I’m so excited to say I met Jasmine Star today. Really, she’s just the coolest. The iJustine of photography as far as bubbly energy goes, and the Francis Bacon of business as far as logic and practicability go. In her four hours CTPPA talk this afternoon, which felt more like four minutes, she taught me a whole bunch of stuff.

Jasmine talked a lot about transparency. That is something until today I thought I had just about mastered. I share entire layer pallets out of Photoshop composites, I explain all of my exposure information and blog a lot of behind the scenes posts. But now I realize this is trivial. Valuable, sure. There are loads of photographers who could be aided by this type of exactly-how-I-did-it writing. On the other hand, I’ve never shared anything really personal. No stories about my dogs, or expressions of the thoughts racing around my head. Turns out it’s not very dorky, it’s just human. Now I have a better grasp on transparency, and now it allows readers and viewers to not only learn technical information, but to learn about me as a person.

Transparency goes even further. When talking about setting goals, Jasmine said she wants to “keep it real.” .I liked the things she said about keeping it real when interacting with prospective clients. If you read my blog and love me, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s just as great. If you don’t want to hire me because I mention God sometimes, that’s fine because you were never going to be a client anyway. I love the what-you-see-is what-you-get attitude. I feel the same way sometimes. People pressuring me to go to a photography school often say, there will be clients who won’t hire you if they don’t see the credentials that you went to a photo school. That’s fine because they were  never going to be a client anyway. If a college degree is a deal breaker for someone, then I’d rather not work with them. Simple as that. Keep it real.

Titling the story is the last step. If I remember correctly this was actually mentioned in Jasmine’s intro video but it hit me. The basic idea is that if you title a story before you write it, then that title becomes the definition, and the boundary of sorts. Don’t let your title define your story. Let your story define your title. This can be applied literally, as in wait till you’re about to click publish before titling your blog post, or more figuratively. Instead of letting your name or situation or history define your story, let your story define your name and situation and history future. At least that’s what I got out of it.

I’m looking forward to sitting down tomorrow to go through my notes and begin applying all of the great information and lessons I learned. To sum it up I had a blast at the CTPPA and am now super inspired. I want to thank Jasmine Star for sharing with everyone.

(You’d think when you hand your camera to the guy next to you at a photography convention he could take a decent pictures. I guess we can blame it on the light. 😉 )


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