FAQ : Reader Questions XIII


Well, it’s Monday. The day after the 4th of July, making it the 5th of July. Duh. And I saw the best fireworks show last night at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. My ears? They’re STILL ringing and the hummmmm that’s persisting reminds me of this awesome country, how blessed I am to live here, and soy hot dogs. Of course.

I thought today might be a good day for another found of FAQs

Joshua asked:
Your pictures have a warm desaturated feel to them. I am amusing you manually set your white balance but I was wondering if you would be kind enough to reveal what settings you use in your picture style. It doesn’t look like you use a default mode. What do you set your contrast, sharpness, saturation, and color tone to?

Like I mentioned in this post, I shoot exclusively in Auto White Balance. And, yes, my picture setting is in default mode. I don’t customize contrast, saturation, or color tone in-camera as I feel the Canon 5DMII does a great job capturing images just the way I like them.

Shauna asked:
I’m trying to get my husband to shoot weddings with me. He has a great eye, but I feel like I have to literally push him out the door when it’s time to shoot. How did you get JD to shoot with you?

Let me start off by saying working with your spouse is definitely not for everyone. I think the main thing is to ask yourself whether your husband wants to shoot on his own volition. Having a good eye or simply liking photography isn’t enough. Weddings are some of the most difficult and stressful events to document, so a person needs more than just talent. A wedding photographer has to want to shoot weddings. And, yes, I know this sounds like common sense, but it bears referencing because if a second photographer doesn’t reeeeeeally want to be there, it may add more stress to the day.
I’d suggest asking your husband what he wants to do, and support his response regardless of your desire. It’ll alleviate future frustration and allow you to build your business making long-term decisions.

Martin asked:
There are so many Kubota action sets. Can you please recommend one I should start with? I’m new to this and I am a little overwhelmed. Thx.

Overwhelmed? You want to talk about being overwhelmed? Why, yes, let’s go THERE.
When I first attended WPPI a few years ago, I sat in Kevin Kubota’s platform class and I was blown away. By him, by his neon shirt, by everything. He gave such a stellar presentation and I walked away inspired and ready to start my photography business. Then I walked straight to his vendor table and bought EVERY KUBOTA ACTION EVER CREATED. I wish I was lying. What can I say? Kevin knows how to sell! 😉
I came home with so many actions I didn’t know where or how to start. Over time, however, I found actions that I really liked and most of them can be found in Kubota Artistic Tools One…it has Fuji Snappit, B/W 70/20/10, and Kex X-Process Combo…some of my favs!

I also love the Kubota Production Tools for the Magic Sharp action…it’s my favorite. Hands down.

And if you’re feeling extra wild, check out Kubota Artistic Tools V3 for cool actions like my personal rawr action, Fashion Passion.

Cassidy asked:
But do you blog all your sessions? I sometimes shoot things that I’m not at all excited to blog about but I feel obligated to. Ever have that?

Yes. And yes. I blog every wedding and engagement session. And here’s why…
It’s too easy to sit back and coast along shooting well. You show up to a session, you know you can do a good job, and–bam!–you do. Then there are some shoots that aren’t as easy. Sure, you can think to yourself you don’t have to blog the session if you don’t want to, but I think that’s weak sauce. Truly.
Because I know I want to blog each photo session, I have to challenge myself to produce the type of work I’m proud to showcase. There’s no taking-it-easy…the light isn’t good today…I’m-in-a-funk…he blinks too much. There’s no room for mistakes or excuses and I think my clients benefit from this notion. I won’t leave the session without knowing I have photos I’m proud of. I might be totally alone of this matter, but I believe it’s helped me push myself in ways I couldn’t before.

Erin asked:
I was wondering if you could tell me more of how you got started, or maybe point me to an autobiography? Also, I have noticed that a lot of pro photographers use Canon. Do you have a reason why you use Canon? And have you ever used Nikon?

You can find my entire photo journey from the beginning documented HERE, on my old blog. It’s a little random and all over the place, but–ehh–it’s really who I am.
I shoot with Canon for the following reasons:
1. My first film camera was Canon, so it started at a young age.
2. My wedding photographer (and first huge inspiration) shot Canon.
3. JD bought me a Canon 20D when I first started, so he pretty much decided it for me.
4. It’s the best. Duh.

Happy Monday!

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  1. Marissa Rodriguez

    July 5th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I love FAQ! Thank you Jasmine!

  2. Mikkel

    July 5th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    The Canon/Nikon argument can go on forever. But I wanted to note to whoever asked, that I often feel a LOT of pro photogs that are well known shoot Canon. BUT – keep your eyes open b/c I’ve found that a LOT shoot Nikon too! Personal preference.

    Thanks for the FAQs Jasmine! I love these posts.

  3. angel pope

    July 5th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    wow…i could almost predict every answer before it passed my eyes! 🙂 yeah, i’m a pro J* blog stalker for SURE! thanks again for sharing. As always, LUVS!!!

  4. kelsy mccartney

    July 5th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    i also loooooove faq!! i’m a bit amused by the fact that jt decided for you because my husband decided for me too 🙂 we’re on the other side of the fence though, nikon all the way!

  5. Evie Perez

    July 5th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks Jasmine for posting FAQ’S today!!!

  6. Chelsea Patricia

    July 5th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Weak-sauce: I love it. Tell it like it is, Jas!

  7. michelle

    July 5th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    My FAVORITE posts are FAQ posts! (well, besides Polo posts of course-duh) Thank you for being so generous Jasmine. xo

  8. Lindsay C.

    July 5th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    #1: I love the idea of blogging as a source of self-challenge. #2: Your blog has totally helped me as I jump into this business after wading in the ankle deep shallows for far too long and #3:
    I’m thinking of making a bumper sticker that says,"I know how to shoot a Canon." (my dear husband thought that one up, bless him.)

  9. Nilda Negron

    July 5th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    You are such an inspiration…that I went back and read every single blog post on you old blog 🙂

  10. Simply Natural Photography

    July 5th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I love love love love love absolutely appreciate these faq sessions. They really encourage me! Thanks so much!

  11. Vanessa Paris

    July 5th, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I totally agree that imagining every session on your blog improves your work no end. I’m just beginning (I made my first website!) and I’ve blogged from the start (some embarrassing, over processed stuff there!) It really does help, thanks for sharing as always Jasmine:)

  12. Juli L.

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Love your FAQ’s…thank you! I can’t wait to try some of those actions. I just haven’t been able to swallow spending the money yet, but hopefully someday soon when I’m actually making money. 🙂

  13. Linda Sherrill

    July 5th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Love your FAQ’s times!

  14. Eileen

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I haven’t ordered any of the Kubota actions yet.. but just watching the videos I love them.. and Yes.. Canon rules!

  15. Romonia I.

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Fashion Passion is one of my faves! Kubota Actions are seriously great actions. You’ve got to love Canon! 😉

  16. Jamie

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I think your attitude about blogging every session is great. My husband and I’s engagement pics didn’t get blogged and I honestly think it was because they weren’t blog worthy.

  17. TERRI

    July 6th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything, and here it is… the first time I totally disagree with you! Nikon, baby! All the way!

  18. erika

    July 6th, 2010 at 2:30 am

    He blinks too much!!! I had one of those sessions 2 weeks ago!! I ended up shooting hundreds more pictures than I normally would because of all the blinks! hahaha
    And no, lady. NIKON! =)

  19. Sarah Danaher

    July 6th, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I ABSOLUTELY agree about blogging every shoot. I value people, and I want every single one of my clients to know that I think they are worth blogging.

  20. jacky f

    July 6th, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I’m not a photographer and I just found myself reading through your entire faq post. That’s some good stuff even though I only understand about 1/2 of it.

  21. Mireille

    July 6th, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Super FAQ time again. And I got to say Canon all the way. I started out with an analog Canon EOS 650 and I loved it never even looked at anything else. So yeah for Canon.

  22. Katelyn James

    July 6th, 2010 at 5:17 am

    yay Canon! woot woot:)

  23. Magalie Narang

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:00 am

    As usual, thank you for the inspiration and motivation. I feel like the Lord keeps leading me to the blogs of other pro-photoraphers that are Believer’s and their work to encourages me so much.

    Somehow though, I feel like the market is saturated with dslr pro-shooters. But I suppose that is exactly where the branding comes in.

    Thank you for sharing your old blog…it’s honest, extremely helpful and inspiring. You have worked so hard and the Lord certainly has opened doors. I was especially touched by the post of you and your mom at the basketball game where she was going to pray for you to develop your eye. That is an invaluable business tip–pray, and pray specifically. THANKS!

    Would you ever consider critiqueing my work? Just a few shots? I’m seriously a novice and often people approach me to do their events but I feel so unexperienced.

  24. Emily Heizer Photography

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I swear you shot Nikon, actually…. I read it on somebody’s blog that they exclusively shoot Nikon because Nikon has 40 focal points.. .everybody else has like 7 and that just wasnt good enough for her… I totally thoght that was you! Now who the heck said that I wonder???

  25. Pamela Topping

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    love this post! I’m team Canon too 🙂

  26. Cat Mayer

    July 6th, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Oh Jasmine, I used to drink up every word from your FAQ posts. Of course I still love to read them, but after attending your workshop, they are just the icing on the cake! 🙂

  27. Janice

    July 6th, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Ah! Love this site! Very helpful when you are trying to sell your photos online and create a following. You are very talented and I am inspired by viewing your site.

  28. Peter Hearl

    July 6th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Great Q&A Jasmine, I did the same with actions at the start but now I just have 6-10 on a regular basis, mostly BW converters.

    Go Canon.

  29. Jonathan Stade

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    J*: Thank you for another great FAQ post, I always enjoy them. Re: Canon vs Nikon, I shoot Canon because I shot Canon EOS film many years ago, and I’m used to their interface (well, on bodies with the thumb wheel). But both companies make great systems, and if I was starting all over, I might well go Nikon: they have much superior wireless flash control which I’m regularly jealous of.

  30. Lydia

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Your answer to blogging every session is fabulous! We need to be creating images we are proud of in every shoot! Our clients are coming to us, the professional, to do this for them, and they should all get their showcase on the blog!

  31. Lindsay

    July 7th, 2010 at 1:03 am

    GREAT post! but NIKON is better! 🙂

  32. Molly Kate

    July 7th, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Just out of curiosity, do any of your clients not want to be posted on your blog or do you make this a requirement/part of your contract? Enjoyed the post!

  33. Sonja Clark

    July 7th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I love Kevin Kubota’s Actions too. They are at the core of my workflow. I’ve found a handfull in each set that I use all the time. I went to one of his workshops and use his lightroom workflow too. His Lightroom presets are great too. Can’t say enough about that guy.

  34. Life with Kaishon

    July 10th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I don’t know how to use actions.
    I know. I know. Ridiculous. Unacceptable.
    Of course I am smart enough to you tube…I just don’t know if I am smart enough to implement what they say 🙂 The other issue is, somtimes I download free actions and then I have no idea where they go on my computer. And speaking of computers, I need one. I can’t put photoshop on this as it is my work computer…..
    I am going to learn actions soon.
    Thank you for all of this information. : ) Hope your Saturday is sensational!

  35. Paul

    July 12th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    LOL! Nikon is not "better"! If Jasmine shot with a Nikon she’d be producing the same images that blow us away and inspire us. It’s not the camera, it’s the person shooting. ranted, there are some individual tones in an image depending on the model, and Jasmine states that the 5D MII gives her what she’s after, so in her world, Nikon isn;t better. It is in your world because you like it.

    Sorry, needed to clear that up. We can’t get so hooked on the equipment that it kills our art!

  36. Truc

    July 15th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I love your FAQ posts, and especially love your reply to Cassidy’s question. Thank you for these posts!

  37. Alicia

    July 15th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I stumbled upon your site and have fallen in love! You’ve become a daily read for me. You’re so inviting and warm-not to mention amazingly talented. Such an inspriation for my own business. Thank you!!