A Starbucks Studio?


Yesterday I worked on a personal project and in the process of searching for old gear, I came across an old hard drive. It was the hard drive I started my business with, so I thought I’d look through images of the first wedding I photographed. As I scrolled through the images, I shook my head in disbelief. No way. Then I tweeted the following:

I’ll be sharing more images from that first wedding soon, but I look back to that experience with a deep appreciation and pride. I’m so incredibly thankful to my very first bride, Christina, for being wonderfully gracious and taking a chance on a new photographer. I’m indebted to her.

Back in 2007, I met with brides for a initial consultation at Starbucks. I desperately longed to have a studio with sample albums in mahogany shelves and canvas prints lining the walls. Instead, I competed with a barista to be heard. Nonfat caramel macchiato extra caramel no whip double drip for JENNIFER.


I’d arrive early to snag the best table in a corner and set up my laptop. And wait. By the time the prospective bride walked through the doors, I’d nervously made my way through one too many drinks. We’d introduce ourselves and I’d get her a drink while she watched the slideshow I’d set up on my computer. By the time I returned, the show was over so I’d close my laptop and we’d talk. About anything. About everything. And all things related to her wedding.

Every time I left Starbucks at the end of a meeting, I felt miserable…like I wasn’t enough. I mean, who would hire me? No album to show, no studio, no prints. I felt ridiculous and convinced myself I’d never get hired. And yet. And yet these brides would email me a few days later ready to send a retainer for my services.

I’m thankful for my early days, appreciative for the moments of self-doubt for it was these moments that defined who I became as a business person.

Whether you’re meeting in Starbucks, the lobby of a swanky hotel, or in a studio, own it. I met in Starbucks for the first two years of my business, a french bakery for the third year of my business, and later transitioned to a studio, but in every scene, I tried my best to focus on the only thing I had: me. And you have you, so make sure and let that shine for in doing so, it fades out the buzzing of the loudest espresso machine. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Happy Thursday!

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  1. B

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I love this post, hammy! It’s awesome.

  2. Catie Ronquillo

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Shake what your momma gave ya! And like Tim Gunn says, "Make it work." I still rock it out at Starbucks…although, I try and find the Starbucks with enough space that I don’t have to yell over Frapuccinos being made!

  3. Dana Laymon

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I am so there! Trying very hard to find somewhere to meet besides our local coffee shop but it’s harder than i thought! the only thing i have right now is a hotel lobby πŸ™ any other ideas? i would hardly believe your 1st wedding was THAT bad!!

  4. katelyn swanson

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    thanks for sharing this, jasmine! i actually work at starbucks and see a lot of photographers meeting clients and always wonder if i could ever have the confidence in myself to do that. thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚ oh, is that an iced chai?

  5. Katie Schoepflin

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  6. Mallory

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Your timing is always impeccable. Thank you.

  7. Ebony Peoples Events & Design

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    This is such an inspiring story!! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

  8. Stephanie Stewart

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Jasmine, Thank you for this post! I’m still meeting in local Starbucks, and someday hope to have a meeting space that is more reflective of me and my business. Your studio is beautiful! Thanks for the (daily) encouragement! πŸ™‚

  9. Tessa Renae

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    This is so encouraging and was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  10. brittany

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    For someone who still has a Starbucks Office.. ok a few of them throughout San Diego… this post was AWESOME. Thanks for sharing, super encouraging πŸ™‚ xo

  11. Robyn

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Year three part-time… in the mix of making the transition from coffee shop to a potential space in my home. So, I’m feeling good and feeling inspired/strengthened by your post today. Thanks, J!

  12. Chris

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I still meet in Starbucks to this day. Im slowly building a studio/meeting room at my home with hopes of not feeling the same way you did. Thanks for sharing. You always remind us that without struggle there is no reward.

  13. Angela

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you Jasmine! I meet my clients in "De Ja Brew" and will certainly own it πŸ˜‰

  14. Rachel Fox

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Loved reading that, I can completely relate to everything, well apart from the studio, I have not quite gotten that far yet but soon.

    I meet my cients at their home, it is very relaxed and personal for them yet sometimes I do feel the insignificance of not having my very own studio aka office because lets face it, I am a wedding girl, I have little interest in the studio and my lights and backdrops have been used a whole 3 times this year!

    Do you still get the excitement when your clients tell you they want to go ahead and book you?

  15. Columbus GA Photographer

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Love the post Jasmine! I haven’t been in the photography business very long so no studio yet. For my first year I met all my brides to be at one of the local Starbucks. There I had my preference on where I would like to sit. Now I have moved over to one of the local but very nice local coffee shops downtown. I guess I would call that an upgrade. Looking forward to a studio someday but for now I’m doing just fine. Glad to see you had similar beginnings =)

  16. Patti Maravolo

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Your post is refreshing and easy to relate to! I work from home too and have no swanky studio to invite, meet and impress my clients with. I only hope that after each consultation they see me for who I am and the work I do and not for the studio I don’t have……yet! Again….your words of wisdom and your experiences make me feel normal!!

  17. Robert Janes

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you for the inspiring post as this is what I’m currently doing. I had a home studio until we moved to the city, so the idea of having a studio to meet at and shoot at is a dream! Thanks again!

  18. Damaris Mia

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Your studio space looks awesome!!

  19. Jenni

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’m a Starbucker too! πŸ™‚ I have a studio in my home for backdrop shoots, which is great. But I meet with brides at Starbucks. I have two kids, two dogs, and a home under construction. Starbucks is so much easier than cleaning and apologizing for the chaos! LOL. I dream of owning a beautiful meeting spot one day… but for now this works great!

  20. Bill Raab

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Such a simple story that really touches many of us I am certain. Thank you for sharing… and I still meet brides in Starbucks… but one day. Oh yeah baby… one day…

  21. Nice Lady Productions

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Short, sweet and to the point: great article. I still meet prospective clients at coffee shops, or because I do video work, we sometimes meet at the venue we will be shooting at, so I can scout out the space–kind of cuts straight to the point. Either way you’ve got to be confident no matter your surroundings. Great advice!

  22. Rachel

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Just so you know, I would hire you just from reading your blog posts–even if I had never seen one of your photos.

  23. Tanya

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Thank you for posting this, Jasmine. I currently am at that stage where I’m meeting clients at the local coffee shop. It is always a little…awkward. Still, I think once you start talking about their day, the rest tends to fall by the wayside and they see YOU…not the barista. At least I hope that’s what happens!

  24. karen

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Thank You so much Jasmin, so nice to hear as this is exactly where I am now and always look to you as my inspiration

  25. Neha

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I never really comment on your posts, but am an avid follower of you and your blog! This post was exactly what I needed…thanks for sharing your experiences and your doubts and teaching us to believe in ourselves!

  26. Jasmine*

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    @RachelFox: YES, of course! When clients book my services, I feel like the most lucky photographer. Ever. I’m thrilled to do what I love, but I’m nothing without my clients’ belief and support in what I do. And who I am. πŸ™‚

  27. Abby Grace

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Sigh. This is really encouraging. I’m currently in the "meeting in Starbucks" phase, and I’m dying for a studio, or at least an office! I guess I should try to get the "full time photographer" thing going for me first, though.

  28. Jeff

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    As someone who is peering over the edge, gathering up courage and preparing as best I can to make the jump into photography as a means to pay real bills, this is such a humble, reassuring reminder that many have peered over this same edge, and have lived to tell about it. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with so many of us out here πŸ™‚

  29. Kristin Nicole

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Such an encouraging post for those of us still at the Starbucks stage…studio looks fabulous!

  30. Lacey Whitmer

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Was feeling so discouraged this week so this post came at a perfect time! Everyone has to start at the beginning right?!

  31. Chris

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks Jasmine. You’ve truly been an inspiration to me and as I’m navigating my way up to the pinnacle, I’m learning how to "own it" and make others feel the way they expect to feel. Cherished and valued.

  32. Sara Fachetti

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I feel like this post was worth a million bucks!!

  33. LEOLAK

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Great post! Great to look back on where you were to where you are now. Thanks for sharing…this is very motivational. That studio space looks sooo inviting too! On a shallow note..that’s one cute looking barista in that picture..lol!

  34. Michael Henry

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    J* I love it. I’m in my second year now and have been meeting in Jamba Juices and Starbucks all over the place. Thank you for sharing and showing us that there’s a light at the end of the venti caramel macchiato.

  35. Megan

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    THANK YOU for this. I’m dreaming of my own studio space, but right now, it’s meetings at local coffee shops… it can be discouraging, but it’s great to know that you rocked it with what you had at the time, and I can too!

  36. elisabetta cirulli

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    KIR!!!! So important, Jasmine. Thank you for sharing these pearls of wisdom with us… Keep them coming please!

  37. jessica vidmar photography

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    your post almost made me cry. I have felt those same gut-wrenching feelings of not being good enough (to be honest those feelings started a long time ago and not just pertaining to photography) thinking why would they use me when they have all these other ones to pick from…and I let those voices hold me back until recently when I found a new voice. A voice that wants to be heard and knows other people actually want to hear it too. Do I still have a long way to go?…yes. But it’s different now cuz now I know/trust/believe I can do it. I am getting very comfortable with the Starbucks and Paneras of the world (well actually just NE Ohio : ) but one day…just one day….the sky’s the limit. Thanks so much Jasmine for helping to keep this train on track. much love.

  38. Brittani Gonzalez

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Oddly enough, you have a tendency to publish posts relevant to what I (we) need to hear. =) graciiaass!!

  39. Liz Rusnac

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Jasmine – you just spoke to my HEART!! I love you for that – cause it happens all the time! lol I’m a florist from up north in Portland, Oregon, and I am currently transitioning from the meeting at Starbucks to meeting at upscale cafe/bakeries downtown. I feel like you were telling my story! The way you felt walking out after the meeting… gosh, I am totally tough on myself like that too! The same thoughts go through my head! Thanks for the encouragement – it’s so great to hear your story in such sincere detail, and know that with enough ambition, anyone can get to the top, and everyone starts at the same "bottom". Starbucks. Ha! Love you girl!


    August 18th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I too meet in a Cofee House and I too have my doubts every single time…and one day I WILL have my swanky Studio and probably still have my doubts…but until then…thank you as always for YOUR POINT OF VIEW! Amazingly INSPIRATIONAL!!! πŸ™‚

  41. Ashley

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I so started out meeting in a *Bucks too and still am today. My brides never argue with a free drink πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your ever optimistic yet realistic perspective. Much love.

  42. sarah

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    so curious to see your first wedding!! and so thankful that someone as talented as you once had doubts about herself. it makes the rest of us feel better!

  43. Shane Bradley

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Looking forward to the day I can get (see also: justify) an $800 Starbucks espresso machine for Mikaela’s Studio! Best of both worlds….yesssssss!! πŸ™‚

  44. Liz

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    It’s like you can get in my brain and take all of the "I’m never going to make it because _________" thoughts and make those into great little pep talks for us up-and-comers. Thank you for reassuring us that the best of the best don’t start out that way – everyone has to earn it.

  45. Lisa

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    It’s ridiculous how much I relate to this post as I’m in the beginning stages of building my brand and my business — not only has my local Starbucks become my "office" away from home…it’s become my happy place! A place where I *know* missions will be accomplished! Thank you so very much for this, Jasmine! Bravo! Oh, and caramel macchiatos ROCK!!! πŸ™‚

  46. Christina Dely

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Your studio is beautiful! But I have to say, when Mike & I met you at Starbucks it had zero barring on how we felt about you & your work. In fact, we could have met in the middle of Muscle Beach, sitting on a bench press, looking through your albums… and we still would have booked you πŸ™‚ XO

  47. Ann Molen

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    that was AWESOME! thank you Jasmine, just what I needed πŸ™‚

  48. naomi chokr

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    i havent met my first paying client yet . . . but i know that it will be in starbucks. I cant wait and of course im going to own it. great post today…. im dreaming for the day i can have my own or at least share a place with someone to meet clients in.

  49. Eryn Kesler

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Jasmine, this really touched me…to the point of tears stinging in the corners of my eyes! Caught me off guard, but truly, your words of encouragement to be who we are uniquely created to be is such a blessing. Deepest thanks from a Starbucks girl.

  50. Shannon Sorensen

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I was starting to have those wistful feelings of having a shmancy place to meet, as I prep for a client meeting Saturday morning at Starbucks – heh. But I also have a wedding later in the day, so…I must be doing something right. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m grateful for my "Christina", Liz. This weekend is my 3rd wedding, and I have 4 more to go this year. I’m loving every minute of it. Boo yeah, Starbucks – I’ll take that caramel mochiatto and raise you one espresso.

  51. Gricel Robles

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Truly INSPIRING!

  52. Claudia

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I feel like going to Starbucks. Now!. — Congrats on a beautiful studio. – C:)

  53. SaraJane

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Jasmine I’ve been a fan ever since I stumbled on your site almost 3 years ago. Burnt and dragged out from shooting weddings myself, I took a 1 year break. Your blog has ministered to me in my down time. Thank you so much for your transparency and you being you!

  54. Kathy

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I can totally relate. I met my first bride in a Starbucks this year, and just shot her wedding on Saturday for the first time as a primary shooter (I’ve always been a second shooter). πŸ™‚

  55. Erin

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you for posting this, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Those are words I really needed to hear this week. It’s hard to imagine you ever having to struggle with the things I am facing now. I look at your work and think "she’s always been this good", but I forget, we’ve all had to take that leap of faith, had those beginning photos that weren’t that good, yet kept growing; constantly getting better and better.

  56. Amna Hakim

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I love what you’ve said in the end. Your words are so perfect!
    ‘in every scene, I tried my best to focus on the only thing I had: me. And you have you.’

  57. Mike Moore

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you Jasmine! You provide great information to us all.

  58. Noa

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Without fail the starbucks baristas always spell my name as NOAH. You’d think I would be used to it by now after 11 years living in the States!

    And hurray for Starbucks… I booked my first wedding client there too πŸ™‚

    xoxo Noa

  59. Yviue

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    OMG, do you know how awesome you are?! This post is what I needed today. It’s always nice to hear someone’s "humble beginnings" and how they transformed that to a successful business. Thanks for sharing, Jasmine!

  60. Mel

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Today, I really needed to read this. About to head out for a shoot and I am nervous, full of "not enough". Yes, so I am trying to channel my inner "I can do this" and just do it.

  61. Jenn S.

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I seriously love you and your appreciation for your clients and what you have learned. You make it easier on those of us just starting out and help us to not beat ourselves up for not being good enough!

  62. jenn {bow tie & bustle}

    August 18th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    jasmine…thanks for such an inspiring post. my last potential client meeting in a coffee shop made me feel totally worthless and not worthy of being hired. ironically that client booked me and this post reiterated the fact that it doesn’t matter where you promote yourself but how you do it.

  63. Jennifer Duffy

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Well glad to see my first "studio/meeting place" is the same as yours. πŸ˜€

  64. T. Kent

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    This made my day, I was starting to feel like I owned Panera Bread. πŸ™‚

  65. Sheila Hallmark

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    It’s been said a Kazillion times, but you are so REFRESHING! So enjoy your posts, and your recent TWIT performance was spot on. It was weird seeing jeolousy of you in an interview. People can try to copy your kindness – but you can’t fake that. Kudo’s girly. Loved it.

  66. Taryn

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I love it girl! I just ended my first year meeting in Starbucks. Who knows what the future holds!

  67. jennifer little

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thank you! I have my FIRST meeting with a bride next Wednesday. I am so excited!

  68. Tanya De Leeuw

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you, again, for such a great post! Hard to remember that even you had humble beginnings, J*!

  69. emily ebeling

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I have been meeting clients at Starbucks (and the like) for almost 3 years now, and am itching for my own space. I know it will happen….I know it will… πŸ™‚
    Your space looks so warm and inviting and professional- looooove it!

  70. Kate Neal

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I am such an emotional being and this totally made me shed a tear. You are so inspiring! It also made me laugh because I met MY wedding photog in a Starbucks!

  71. Shannon Wimberly

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Jasmine…. I just looked at your weddings and engagements from Apr 2007!!! WOW! You were even amazing way back then!! You are a wonderful inspiration…. so glad you are not a lawyer today….. just imagine what your life would be without all this love thrown at you from all your peeps out here in fanland!!!!

  72. Gaby Fuentes { NJ Wedding Photographer }

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Love the Bolex :). It reminds me of my film days !!!

  73. Amy Paulson

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Oh sweet Jasmine..thank you. Thank you for sharing so beautifully. You are a gift, lady. And thanks for the encouragement for all of us who are still owning our Starbucks.

  74. Ang

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Jasmine, I love how you acknowledge the fears and thoughts inside of us all, while offering encouraging words to silence the negativity. Thanks for taking the time to do that – it means so much to so many people! But I’m sure you already knew that, judging from the feedback you get to posts like this. πŸ˜‰

  75. kayla :)

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Jasmine, if we were to look up the word "fabulous" in the dictionary, we’d find a photo of you. Because that is simply what you are. So thank you for being FABULOUS!!

  76. Jesselynn Quinn

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Aww, Jasmine, thank you so much for this post. I am still currently doing my meetings in Starbucks (seriously, where would we be without Starbucks??) and this is such great encouragement. Thank you thank you thank you!

  77. Keilah Engstrom

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Wow- I love this. Thank you SO much for your encouragement, Jasmine!

  78. Kara Hicks

    August 18th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Jasmine – THANK YOU. I have followed you just a few short months but in that time you have been a HUGE influence on me. My hubby and I are getting ready to re-locate and the thought of starting over AND launching by photogrpahy business has me TERRIFIED! But, your honesty and generosity to share your experiences, encouragements and learning experiences has given me a little spark…a "wait….I CAN do this…." spark. SO – all I wanted to say it THANK YOU. You don’t have to share what you do. But you do. I heart the heck out of you! πŸ™‚

  79. Stephanie Lyell

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Jasmine, Thanks for this post! I am in my second year of business, and still meeting at Starbucks. Someday I hope to move to a studio space, and I CANT WAIT…but it’s good to remember what I do have and run with it. You are great πŸ™‚

  80. Jennifer

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I love this post, Jasmine! This is just what I need today. You are such an amazing and beautiful person, in and out :)!

  81. Averie

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Jasmine, thank you for writing this post. I could cry right now b/c I feel like this is me! Or will be me. I am scared sometimes to think about my future and photography b/c I have no idea where I will meet people, IF they will want to take a chance on me, and how I will all make it work…knowing that you (and everyone who does get into the biz) had that first bride, that first family portrait sesh, that first pregnant woman, and that humble beginnings like Starbucks are part of the drill…I cannot thank you enough for this post. πŸ™‚

  82. Jodi

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I’m sure at least half of us can truly connect to Jasmine as those people who "AWOKE" one day and said "I want to be a photographer". Koodos to this post to inspire all of us "non-classically" trained photographer with more passion that technical skills. I’m with Kate Neal who said this brought a tear to her eyes. Me also. Its tough starting out, and being the subject of many articles about being the new digital-snap/burn photographers. I choose not to listen, rather I follow Jasmine for her kind words and humble beginnings. Are we going to listen to them? NO! Are we going to rock those appts? HELLS YEAH! Thanks Jasmine! I love Starbucks….mummmmmm

  83. Jentry Aileen

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Oh my, this is exactly what I needed right now! I had a meeting last week at Starbucks, and while I was hopeful, I was also already feeling defeated…even before the meeting. I figure it’s slightly better to meet with clients at a Starbucks than in my dirty apartment – but I do aspire to have a pretty little space one day. Until then, this is great motivation for me to look past all the things I DON’T have, and concentrate on what I do. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  84. Rachel Tatem

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I totally know what you mean! I *sigh* am right were you were, I met with a bride in a Starbuck this past week. I left with a signed contract and a weary feeling "what am I doing?" I greatly appreciate your encouragement, with your (and others like you) encouragement and keeping my heart full of prayer I make it through the days

  85. Sarajane Case

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    This made me cry. I am so struggling with all of those feeling everyday. Thanks.

  86. Charisse Rhodes

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    That is so what I needed to read today Jasmine. Thank you for your candor.

  87. Elsie

    August 18th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Inspiring. Truly Inspiring.
    Thank you! <3

  88. Meredith Sledge

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I love Starbucks and these pictures!!! Perfecttttt!!!!

  89. Laura Stricklin

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I needed this today MORE than you know!

  90. Elvira Nina Killion Russell

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I like that

  91. Elvira Nina Killion Russell

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I like that

  92. Adrana Morett

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    BTW, LOVE your studio.

  93. Emily Heizer, Photography with Flair

    August 18th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I have clients all over Nor Cal and the SF Bay Area and frequently have to drive an hour or sometimes mroe to meet my clients just halfway! I do all of my meetings at Starbucks and I don’t mind that at all and I am not ashamed of that in the slightest! In my first year as a photographer, a client asked me to do our consultation at the ‘venue.’ As I pulled into a residental neighborhood, I started feeling pretty nervous. As I got to the address and realized that I was at a regular old house, I was about to freak out. I was going to be raped, murdered and chopped into teeny tiny pieces, I was sure of it. Being the brilliantly smart woman that I am, I decided to ignore this and knock on the door anyway. As I stood in these people’s DINING ROOM while their kids wrapped up their spaghetti dinner, (enter long awkward silence) they then led me into their jungle of a backyard where the wedding was to take place. Seriously. They told me, "You can meet us at the venue. The address is…" And I have refused to meet anyone at any place other than Starbucks ever since. Sorry. That was way too creepy for my book, and NO I did not take that wedding. Lure some young woman who you know is coming by herself to your house at night in a sketchy residential neighborhood? NO WAY. I don’t have a home office that is appropriate for meeting clients yet, but when I do, I still won’t meet them there unless someone else is with me during the consult. It’s the first time you’re meeting these people, you don’t know anything about them, and they may not be who they say they are. Just like online child predators. I’m not taking someone into my home… I’ll meet you in public, tyvm. I love my clients, but that just is not safe.

  94. Lorna

    August 18th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Studio is lovely

  95. Barbara

    August 18th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I just read my own story, you are an angelβ™₯

  96. Leigh Ann Smart

    August 18th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Jasmine, you are my hero! I lovelovelove this post, because it’s so honest and real. A few months ago when I was totally doubting my abilities and just praying that God would show me how to invest my time, I heard you tell your story in a creativeLIVE class, and seriously – seriously – it changed my life. I compare it to when I knew my husband was the one I was meant to marry. I KNEW that I had to pursue my dreams of a wedding photography business, despite my fears, lack of $$, etc. I just shot my first wedding a few weeks ago (and thanks to your incredible class, I felt pretty good about it!) and I’ve already got 2 more on the calendar. You inspire me more than you’ll ever know, and I’m so grateful for YOU! Thanks for your transparency and willingness to share. :o)

  97. Carla Barnett

    August 18th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    What a great post! Thank you!

  98. Belinda

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I laugh a little inside each time you mention meeting with brides a starbucks because I know exactly the feeling.

    As always, I cannot express how much I appreciate you taking the time to share with your readers. You are a huge inspiration for those of us in the beginning stages of our photography businesses. It’s like puberty for photographers- awkward, and sometimes down right embarassing, but ultimately neccessary to develop into rockstars like you! Can’t for you to share some from your first wedding. =)

  99. Suzanne

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I just want to say THANK YOU!! As someone that is just starting out, trying to figure out if this is something I want to even focus on, hearing how amazing photographers started out, hearing that they had doubts about themselves, what they had to offer… it makes me feel like it is all still possible. And that my doubts are normal. :o) I am so glad I have found your blog! Keep them coming!

  100. Rafaella

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Ha, i went for my first meeting at starbucks less than a week ago and after the meeting i felt just as miserable as you described you would feel back then.. full of self doubt.. it is really hard to be confident in yourself when you don’t have enough work to show, but i think you’re right, when all you have is YOU, you have to give your all and believe that you, too, will grow and look back on the old days and be thankful they happened.. thank you Jasmine, you’re my number one inspiration as a photographer and as a person!

  101. rachael

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    i literally cannot thank you enough for the post today. i have been stressed and overwhelmed, wondering how i was ever going to be able to cut it, moving forward from where i stand right now. i have been working with children + families for the past two years + meeting in coffee shops or their homes. it works, but i do have dreams of , well, more luxury for my clients. i just recently decided to transition to include more weddings. i started with four this year, to test the waters to see if it is for me + i adore them so far. i am really looking forward to adding more to my calendar, but it freaks me out. in general, really, but also to have to meet my potential brides in a coffee shop. sorry for rambling…just saying thank you for reminding me that growth is what i am after + that the fun of it all is the journey in getting there.

  102. rachael

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    i literally cannot thank you enough for the post today. i have been stressed and overwhelmed, wondering how i was ever going to be able to cut it, moving forward from where i stand right now. i have been working with children + families for the past two years + meeting in coffee shops or their homes. it works, but i do have dreams of , well, more luxury for my clients. i just recently decided to transition to include more weddings. i started with four this year, to test the waters to see if it is for me + i adore them so far. i am really looking forward to adding more to my calendar, but it freaks me out. in general, really, but also to have to meet my potential brides in a coffee shop. sorry for rambling…just saying thank you for reminding me that growth is what i am after + that the fun of it all is the journey in getting there.

  103. Joanna Kapica

    August 18th, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    It just makes it all looks real, like something one can get to if only there is the desire, some kind of stubbornness and love for what one does… You’re always very inspiring, Jasmine. Thank you.

  104. stephanie

    August 19th, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Jasmine, you are inspirational grande. They should name drinks after you.

  105. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    August 19th, 2011 at 12:47 am

    It’s great to read all these comments and know that we aren’t the only ones having client meetings at Starbucks! It’s okay, because we’re living our dream. I’m just so thrilled to have clients to meet! We’re getting there, one non-fat latte at a time.

  106. Falcon Griffith

    August 19th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    It’s inspiring tomsee how humble you are–you never forget. I treasure these stories even more now that I am about to embark on my own unpredictable photograph path. Thank you Jasmine, for always reminding me–so I never forget πŸ™‚

  107. Laura

    August 19th, 2011 at 1:29 am

    THANK-YOU!!! Really needed this right now. Keep telling myself I’m going to get there, but it is really frustrating right now. Can’t wait to make it reality!!

  108. Corlis Gray Photography

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Oh Jasmine,
    You always know how to make me feel better. I’ve been meeting clients in Starbucks for 7 years! I still cringe at the thought every time. I keep telling myself that God works on His time, not mine. πŸ˜€

  109. Tamara Lockwood

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Jasmine… thank you for this. I am at a Starbucks after just meeting with a couple, and I feel like I am living your old life. I felt like you were describing my meetings to a tee. This post made me tear up… happy tears, thanks for inspiring me every day. πŸ™‚

  110. Lauren Martin

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:40 am

    J- I just had my second meeting EVER with a bride at Starbucks. The wifi was down when I got there and I thought to myself "great now I have nothing to show", but the "show" must go on. I thought of you and some of my most outspoken friends who seem to make bff with absolute strangers. I "made it work" (as Tim Gunn would say). This post came at the perfect time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  111. Beatrice Howell

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Perfectly stated…. what more can be said, except "thank you" for always being so raw and honest instead of pretending you floated in on a cloud all the way to the top…instead, you share the reality with dignity and pride! After all, what is there to be ashamed of anyway?? Hard work?? Bravo! You remain an inspiration girl! xoxo

  112. Cole

    August 19th, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Just what I needed- thanks for sharing!

  113. Angie Diaz : Concept

    August 19th, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Glad to know I’m not the only one meeting is Starbucks!, I must say though, althought I know i have not many experience and I have just started in wedding photography this summer, every time i leave Starbucks i feel zoo good So enormously good!, Every bride can’t stop telling how much they absolutely looove my work that I can’t believe it, But I do because is real and is really happening. Even if I have any doubt of myself, they feel so confident in my work that fulfills my spirit. I thank god for this enormous opportunity for giving me this chance in my life. PS: From now on I’m gonna start meeting i orange leave!, I think frozen yogurt is so much more fun than coffee πŸ™‚

  114. Melisa Trevino

    August 19th, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Jasmine, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. This past January I lost my job of 6 years. I thought I was failing, failing my husband and my going on twop year old son. After several dead ends, applications being overlooked, I decided to follow my dream of photography. In June I had my first maternity session. I love reading your blog, beacuse Its seems like everytime you are speaking direclty to me, lol. As my husband and I drove back from The Basilica of San Juan today, my conversation turned to you. I told my husband and you, and your passion for your work. All I can say is THANK YOU!!!! When I first started my business, I was so scared and wondered exactly the same, who is going to hire me. I am so proud to say that I have 4 mores sessions set up for the end of the month. Thanks so much for your inspiration!!!!!!!!!!

  115. Elizabeth

    August 19th, 2011 at 4:37 am

    thanks jasmine! this is what i needed to hear [or read] πŸ™‚

  116. Tracie Rabago

    August 19th, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Oh how I love you Jasmine Star! This post means the world to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you thank you thank you!

  117. Lydia

    August 19th, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I rarely meet with my clients before they book, but I love introducing anyone to my favorite coffee shop in town–Valentina’s! That said, we now have the swankiest Starbucks I’ve ever seen!

  118. Arnau Dalmases

    August 19th, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Great post Jasmine! I found myself on it! hehehe I just climb the second step, meeting my clients in the coolest lobby of the coolest hotel in the city! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing!!

  119. Marissa Nicole

    August 19th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hey, at least you had a slide show to show. I don’t even have that because I don’t have the capacity to do so.
    For 2012 though, I may change my startegy. A small part of me is thinking about bring perspective clients to my house & into the office. That is all I have!
    I was thinking of hanging prints & my favorite pictures & then having a slide show set up on my computer for them to watch. Ordering an album, with hopes that someone will one day invest in one of these gorgeous albums I use. But alas, I don’t know.
    I am pretty personal when it comes to my space & I don’t know if I want people in it. But then again, I don’t have any other way to do what I feel would shoot me up to the next level.
    Decisions, decisions, decisions.

  120. Stacie Shea Events

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Jasmine this post speaks to my heart. I have felts the same feelings right now and so badly want to just go out and get a space but know I cannot afford it yet. Its a goal and I am now going to go home and create a notebook for designs I will one day have in my studio. Thank you so much for reminding us all where you came from and how you got to be the FABULOUS Jasmine Star

  121. sarah danaher

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    thanks for this, Jasmine. probably one of the most encouraging posts you’ve ever written. I meet in Starbucks, and it’s humbling. but you’re rightβ€” I need to OWN THIS.

  122. Kate Douthwright

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I hate meeting in coffee shops right now but this post made me feel a little better about myself and I know it won’t be like this forever! PS, stalked your old blog and found your first wedding with Christina…. giiiiirl, you have come sooo far! Wow!

  123. Penny Wolfe

    August 19th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for the pep talk! Love it!

  124. ashley barnett

    August 19th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I still meet clients in Starbucks and do it proudly πŸ™‚ I love the atmosphere there (I used to work there so I’m probably biased), but I can’t wait to have a space of my own someday. Until then, Iced Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiatos for everyone!!

  125. Brooke Summer Photography

    August 19th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I love this post Jasmine! I’m going back and forth on options and it’s hard to choose. Thank you for the information!

  126. Life with Kaishon

    August 19th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    It is so exciting to see how far you have come.
    You are amazing.

  127. kristin @ petal and thorn

    August 19th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    this is my favorite post you’ve ever written! my "studio" of choice was nordstrom e-bar. i’d always arrive 20 minutes early to organize my "desk" (aka make sure to clean the crumbs and coffee stains off the table). i can TOTALLY relate to the hyper-nervous feeling of waiting for a client while downing too many iced mochas. i was always surprised that brides never seemed to care that i didn’t have a fancy studio or my cargo van painted with my logo. they cared that i was passionate, and they loved my flowers. btw, hi! i miss you!

  128. Lindsay Schlick

    August 19th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Love it!!! xxx

  129. jerilynn

    August 19th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    jasmine, you are awesome! not only are you share your secrets and give constant inspiration. youare a a beautiful person and that totally shows in this post. God bless <3

  130. Tish Hill

    August 19th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Great post! I meet people at my house! πŸ™‚ I get nervous but I don’t feel there’s any shame in my game – we sit in the family room, laugh, its very cozy and not only do I get to know them but they get to know me. They also see my mantel covered with my photos. That is my portfolio! ha ha We point at what we like (black and white/color/vintage) and talk about sizes of prints.

    Then I apologize if they saw any dust…I’m an artist, not a housekeeper! lol πŸ˜‰

  131. ErinZ

    August 19th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    This is so ironic. I JUST wrote yesterday on my blog how sometimes you wonder if you’ll have ANYTHING in common with the people you’ll be photographing (for example I was on my way to a very wealthy home to photograph a little fluffy dog) and in the end, we were both moms who shared tears because it was our first week of kids in school (though hers was just taken to college and mine started Kindergarten and Pre-K.) We’re all the same at the core, and all we have is US… ME! Be you. Yep. Just said that yesterday!

  132. Dana

    August 19th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    It’s so incredible how God works! You inspired me many years ago to take the leap & start my business… i don’t consider it happenstance that my first bride is named Christina. I’ll be photographing her wedding this September… my first wedding!!! How awesome is that?! WoW! xo

  133. Tina Wagner

    August 19th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Oh yes! I remember the Starbucks meetings, feelings of inadequacies due to lack of sample albums, and the sweaty palms!

  134. Marsena

    August 19th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I do wedding pictures since 2006, I am learning, perfecting, seeking each other.
    Thanks for the inspiration. My office is in the basement and there is not too intimate, so invite customers to the cafΓ© calishfornia. "But today I made the climate in my office, I bought a coffee maker, pc player and it is OK>.

  135. Felicia Williams

    August 20th, 2011 at 2:53 am

    I used the lack of a studio office for 6 months to avoid putting myself out there. It was so much easier to say to myself, "When the office renovation is done… then I’ll make my real move." It is so easy to find things to put in our way of success. I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. You know the list… when I get that new lens/back up camera/studio space/website launched/perfect packaging… For me it was realizing I was never going to get better until I had clients with real weddings and the very real pressure of getting it done right!

  136. Sheila

    August 20th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I really needed to hear that. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Jasmine.

  137. Susan Reynolds

    August 20th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Love your story, your photos, your tenacity, your success!
    A great post!

  138. Wedding Snapper

    August 20th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I still do a few Starbucks meetings if clients can’t come out to me, but there is nothing quite like having your own space – it really does impress clients.

  139. Ashley

    August 20th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    You are such an inspiration to all! Thanks so much for sharing all of your journey to getting where you are now! Makes me extremely hopeful =)

  140. Julie O'Dell

    August 20th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Great post!

  141. Christina V

    August 21st, 2011 at 4:01 am

    THANK YOU! I meet my clients at Starbucks and now feel so much better about that. I can’t wait to have a studio someday! Until then, I’ll enjoy the coffee. πŸ™‚

  142. stephaniekaren

    August 21st, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Very inspiring! It is amazing when we look back and see where we were and think "Did I ever think I would be here?"

  143. Dade Freeman

    August 21st, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Its an art the way you make the basic and mundane look stunning – and your pearls of wisdom are a pleasure to read πŸ™‚

  144. Junior

    August 21st, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    WOW! Amazing to know that one of the photographers I aspire to be like met with clients at Starbucks too! I have hope!

  145. Magda

    August 21st, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Today I’ve had a meeting with a bride & groom exactly as the one you’re describing, just ME & MY SLIDESHOW, no fancy leaflets or sample albums, except it was a hotel lobby not a starbucks… what was I thinking, it’ll be a miracle of they hire me…but miracles do happen don’t they?

  146. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    August 22nd, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    AWESOME! THanks for sharing this, J*!

  147. Kyle

    August 22nd, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    That is GORGEOUS!

  148. Marissa Nicole

    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I read this for the first time the other day and apparently it stuck with me more than I thought because i decided to change the way I present myself. I am still doing an inital consultation at coffee shops, but now I am going to extend my clients to viewing at my personal office. i am a little nervous about having people in my house, but i think the presentation would be better.

  149. Sara Hansen

    August 23rd, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you so much for this encouraging post, you brought tears to my eyes! We meet our clients in Starbucks, and it can be so hard and nerve wracking trying to "sell" yourself as a new photographer when you have such little confidence. Thank you for the hope!

  150. Kristin Griffith

    August 24th, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Jasmine … I loved this post!! I just had my first potential wedding client meeting last month in …… yes ……. a Starbucks. I don’t think I’ll get the job, but I’m still praying I will. Thanks for the encouraging post.

  151. Sandy Thomann

    August 25th, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I’ve had meetings in a coffe shop and today I met the photographer that will take my wedding shots next weekend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts….:)

    Sandy in Acworth, Ga.

  152. Denise Prichett

    August 25th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Yeah Starbucks and I are BFFs for meeting with clients. But you are so right about being YOU. I actually had books from the beginning, but not the fancy albums until last year. Thinking of using my iPad and less books for the next meeting. Jasmine, you really to inspire!!!

  153. Robert Hillis

    August 26th, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I can so relate Jasmine. I started my wedding photography business about the same time you started yours. I completely feel like that sometimes as I am still meeting clients in Starbucks. I too long for the days of having my own studio but only time will tell. Until then I will own it!

  154. Sarah Eddy

    August 30th, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Such an encouraging post, as always. Thanks! One day I dream of owning a coffee shop specially designed for photographers who don’t have a studio! πŸ™‚ Your an inspiration.

  155. Charlotte Wedding Photographer

    September 1st, 2011 at 12:54 am

    You are so right when I first started I would meet brides at their home, Starbuck, hotel lobby and beyond. At first it was hard but as they say you should practice how to interview for job. I began to practice and felt confident over the noise. Over the years I realized it is all about confidence no matter where I met my brides if I am confident during our meeting I would book them. The same applies to shooting a wedding if you are confident while shooting your more likely to get the great shots you want as a wedding photographer. Great Post!

  156. Jovee - KC Wedding Photographer

    September 1st, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    This is very inspiring. I’m right in that place of seeing they way you want your business to be and not being there yet. It’s nice to think I’ll get there eventually. πŸ™‚