Meeting Jasmine Star
Wednesday evening I had the absolute pleasure of attending Jasmine Star’s The Fix Dallas. It was a time for photographers from all over Texas to get together, meet each other, and all have conversations together with the internationally famous, California-based wedding photographer, Jasmine Star.
I was SO excited to run into the one and only Elise from Hey, Sweet Pea at the event! Or should I say, the-girl-with-the-blonde-streak? I had just met up with Elise and her fiancé, Scott, for their nautical engagement session on Sunday and James and I were thrilled to see them again at The Fix!
Now is where I explain a little bit about how big of a deal this event was for me. Storrrrrrytiiiiiiiime!
I first found Jasmine’s blog at a time in my life when photography as a career felt very, veeeerrrrrrrrrrrry far away. I remember that I was sitting at my dining room table, just browsing photography blogs, and stumbled across hers.
And I fell in love.
Yes, with the photos, but I was also captivated by her writing, by her ability to put her personality into words. Jasmine. Take it, leave it, love it, hate it — she was just her, just Jasmine.
I spent about six hours on her blog the night I found it. No joke.
I started pouring through blogposts in the late afternoon, starting with the most recent and going backward from there. I just kept going page to page and before I knew it, James was asking me if I was coming to bed!
I looked at James. I looked back at the computer. I looked back at James. Annnnnnd then I went to bed . . . but I brought the computer with me and continued looking at the blog sitting in the bed. I couldn’t get enough of it!
I only put the computer down only when I was about ready to fall over asleep on top of it. I was hooked.
From that day forward I was “Jasmine Star this,” “Jasmine Star that.” Within a month or so, James, my best friends, my mom all knew who she was, so that I didn’t have to add any explanation when I mentioned “Jasmine Star” in day-to-day conversation, ya know, like she was a good friend.
I’ve been trying to figure out WHY I felt such a strong connection to Jasmine from the beginning. And the best thing I could think of was that she was the very first person to cast her vote of confidence in me.
She didn’t know it, but through her writing, through her story that’s what she did.
Before I could even fathom the possibility of being a full-time photographer, much less SPEAK the idea aloud to my husband or friends, Jasmine told me it was possible.
So let me tell you, when I’m approaching my opportunity to talk to this famous photographer/dear friend/person-I’ve-never-met as this mildly star-struck stranger I didn’t know how it was going to go.
The first words out of my mouth were suuuuuper-profound: My heart’s beating really fast right now.
But O. My. Word. She immediately took hold of both my arms and told me how she kept seeing me in the audience while she was making her presentation and thanked me because she felt so encouraged every time she saw me nodding and smiling. At least I knew SOMEONE was with me!
She went in to give me a hug and then apologizes because she hasn’t even asked me my name.
Jillian Zamora . . . I feel like I recognize that name . . .
(internal squeal!) I explain to her that it might be because she’s said my name in two of her Shooting Star video segments on her blog: Jillian Zamora asked . . .
She can hear the excitement in my voice and gets excited with me. Like friends.
So it’s at this point I feel the need to act out for her my reaction to hearing her say my name both those times in the videos.
I raise my arms above my head in triumph and whisper-yell, “SHE SAID MY NAME!!”
Well I guess that makes us best friends, she teased.
I’m okay with it if you are, I answered. And I meant it.
Let me clarify here for a moment.
I’m not obsessed.
I’m just really, really thankful.
I’m thankful that this woman shared with me her stories of struggle, of starting in the photography business, and of figuring out who she was along the way.
I’m thankful that, two years ago, when I was just a newly married, soon-to-be college graduate sitting at my dining room table with this teeny tiny notion of possibly, maybe, one day, BUT-NOT-REALLY playing any real role whatsoever in the photography industry, Jasmine reached through my computer screen via her blog, grabbed my shoulders and said, “I’ve been there. NO REALLY, I’ve. been. there.”
When I first found her blog, I had NO idea she was a renown wedding photographer.
I just knew that she was someone who had been where I was. And it gave me the strength to finally dream of what could be — not becoming Jasmine Star, but Jillian camera-in-hand-Yes-I’ll-shoot-your-wedding-thank-you-very-much Zamora.
Thank you, Jasmine.