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Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration

Lesson 1 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration

Lesson 1 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

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Lesson Info

1. Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration

Professional photographer Jasmine Star shares her background in the wedding photography business and explains what to expect in this course.


Class Trailer



Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration


How to Define Your Photography Style


Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Wedding Photography


Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos


Overcoming Shyness to Find Success as a Wedding Photographer




The Best Wedding Photography Marketing


Lesson Info

Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration

Hello, and welcome to CreativeLive. That is what happens when we have a studio of 30 people, this is awesome. Thank you for bringing all your energy, people, and welcome to everybody at home. This is the Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star. My name is Kenna Klosterman and I am your host today. This is our one hour live kickoff to what is going to be a six week bootcamp. So before we bring Jasmine on, I just wanna tell you a little bit about how this works. Bootcamps are a little bit different than what we traditionally do here at CreativeLive, we've been doing a ton of them, but we're already seeing questions in the chatroom about how it works. So, today is our live kickoff. Every weekday after today for the next six weeks we will have a new lesson that Jasmine has prerecorded that will be played for you throughout the day for free, which is really cool. Over the weekends you can then tune in to CreativeLive and even get caught up on that entire week's lessons. A...

nd they will loop throughout the weekend again for free. That's over the course of the next six weeks. A little bit about Jasmine before we bring her out. She is an international wedding photographer that is based in Orange County, California. Jasmine holds a very special place in CreativeLive history and for those of you who don't know, it's almost been five years since Jasmine did her very first workshop here on CreativeLive. And CreativeLive had only been around for about six months as it existed. We didn't know what we were doing when we decided to put on a five day live event, including a live wedding that we planned in six weeks. Well, we planned, Jasmine planned, our wedding planner planned. It was insane. And what happened was, of course, Jasmine killed it and it put CreativeLive on the map. And that was almost five years ago and so much has changed for so many people around the world, for our company. We couldn't be more excited to have Jasmine back. But the thing is, if we're gonna do Jasmine at a live wedding again, it had to be even bigger. And so we are so thrilled that Jasmine has been named the dream wedding photographer for The Knot and that's for the Knot's Dream Wedding 2015. She's gonna tell you all about how The Knot is involved and how that's all working, but you basically get to see that process during this bootcamp and learn about, again, the complete wedding photographer experience via The Knot and via our 30 day lessons. So that is even way bigger than anything we've done here before and it's gonna be huge. So, please help me welcome back to the CreativeLive stage, Jasmine Star. (audience applauds and cheers) Hey, guys. Thanks so much. Jasmine, five years. Can you believe it? I can't believe it. It has flown by, it has totally flown by. And then the fact that there are people who were with us for part of the first course and now are here five years later for this course is a testament to what CreativeLive provides. It's dynamic education accessible by anyone in the comfort of their own home, or cubicle at work 'cause you all know we do that sometimes. Oh, yes they do. (laughing) It's just, it's really special. We've known each other now for five years, we've both grown so much. Yes. And I know you're gonna talk a lot about that in this session. What's one thing that you, like how does it feel today versus how it felt five years ago when we were doing this crazy thing? Well, if you were to get your hand and put it on my chest, (Kenna laughs) you would feel my heart palpitating. And that's the main difference is I feel that I'm more nervous now than I was then, because then I didn't know what I was getting into. Creative Live existed mostly, they had done a few classes, but in theory. It was more of this theoretical let's change the way education's done and they invited me and I did not know what I was getting into and I was like sure. And Kenna, we started the conversations for the course six weeks before the course was going to happen, but we didn't actually start wedding planning until four weeks before the wedding. So here we are trying to plan a real wedding, and I'm gonna get to that in a minute, I don't wanna give away all the goods, but it was four weeks. And the amazing team pulled it off and the bride and groom were happy and they're still married and have two kids. And life is good for them and life is good for CreativeLive and I'm happy to say that life is good for me. Well, that's a perfect way to start. Jasmine, I'm gonna let you take it away. Thank you. So thrilled to have you here. Thank you, guys. And thanks to everyone for tuning in. Thank you, thank you guys. Again, a special big huge thanks to the studio audience. You guys have changed the way this course is run from the fundamental ground works of being here, I thank you. And I thank the people who are watching online as well. So, I'm just going to come out and I'm gonna say it, we're gonna get the keynote queued up. Because what I want to start the presentation off by saying is that I'm going to be honest and simply admit that I have a love affair with CreativeLive. Now, our love affair started in when the company first started and I was just a few years into my career. I'm gonna walk you through the chronology of how this unfolded. So that year I hosted my first online workshop and we filmed it live and it was for a couple who was having a real wedding and they were really in love and about 150 of their real guests. Now, at the time I spoke about what I did in those first four years of my business, four, five years in my business getting it off the ground, what I was doing, what my approach is. But since then, my business has matured and changed in a way and that's why I'm really excited to come back and revisit it as we go in and we move and we navigate through this course. Now, in 2011 I taught a course that was solely focused on building your business and creating a brand. So that was definitely a little bit more entrepreneurial focused. And then I came back in 2012. And in 2012 I collaborated with a team of wedding creatives and we hosted a course that focused on the making and marketing of an editorial wedding. So it was there that we spoke to magazine editors and wedding bloggers and we wanted to figure out what makes a shoot editorial worthy and how we can use our current images to move us more in that direction, if that was something we so choose. And then I came back in and in 2013 CreativeLive allowed me to host a course that spanned the course of three months. Now, what we were able to do was to work with three separate studios from around the US. Now, these photographers joined this course and they were consulted and they were offered a free photography business makeover. And I can tell you that nothing makes me more prouder than to see these photographers, Nicky, Melissa, and Ryan, and I look at their work and I see their businesses and they are killing it. Two years after restart, they look like entirely different entrepreneurs, they look like entirely different photographers, and I can actually say they are very different. They are the same people, but so different at the same time. They have blown my mind and they continue to do so because I think that they're radically changing the industry in their own way. Later that same year, you can tell, right? I mean I'm just going off with my CreativeLive courses, I just love them. Because that same year I continued the love affair, but I was so excited for this course in particular because my husband and business partner, JD, was able to join me for that course. Together we taught a three-day course focusing on how to become a second shooter, how to hone your skills, and how to create a portfolio that you're proud of. And so then all of this brings us to where we are today. Now, like Kenna had mentioned a few months ago, I had received word that I was nominated as The Knot Dream Wedding photographer. And I was overwhelmed and I was very honored and the best part is that one deserving and amazing couple will get a luxury dream wedding at no cost to them. So I was thrilled to be a part of this, but around the same time I was in talks with CreativeLive about coming back and doing a course. And so I asked The Knot and I asked CreativeLive would it be possible if we can join forces, if we can show what a live wedding would look like from two perspectives. Because the Knot will be broadcasting the wedding live on their networks and their channels, so you'll be able to see what the front end, a really polished version of the front end of the wedding will look like. And then CreativeLive will have their camera crews and shortly thereafter you will be able to see it strictly and solely from a photographer's perspective, which is, dare we say it, not so glamorous. Right? We do a lot of stuff on the backend that has a tendency to be like you're wiping sweat, you're picking up a dress, you're holding a crying baby. Yes, exactly, they're crying happy tears, yes. Or tears of frustration, they both could happen in either way, shape, or form. Now, what I want to do is to show the two perspectives, and then we actually we can tie it all in together to see the front end and the backend. And so speaking on that note, I want to now formally introduce the ever lovely couple we will be working with for The Knot Dream Wedding. This is Samantha and Taylor. You will have a chance to meet them throughout the course of how we move throughout the next 30 days, because I've engaged with them via email, I've engaged with them in different forms of social communication, I've engaged with them as I documented their engagement session in Los Angeles. And for all of those things, I'm inviting you as a viewer to join me for that. So we're gonna grow with them and we're gonna see what makes their love so special when it comes to fruition on their wedding day. So, having said that, that is the love affair in a nutshell. But now we're back here, I wanna bring this to talking about what the next 30 days will be about. Now, I could talk about photography, and I will, but I'm gonna be honest because the next 30 days are so photography driven that I thought before we get into what these next 30 days will look like, I wanted to take a minute to chat about something that truly matters. Now, I have spoken about this in the past, but I want this, this conversation, to be the marker of our progress. So that when we look back from now 30 lessons, we can say I'm vastly different than the person I was who I started. Because I'm gonna take an idea that I touched on during the restart course, and then I'm going to expound on it. So for those of you who were part of the restart process that was three separate days over the course of three months, and if you were a participant, if you've navigated that journey, welcome back. Now, for those of you who are new or have no idea what I'm talking about, that's okay 'cause I'm gonna bring you up to speed and we're gonna talk about how this class, the Complete Wedding Photographer Experience, is going to change your trajectory. Because once you're up to speed, the next 30 days are going to make you look at your business in a whole new light. We have one hour together and I think that I want to talk about photography, but what I want to caution us against is that we think we should be talking about photography because this is a photographers course. Now, I will talk about actions and presets and camera lenses, I will talk about computers, I will talk about backup, I will talk about posing and marketing. Now, these help our business in a certain respect, absolutely, but what I want to talk about right now is the idea of photographer fear, pain, struggle, embarrassment. Because one thing that I know is that I'm not sure what lenses you use and I'm not sure what actions you use, but what I do know is that I am more interested in the creator than I am the creation, I am more interested in you as a photographer than I am your photographs. So if we just lay that foundation and then we come to realize that we have come here, many of you have come here from different parts of the world, the state, many of you are joining us internationally online, and I believe that the reason you're here is yes, to learn about photography, but I think that the overarching thing is that you wanted something, you wanted something and I'm hoping that the thing you want was just one thing. Because when you walk away with just one new thing that you apply to your business and one new thing that you apply to your business tomorrow and one new thing that you apply to your business the following day, at the end of this 30 lesson experience, you will walk away 30 different things at minimum. And this could be the catalyst, this could be the change that you need to create the business that you really want. Some of us had stressful days getting here, I know that there are people who came from Canada and Michigan and Alaska and some of you guys came from just a couple blocks away, I know that there are people who are joining us online and I know that these stressful moments of navigating traffic to get to where you want to go. I know that there are difficulties of trying to procure a babysitter for your child so that you can watch at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and go through this course. Now, I also know that there are other people who've mentioned to me via social media and online that they have left their spouses like notes and warnings like for the next 30 days be prepared to buy lunch on your own because I'm just gonna be too busy, I'll be too busy in this course. And I believe that the thing that we want, part of why we are making these sacrifices is the thing that we want is change. And I think that change is good because change keeps you humble and change keeps you scared and change keeps you hungry. For so long I believed that if I got my business to where I wanted it to be that I could look back and say, ugh, finally. I don't have to make any more changes to my business because I don't like change. But I can tell you that almost 10 years of being a photographer that the only thing that has remained constant has been change. Now, I don't like change, because in my mind change and struggle go hand in hand. There is no change in my life that is not accompanied by struggle. Because where and ever I decide to say I've had enough, things need to change for me, there is struggle right behind me shaking her head, I missed you, boo. So I'm familiar with struggle because (audience laughs) struggle and I are like best friends in a way that I never wanted a best friend. I know that I have mentioned this in the past, but for those people who are just joining us for the first time, I wanna revisit a few small things because I think it's easy to tune in or to watch this and look at me and think oh, I know your number, I know how you do. And quite honestly, if you don't know the backstory, you will never have an appreciation for where my business is now. And if I don't know your backstory, I won't have an appreciation for where your business is now. So I wanna talk a little bit about the backstory so that when people hear this, they can see shades of themself. Or better yet, if you are in a better position after hearing where I came from and you were right there, right here right now better off, good for you. You have less excuses for you not to wildly succeed in a way that you have never known. So I'm gonna talk about struggle, because I struggled with the shame that I felt for growing up economically disadvantaged. I was embarrassed that my family would get groceries left on our front porch. I'm embarrassed or I struggled with the embarrassment of walking out of the Salvation Army with my dad and he took us Easter outfit shopping. I struggled with the pain and the uncomfortability of growing up obese as a child. The nickname that I grew up with was called the beast. The boys at church called me the beast. At church of all places, I was like I'ma pray for you, you all need to learn how to be nice. (audience chuckles) I struggled with the feeling of growing up academically inferior. So I was homeschooled, I did not learn how to read until I was about 11. And other distinct elements of my life prove to me that I was slow, that I was behind the curve, and that maybe, quite honestly, there was such a thing as a late, late bloomer, 'cause that's where I was. So I struggled with these insecurities most my life and if I could look back and talk to that person, I'd probably like introduce myself, well hello there hot mess, nice to meet you. But then it continued, because it then continued on in my life because I was 25 years old and I said that I wanted to be a wedding photographer and I didn't even own a camera. So I struggled with the fact that I didn't know how to articulate the thing that I wanted to be. And then when I did get my camera, I didn't have the wherewithal, I was too shy and embarrassed to ask people if I can take their photographs. I remember distinctly I had a coworker and I asked, he had just proposed to his girlfriend, and I asked if I would be able to take his engagement session, take his engagement photos for free. I said I'll give you the digital images. And he simply said no thanks. And so it took all this nerve for me to do that only to be turned down. So I felt that in addition to me not being comfortable with who I was as a person, I wasn't comfortable with my camera. I struggled that I felt like I was gonna live in the shadow of the Salvation Army for the rest of my life, because I was working part-time, I was trying to hustle on the side with photo gigs, JD, my husband now business partner, was working with a startup company, and so money for us was tight. And not like in the cool tight way, like money was just tight like in the worst of ways. Like money was so tight that date night for us was grabbing Taco Bell through the drive through and coming home and we had a fireplace. Or we would go through and we'd get $1 Chinese combo meals and we would sit by the fireplace 'cause you can have the most ghetto meal of your life, but if you're in front of a fireplace, (audience laughs) I mean you're classy. And the thing was was I sat there and even though I was contented to be eating this meal with somebody I loved, I wondered in the back of my mind is this always going to look like this? Are we always going to feel this way? Am I always going to be embarrassed parking my beat up Honda two blocks away from a shoot or two blocks away from the Starbucks that I'm meeting my clients 'cause I don't want them to see all the dents and the oxidation on the roof of my car? Is this how it's always going to be? And so even though I battled with what that struggle looked like for me, popping open a Chinese fortune cookie next to my husband I thought I might be struggling, but finally I'm doing it with somebody who believes in my dreams. And that was a pivotal point in my life, because I said me and struggle, we ain't going anywhere, she's here. So how then do I deal with this? The more I started talking about this notion of struggle, the more I realized that the idea of struggle, the notion of struggle, is the thing that connects us. Because regardless of our age, of our religion, of our ethnic breakup, of our preferences, we all speak struggle. So if we all speak struggle, why don't we have a language around it? I've come to believe that in this industry, it's really easy to sweep it under the rug, to tuck it away, and what we do is we hide behind shiny pretty things. Look at my new computer, just got a new lens, look at this great meal that I'm eating right now. Now I have to admit I'm guilty of this too. I do the same things and I think that we hide behind tangible things because it's an outward indication of our success. And so the more that we put out that I'm okay, I'm successful, and I'm okay and you're okay and we're all okay, but I wonder what if we were to turn this out? What if we were to invert the shiny and what if we were to showcase what the struggle looked like? Would the struggle look like a kaleidoscope, like a mismatch of a bunch of different colors that ultimately create a beautiful thing? Could it be a map? Could your struggle help me and could my struggle help you? Can we talk about the things that we're struggling with instead of on the outside talking about how hashtag blessed we are to book another wedding in the Bahamas? (audience chuckles) I mean, all right, I can't tell if that polite laugh, (laughs politely) I dunno what she's talking about? (audience laughs) Or if it's mm-hmm, oh my god, yeah. Because I don't think that I'm the only person who goes through this. So I think what if we were to take what I struggled with and what if we're gonna talk about what you're struggling with and what if we connect the people online and we talk about the struggle? We put words around the struggle and we admit that every so often it's okay to not be okay. In our industry, we'll just come out, based on the nods of your heads I'm going to say we all struggle. I have yet to meet a photographer who picks up a camera, starts shooting award-winning images and doesn't wake up out of bed for less than $15,000 a wedding. So, unless you know that person, please introduce me, but since I have yet to meet that person, the idea is then if we all struggle, then we as business owners have to find ways to minimize the time that we are struggling or find ways to navigate that struggle together. Today is about creating strategies around what the struggle looks like, and then one thing that I need to absolutely, positively say is I don't want people online, I don't want you here, people here saying oh, people to hear me say that we're not going to have to struggle. I'm clearly saying that we will have to struggle, but it's different in how we face that struggle. Because the thing is, one of the strongest things that I had noticed was that an average business fails in about five years. And that number is closer to three or four years for a wedding or portrait photographer and that's crazy. That's crazy for you to think that in your life I'm destined to be this thing and three years later you are no longer that thing. So I asked myself why, why are wedding and portrait photographers falling off after three years? I wanted to know how does this happen. And that is what is gonna be the premise of this thing is today. In order for us to radically change things, we must do it together, because the more that we learn from each other, the less likelihood we will be making mistakes. Now, this was a very common theme from restart. What I heard after restart was that people would email me or leave messages on social media or leave notes out online and they would say that after going through the restart process, it made them feel less alone, it made them feel less lonely. And so then this made me think in a sea of social media, in a sea of living our lives out in the shiny beautiful world, many of us feel like we're navigating this process of growing a business by ourselves. And I think that if you feel like you're alone and if you feel like nobody understands you, after three or four years of really struggling, it's easy to close your doors and walk away and think you never made an impression on the industry in which you reside. But I've come to believe that the minute you make friends, that all changes. Because the next 30 days is going to be about building your business, but it's going to be about us building our businesses together. Because I will say this now and I will say it again, I believe that this room, I believe that the community of photographers watching online, are stronger together than we are apart. The largest and the most successful organizations believe that the greater good is valuable, that I have your back and you have mine. But in the art world, and we as photographers and we as creatives, I have a tendency to think and what I see is more about like it's me, myself, and I and all of the amazing work that I am producing. Now to a certain extent I understand this to be true, I understand that Pablo Picasso painted Picasso paintings on his own and I understand that Ernest Hemingway wrote stories on his own, but what shouldn't be overlooked is that these influential artists relied on each other. Now that's now to say that they were best friends or the relationship was good, but what we do know from history is that they pushed and they pulled and they critiqued and they met at Gertrude Stein's house and they had arguments. But that whole little group of people, their work soared because they had each other. So perhaps today this could be the start of something different for you. You people sitting in this room can meet two other people, people meeting online, I want them to be in the chat room actually talking 'cause it's too easy to sit at home with your cup of coffee and just be a voyeur. Because when it comes time for you to reach out and ask for somebody for help or admit that you don't have all the answers, you're doing it alone. So put yourself out in a very personal capacity and that's what I think today's going to be about, because we're gonna be talking a lot about photography through experience, we're gonna talk about how to improve your posing, how to shoot in the worst light, you're gonna join me as I go on a client meeting and I talk about maybe my awkward ability to eventually book a client, we're gonna talk about how to effectively market your business in the online realm. And I can't help but think that if you were to meet two people in this room or two people online, it's going to change the trajectory of where you're business is headed. Now, once we get to this point and we have established that we all struggle, I need to point out two things that we must find ways to make the struggle make sense to for us for us to work in that capacity, and we need to surround ourselves with people who will help us and who we will help others. So I wanna make this a linear presentation, I wanna walk you through some of the common struggles that I see photographers going through in the beginning of their business in that kind of like one to two year range. And if you're a more mature photographer, you're going to look back and you will either agree, disagree, or make modifications to things that I'm saying. So please talk back to me if that is where you guys are. So once you have gained momentum, once you've started your business, you might have three or 13 weddings or whatever your number is, once you get that and you get people to actually pay you, you're gonna get to a point in your business to where you say how do I charge more? And then you can't substantiate getting those higher prices. So let's talk a little bit more about what that looks like. So there are gonna be two schools of pricing. There's one school who believes that you should enter the market at a low rate and then work your way up. And then there's another school of photography who believes that you should charge what you're worth. If you have done x, y, and z, well then surely your portfolio should quantify what somebody would pay you for that. Well, by the time that I came time to start my business, I did not know whether or not I was gonna come in at the entry level or at that mid-range photography level price range. And so when I got my first wedding inquiry, my bride decided it for me because she had inquired and she said I have a $1,000 budget and my response was funny, that's what I charge. (audience laughs) And so what happened was I booked her wedding and I book another three weddings. So the first four weddings that I booked was in that 1,000 to $1,500 range, but I didn't know how to start moving out of that. Because in Los Angeles and Orange County that 1,000, $1,500 range is that bargain barrel photographer. So I knew that I was happy to be getting that type of work and I was happy to be shooting, but I knew that I couldn't sustain a model of being a full-time photographer based on those prices. So, how was I able to quickly move from being that bargain barrel photographer into a mid-range photographer? The backstory to this is that in 2006, in October 2006, I booked my first wedding. That same month I booked two other weddings. So in 2006 I had a total of three weddings. Well, in 2007 we ended up booking 38 weddings and we did that all without spending a single dime on marketing. We did that by word of mouth and online referrals. So, this is what I applied to say I can't stay at this price range, I need to move higher to a different price range. Well, every three weddings I booked, I raised my prices $300. Now the reason why I was doing this was because I needed to make a quick transition from being a low to mid-range photographer. And how I substantiated this decision was that I was going to workshops, I was going to conferences, I was practicing every day in my backyard. So it's not a flippant decision that I had made, this is R and D, research and development. How are my future clients going to compensate me for the time and energy and the money that I am spending to become a better photographer and a better entrepreneur? So, one thing that happened, one of the struggles was how do I price myself? And then the second struggle came in ancillary when a year later people were asking for the same prices that their sister had booked the previous year. That happened quite often and because we moved so fast, the struggle for me was trying to put words around what that looked like. So, if you are struggling with what to say to past clients, then here is a sample email of what I send to them. So if you're at that point, if you have been that point or if you know somebody at that point, I'm gonna read an email, bring out a pen, you can write some notes. This is the email that I would send to somebody who's inquiring about lowering my prices. Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your interest in my wedding photography services. I'm thrilled and honored your sister Jackie sent you my way, your family has a special place in my heart. Happy face. I know it might be a difficult conversation to navigate, but I appreciate your willingness to explain your budget considerations. Trust me, I was a bride before I was a photographer, so I know budgets too. Since Jackie's wedding, my business has thankfully flourished to such a degree that I had to raise my prices to reflect changes in supply and demand. I guess you can say Jackie and Jeremiah invested in good stock two years ago, wink face. If we don't get the opportunity to work together, please feel free to let me know if you'd like my personal recommendations based on your budget considerations and we can take things from there. Again, thank you. We have to know how to put words around defending our prices, defending the fact that we have invested in ourselves and in our dreams and in our business. And it's a difficult struggle to navigate. So if we know that starting pricing is a struggle, defending pricing is a struggle, the thing I want to remind you that the fight, that the attempt to grow, it does not go to the strongest, but those who finish what they set out to do. So often we think well that person's better because of x and she's better because of y, and I'm telling you they're not any better than you, they're just finishing what they set out to do. But the question then becomes what have you set out to do? Have you written out a list for this year of what you want to do for your business, what you want to do on a personal front? If you haven't, I'm going to tell you what my mama always told me. If you don't know where you're going, you will never know when you arrive. How can you be thankful for business growth if you don't know what business growth is? So if you're sitting here and saying I haven't written out what my goals are for the year, a great place to start would be how many weddings do I want for the year. I want you to list whatever your number is because of all of a sudden it's so easy when we see photographers on social media, (sighs) I'm shooting my 47th wedding this year, can't wait for the last 10. Like am I the only person who sees these photographers and I'm like how do you have that many weekends? (audience laughs) And I'm sitting there and it's easy for me to feel like wow, you're shooting 30, you're shooting 45, you're shooting 50 weddings. And it's easy for me to be like oh my gosh, am I not doing enough? When in actuality I knew my number, my number was 30 weddings and we ended up booking 33 last year. So anytime somebody says anything that's not my number, I do not have to worry. I'm not comparing myself to them and you shouldn't compare yourself to me. If you have a part-time job, if you are a mom, if you travel extensively, and your number is I want to book 10 weddings, good for you. So that when you hit your 10 weddings, be proud, don't compare that you're not shooting 50, 50 was never your number. But if you don't know what your number is, you will never know how to be thankful and happy that it is that. So if somebody says I have three weddings booked for this year and my goal is 10 weddings, let's use this as an example. My first thought is if you have three weddings and you want 10, well good job, you're almost a third there to your booking. We're gonna talk about ways to drum up business to get an extra seven weddings in a second, now let's take a step back. If you told me that your goal was 30 weddings for the year and you have three, then the next questions I would ask you is your business set up for that type of exponential growth? What was this number based on? Then we'll start talking analytical questions. So let's just kind of bring this down, let's make this really tangle. I think that what it really boils down to is knowing what you want. You write down what you want. How bout before we actually start these next 30 days, you write down what you want, what you have, and what you don't have. What you want, what you have, and what you don't have. So by the end of the 30 days, you look back and you will say my god, I have everything I need to succeed. Or my god, I have 75% of what I need to succeed and this is where I'm gonna work on a little bit more to get to where I want to go. What I want you to do is if you've ever wanted a confidence boost, in December, if you wrote out this list and you revisit this list in September, you will look back and say I hit my 10. And not only did I hit my 10, one of those is a destination. Not only did I hit my 10, I booked another wedding, I hit 11. Revamping my website, I didn't think I was gonna do that till August, I ended up doing it in July. All of these little tiny things for you to look back and say I am moving and I am moving in the directions of my dreams. So I wanna expound on an example. Let's take this photographer who have three weddings right now and they wanna book another seven weddings to drum up business. How can we do that in three simple ways? Because I want you watching this presentation understanding that yes, we all struggle, but let's talk about a little bit of solutions for the common struggle. Now what I want you to do if you're trying to drum up business is to create business allies. And this is really important because joining this 30 day course, being here in this room, joining the chat rooms, is an amazing place. Because the best way to build your business is actually to get referrals from other photographers. And why does this work? They validate you to whom they are referring to. So I am very fortunate I work in a small group of four photographers in Orange County and we created a referral circle. So when I get a wedding that I'm booked, we all share a Google calendar, when I get a wedding and I am booked, I look to see on that calendar who isn't booked. And so our goal is to fill up each other's calendars. And when somebody says are you booked and I say unfortunately I am booked, I don't simply say check out this person, I say you should check out this person because they're so nice, they're so talented, if you like our style, there's a good chance that you're gonna mesh really well. So I prepare them to like them automatically. Those types of endorsements, those types of referrals are golden. Now, the thing I want to stay away from is today after you think about this you'll be like I need to create a referral circle here. And it's like you're getting your business cards, you're like making them rain, in the chat room you're putting like digital business cards, like let's take a step back. Before you get into creating a relationship with a photographer, I want you to know them as a person. I want you to say and keep yourself in check, I care about this person as much in a personal perspective as I do a professional perspective. Now secondly, I want you to offer three free engagement sessions. Now, of course half the room might be divided in this suggestion. There are some people who are just like oh no, we can't do free, free doesn't put value on our work, we're artists, we just don't put chalk out on the floor to people walk around, we create beauty and lasting legacy and memories. Awesome, great. Now for those of y'all who are just like I wanna get busy, let's have a conversation. 'cause the conversation should become that free does not mean that you're not getting anything in exchange. Free just means that there's not a financial or monetary exchange happening between two people, but let's not walk away without there being distinct benefits of doing something for free. So if you were to offer three engagement sessions, photo shoots to people, what does that turn out to be? You can then set expectations for what you want from those clients. What if you were to say I plan on shooting your engagement session, it will be an hour engagement session, you'll get 25 images, they will be edited, and the only thing I ask of you is that you update your Facebook page and you link to my business page and post one of your favorites. You're outlining what you expect from them. You can't just be like I'll shoot it and then you're like why didn't they share my images? They didn't share your images because you didn't ask. Because what is really important about this idea of free is that the value can be created by teaching people how to talk about you. When I first got my camera, I turned it out to my first immediate network. So my daddy has a church in east Los Angeles and I thought oh. I mean nepotism at its finest, who doesn't want free photos from the pastor's daughter? It didn't work and nobody wanted my photos. So what I had to do was change the way that they were talking about me, and not people at church, I love my daddy's church, they're all wonderful people, love them, to their friends and then their friends is that in their minds I was Jasmine, the girl who got a new camera. But I needed to change the conversation to be the photographer Jasmine. And I could only do that by other people doing it for me. So in order for me to create evangelist, I had to teach them this is what I want in exchange for this. That's valuable. Are you okay with creating that type of value? Now, one thing that happens is that once people post their photos, so you do the photo shoot and then they say I had such a great time with Tara and they link to Tara's Facebook page, now what happens from this girl who posts those photos usually her friends will say great job, love it, you look so pretty, that's nice. That's powerful. Why? Because when people leave comments and likes and shares, it goes into that organic algorithm that Facebook loves. Now, this girl might have a friend from the fourth grade who she hasn't spoken to in forever who happens to see that thread. That's amazing, Because she doesn't know Tara, the girl with the new camera, she will only know Tara as the photographer and have a higher likelihood of booking a future event, photo shoot, wedding. So we understand that free is not a financial exchange, but free could actually do something for a big emotional and business exchange. Thirdly, I want you to connect with past members from creative teams. So let's just say that maybe last year you booked five weddings and you wanna like I'm so bummed that I'm not drumming up more business for this year or for next year. My question to you is have you empowered your creative teams to share your images? Have you empowered your creative teams to go about and talk about you in a really positive way? You might think ugh, I shot that wedding eight months ago, they're not gonna remember me. Ugh, I shot that wedding eight months ago, what are they gonna do with my images? And so you're gonna talk yourself out of potentially putting yourself out and making yourself vulnerable. I would rather have somebody look at your images and think too late, missed the boat, instead of thinking I can't believe she never got me those images, I never wanna work with her again. The conversation could be really honest. We shot this wedding eight months ago, please forgive me, there should not ever be a delay of this sort, but I'm turning over a new leaf, I'm really excited where my business is headed, big changes are in store and in order for those big changes to happen, I wanna send you 50, 60, 100, here's a link to the gallery. Download the images, you choose the images, feel free to use them in any sort of social media, the only thing I ask is that you offer photo credit. If there's anything that I can do on my own to provide marketing services or collateral for you, please let me know, I'm here to help. As a business owner, they then have the prerogative, it's their prerogative to say yes, we want it, no, we don't. But either way, create those conversations and revisit them even though you have the potential of talking yourself out of them. So, here are three things that you could do to drum up seven weddings or whatever your number is. Let's drum it up, let's get it to your goal. So there are three ways just off the top, there are so many more. Now, what I want you to do is once you have outlined what your goal is, once you have outlined your action steps, what I need you to do is create a deadline. Like in your notes you really need to say this needs to happen by this date. Because if you do not have a deadline, what you simply have is more stuff on your to do list. By giving yourself a deadline, you're saying I'm calling myself to the carpet and I'm going to keep it real. So, once you have your action set in place, once you have your shoots set up, once you start booking and once you get that momentum and once you've defined your prices and once you've defended your prices and once you've created a referral circle, we got the juice going, right? We're feeling good. And all of a sudden a struggle might be getting to a point where you're shooting weddings and your thought is when you leave for the night how did they book me? Like what about me put me at this wedding? Now I could be the only person who said that early on in my career, but I'm happy to say that now when I leave weddings I think to myself I get it, I get why they booked me, I understand them. The thing that changed is that I started developing my clientele. And I started developed my clientele by using this particular word, selective clientele. Now selective clientele runs the risk, a distinct risk of rubbing people the wrong way, because I have seen online in those ever lovely Facebook chat groups how they said that I pick my clients, that there's a prequalification process that I only work with a certain type of person, that I only work with x and that I only work with y. And what I wanted to do, but didn't, was get in there and say I don't choose my clients, my clients choose me, hence the words selective clientele, not selective photogroism, photographerism. I tried going with it, I think I just lost it. (audience laughs) Not selective photographer, okay? So how do I make my clients choose me? How do I make them like make a physical cognizant decision I choose her as my wedding photographer? Well, online interaction. Online interaction has become such a pivotal change in how I pursue my business and how I get the type of clients that I want. So what is online interaction look like for me? Online interaction comes together in two ways, by way of my website and by way of my blog. So if somebody's interested in my services, they will either go to one or both of those things, sites. If they go to, yes, they see my portfolio, but they see multiple bio sections, they see what my clients are saying about me, you could see my theory about photography, my contact page is just a lot more writing and a little bit more of my story. So yes, I am showing my portfolio, but at the same time I'm putting and infusing so much of me that they're going to have a distinct impression. I want only to do one of two things when somebody comes to my website. When somebody comes to my website, I want to attract them or I want to repel them. The more that I repel people who my personality does not mesh with, the higher probability of a bridezilla going to somebody else. Because here's the thing, there's no such thing as a, well, maybe, but generally speaking there's not the universal bridezilla. Because you might look at one of my clients and be like girl, how could you ever work with somebody like that? And for me, I'm just like oh, I get her, I get it, she's just having a moment, give her some space. So the more that I attract somebody who is like me, the higher probability we have a beautiful, effective, wonderful, open, communicating work, I wanna say workshop, working experience? Yes, let's go with that. What? Relationship. Relationship, yes, that was the word I was thinking of. I felt like I was doing charades. (audience laughs) Okay. Okay, so if somebody comes to my website and they're like I'm not, like I kinda like her and I'm not so sure, I have plenty of links to my blog within my website. Why? Because I want them to know where I went on vacation, I want them to know the books that I'm reading, I want them to know how obsessed I am with my dog, I want people to know that I care about the photographic community, that I care about charitable organizations. I put so much information on my blog because I want to push people away. And if you are not pushed away and if you stay, we have a high chance, a high probability of booking 'cause you like what you see. So, once they have gone through that, once they have gone through the website, once they have gone through the blog, if they still want to connect with me, then it's time to what I call pre-qualify my clients. And I pre-qualify my clients by them emailing me and I just don't send back all of information. Why? Because I want to make it a little tiny bit harder. Why? I want to attract or I want to repel. If you don't like the way that I do email, awesome, the next nine months you're not gonna have to deal with me. But if you like the fact that I'm going to ask personalized things about your wedding, where is the wedding, where is the reception, how many guests are gonna be there, are you working with a wedding coordinator, what's the theme? All of those things, if they can respond to me, I now have a very good idea if we're going to be a good fit. That is what I want. So what's the struggle? What you guys hear me say is I put a lot of my stuff out, like Jasmine, what is your struggle? Well, my struggle is knowing that I am not everyone's photographer and neither are you. Because when I first started, whenever I would get an inquiry I subscribed to the school of thought of like that wedding photographer superhero, where there's a wedding, I'll be there. We wanna do them all, but we have to understand, somebody told me early in my career that my business will be so much stronger with five brides who are on fire about the work that I produced than 50 brides who just think that I showed up and I did my job. Go after the five and understand that those five will be far greater to your goals and to your business alignment than you could ever imagine. So I've spoken about struggle, I've spoken of the things that we have to go through and I'm excited for you to work on yours, but it's struggling in business that we have to take a step back and think about. Because it's struggle without change that leaves you frustrated. It's struggle without humility, without adaptation, that makes you just wanna walk away and say I just have had enough. So this idea of actually going through struggles and then make it an intention, because once you say I want to be a wedding photographer, I'm ready go into these 30 days and make a difference, then the first thing that you need to do is envision it as a distinct possibility. My best friend was training for the Olympics, she was a national champion, she went to college on a full-ride track and field scholarship, and she earned a spot to live at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, California. And she was training for the Olympics and she knew she could get a spot, she was talented, she has had awards, what do you get when like she's won a race? Well, okay. So she's won a lot of things, she was really talented, so she knew she can get there. So she got a physical coach, she got a muscle coach, and they also gave her a life coach. And one of the things that he told her that I was like I feel like I'm getting therapy for free is he said that she had to envision. So as she prepared to make the Olympic team, he told her basically you need to see differently. You cannot see what's in front of you and you cannot see what's going on around you, what you need to do is to see differently. And what seeing differently means is that it's total emotional immersion, that you must say to yourself I am going to do this. Because it's one thing to say that you're going to do something, it's one thing to say I am gonna do these 30 days, it's one thing to say I am gonna be a wedding photographer, it's one thing to say I am going to make the Olympic team, but it's an entirely different thing to actually do it. Because you need to see yourself in the future doing the thing that you are not doing now and that scares so many of us. Because he told her straight out and which is what I'm gonna say to you today, if you cannot picture yourself in the future doing the thing that you want in your imagination, it's gonna have a really hard time actually bringing it out in real life. So as we enter in the 30 days, can you say at the end of 30 days I am doing this? Because if you do not believe it at the end of 30 days, you're gonna be sad, you're gonna be sad that you didn't do it. It was just another time for you to attempt to do the thing you wanted and it didn't work out. Well, did you believe it? Did you own it? For 30 days, give that to me. And what this basically means is that I was learning by total emotional immersion, by imagining myself, envisioning the fact that I could be the wedding photographer that I wanted. I came into this industry with an idea, where I got this idea I have no idea, but I came into the industry with an idea of what a wedding photographer looked like, how a photographer dressed, how they spoke. Like in my mind wedding photographers were very cerebral, I mean they're all so smart and artistic and always put together. Yeah, they kinda talked in that cadence, why? I have no idea. They're the kind of people that would walk ad they would pick up grass and say oh, the wind, (audience laughs) it's that direction. In my mind I thought that's what would happen. It's ridiculous, but I'm just being honest. So here's me trying to start a business. I have had no interaction whatsoever in the photographic community, I have this made up version of what I think photographers should do and should be. So I struggled with the idea in the back of my mind that when I was shooting the only thing I was hearing was you better act professional, you better act professional. What professional meant, no idea, but you better act professional. Okay, so here's a little side note and my producer's off being like you have a few minutes, well, here we go. (audience laughs) So, 10 years ago there's a show that I'm embarrassed to even admit that I watched, but I did, and trust me, it was really cool at the time. Tyra Banks hosted a show called America's Next Top Model, yes, I was one of those early watchers. I have since stopped 'cause I have seen the light. Not really, I mean if there's a marathon, I'll tune in to it. (audience chuckles) But what she does for those of you who are not familiar with this show, is that she goes out and she gets like the girl next door and she gives them the opportunity to become America's Next Top Model. And how she does this is every week she gives them a challenge and then they bring on different guest photographers. And so one particular week my husband walks in the room, he's like oh my gosh, you're not watching this show again. I said shush, it's research. I am learning right now. (audience chuckles) See, there's a few of you guys who are like nodding, I'm like see, baby, see, I'm not talking trash. So we're watching this and I'm saying this is research and then for this particular episode, it's usually the focus was always on the girl, but for this particular episode they kinda shifted the focus to the photographer. And there he was, I think he was like from England or Australia, and he was talking to the girls in such a way that blew my mind. 'cause he was yes, beautiful, get down. He's down, love it. Can you roar? Roar like a tiger. Show me, show me. And I'm like, what? (audience laughs) I thought an editorial commercial photographer would be like yeah, just like that, give me the shoulder. And I saw him and I thought to myself, that's professional? I can do professional. (audience laughs) This basically comes back down to don't be tied to the way you've always done it. 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. And 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. And as we move towards the end of the section, one thing I want you to focus on is to let go, to let go of the things that don't push you forward. So now what I want you to do in your homework is I want you to make a list of your strengths, I want you to make a list of things that you are really good at. And then what I want you to do is I want you to play to those strengths and I want you to diminish your weaknesses, because so often we spend so much time trying to strengthen our weaknesses, when we should be strengthening our strengths. So, if you're good at in-person meetings and somebody emails you, what you should say in that first email back is here is my collection menu or here are my packages or here's my pricing, but I think meeting in-person would be so fantastic because. And then you could list your reasons, prepare them for what you're good at. Or conversely, if you're not so good at in-person meetings, but you have a knack for talking on the phone, perfect. In that first email respond back to them I would love to set up a meeting at the convenience of your home or office, or perhaps you'd like to Skype. Do whatever you can to put you in front of what your strength is. Now, and these are just a couple examples, now what I want you to do is to write a list of your weaknesses. Now once you have list your weaknesses and you know what those weaknesses are, now you know how to play away from them. So what are things that you're not good at? I learned early on that I wasn't very good at album design and I didn't like it. And for so long I felt well because I'm a wedding photographer, I should be designing the albums, but I had to learn how to order the album, how to make the album, am I using an album design software, am I using InDesign? Then what happens is I would get all the images and I'm like these are the images that you chose for the album? And then I would just be so frustrated with the process. And so what I decided to do is I decided to collaborate with an amazing album designer and she and I work on the process together. My clients are happy because they get their design, my designer's happy because she's working with new clients and we're doing it together, and I get to educate my clients. And that's gonna be the third point when it comes to playing to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. If you are going to minimize a weakness, you then need to educate your clients as to why you are doing that. So I told my clients the benefit of working with a graphic designer is that this is what she does professionally all day, every day. She's dedicated to making sure that you are happy and I'm gonna be working with her through the process. Another thing that I could not stand doing, or like about two years ago, two and a half years ago, I was giving my clients USBs of their images. Now I'm a little bit old school, I used to give my clients discs. It's like now my computer doesn't have a disc drive, but I was giving discs, and then I moved over to the USB. And then I thought I have to brand the USB, then I have to brand the box that the USB goes in, then I have to brand the shipping of the USB. And at the time what I was doing was I was holding off the USB until they had actually finished the album design process. 'cause I thought in my mind it's going to incentivize them, but what I learned was that it would take my brides two, three, four months to actually complete their wedding album and I was doing a disservice by not having my clients have their images and send them online and share them online. So what I decided to do was to stop any sort of physical sharing of images from my studio. Now 100% I'm a digital online gallery. The minute the images are ready, I send them to my clients and I say you can download and you can share. And if you share, please just link to me, but these images are yours as much as they are mine. That was a powerful thing to educate my clients to play to something I never wanted to do to begin with. So we talked about envisioning, we talked about letting go, and then we talked about breaking the mold. What I wanna kinda tie in as a closer is I want you to be confident. And in order for you to be confident, because it does not come naturally to me, I want you to do things that put you in control of what it is you want. So I am not a confident person, when I walk into a room I am not the person who walks right in in the center and say hey, how's it going? I'm against the wall. I like to sit back, I like to wait, I like to watch, I'm naturally unconfident. So in order for me to become a confident person, in order for me to become a confident photographer, when I was going after shoots and I felt unconfident with my work, specifically how to shoot backlit, I would go to these shoots and I just could not learn, I couldn't. My subjects were always underexposed, everything was always hazy, everything was always fuzzy. So what I did was I got my camera, I walked into my backyard and I shot this orange tree in our backyard every single day for over two months at different times of the day. I would understand what is the light doing. If I stand here, what happens? If I do this, what happens? What if I bring something else nearby, what happens with that? So for two months I dedicated myself to putting myself in control. By the time I would get to a session and I had to shoot, (stutters) I'm talking too fast. I was like (stutters). (audience laughs) When I had to get to a session and shoot backlit, I was confident because I said orange tree, orange tree, orange tree, you got this. And it worked. If I was unconfident with shooting wedding details, what I needed to do was I put together a styled shoot, I brought together a few vendors, and I said there's no expectations on the shoot, we're just doing this for creation and learning sake. So I needed to put myself in control of what I thought editors thought of my work and how I did that was by practicing in advance and putting me in control of that. Secondly, I want you to do the work, because in my mind, confidence and control go hand in hand. If confidence and control go hand in hand, in order for me to be confident, I must be in control. And in order for me to be in control, I need to have done the work in advance. So what does doing the work in advance mean? A fancy way is practice, practice, practice, and when you're done practicing, practice some more. That is all there is. Because we can become so cerebral, how do we ride a bike? Really? Oh, we're talking about centripetal force and balance. Wow, how nice. You do not know how to ride a bike until you get on the bike. So get on the bike, pick up your camera, shoot the orange tree, shoot the dog, shoot the kids. (audience chuckles) All of this is sounding so violent. (audience laughs) One of my favorite quotes is by Peale, he says it so well, "Action is the great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause of fear." Inaction is not only the result, but the cause of fear. "Perhaps an action you take will be successful, perhaps a different action or adjustments will have to follow, but any action is better than no action at all." So now that we get here, we started out the presentation by saying you sacrificed to be here and we will go through struggle. But now I'm gonna tell you I'm gonna up the ante, because yes, you've sacrificed to be here and now I'm gonna tell you something that sacrifice doesn't guarantee success, it is merely a prerequisite of success. It is not enough to say I have sacrificed to take this course, I have sacrificed 30 days to do this, I have sacrificed a flight from Canada to join in here. Listen, so have all these other people. There are thousands of people watching right now who are sacrificing, so guess what? Just because you sacrifice, it does not mean you're going to be successful, it means this is merely the first step of becoming successful. The only thing that's going to bring out the change that you need to start this course is by going out and actually doing something. So, being here is a sacrifice, but what are you doing now? What are you doing today? Go back to that list, see your weaknesses, see your strengths, how many weddings do you want? What are you gonna do to get there? What is the date in which all of these things will be done? Are you marking it on your calendar when you will join us every single day for the next 30 days? So, we know that I struggle and we know that you struggle, but I started off the presentation by saying one thing, that I believe this room and I believe people who are watching online are stronger together than we are apart. So having said that, in the next 30 days I'm so excited to see what those struggles are and I can't wait for us to navigate them together. Thank you, guys. (audience applauds) Okay. (claps) I'm very awkward. I was like clapping, no. Stop, stop with the clap. (laughing) I think what we're gonna do now is we're gonna go into a Q and A, but Kenna, yeah, you can take the lead however you want it to unfold. Fantastic, yeah, we just have a little bit of time, but we wanted to get in a couple of questions. Of course, people are asking questions. And guys, if anybody has a question in here, feel free to raise your hand, we'll get you a mic. Of course, there are so many questions coming in, Jasmine, that are things that we will be covering in the bootcamp in those 30 lessons. That is why we're here, we're just getting started. So stay tuned and thank you for all of those questions. But let's just take a few. Great. So we'll start with I still get very nervous before weddings, how do you prepare for a wedding beforehand to be as confident as you seem? Oh, well, there's two things. To address for people who are asking what we're going to cover and when, because I understand that 30 days is difficult to say I'm going to make the commitment and this is what's going to be, there is a syllabus online. If you go to CreativeLive, if you look at the links, or you can just go to CreativeLive and search Jasmine Star, this course will come up and there you'll find the syllabus. Every single day it's going to outline. So sure, maybe you don't need to know how to prepare your clients for an engagement session, you feel confident. But like this particular question is how do you prepare your clients for a successful wedding day and how do you prepare yourself to become the confident photographer? Well, if you think I'm confident, I've done a really great job at hiding like the sweat underneath my scalp right now. We have discussed this, we've had open conversations about what it takes to be successful. And actually we're going to be starting this course tomorrow with can a shy photographer be successful? Why? Awkward always wins. So to that question, tune in tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard and there will be a loop all day every day. I think we're gonna get into those questions specifically and people will walk away, even if you do not struggle with being an introvert, it's going to be say these are ways to refine how you approach a shoot and how you approach a wedding. Awesome. Yeah, lots of questions coming in about staying positive and all those things in addition to those logistical ones. I do wanna give you a little bit of feedback as well. Great. Jasmine, as always, we have people that are chiming in from all over the world, so thank you guys all for joining us. We have Aruba, Oklahoma, Italy, Manchester, UK, Minneapolis, we have Barcelona, Sue in Barcelona, LA, Ontario, Florida, Wales, it's just everyone is here and excited. Lots and lots, hundreds of people in the chat rooms that are all very excited. Somebody said is everybody else like me taking notes like crazy? Which I think is really exciting, because we are just getting going like you said. Yes, I would encourage you to buy a notebook. Buy a notebook and dedicate it to the 30 day course that you can look back and know where you are, (Kenna chuckles) 'cause there will be a lot of note taking. And just a note for people out there, tomorrow when we do kickoff is actually the how to define your photographic style. Yes, thank you, Kenna. Thank you, I was just keeping you on your toes. My fault. So tomorrow, how to define your photographic style, and then the following lesson. That's right. The following lesson will be can a shy photographer be successful? That's right. Does anybody in here have, okay, we have, we're getting some mics. We'll just do a couple because we're running out of time. Yes, we're pressed for time. I get, I wanna respect everybody's time. So we'll go here. Go ahead. So, I love that you brought up the fact that as photographers we tend to look in, or yeah, look out towards somebody who's successful and say like oh, she doesn't deal with any of the stuff that's going on in my head. And you talked about fear a lot, so I was wondering coming from your place of being really successful and having a strong business, can you just talk briefly about some of the things that run through your head like right before, and then how you talk yourself off the ledge? Yeah. (audience laughs) I mean that is a long answer and my producer's like. Okay, so, one thing that I heard not too long ago was that we have a tendency to compare our blooper reel to somebody else's highlight reel. And this is amplified when we see it on social media. Like we see where other people are going, what they're eating, what they're wearing, what they're shooting, and it's easy for us to say oh, I'm just in yoga pants today, right? The thing that I've learned in the past year and a half that has been a pivotal, pivotal shift in the way that I approach myself, one thing that I realized that it was very, very, very hard to admit was I never thought that I didn't like myself, I always thought I like myself, I had my parents raise me well, I like myself. And then I had a conversation and a real eye-opening experience after reading something, and what I realized is the way that I speak to myself is a manifestation of me hating myself. And that was really hard to admit. Because if I heard anybody else talk to you the way that I talk to myself on a daily basis, I would dropkick them. Don't you ever talk to somebody else like that, nobody deserves to be spoken to that way. And yet, every day I say you're not enough, you're not good enough, your work sucks, you're a failure. Wow, that was such a pivotal breaking point for me to say I am enough, I have made mistakes, I am moving forward. And on those days that 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 as 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 worse day I can produce something better than anybody else because they picked me. Does this sound like some psycho-analytical 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. We're gonna do one other question. I'll try to articulate this quickly. I've been watching CreativeLive for several years and especially from the Restart class I've been able to spend the last couple years cultivating a community of photographers around me. Amazing. And I am so blessed and grateful to your work and to CreativeLive for sort of sparking that. Great. That being said, sometimes people do things that are a little bit unkind and I find myself saying why would you do that to me, to other people? How do you deal with professional relationships that are hurtful at times? So the past year and a half, you guys are going deep. (class laughs) Wow, okay. The past year and a half has been such a year of growth for me and growth that I did not anticipate, nor if I would've looked back say I really want this growth, because painful growth is so amazing. (class laughs) I love feeling this awful. One thing I learned is I can't change another person, the only thing I can change is how I feel about what they're saying. If somebody says something negative to me or somebody says something negative to you, I cannot change that person, I can only change myself and say I will not participate with that. I will not give fuel to the fire, I will support you if they are talking trash about you. And if they are talking about trash about me, I hope that you would support me, because when we pour energy into negative sources, it feeds the negative sources in our life. What you feed is what will grow. I choose positivity. Even in my darkest moments, I still find joy. I find joy because I woke up this morning, I find joy because I'm meeting with other people, I find joy because my day starts with my husband and my dog, I find joy because my mother is still living after a seven year bout with cancer, I find joy because I choose to find joy. I hope the same for you, I hope that you stop listening to the negative voices in your head and to those people who are around you. Wow, what is wrong with me? (laughs) (class laughs) Wow, you guys, this got deep. (sighs) Man, okay. Before this turns into like a Kleenex commercial and like feminine products, (laughing) let's move on, let's move on. I think that we're gonna do a wrap up. I think so, I think that is a beautiful way to end. Maybe one final, final question that I have for you, Jasmine. Yes, Great. Is where, we've talked about where we want to see everybody out there where they're gonna be in six weeks through this bootcamp, where do you wanna be? Getting all Barbara Walters. (Kenna laughs) Where do I wanna be? I wanna be at the beach in Cabo San Lucas when this thing is done. (laughing) This amazing course has challenged me in ways that I didn't see possible. I look forward to being able to get back to the regular cadence of my life. I look forward to not being so go, go, go at home. But furthermore what I really hope and anticipate is that the mistakes that I make at the wedding, at The Knot Dream Wedding, because it is live and because we have a camera crew, in the back of my mind I think about all the things that could possibly go wrong. And it's not a matter of it, it's a matter of when. When those things go wrong, that I hope that I can look back on the situation and that I'm proud of how I responded to it, that I'm proud of the portfolio pieces that I pulled, and that I'm proud for bringing on photographers who would not have the ability to join me or to join any photographer to an event of such a degree and do it for the greater good of the community. So at the end of it, that's ultimately where I wanna be. And if there is like a margarita and chips and guacamole at the end of that, I will be very happy too. I love, I love it, because that's the thing, you're here to support us and have all of us grow, but I believe that you will grow as well. I think so too. And thank you so much, Jasmine. Thank you, thank you. We are so excited to have you back here on CreativeLive. I'm very excited. And good luck everybody, thanks for tuning in for right now and our live kickoff. That's a wrap, but we will see you every day as you go through this. Thanks again everyone. Thank you, guys. Thank you, Jasmine. Thank you. (audience applauds)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials: Shooting Guides

The Complete Wedding Photographer's Experience Keynote
Gallery Access
Shooting Guide: How to Pose a Curvy Bride
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot a Tall-Short Couple
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot in the Worst Light
Shooting Guide: Shooting with Intention

Bonus Material: Syllabus


Ratings and Reviews


Do not just watch this video. Eat it up, live it and breathe it. I am a recent Jasmine Star convert (a.k.a. evangelist) and a newbie photographer. I was looking for inspiration online and her name had come up before in conversations with another photographer and I am SO GLAD I stumbled upon her blog, her store and her Creative Live classes. I have to say that in the 9 months now that my business has been in operation, she's been with me every step of the way (in internet spirit) and although I've never spoken to or corresponded with her, her online presence has served as a guide for many steps in my business. I am not a high-end photographer or teaching my own classes, like I said I'm brand-spanking new to the industry, but her blog and this class has helped me develop a clear vision and plan for my business, and to me that is half the battle. If you want to feel good about your business, know what you stand for, your style of photography…if you want to know your 2-minute why-hire-me speech in an elevator full of brides or whoever your audience is, listen, really listen to what she has to say. Then DO DO DO what you need to do for yourself a successful business takes a lot of work. But if you love it and it's a passion of yours, then you can make your business what you want it to be. Thank you, Jasmine Star and JD for being an amazing beacon of light to many photographers around the world and for being my wedding day warriors who amp me up on the mornings of my professional shoots! All the best from Ohio, Donna May


Remember when Magicians kept all their secrets to themseves ? Well its as if Jasmine said enough is enough I'm doing a 30 day class on the A to Z of Wedding Photography and I'm not holding anything back baby!! I'm even going to wear a mic and speak my thoughts out loud! Is this really happening? Creative live said its free the first time around? Am I dreaming? Jasmine your giving us a wealth of knowlege and I cannot thank you enough I love and look forward to your teaching everyday Talk about step by step! Jasmine your the Tony Robbins of Wedding Photography, You've inspired me to pick up my camera once again Thank you so much for doing this course for us and explaining everything so clearly and sharing every tip you know with us I feel like i'm shadowing you on the shoots :) Thanks to creative live and JD too An awesome class that I will be buying Highly recommend!

Charlie Ketchen

WOW! So inspiring! This course really shook things up for me! I've never seen a live wedding, meeting, engagement/bridal shoot before and it was so valuable. Edited nicely, easy to follow and so relatable. It's been truly inspiring to watch this over the past few weeks. I purchased the course and I am so glad I did, the course materials saved me making 1,000s of notes, but I still had documents open to make notes because EVERYTHING she says is helpful/moving/game-changing. Don't skip the Q&A's at the end of each session, or the last sessions as she either recalls and compounds what we learned over the 30+ lessons and there is value in all of it! I can't be thankful enough for Jasmine, JD & the CL team for bringing this to us in a shiny, clean format for us to enjoy. For bearing all, for wearing your hearts on your sleeves and pulling back the curtain on how the J* brand operates and came about. So so so so inspiring. BUY IT!!!

Student Work