I am so blessed. I just have to acknowledge that publicly every once in awhile. I am blessed to be able to go to workshops, blessed to be a photographer, blessed by a husband who not only allows me but PUSHES me to do everything I can to be a better person, and blessed to have met people like Jasmine, who pour so much of themselves into everyone around them.
I honestly cannot remember the first day I heard of Jasmine Star, but I have been following her work for quite sometime. She is a top notch wedding photographer who not only takes amazing pictures, but gives away so much of what she has learned through the years for anyone wanting to grow their business on her blog. So although I do not remember the first time I looked at her images, I remember exactly where I was when I saw that she was making the trip from California to Washington, DC, for a workshop.
I remember calling Nathan and telling him and I remember what he said to me: Do it. I protested a little because it is a big investment. He did not care one bit what I thought: Do it. Do it. Do it.
So I did. I signed up, and we celebrated together like two goofballs. Fast-forward to June, and I was on my way into downtown DC to meet her and learn from her everything I could pack into a 12-hour day.
I have a lot of notes from that day, and I am honestly not ready to share every single detail yet, because I plan to incorporate a lot of what she said into my business. But I learned that my voice - my branding - is present from the first time someone comes across my Facebook page to the last email I send in preparation for the wedding. I learned the importance of continuity in EVERYTHING I am doing. I learned to think about every. single. cost. involved in what I do, not to pinch pennies or be stingy, but to be realistic in thinking about how to budget in a wow that allows me to both wow my clients and continue in business.
Our main goal, Jasmine said, is to make people feel something. About you, about your business, about the session you just had with them. Make them feel. In the words of Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Above all, the thing that stuck out to me most was when she said to find people who blindly believe that you can succeed (even more than you do). You are those people. You who read my blog faithfully, who like my work on Facebook, who send me encouraging emails and leave the sweetest comments, or compliment me in person. You have believed in my ability to succeed, even beyond what I can. And for that, I am truly, truly grateful.
I am so thankful for Jasmine, and would take her workshop again in a heartbeat if I could. Look for some big changes coming up soon for me - things that will hopefully surprise and delight my clients while keeping me organized and maintaining manageable goals and expectations. Jasmine, thank you for ALL you taught me, both before the day I met you and then over the workshop and dinner that night when I peppered you with questions. I am truly grateful for you, who believes in my ability to succeed and gives me tools to help me along the way. Much love to you and JD!