Inspiration in Notebook Form


Hi Friends! I’m running out the door, but I wanted to quickly blog about something I’ve been working on for the past year.

There are days when I feel completely and utterly uninspired. I hate admitting this because, really, I’d love to say I’m constantly brimming with fresh ideas. But that’s so far from the truth. However, there are a few things I do to help me stay invigorated…on the top of my list is My Notebook.

A while back, my mother bought me a spiral notebook and I decided to make it a catalogue of sorts. I’d tape inspiring pictures on the pages, use it to write my workshop notes in, and refer to it when I was feeling desperate for creativity. I can’t express how AWESOME it’s been. I can’t wait to add to it next year, but here are a few snapshots of some pages…I sincerely hope some of my blog readers start their own notebooks because it’ll help raise the bar for the entire industry. As long as we’re all moving forward together, our clients are happier, our work is better, and we’re improving wedding photography as a whole.

Whenever I find a picture I like, I cut it out and tape it to the page. The pictures aren’t all bridal, but I try to find images I’d like to recreate if given the chance…on the opposite side of the page are notes from the Anti-Workshop

Here’s a sketch of a photograph I want to capture some day soon. Yes, I know I could rival Picasso for my sketching skillz. I just got it like that. 🙂
Okay, but beyond the pre-school sketch, I had an idea and I had to get it down on paper. I don’t know if you can read what I wrote in the margins, but this idea–this someday photograph–is inspired by a recent David Yurman ad campaign, mixed with a splash of Christian Dior. Obviously, you can’t tell from the sketch what I have in mind, but as long as I get it, that’s all that matters. On the top of the page is another sketch that will one day come to frutition as well! 🙂

In my notebook, I also include things I want to remember. When I was chosen as Blu Domain’s Photographer of the Year, Kailee asked me to hold a sign reading: “I LOVE BLU”. Before I made the sign, I wanted to get a few ideas down on paper, so I sketched here for posterity’s sake! 🙂

…and here’s the final product…

Here’s my most recent entry…these are a few pages of my notes from the Shootshop

Happy Tuesday!

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  1. Shannon

    December 11th, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Hey Jasmine, I love my notebook….I have questions in there for everyone, ideas, & inspirations. I keep it with my planner, so that it is always near for those random thoughts that pop into my head. LOVE IT!!!!

  2. Elizabeth

    December 11th, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    I sooo love this post! I, too, have notebook(s): one for food photos, one for weddings and another for portraits – however, after seeing you post, I think I will unorganize and compile – it’s a little rough having so many. P.S. Your handwriting is adorable 🙂

  3. Jess

    December 11th, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Yay! Another paper-obsessed girl! You should invest in a small Moleskine to carry around in your daybag or Shootsac – it’s really great to just pull it out when you’re around town and get some inspiration!

  4. Kenny Kim

    December 11th, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    You have a neat handwriting!

    Share the knowledge with us! 🙂

  5. kimi b

    December 11th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    i LOVE your handwriting!!we do the same thing, we have a binder with clear slots to put pics and ideas in. it started when we got married. it’s awesome!

  6. Yasmine

    December 11th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Hey! This is my first comment, but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. Just wanted to tell you that your pictures are amazing and I think I’m going to start a notebook like yours–great idea!

  7. Fred Egan

    December 11th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    YAY for the notebook! I have one of my own and actually contemplated blogging it…in fact, I think I will 🙂 They are the lifeblood of maintaining creativity-and that’s why your work rocks my friend 😀

  8. Micah

    December 11th, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    My first time commenting too! I’m really digging the notebook and throwing pictures in there! Good stuff!

  9. Ana Contreras

    December 11th, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve been thinking of doing something like that…THANKS for the IDEA!!

  10. MakeupbyNora

    December 11th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Such a great idea Jasmine. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts to others. That is why you are so successful. I love your blog, I think I am on your site more than facebook. Nora 😉

  11. Tonya

    December 11th, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    GREAT IDEA! I am going to start one…today! I love your handwriting BTW! So cute!

  12. gabriel ryan

    December 11th, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    i can’t believe you totally just unleashed your diary on the world-wide-web! hahah… anyways, i am one who brings my moleskin with me everywhere

  13. ~Jonilyn

    December 11th, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Very cool idea.. a place to put all your thoughts and inspirations in one place!

  14. John Yrungaray

    December 11th, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Great post, thanks so much for sharing.

    I was thinking about something like this for me to keep the creative juices flowing so it really it the spot for me.

    Keep up the great work!

  15. Danielle

    December 11th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    I too have a notebook, and I love it! Thanks for making me feel that I am not alone with the uninspired days!!

  16. Angela

    December 11th, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Jasmine – long time reader, first time poster.

    I love it! Such a great idea. I often have ideas that I forget about but this would be a lifesaver. Thanks for sharing 😉

  17. Raya

    December 11th, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Awesome Jasmine! All through photo school and continuing now I’ve used one of those black & white composition books for notes. I cover the fronts with images out of magazines that inspire me. It’s so fun to have a big collection of them to look back on.

  18. cassandra m

    December 12th, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Jaz…You continue to amaze me with your generosity to share. I love, love, love to write things down. Even with the computers, the Treos, the Palm Drives & the laptops to keep things organized I still simply love to hand write as much as possible. My notes are always on stickies or pads..maybe I’ll try a notebook. Thanks for sharing…Your creativity is pouring down on so many people. You are like a MUSE…hee.hee. 😉

  19. leah g

    December 12th, 2007 at 1:43 am

    So great to see this. I have a very similar notebook (except mine is a jumble of stuff for photography, scrapbooking, and life in general. (of course I probably don’t refer to it as often as I should.)

  20. Jasmine C.

    December 12th, 2007 at 4:06 am

    you always seem to find new ways to inspire others. I love this idea! I have a prayer journal too that I love.

  21. Sissel Byington

    December 12th, 2007 at 4:06 am

    All right…that’s it….i truly admire you.
    You are inspiring. Even on your uninspiring days.

  22. Simply Modern Weddings

    December 12th, 2007 at 5:30 am

    You are just too cute! Thank you for letting us peak into your notebook/thoughts. BTW, I LOVE that photo of you!

  23. C.J. Scott

    December 12th, 2007 at 6:15 am

    The notebook is, indeed, a wonderful thing. I fill mine up with all kinds of notes, ideas, images, sketches, quotes, song lyrics (haha), etc.

  24. Jenny Sun

    December 12th, 2007 at 11:40 am

    I love your sketches.. 😀 especially the birds!! So cute! Thanks for sharing a great idea Jasmine 🙂

  25. Dennis

    December 12th, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    this is a great idea Jasmine. I do this all the time for "life" things but really never thought of it for my photography. thanks for the tip!

  26. Melissa Koehler

    December 12th, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I am so glad I am not the only one that does this. It has really helped me explore new things in my craft. Thank you for sharing!
    I love how you are always trying to push the envelope with photography, and also how you encourage other photographers to do the same. Thank You!

  27. Heather Espana Photography

    December 12th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Awesome idea, Jasmine. I keep all my "photography related brain babble" as I call it in a spiral notebook as well, but I love the idea of adding inspirational clippings. Thanks for sharing!

  28. liana

    December 12th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    OOOOOhhh… you’re so organized gurl!! Mine is in like 3 different notebooks, on the computer, and bookmarked. Ug! Need to work on that!

    Can’t wait to see you next month!! Muaaah!

  29. Nathan Sawatzky

    December 12th, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    LOL, as I read your post I couldn’t believe that there was someone else out there who did the same thing…I have sketches of insperation and shoots I saw in my head from three years ago, somehow finding it’s was into my pictures…You note book looks like you include more good stuff though..I gotta start doing that. Great post Jasmine!

  30. brooke

    December 12th, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    LOVE this…guess what i am heading out to purchase. thank you for the inspiration…as always!

  31. kymberli q.

    December 13th, 2007 at 3:15 am

    I saw a cuuuttteee skull journal (I love girly skulls!) at Borders a couple of weeks ago and figured I shouldn’t spend the money on it because – what would I use it for? Guess where I’m going this weekend?! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, Jasmine. This is SUCH A GREAT IDEA!!!!

  32. Kelley Frese

    December 13th, 2007 at 3:42 am

    I need to meet you!
    I am not good with words anyways but, seriously you leave me with out words 99% of the time.
    The best I can do is to say, thank you for sharing bits who you are.

  33. Angelique

    December 13th, 2007 at 5:02 am

    I love this post!!! I have a notebook too!! Such a great way to keep track of random thoughts, ideas and inspiration!!

  34. kristin

    December 13th, 2007 at 6:02 am

    This is a great idea, I will start one!

  35. jeanette

    December 13th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    So great of you to share such valuable tips, thanks!

  36. chelsea | bluelineweddings

    December 13th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    love it! i have a notebook too!! but its full of notes from meetings, to dos, ect. so youve inspired me to just go out and get a "creative" notebook and use for all my wed ideas. thanks jasmine.

  37. Mom

    December 13th, 2007 at 7:35 pm


  38. Robin Dini

    December 13th, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    I have one of those! It’s the wall in my basement 🙂 I pull images from magazines, mostly W, and fill the fall. I love it! The idea of putting everything in a notebook or sketchbook is a great idea though.

  39. Dan Speicher

    December 14th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I started a folder when i was in college, and started cutting out and writing directly on the pictures notes about shooting, lighting, etc. It has definitely helped me when I just had no energy to think after a long weekend. I’m so glad more people are doing that because you suggested it. IT really keeps you moving forward and searching for trends/ revisiting past ones.

  40. David Burke

    December 15th, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Jasmine, I love how you continue to push the envelope for all of us. Thanks for sharing. Your handwriting is AWESOME. I can’t read my own, but I try. My notebook is not as organized but it does work.

  41. Punam Bean

    December 16th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I have a notebook just like this!!! SWEET!

  42. Melissa E Earle

    December 18th, 2007 at 5:52 am

    I DO THIS!!!!
    Well I don’t add the magazine pictures, but I really should!
    When I was younger and kept journals, they ALWAYS ended up full of doodles or future thoughts! I just couldn’t help it! I think I was born to journal like this!
    I am so glad you do…maybe one day we can exchange notes lol 😉
    -Melissa E Earle

  43. Sarah Quiara

    December 21st, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Soooooooo .. have you had a chance to shoot Charlie Brown laying on his back, under the sun yet? That drawing is adorable! HA!! 🙂

  44. Jessica

    March 2nd, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Just bought my notebook two days ago. Already have 4 pages filled up!

  45. Wendy

    March 6th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Thanx Jasmine! I’m so glad to know other photogs do this too! Instead of a notebook however, i started laminating my inspiration photogs (although like the notebook for notes & ideas and sketches) and then put my little laminated cards on a ring clip. i can flip through on a way to a session or when i’m feeling blah. you’re awesome though!!

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  48. Adriana H.G.

    December 1st, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Jasmine, really!? You are talented AND organized AND you can also draw?! Gosh, if I didn’t love you so much, I’d totally hate you! =P

    Thanks as always for sharing these great tips!!