing everyone in and sharing your secrets and making even better people. Thank you for always looking out and having so much appreciation for everyone that's on your team. I have never felt anything but loved when working with you, and that's part of why I love working with you so much. I just wanted to say it was so awesome working with you, and you're just an authentic, wonderful person, and made my job so much fun and so easy to do, just because you are so on top of your stuff. What you did these last weeks, these last months, is you stepped up, and I know that took just great courage and I have incredible respect. Hey Jasmine, I wanted to say thank you so much for all the hard work you put into your CreativeLive classes, not just this one, but all your previous ones, and shout out to you too JD for keeping it tight in the background, appreciate it guys, thanks. I just I want you to know, oh, the cat's walking, nope, okay, it wouldn't be a video if I didn't have a cameo with the cat, so there it is. I'm a crazy cat lady. Sometimes your instructor's really dope, and sometimes she's got a cool husband, and sometimes they give you a bottle of wine, and that's just chill. You are just a fabulous, wonderful person, and I just can't wait to work with you again. Love you. Congratulations and go enjoy some wine, take some time off, go on a vacation, do something. Thank you for coming back to CreativeLive, absolutely crushing it, and thank you for being such a great friend over the years. So here's to you, cheers, the queen of cool. One, two, three, Jasmine. (applause)

Class Description

Running a wedding photography business is stressful work – you are on the hook for capturing one of your client’s single most important (and expensive!) days. But if you do it right, wedding photography is also a whole lot of fun. Learn how to balance the books, get the shots, and deliver the magic in The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star.

The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience is an all-inclusive wedding photography bootcamp that gives you all the tools you need to run a wildly successful business. You’ll learn the marketing, shooting, posing, and branding skills you'll need to thrive as wedding photographer.

On the business end, Jasmine will teach you how to:

  • Create an effective business plan
  • Attract new clients
  • Establish and communicate pricing
  • Build a referral network
  • Get free marketing

Every day, for 30 days, you’ll get a 30-90 minute comprehensive lesson designed to inspire and help you build a wedding photography business that thrives.

You’ll also learn all about Jasmine’s shooting and editing techniques for wedding photography. You’ll learn how to:

  • Prompt clients to get natural-looking poses
  • Leverage natural light so everyone looks gorgeous
  • Deal with unexpected events and shoot under pressure
  • Cull, edit, and market on social after the event

Jasmine will take you on location as she shoots a real wedding, narrating her on-the-fly decision making and how she keeps clients happy throughout the day.

This comprehensive class offers powerful insight into how one of world's leading wedding photographers runs her business and gives you the tools you need to pick up your camera, follow your dreams, and develop a rewarding career in wedding photography.