Lipgloss, My Debut, and WPPI


Last Monday I had the pleasure of speaking as part of the WPPI Road Trip in Long Beach. Though I genuinely love being able to connect with photographers and make new friends, the days leading up to each speaking event are brutal. I’m nervous, cranky, and downright scared. And–without fail–as we enter the venue, I turn to JD and ask, WHY DID I AGREE TO DO THIS?!?!

I’m what you’d call an outgoing introvert. I’m actually a shy and reserved person, but the past few years have challenged my natural characteristics, producing a girl who can come out of her shell when she needs to. Why, yes. Yes, I’m referring to myself in third person. Are you as annoyed as me?

I was extra nervous because I invited my parents to hear me speak. It was the first time in almost four years they’ve seen me on stage and I was incredibly honored. The following morning, I received an email from my mother encouraging me to slow my speech, to please request better stage lighting (I think she misunderstood and thought I was making my BROADWAY DEBUT), and to wear a darker shade of lipgloss. Overall, she wrote, I give you an “A” J*

That’s my mom. Even after all these years, she STILL thinks she’s homeschooling me…and totally inflating my grades!

Yes, this picture was taken with an iphone…I forgot my camera at home, but I never wanted to forget what it felt like to show my parents just how much I love what I’m blessed to call my career.

I’ll be speaking in:
Atlanta on Monday, September 26, 2011 as part of WPPI U.
New York City on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 as part of new and improved PhotoPlus Expo/WPPI East.

I’d love to meet you there, so please say hi. Oh, and wear a darker shade of lipgloss or else you may receive an email from my mother.

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  1. Roberto Farren | Boston wedding photographer

    August 10th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    congrats on getting through the speaking ordeal, I have exactly those same traits when doing it myself! Regards, Roberto.

  2. sherri lynn

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    So cute that she’s still giving you tips and suggestions…on your lipgloss no less!

  3. Manik Rathee

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    And on to the WPPI East page to grab a ticket.

    I’ve enjoyed your creative live classes and all the mini-videos from your workshops. Definitely love hearing about your work and branding style.

    Keep up the great work!

    – Manik

  4. Jenna Taylor

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Your speech was fabulous – it made me even more tearful when you shared your story about your mom knowing that she was sitting in the room. God is AWESOME.

  5. Damaris Mia

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    This is special ๐Ÿ™‚ So wonderful to have your parents there by your side, supporting and encouraging you!

  6. Lindsay

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    This makes me feel better. My mom gave me a plastic toothpick to put in my purse ‘because that gap in my teeth is a safe haven for the fooooood you chew’….oh wait… that IS kinda gross….Thanks Mom!

  7. Keri Doolittle Photography

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    What a fun moment!! Lovin’ the feedback from your mom about the lipgloss! Too cute!

  8. amanda west

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    trying to make plans to be there. i live in va but originally form ga. oh i hope i make it there!!!! can’t believe you are going to be on the east coast, woot woot!!!! seriously…. i could totally pee my pants in public and be ok…….. well, no i wouldn’t but im excited!!!

  9. Faith Cherisse

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    You are so funny and your mom is so cute!

  10. Valentina

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Hahaha. What a sweet mom you have!

  11. Sharon Beadnell

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I have booked my flight and will see you in ATL!

  12. LEOLAK

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Oh this is so awesome…you guys are adorable!!! Too funny…your mom is a tough grader like you are to JD lol! =) I still remember hearing you speak last year here in Chicago…and getting to meet you…so I say keep it up…you are great at it!

  13. Wendy C.

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I will see you in Atlanta! This time I promise not to scare you when I approach you with my J* giddiness.

  14. Dana

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    hopefully i’ll get to meet you in atlanta!!! totally wasn’t thinking of going to WPPI U… but now i might! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Secret admirer

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I wanna raid your closet. And I won’t even spare your lulu lemons….

  16. Kim Lane

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I love this post – I always joke that if I’m ever in a car accident, my mom’s first question will be did she have on any lipstick?

  17. Ashley Terry

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding! That is the last day we’ll be in New York during vacation and it would be a dream come true to attend one of your speaking events! I’m signing up today and cannot wait!

  18. Jennifer Lynn Photography

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    And now we see where you got your looks. A perfect mix of both!

  19. Rachel Tatem

    August 10th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I didn’t know you were homeschooled… missed that I guess. I was too! All 13 years, and I agree the homeschool mom never thinks her job is done and inflated grades are just a nice benefit ;P

  20. Shelly L.

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    So, I’ve been going back and forth over whether I can afford the airfare to Atlanta, the hotel, the registration fee… etc! Last night my boyfriend watched me as I read your blog and quoted your wisdom! He just texted me and said, "I feel like you are 13 year old girl missing your chance to meet Britney Spears, you should just go. We’ll figure it out!" Soooo with that odd form of approval I needed… I can’t wait to see you in person and I know you’ll be fabulous as always!!

  21. Shelly L.

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    So, I’ve been going back and forth over whether I can afford the airfare to Atlanta, the hotel, the registration fee… etc! Last night my boyfriend watched me as I read your blog and quoted your wisdom! He just texted me and said, "I feel like you are 13 year old girl missing your chance to meet Britney Spears, you should just go. We’ll figure it out!" Soooo with that odd form of approval I needed… I can’t wait to see you in person and I know you’ll be fabulous as always!! – Shelly

  22. Kristin Nicole

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    HA, too cute….gotta love moms/

  23. whitney elizabeth

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    oh my goodness your parents are so adorable and very supportive!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Feather Midgley

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I loved hearing this! Mostly because it reminds me that Moms are just Moms and always have some critique for us that could make us better, no matter how small…even when we are doing great! Makes me think of all my Mom’s critiques and smile…Thanks!

  25. steph

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE your hair!

  26. Manya Keseloff

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    You were awesome! I got to meet J.D. after you were done and he said he told you that you would have to be energetic because everyone was tired after the long day. I told him you are always energetic and you did awesome.

    By you being emotional it truly shows how much you love your family, J.D. and photography and that is wonderful. Everyone goes through tough times or has loved ones they deeply love, and wants to be good at what they love to do, to be an awesome photographer, to make their clients happy. You are truly an inspiration to others and you help people more then you know. You can make people feel that what they feel is normal. You K.I.R. (Keep it real!)

    It was wonderful to see your parents after you have talked about them so much. They were sitting in the back row where I was and I saw your mom sitting up straight in her chair listening and watching you with a look of how proud of you she is.

    It was an honor to meet you and J.D. Thank you for being so sweet and letting me take a photo with you!

    P.S. I took a lot of notes that day and 3 pages back to back were from what you said.
    I also think I like the word awesome because I use it a lot in this post. lol!

  27. Evie Perez

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Can’t wait to hear you speak in Atlanta. You should bring your parents along. They just seem so sweet ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. blue elephant photography

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    love this post! tickled me. made me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Katelyn James

    August 10th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Every time I see a picture of your momma I just want to hug her! She seems like she’d be a good hugger! And your daddy is a preacher-man and you know I have a soft place in my heart for daddies that are preachers:) I just adore your family and I’m secretly hoping that you do another family portrait session one day so I can see them all again! creepy? yes, very creepy but it’s all out of love! promise:)

  30. Gabby / En Route Photography

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Must have been such an amazing event and opportunity…. having my parents there would make me EXTRA EXTRA SUPER nervous too! Iยดm sure you nailed it though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Jillian Tree

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Jasmine, I love your dress! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Shauna Nicole

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I got butterflies just reading this. Aggh!! I don’t know how you do it, but keep it up!

  33. Jesselynn Quinn

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Umm, I am in love with your hair and dress. How do you stay gorgeous all the time Jasmine! And your parents are just adorable!

  34. Marlene C.

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Go Millie!! lol.. You guys are awesome.

  35. Ashley Lynn

    August 10th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I bet your parents are just so proud of you! I was lucky enough to hear you speak in person this past January in College Station, TX and I will never forget your words, inspiration and kindness. I still refer back to my notes to keep me on track. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Mat Xavier

    August 10th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    First visit to your "everything" simply because my work/colleague neighbor is apparently a fan. Wel, now I am and I’m not even into photography or married. I immediately want to do both after being inspired and your blog (writing), very very very funny too. Short, sweet and to the point but hilarious. Instant appeal and I will follow moving foward. Thanks for having that presence that inspires, plus your site is pretty B/A too.

  37. jessica vidmar photography

    August 10th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Hey Jasmine! Your posts are just so inspirational. I can totally relate to feeling like even though I have always felt shy and introverted and got so nervous when publicly speaking, choosing photography as a means of expression and ultimately career has shown me that I can do whatever I put my mind to and come out of my shell. Thank you so much : )

  38. Life with Kaishon

    August 10th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I just love your parents so much.
    Every post about them is my favorite!

  39. Christina Bentheim

    August 10th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    It was a pleasure to hear you speak that day and to briefly talk with you afterwards. Thanks again, for keeping it real.

  40. Abby Grace

    August 10th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    This is so adorable! Your parents were so sweet to come see you, and I’m sure they were bursting with pride, watching you do your thing, however badly-lit the stage was.

  41. Jenna

    August 10th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I will never be the photographer you are but every day I strive to be the kind of parent that your parents have been to you and your siblings…and that, I KNOW, is possible!!! The look of pride on their faces, in their GIANT smiles, was captured by that iPhone photo. Just know that as blessed as you are to call this your career, they feel just as blessed (but probably more, lol) to call you daughter. :0)

  42. Kathryn Denelle Stevens

    August 10th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    You didn’t happen to listen to Tuesday’s Diane Rehm Show, did you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ You seem like a classic "outgoing introvert". I think I might have to purchase the book she recommended in that show. Deep down, I think I might be an "outgoing introvert" as well, though I got over it at an early age, so I have always thought I was "social" and "outgoing". I could never understand why it was so difficult to speak in front of large groups of people though! Now, it makes a bit more sense. You have done a fabulous job of challenging your natural comfort zone. Cheers to you!

  43. Yuliya M.

    August 10th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Jasmine, I love you, that’s all!

  44. Andrea

    August 10th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    It’s nice to see that someone else still has their mommy to be there for them as well, what a blessing! AND I don’t feel so bad about using my iPhone at times when I needed to take a picture and don’t have the real thing available. Great picture.

  45. Diana

    August 10th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I want your dress! it looks so cute!

  46. Amy Pinney

    August 11th, 2011 at 12:05 am

    You look so much like your Daddy. I love that parents came to hear you ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Johanna B

    August 11th, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Aaaahahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it! I’m home schooling my little T this fall!

  48. Suzy G

    August 11th, 2011 at 1:49 am

    And now, because school starts on Monday and I feel sad already, I am once again concidering homeschooling. I think in my heart, I really want to be that mom who is inflating the grades and encouraging my kids to soar. What a beautiful moment.

  49. Paula Dias Photography

    August 11th, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Really wish I could go to wppi u in Atlanta. If only the flights were cheaper! I would love to learn from you.

  50. sheila

    August 11th, 2011 at 4:56 am

    you look great!! wanna tell us where you got your dress?

  51. cassandra-m

    August 11th, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Awesome that your Mom gives you feedback. My Mom still does too and I love it!

  52. elaini

    August 11th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    LOL! My mom always tells me to actually put on lipstick! You look amazing as always and I want your dress!

  53. Lydia

    August 11th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    1) Love your hair. 2) Moms always give it to you straight. 3) Great way to label it–outgoing introvert. That’s so me!

  54. Kristin Hardwick

    August 11th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    You’re coming to the EAST!! Woop Woop!! I’m planning my escape from day job to come down to NYC right now!

  55. Falcon

    August 11th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    So jealous you’ll be speaking in my hometown, NY, and I won’t be there!!! One day.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Shane

    August 11th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’d see you on Broadway, Jasmine!

  57. Ana Telma

    August 11th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Your posts always put tears in my eyes… Even the happy ones like these ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m willing for the day my parents would so proud of my career as yours are of yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Kisses from Brazil!

  58. Emma Gardiner

    August 11th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I love how your mum gives you honest feedback, particularly with the make up pointers! X

  59. Nancy

    August 12th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I’d like you to know that you brought tear to my eyes that day! Once again.

    Thank you for your time!!!!!

  60. Neda Lahrodi-Blake

    August 12th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    When I need a shot of enthusiasm and good advise I tune in to the videos I watched so many times before by you. Just to KIR and know I’m on the right track.

  61. Stacey - Total City Girl

    August 13th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    So funny! Moms just can’t help themselves I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚ So great that you’ll be in NY in October. Will definitely try to see you again. Saw you in CT a few months ago.

  62. Regina Marie

    August 13th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    That’s fabulous!! I home school my girls too, and could totally see myself doing that.

    I’m an conundrum myself being a shy extrovert. i tend to feel better when out and about socializing, hey an really shy about it till I know people. I’m hoping one of these days to be able to really come out of my shell, like you have, so i can be the full me without as much of the nervous-shyness.

  63. brianne howard

    August 14th, 2011 at 3:04 am

    that’s awesome that your parents are able to come and support you! i don’t know where i’d be w/o mine!

  64. Gallery by Laura Photography

    August 17th, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Could you share more about what you will be talking about in Atlanta? I’m thrilled you are finally coming to the south!

  65. Brooke Summer Photography

    August 22nd, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    That’s awesome that they were able to come out to hear you speak! And darker lipgloss = win. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  66. Logan Photographer

    August 22nd, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    It’s got to be a blast traveling and speaking about photography! Best of luck!

  67. Joyce D.

    August 25th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    You’re so funny and love how your mom is!