FAQ : Facebook Questions


I make no qualms about loving my Facebook fanpage friends a little too much…they’re amazing! This morning I asked for their feedback in regard to today’s FAQ post and they came back with a flurry of suggestions. I quickly grabbed a few questions and here’s my response. Like always, these are merely my responses and I don’t think they’re right, awesome, or profound. If I can just help one person in the process, I’m honored.

Yes. I have plenty of advice. LOADS of advice. But it can all be summed up easily: Include in your bio everything that makes you different. All the things that make you, YOU. Write the bio for a prospective client to read, not for another photographer to read. Honestly, I’m drawn to and love bios on websites that are written in first person instead of a third person narrative (“I like Pinkberry” instead of “Jasmine Star likes Pinkberry”), bios that are funny, bios that make me feel something after I read them. Remember, you want prospective clients to capture a piece of who you are from your bio, not a piece of something you think they want to hear.

Yes, I calibrate my monitor. Actually a good friend, Ryan Brown, recommended EyeOne calibration after I started getting my albums printed and bound at Leather Craftsmen. Once my calibration was set up, I noticed a big difference in my prints.

Here’s my post-wedding workflow:
Monday: Cull images (this just means I’m choosing the photos for the final edit) and choose favorites for blog and slideshow.
Tuesday:. Edit photos for blog and slideshow, and add a new photo to my website from Saturday’s wedding.
Wednesday: Blog the wedding.
Of course, the culling takes the longest, but I actually like doing it. I like seeing where I can improve and get better in a post-diagnostic setting. I usually edit on Tuesday and complete the photos, but I prefer blogging in the morning, so I wait for a Wednesday sneak peek. The time it takes to write about my clients ranges from 10-20 minutes (sometimes my brain is slow), uploading photos takes just seconds using BlogStomp, and the Showit slideshow takes makes things fabulously classy and accessible. I hope this helps! 🙂

No, I don’t use a custom white balance or use a preset. I simply shoot with a Canon 5DMII on Auto White Balance. And, yes, I just heard an audible gasp from thousands of readers. Yes, AUTO. I’ve used auto for years and it’s treated me juuuuuust dandy.

I use Hill&Usher insurance and I have a $1,000,000 policy. Sounds fancy, eh? To be honest, most venues in Orange County require an insurance policy of this amount, so it’s pretty much standard. I also have all my equipment insured because it’s silly not to. My business is carried on my back at a wedding (okay, okay…carried on JD’s back) and it’s too simple to not take proper precautions for safety and assurance.

I actually blogged more about this topic in this post, but the only thing I started with was a Canon 20D and a 24-70mm, 2.8 lens. I rented all the gear I needed for weddings and you’ll find out my reasoning for this decision in that post! 🙂

Well, I just don’t use one lens to shoot a wedding. I will say, however, I used the 85mm, 1.2 and the 50mm, 1.2 the most throughout the day. Especially during portraits of the bride and groom, these were the only two lenses I used. JD used the 85mm, 1.8, the 50mm, 1.4, and the 70-200mm IS, 2.8.
I will admit the 85mm, 1.2 focuses much slower than the 1.8….but, dang, when the 1.2 locks in, there’s nothing prettier in the world. F’real.

To be honest, New Zealand was our most favorite place in the world to visit. We’ve never seen such beauty and experienced such an amazing time together. I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. Ever.
Turn-off: Arrogance.
Turn-on: Humor and Intelligence.
How do we keep the spark going? Simply by feeding the flame. We spend a ton of time together. Some people think it’s too much time together. And guess what? I don’t care what people think! 🙂 JD is my best friend and there are days when I want to seep into his skin just to be closer to his heart. We communicate, we laugh, we’re painfully honest with each other. This is how we feed the flame.

Oooooh, this is a good question. I learned a lot last year. A lot. Most importantly, I learned to say NO. To say no to weddings to maintain my sanity, to say no to ‘networking’ events when I didn’t want to go in the first place, to say no to working past 6:30pm, to say no to the fear that creeps up when I feel disconnected from work. I was so caught up in work–i.e., myself–that I wasn’t focusing on what truly mattered: My loved ones. The more I worked, the less I liked who I was becoming. I still struggle with being a workaholic, but it’s also freeing to create a balanced work/home life and that started by learning to say no.

Great question! My off-camera flash is triggered with a Pocket Wizard. I simply turn off the Transmitter when I don’t want the off-camera light to flash. I love using a mix of ambient lighting, on-camera light, and off-camera lighting, but this doesn’t mean I stick to only one thing for the entire ceremony.

Hope this information helps a bit and a special shout out goes out to my Facebook peeps for hooking me up with fodder….y’all are the bomb diggity!

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  1. Marcus Delgado

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Excellent FAQ. Please do more. Your photography continues to amaze me.

  2. Steph Reid

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    more lovely snippets of info! thanks jasmine for all your sharing. x

  3. Angela Allan

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Wahoo!!! Go New Zealand for your fav spot!! Wish I managed to get to Christchurch for your workshop!!

  4. michelle cunningham

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    jas, i think the bestest thing you said was "learning to say NO". it is soooooo important and i’m glad you have your priorities right. all the success means nothing if the people that love you are neglected. you and JD are awesome!

  5. Velia

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Love you faq. There is so much to learn and your knowlege is much appreciated. I love that you can say NO and learn how to balance. I took a break last year because I felt I had lost that balance with my family. I feel so much happier now. Thanks jasmin for sharing.

  6. Gareth Robins

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Kudos on the NZ comment :):):)

  7. Leora Shiff

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I love that you shared so many great answers to such great questions. I especially liked the one about lenses, and how you keep your spark going.

  8. Lola

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you for the FAQ. I have yet to find one photographer who does that as intense as you do 🙂 You are great at sharing your love!

  9. Mikaela

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for continuing to share with us! It’s appreciated more than you know…and I love the stories of you and JD : )

  10. Jackie Lovato

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Hey Jasmine, the blogstomp link doesn’t work…

  11. Terrance

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you for this FAQ post! I’ve only recently discovered your blog and love how generous you are in sharing your tips and insights on creating great photos.

  12. Jill Swank

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Ohio….just reminding you its out there. You know, incase you happen to need somewhere new to have a workshop. 🙂 Not that I wouldn’t love to come to Cali, my bank account just isn’t to hip to that idea right now.

  13. Tacey

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    That was THE single best FAQ thus far! Tremendous information for us! I’m writing my bio right now, and thanks to your advice, I went back and added a bit more ‘me’…Thanks for that..You’re wonderful. 🙂

  14. Serendipity Photography

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Great post, how fun that you’re doing an FAQ from Facebook messages.

  15. Nathalie Coppens

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    ‘learning to say NO’ is something I want to learn this year, my job at the office increases every day, and I don’t like the person I’m becoming, I love to do architecture photography and really want to put more energy and time into it! It makes me feel happy and free and that reflects in my relationships! Jasmine, I want to thank you, just for being as you are and sharing your life-experiences, I follow your blog everyday and you’re my biggest inspiration. Thank You!

  16. Angel Pope

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing. But really, you make it all seem so easy. I mean, AWB…you’re right, I gasped!

    You should right a "For Real Photography" book because I’ve been studying on the side for 5 years now and you have helped me more in the past 3 months since I started reading your blog religiously.

  17. kristen holly

    February 10th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Great info, as always! Thanks J*!

  18. Gustavo Ortega

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    U Rock & I also love ur heart 🙂 There is Power in giving and u do just that and more 🙂

  19. Stephanie Stewart

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Great post! Thanks again so much for sharing! Loved to hear what you think of your lenses. And that you struggle with saying no…that is a hard thing, because naturally we want everyone to be happy, but when it’s at the sake of your own sanity and well-being, the yes turns into a regretful one. Thanks again for sharing and keepin’ it real!

  20. Marissa Rodriguez

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    This is great thank you! And by the way, you’re brain is not slow! It takes me waaaaaaay longer than 10-20minutes to do a post. Like, a ridiculous amount longer! I’m working on that hopefully one day it’ll take me 10-20min!

  21. Rebekah Towers

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks so much for your comments Jasmine. YOu are so honest and I love that. Can’t wait to hear more answers to all of the massive amounts of questions being asked. 🙂

  22. Nelly Soares

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Great post Jasmine. Thank you as always for sharing!

  23. Ernst

    February 10th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Jasmine, thank you for "sharing." I’m scared (for lack of a better word) to share my heart and soul, my foibles and my insecurities. After many years of uninspired work, I’m re-discovering my love for photography. But I still don’t know if I am being foolish and irresponsible, or whether this is a path I should have taken a long time ago.

    Regardless, your advise and attitude are helpful. Thank you.

  24. MelissaFoscardo

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    It still amazes me that you shoot AWB. I do, too, but I have to adjust in Lightroom all the time because my colors are all whacked out. Since you said you’ve been using it from the get-go, I assume you also did that on the 20d so I know it’s not just that you have a more advanced camera than my 50d. Hmmm, can’t figure that one out!

  25. Anna Kim

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Another awesome post! Thank you!

  26. Jackie Petersen

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I love your FAQ posts, so very helpful!

  27. Pol

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you! These help a lot.

  28. Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Even though I am not a photographer, and have no idea what half of the stuff you were talking about means, I still so appreciate your honesty and willingness to help make your community better.
    Thanks Jasmine!

  29. TERRI

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    So sorry I missed participating!.. but what a great idea.

  30. Jennifer Brotchie

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Jasmine- you really are the bomb dot com…. this is a great FAQ’s post, very cool…thanks for the share.

  31. Jessica Nichols

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Seriously… these posts are my favorittttte. Okay, I can’t really say they’re my favorite b/c I certainly love all of your images, but I get so excited to read the FAQ posts and always click on them first!!

    Thanks Jasmine… I kinda feel like we are sisters from anotha motha… maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to have you shoot *my* wedding one day soon 🙂

  32. Melissa

    February 10th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for the FAQs – you’ve inspired me to make my bio page a little more spicy!

  33. Kare

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks, J*! You are awesome. For real.

  34. Heather Pearce

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Jasmine! Thank you so much for your insights. I just love how open you are and willing to share. Just. Love. It.

  35. jamie

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    out came the new RANGERFINDER from my mailbox… just so happened to open to page 116! the bride in front pic on bottom right… SO knew that was your pic before i looked! you go girl!

  36. Emily Dobson Photography

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    As always, a huge help! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and words of wisdom – whether you think you’re right or not. I appreacite them!!!!!!!!

  37. jamie

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    out came the new RANGERFINDER from my mailbox… just so happened to open to page 116! the bride in front pic on bottom right… SO knew that was your pic before i looked! you go girl!

  38. Melissa @ Whooo's That Girl

    February 10th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    LOVE this! Thanks! Auto WB, who would’ve ever thought! ;p

  39. Laurie

    February 10th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Jasmine, you’re awesome as always. Thank you for all you share! (And I also wondered about the WB setting…don’t change a thing, you’re images are beautiful!!) <3

  40. Lydia

    February 10th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    One of the best FAQ posts as of late! Kudos to the fb people!

  41. Leyla

    February 10th, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you for being so honest, genuine and down-right REAL! I love you for that, seriously! 😉

  42. Melanie

    February 10th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Love reading your FAQ’s. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Connie

    February 10th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! Love that you are willing to teach and help others with their passions.

  44. Chantel

    February 11th, 2010 at 12:02 am

    I love your heart and am beyond blessed that you choose to share it with us! You are such an inspiration and strength to me! May God richly bless you, your marriage and your business. Lots of love to you!


  45. gina Kramp

    February 11th, 2010 at 12:03 am

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE your faq posts!!!!

  46. s h e r r y

    February 11th, 2010 at 12:26 am


  47. Vasti

    February 11th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I’m really confused now. I always knew there is a complex business side to photo, but I didn’t know one needs insurance? what’s it for exactly? Do you have an accountant for all your finances and tax filing? Here I was thinking it’s all about taking beautiful photos and smiling.

  48. Jonni Sergi

    February 11th, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Thank you and the participants for yet another amazing FAQ! 🙂

    You are the best Jasmine.

  49. Feuza

    February 11th, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Wow loved the FAQ this way and nice to see faces of those who asked, such great info, thanks for sharing

  50. Darby Mouritsen

    February 11th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions, i love reading your FAQ’s.

  51. alex.kruk !!

    February 11th, 2010 at 4:56 am

    I DO too love to spent time with my husband!! We are all the time together and we both cant live without eachother. I also dont care what others says. Thank you for another great FAQ post !

  52. andrea

    February 11th, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Thank you!!!! You write the wisdom when I need it most ~ it’s like you’re a mind reader!!! Thanks for being timely on your faqs!!!

  53. dorelies

    February 11th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Jasmin, I love you for all your information and for the feeling to be a part of your life. You are awesome.

  54. shani

    February 11th, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Of course I ad to go and change my bio to ME instead of HER…Thank you for taking the time to kick our little photographers’ butts!

  55. Jan

    February 11th, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Thanks for sharing!

  56. Linda Sherrill

    February 11th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Great advice and great questions…I’m off to re-vamp my online bio!

  57. Christine

    February 11th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    These are great 🙂 I always love your FAQ posts! I was wondering though how you setup your on camera flash during receptions. Do you use the new Pocket Wizard mini TTL? A lot of your photos look like the B&G are back lit but also getting light from a flash on your camera.

  58. Melanie

    February 11th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Jasmine, I really love your openness about your relationship with JD. I think that the two of you are wonderful example of a couple in love who make it work!

  59. Sharon Snow

    February 11th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks so much for FAQ! Such great questions…I appreciate your sharing Jasmine 🙂

  60. Tab McCausland

    February 11th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Great Post!

  61. April Hendrick

    February 11th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Your right share more fun and personal infomation. Afteral look at all us loving you. You make us all feel like long lost friends. You make it easy to forget we have never met you and we are not really friends! LOL
    Keep it up. Thanks for all the tips and inspiration.

  62. lucy

    February 11th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Jasmine how about when you have 2 weddings in 1 weekend and then maybe a anytime shoot that same week. How do you rearrange your schedule for that?

  63. nathan

    February 11th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Great info., especially the insurance stuff!

  64. amanda thiessen

    February 11th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    i love how you are completely open and vulnerable to the world. not a lot of people are that way nowadays…we are all so guarded and afraid but im glad you are breaking down the walls!

  65. kayleen t.

    February 11th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Your intro story to a wedding/e-session is always so detailed and specific I feel like I’m there with the couple when they’re meeting and when he proposes! How do you find out all these small details? Like the time of year, how they felt, how tan the girl was! haha. I love your story intros, it makes me want to see how you’d write me and my hubby’s story!!

  66. Alaina Bos

    February 11th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your FAQ posts!!! They are SO helpful. Thanks so much 🙂

  67. Kim Spears

    February 11th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    You are pretty much my inspiration icon! Love what you do lady and how you do it 🙂

  68. fiona andersen

    February 12th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Yeah yeah… I knows you love my country!!! Ok so when are you coming back? hmmmm hmmm?

    I love these posts. So refreshing!!!

  69. Leslie

    February 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    thanks for the great info. I dont have facebook but I have a question. I just purchase a 7d camera, and my question is what are the main things I need to make sure I adjust or set my camera to? Please advice. Thanks.

  70. Amber Fox

    February 13th, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Thank you so much Jasmine. You are such a light in this industry. Thanks for leading the pack.

  71. Apple

    February 14th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    i love the new layout to the faq post! thanks for the k.i.r. and looking out for us as always jaz!<3

  72. mag

    February 16th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Dang! i keep missing your Q&A’s.. but if you have a spot on your next one… i need some advise. What would you do for shaky hands? sounds silly and i thought it was always the gear until a friend took a pic with my camera and the same settings and her pictures were crystal clear. My pics never come out that focused.. they usually have a blur. I know to use a tripod or lock in my arms, but it’s sometimes impossible to use a tripod or i get into the moment and forget to lock in my arms and when i look at the pics, they are not so sharp –but i know it’s possible.. i finally realized that my hands always shake. Sounds like an odd question, but its the only thing that is keeping me from being totally insecure in becoming a professional. And now, more than ever, i want to peruse my dream since i just had a baby and the thought of going back to work (11 hours a day) is driving me crazy.

  73. Wing

    February 25th, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Its fun and joyous to readt hrough your post. I just wanna say thanks for all the information, indeed is a great help for a starter. Cheers!