FAQ : Reader Questions XIV


It’s been a few months since I answered questions from the FAQ section of the Discussion tab on my Facebook Page, so I decided to dive back in and connect with questions. For those of you who help each other by answering questions, supporting each other, and offering encouragement, thank you. You make Facebook an extra shiny place to be on the web…I love seeing sharing on the web!

Lerissa asked: How do you clean and maintain your gear?
I’m lucky enough to live driving distance to the Canon Center in Orange County. Every two months, I drop my gear off for sensor cleaning and a good cleaning for my lenses. I’m a CPS Member, so I receive three coupons for a free sensor cleaning, as well as discounts on other repairs/cleaning/maintenance. However, before every shoot, JD cleans the lenses and uses a blower bulb to brush away unwanted dust from our camera sensors.

Richard asked: We see a lot of great photos of when you are JD are out and about, what gear do you take with you? Just the 5d and a 50 1.2?
Yes, I usually travel with my Canon 5DMII and the 50mm, 1.2 to snap photos. I usually carry it around in my purse, wrapped in a pashmina (this is basically a scarf, gentlemen) and it’s treated me well for years.

Lauren asked: Especially with men, I’d love some advice for helping people to loosen up and open up so I can better capture their true selves.
This isn’t an easy question to answer because no one guy is the same. I don’t have a certain approach or technique to help guys loosen up, but I will say keeping magazine clippings for inspiration has helped. A lot. While my photos may not look like the photos I saved, they help me think in new ways when it comes to working with a guy in front of my camera. I keep them posted or in a notebook and I’ll review them before a shoot.

Meggan asked: How much time do you allot before the ceremony for shooting. Do you shoot only the couple or the entire bridal party & family? Also, do you present your bride with list of possible shots for her to think through or is this something you discuss in person at a meeting after booking?
If the clients opt for a First Look, I’ll take however much time before the ceremony. If it’s 30 minutes or two hours, I’ll maximize our shoot time and this will hopefully open for more flexibility with the bride’s schedule later in the day. I adore when we can photograph the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the immediate family before the ceremony, so this would allow for 10-15 minutes of sunset photos…and the couple has the option to join cocktail hour or enjoy a quiet time by themselves. These decisions and the timelines vary from client to client, but the important thing to remember is to have a detailed conversation in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations met.

Natasha asked: How do you not get your laptop/ipad stolen or damaged at the reception when leaving it to display the slide show?
I usually set up the same-day slideshow (on my laptop) in an area where people usually congregate, usually the bar or by the photobooth. It’s a great conversation starter while people are waiting for a drink or for their turn in the photobooth. Because people are watching the slideshow, it also acts as a safeguard against thievery because someone wouldn’t simply walk up–while people are viewing it–unplug the computer, shut it, and walk out the ballroom door without someone saying something. However, use common sense. Don’t put the slideshow close to entry/exit where someone can easily slip in and out without being noticed. The biggest deterrent is people around the computer, so just make sure and place it in an highly trafficked area.

Hope this helps and if there are other questions, feel free to shout out in the comment box or on Facebook! Happy Monday!

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  1. Lydia

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks J Star! πŸ˜€

  2. Life with Kaishon

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Always great advice.

  3. Neda Lahrodi-Blake

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    This is really helpful. I’m in the process of buying a new lens and the choices are hard as I can’t decide between them. I’m all for slideshow as they look great and people always have great things to say about it.

  4. Kacie Lynch

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for the awesome advice, as usual, a great FAQ post! πŸ™‚

  5. Ruby Guerra

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I love love love reading your blogs! It’s like you’re writing them just for me!! My sister in law is my second shooter and my hubby does our video…they also enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the great work and we look forward to reading more! <3

  6. Abby Grace

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I never thought of using magazine clippings- that’s such a good idea! I’m definitely going to have to go out and buy me a Vogue tonight for my two e-shoots this weekend. Thanks, girl!

  7. Abby Grace

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I never thought of using magazine clippings- that is such a good idea! Looks like I’ll be going out to buy a Vogue this evening to prepare for my e-sessions this weekend. Thanks, girl!

  8. rich

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    thank you for sharing! great advice as always!

  9. Rachel Tatem

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the input! I always great to get advise. I love how you draw from fashion and advertising to get ideas for shoots, adds such depth to your porfolio

  10. Leslie Davis

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    great question selection – going to have to hop on over an interact on your FB q/a more for sure! πŸ™‚ I’ve had the same question about the laptop/ipad at reception – so I take the IMAC for that reason – but I think I’ll be switching! Thanks bunches!!!

  11. brokenresolutions

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Great answers! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mike Moore

    August 29th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for always answering our questions.

  13. Miguel

    August 29th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Wonderful advice, thank you for sharing. BTW, is the title of this post supposed to include the Roman numeral for 14? If that’s the case, it should be formatted like this: XIV. :o)

  14. Kyle

    August 29th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Great advice, Thanks for taking the time to answer these! Hopefully you’
    ll continue to answer lots more πŸ˜‰

  15. Jasmine*

    August 29th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @Miguel: Ha! You’re right. Thanks for catching that…and I blame my mom because I was homeschooled and I didn’t really focus on Roman numerals! πŸ˜‰

  16. Carrie

    August 29th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I’m so use to you doing the FAQs as ‘shooting star’ as I was reading I could totally hear your voice! Thanks for your shared knowledge! πŸ™‚

  17. Jason+GinaΒ 

    August 29th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    The same-day slideshow is totally worth it (even if something were to ever happen to the laptop/ipad)!!

  18. Lydia

    August 29th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Oh to be close to the Irvine Canon Center! Which reminds me, I need to get out my rocket blower and clean the specks on my sensor!

  19. LEOLAK

    August 29th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks so much…you the bomb.com. I wondered how that camera sat in your BIG LOVELY PURSE! =)

  20. Jenelle Sewell

    August 29th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    ALWAYS helpful topics to discuss…thank you! PS – That model in the magazine clipping walking in the street, I think I know him. Either that or his doppleganger. Weird.

  21. les wollam

    August 29th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    it’s always nice when a successful pro shares secrets and just common-sense knowledge

  22. Yuliya M.

    August 29th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you, helps as always πŸ˜‰

  23. Denise Prichett

    August 29th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Because of Hurrican Irene, I wasn’t able to take the sweetest couple in he world outside for formals. So I downloaded pics to my iPad for he bride and groom and head table to see. She totally appreciated it and I was happy. My iPad allowed me to bring her a bit of sunshine and reassurance before her honeymoon. Not sure if I could leave it out someplace in general but it totally worked out for this wedding.

  24. Richard grebby

    August 30th, 2011 at 1:13 am

    thank you so much for posting my question. Keep up the great work!

  25. Jessica Sweeney

    August 30th, 2011 at 1:15 am

    As usual, thanks for a great post, Jasmine.

  26. Dani Davila

    August 30th, 2011 at 11:32 am


  27. Carla

    August 30th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    You are always so helpful, Thanks Jasmine πŸ™‚

  28. Rachel Marie Photography

    August 30th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    great idea! i keep thinking i need to put together some clippings and now i REALLY think i will! haha

  29. cassandra-m

    August 31st, 2011 at 6:36 am

    :))) love reading these . . . always!

  30. Wedding Snapper

    August 31st, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    As usual, sound advice Jasmine.

  31. Molly

    September 2nd, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Some good questions and answers.

  32. Erica, Jacksonville Florida Photographer

    September 16th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Thank so much for all the wonderful info! You rock! I really appreciate all you do! You are a blessing to all!