Free to Succeed Tour : San Francisco


It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. San Francisco. Just those two words alone can make me happy, excited, and ready eat! The city is beautiful and strong and artsy and amazingness just oozes from the cracks. When I woke yesterday morning, I was charged to get busy and make my rounds around the hilly streets that feel like home.

Shortly after waking, I grabbed my bag and made my way to 24 Hour Fitness for a morning workout…afterall, I wanted to pre-burn some calories before I devoured the city and licked the bones Golden Gate Bridge dry. As I was on the treadmill, I saw a gentleman in a wheelchair pass a stationary bicycle located just under the television broadcasting the Olympics. He looked up at the TV, at the bike, at the TV again and decided, yes, that’ll be his bike of choice. He placed his wheelchair adjacent to bike and pulled himself on the seat, lifting his left leg over the bike to ensure his balance on the saddle. The entire process took about seven minutes. I tried not to look. I really did. But my eyes darted from the Women’s 200 Freestyle to his determined eyes and strong arms. Once on the bike, the man slowly and mercilessly pushed on the pedals, his thin legs shaking from the pressure. When the wheels began to slowly turn, a brief smile came across his face and he lifted his chin for a moment.

I wanted to stop running because of the lump in my throat. I wanted to cheer him on. I wanted to rip a gold medal from the TV screen and place it around his neck. I wanted to let him know that in this huge city brimming with hopes and dreams, I got a sneak peek to his. For the first time in a long time, I saw determination in human form. I saw determination in his strong arms and shaky legs. And it was beautiful.

The rest of the day was spent in Union Square eating and enjoying the stunning day. Later that evening, the Free To Succeed Tour seminar took place by Fisherman’s Wharf and the turnout was amazing! I was so blessed to meet so many new photographers and speaking to a group of 140+ people was amazing. I thank you all you fabulous people who drove from near and far (there was even a photographer from Australia representing!) to learn how to push your art and business in the right direction. Thank you.

I’ll be blogging last weekend’s wedding tomorrow, but here’s a shot JD caught of me and Janey…and I just love it. While it may not be the most complimentary image, it shows how much fun we had together. I love my brides…and I’m so blessed to do what I love…

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  1. Allison

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    You made it home! I bet Polo is elated!

    Thank you for the most awesome slumber party and having breakfast in bed with me, and the memories I’ll forever cherish of a half-ambiened Jasmine shushing party-goers on the street!!

    I’ll miss you! xo

  2. Lydia

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you again for coming to San Francisco! You’re just like I imagined from reading your blog. My mind is still racing from all the information, and I’m sitting here making tons of lists on post it notes. If anyone is still trying to make up their mind whether or not to attend the Free to Succeed Tour, do it!! Jasmine and DJ are the best! Jasmine’s story alone makes it worth it!!

  3. Alicia

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I teared up with this story. It’s so awesome to witness small little victories every day. Makes me fall in love with the human spirit. Can’t wait to see Janey’s wedding pics! 😉

  4. Chung Nguyen

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    It was great hearing you speak yesterday. You and DJ are amazing and I learned so much. (: Really looking forward to seeing MJ’s wedding pictures!!!

  5. josh mccullock

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    dude, you’re such a good writer! makin me tear up over here : )

    thanks for sharing your story, it was awesome meeting you in Dallas. things have been awesome since that boost of inspiration! keep it up!

  6. Ashley

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    That story was beautiful! It really helps to remind me how important it is to really pay attention as we go about our days. There are so many miracles all around us and all we have to do is really look. Thank you so much for sharing. Your take on the world and the types of relationships you build with your clients is an inspiration to me.

  7. Tunji Sarumi

    August 12th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Good writer. I was stuck to my chair as I read Jasmine’s remarkable blogging skills. I exclaimed to myself in a wishful and timely manner how important it is to blog.


  8. Janey

    August 12th, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I can’t believe JD got this one. I don’t remember any laughing going on!??!?! HA – yeah, right!!!! SO much fun!!!!!

  9. Catie Ronquillo

    August 12th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    You rock with such ghetto-fabulous awesomeness! You seriously keep it real, girl! And I identify with that so deeply! I’m so glad that I decided to attend, I was able to hear your words and experience, and that I got to meet you! I’m so starstruck! (Pun intended!) I don’t think I’ve ever left a seminar so pumped, literally my heart pulsated with positive energy all night, it was hard to sleep! And it’s a crazy feeling because I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way (except for my amazing fiance 😉 of course), and thank you thank you for your message and genuine kindness. I’m ecstatic I met you, the real you, the same you from your website and blog, it really is SO YOU! 🙂

  10. Katherine Bowman

    August 12th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Such a good story Jasmine! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. Paper Monkey

    August 12th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    What a fun picture! Too funny! San Francisco is so much fun. I desperately want to go back. I think me and my pg belly would definitely devour the city and all of its goodness!

  12. yvonne l

    August 12th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    It is a fun picture but seriously, what are you doing to her? Are you helping or hindering? I don’t know about you!!

  13. Jane Chung

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Great story – thanks for sharing! You’re a comedian in my book. =)

  14. DrewB

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    That story brought me to tears, Jas. Miss you! Hope you are having fun!

  15. Amber Paterson

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    That picture is adorable! I can’t wait to see the rest of them!

  16. James Day

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Go Ms Samm Blake.. Ms Australia representative… I am glad you made it to see J*!


  17. Rizza San Agustin

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Jasmine,
    I’m so glad I was able to attend the Freedom Tour here in Sf. You have given me the best advice about crawling out of my familiar element and getting UNCOMFORTABLE! You are a gem. It was truly an honor! R.

  18. katycoffey

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I’m a long time reader – first time poster….I shouldn’t have read this at work. It brought tears to my eyes. You are such a beautiful storyteller – both through your pictures and your words. Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment.

  19. Robin Dini

    August 12th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    great story of courage and inspiration Jasmine! Thanks for sharing. can’t wait to meet you in NYC!

  20. Natarsha N. Wright

    August 12th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Such an inspiring story!

  21. kimberlee

    August 12th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Awesome story, J* – and that photo is perfect! So fun. 🙂

  22. Jackie L.

    August 13th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    what a cute moment!

  23. Cathy Crawley

    August 13th, 2008 at 1:51 am

    What a beautiful story! Awww 😉 And, it looks like us Aussies are everywhere at the moment! What is up with that?

  24. Linda Truong

    August 13th, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Yes!! Yess!! Yess!! As I was reading your entry, I really wanted to just reach out through the screen and place the gold medal around the man’s neck! Good on him!

    Go Australia 😉

  25. Stacy Cross

    August 13th, 2008 at 3:08 am

    You girls are so beautiful!!

  26. kymberli q.

    August 13th, 2008 at 4:41 am

    That story was beautiful, Jasmine! We must count all of our blessings EVERYday. I’m a firm believer in that! Can’t wait to see the wedding images! 🙂

  27. vanessa H

    August 13th, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Love love love love that picture!!!

  28. Nena

    August 13th, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Is it just me or are all your brides totally hawwwwt?! =-)

  29. Dave Shilling

    August 13th, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Thanks for coming out to SF!!! Its kinda weird to meet people you feel like you know already… I sooo felt like a stalker! You’re super awesome and your enthusiasm is infectious! On my green circle post-it ( for "go") I wrote "Post your first J star comment today"

  30. Melissa Koehler

    August 13th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing that. So glad to hear that the tour is going so great. Wish I could have made San Diego, bummer 🙁
    Love this shot of you and your bride. So real and fun!

  31. Bobbie

    August 13th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    That story brought tears to my eyes! Wow. Okay, reading all these comments from everyone saying how awesome you are to see on the tour is really making me feel I am missing out since you are not coming to NC! Are you guys doing video’s or anything that maybe you could share with us??!! Love the picture by the way, can’t wait to see the rest of them!

  32. B

    August 13th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Oh my! I had to stop and pray right now for this guy and ask that God totally bless him. I’m so touched…

  33. ohana photography

    August 13th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    i really don’t think you can take a bad pic of you!

  34. Carrie McCluskey

    August 13th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Such a great story! Looks like a fun time at the wedding.

  35. Betsy, La Vida Creations

    August 13th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Just when I think you can’t inspire me any more, you knock my socks off! Thanks for the real life story… it’s exactly what I needed to find some inspiration today. Thank you, lady!

  36. jenniferL

    August 14th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    great story. it was cool to hear you both talk on the tour, very inspiring! thanks.

  37. KT

    August 14th, 2008 at 5:18 am

    I was glad I could make it to the seminar in San Francisco. It was very inspiring and I’ve walked away with so much information and ideas. Well worth a total of 3+ hours of driving !!!

    Thank you Jasmine and DJ, for the awesome seminar, and a fun night (I wish I could hang around and "tail gait" 🙁 )

  38. Tiffany F

    August 14th, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Not only are you an amazing photographer who inspires me everyday, but you are also an amazing writer. Thanks for coming to SF with DJ. I was staring at the attached photo trying to figure out what that girl looked so darn familiar… Janey! Miss Mary Jane! I went to college with her! I cant wait to see the rest of her wedding!


    August 14th, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Jasmine, thank you for being so open and vulnerable at the seminar. You have inspired so many people to think about themselves, their work and their lives. Thank you for sharing your story and contributing your ideas to the San Francisco event!

  40. jeramy

    August 14th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    thanks jasmine for your insight on monday. i’m not a photographer, but my wife is, and i got to tag along and see the spectacle that is david jay. however, i was challenged most by your words….finding out who i am. i was dreading you pointing to me and calling me out….cause i had nothing. that’s my goal….figure me out….thanks for your encouragement. safe travels to you all. god bless.

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    August 20th, 2008 at 8:44 am

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