OC SmugMug Meeting : Becker


The first time I met Becker three years ago, I was totally shy and nervous. I followed his blog for months, so when the time came to get to know him better over lunch with a small group of photographers, I was tongue-tied and wee bit stupid. I think I mentioned my love for tadpoles, kazoos, and my pocket protector collection. Yeah, I was pretty cool. Back then, I promised myself that if I was ever given a platform to share knowledge, I’d do it as freely and candidly as Becker. Lo and behold, God gave me a soapbox on the web and I was honored to ask my good friend to speak at last night’s SmugMug meeting.

Over 250 photographers showed up to hear Becker speak and the Orange County meeting was ultra fab. The community everyone is dedicated to building is flourishing and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future! Many thanks to Mesa Verde County Club in Costa Mesa for hosting our large group and I couldn’t be more thankful for their beautiful venue and amazing staff!

Here are a few photos from the event….like a good son, Becker saved a few seats for his family…

I was SO blown away by a few photographers who brought goodies for the meeting…out of their accord, they brightened everyone’s night and made my belly smile…

Helllllllo, Kitty…

SmugMug Co-Founder, Chris “Baldy” MacAskill, joined the group and discussed SEO for a bit…

…Then I got to the mic and read an old blog post about the first time I met Becker…

…And then we both got a little teary-eyed…

…No, really…Becker was choked up! Yes, this photo is unfocused, but–ehh–I love it. Becker is in the background dabbing his eyes and I’m laughing…that’s what happens when I’m embarrassed…

Packed house…

Becker doing his thang…

Like usual, a large group of photographers party like rockstars in the parking lot. What can I say? We’re fun. Don’t hate. πŸ˜‰

Thanks to everyone who showed up and made last night a success! Becker treated everyone to free ice cream at Coldstone Creamery, so the night ended on a sweet note for sure! I’m honored to have met so many new photographers and I can’t thank everyone for their support!

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  1. Cathy Crawley

    August 28th, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I love that man. He’s so generous and fun to be around. He truly is the most giving photographer I have met πŸ™‚

  2. Alicia Swedenborg

    August 28th, 2009 at 9:01 am

    My first meeting with [B] also changed my life – he is so outgoing, not afraid to share his "secrets" and he made a impression that follows me every time I pick up my camera. Like a little [B]-angel sitting on my shoulder telling me to look for flattering light, encourage me to shoot manually and tells me jokes to say during group shoot to make evverybody laugh.

  3. Dave Shilling

    August 28th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Man, I need to move!!! Looks like another awesome meeting went down!

  4. Matthew Saville

    August 28th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Totally an awesome, memorable night. Becker is such a giving person, we are so blessed to have him in our industry, and in our hometown! Jasmine, YOU are awesome too! Your generous and kind spirit shows very plainly. =Matt=

  5. Tanja

    August 28th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    How lucky to have suck great photo community.. I miss that in Norway.
    Love your blog and writings, and your photos rock

  6. Mandy Sroka

    August 28th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Ahhh…to have this kind of photographer "fellowship" out here on the East coast…I’m still looking. So glad you all’s community is flourishing. Keep on spreading the love! And I’m sure Becker did great!

  7. Michelle

    August 28th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Jaz, looks like you guys had a great time of it, what a wonderful conference hall, nice one for getting Becker to tear up,aww bless.
    I’d love to live over there, you guys seem to have the best times!

  8. Valerie Acosta

    August 28th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    How nice to see that you’re helping out so much. I wish you were my friend, I’d really need you right now. I gave up my dogs this week.

  9. Tasha Prescott

    August 28th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I want to move to California, just because you guys have such a close knit photography community. Even with so many of you "GREATS" you come together to share your knowledge, that’s awesome… NC needs to get it together lol

  10. Melissa

    August 28th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Awesome! You OC photographers sure know how to pick the food. ;p

  11. Dawn Beirnes

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    wow. I can’t wait till the day that I feel "photographer" enough to attend events like this. One day though, one day!!!!

  12. Jena

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Looks like it was a fabulous time, I can’t imagine being surrounded by that much talent and love for photography all at once! Can you guys bring some of your skills to New England Sometime?? πŸ™‚

  13. Katherine Bowman

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    How fun! I need to move back to California! πŸ™‚

  14. Andy Williams

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    WTG Guys, another great SMUG in OC. Thanks Jasmine and all!

  15. Mapuana

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Never missing another SmugMug meeting again :(. I’m marking my calendar for the next one….and writing it in a big black sharpie too!!!

  16. Chris c.

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Looks like another fun night! What do you guys really talk about : ) ?? All smugmug?

  17. FELIX WU

    August 28th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    So many events and activities! So jealous!

  18. Krysta

    August 28th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I love the "choked up … unfocused … Becker is in the background"photo!… Oooh, I LOVE Coldstone! Best ice cream ever! (I used to work there. Great fun!)

  19. Kimberly Loya

    August 28th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Jasmine and [b]ecker thank-you again for all your inspiration and help. I feel truly blessed to have met you both last night and even more blessed to be able to sit under your wings of inspiration and teaching. Jasmine to say your work is amazing is an understatement. Your work is blessed and I’m thankful to be able to just soak it all in.

  20. marlin munoz

    August 28th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for bringing all of us together Jasmine! It was a wonderful event!

  21. corey

    August 28th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Wish I was there in sunny Cali.

  22. Rachel Clare

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Last night was so fun- what a great group we have here! And a big thanks to [b]ecker for the yummies afterward. πŸ™‚

  23. Katie

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Jasmine thank you again SO MUCH for an amazing night last night. All night I had a smile and felt so blessed to be around all these other amazing photographers and people and to be my teeny part in this community!!

  24. Steven Chellappa

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Wow! First that food looks SOOOO good! And there are a lot more people there than I thought, but looks like such an AWESOME time! πŸ˜€

  25. Blair Van Bussel

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Last night was so great! Jasmine , thank you so much for being an awesome hostess and for our little chat last night. You are the sweetest! πŸ™‚

  26. Dawn McCarthy

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I am pushing for a SMUG in Jacksonville Florida! I love SMUG and I think these groups are fantastic!!! Of course having you visit us in J’ville would be even more fabulous!!!

  27. Brian Carter

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Becker totally made me want to quit my job and go full-time after his talk last night. Oh man, if only it was just that simple πŸ™‚ I was inspired to spend more of my ‘off’ hours focusing on marketing/selling MYSELF. Thanks for everyone who worked hard to put this together, escpecially our beautiful host Jasmine!

  28. Amber Fox

    August 28th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks Jasmine for hosting another fabulous evening. I always walk away with so much inspiration from these evenings and I feel so blessed to be a part of this awesome community. And I can’t believe what a small world it is that you and JD are friends with so many of my old friends…weird!

  29. Rachelle

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Jasmine, Thanks for a great meeting. It is so nice to see a community of photographers supporting eachother and sharing their skills. Can’t wait for the next meeting!

  30. Angel Canary

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I am soooo jealous…I wish Smugmug would have meetings in Indianapolis… πŸ˜‰

  31. Tira J

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Last night was AMAZING! Thank you Jasmine for hosting such a great event for all of us to connect and change the industry for the future, one pixel at a time! You and [b] are two of the most giving photographers and I am blessed to call you both my friends! Cupcakes, Diet Coke, Cherry Slurpee’s and everything else in between pretty much rocks my world! Love ya!

  32. Jayme

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you again for hosting a fabulous meeting… I cannot wait to go again. πŸ™‚

  33. Cecilia

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    You made him cry?! Erm, tear?… But you do have that affect on people. πŸ™‚

  34. Lori Anderson

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Best meeting yet! It’s been awesome to see a packed house each month.

  35. Kaysha Weiner

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Last night was GREAT! I’m very thrilled to be part of such a warm and welcoming community of photographers in Orange County! Yay for you Jasmine, thanks for making this happen!

  36. Stephanie Stewart

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    What a cool event! So happy for you! Becker seems so cool!

  37. ashley morgan

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Last night was so inspiring! You and Becker are two of my favorite photographers. Thank you for caring enough to create a supportive community.

  38. Michael Rivera

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for hosting the Smug last night Jasmine. It was really fun and informative. I like the way you encourage everyone to mix and mingle. Great talks by You, Chris, and Becker!

  39. Ian Andrew

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I had another great time last night at the Smugmug meeting. Enjoyed listening to everyone speak especially [b]ecker. It was nice to meet you and I look forward to to the next GTG!

  40. Colby Poppleton

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Jasmine, I have heard a lot about the SmugMug get togethers and am very interested. Are they free? Can anyone attend? Is it just a good opportunity to learn more about photography?

  41. Andrea Scott

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you for hosting this amazing meeting! Can’t wait for the next one!!!

  42. Sarah Myers

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    "Ahh I saw Jasmine in person!" (yes, I’m a nerd like that). Your blog about the first time you met Becker was rad. I imagine it’s not far from how I would feel to sit at a table with any of you. My first SM was the best way to start off my birthday weekend! Looking forward to next month πŸ™‚ I bake some mean cookies…

  43. Suzanne

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Jasmine thanks so much! So glad I drove down for the meeting… Your doing some great stuff, please keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  44. Courtney

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Man I wish I lived closer to SoCal. Next time I visit my friends down there I’ll have to plan it around one of your SmugMug meetings. πŸ™‚

  45. Brian Fletcher

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks again for setting it up, Jasmine! [b]ecker was so fun to listen to. Wish I could have gone for ice cream afterward but had to get back to the family!

  46. Joe Merrill

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    From the first meet in Irvine where people were sitting outside or standing in the back of the room this group keeps growing. We met up for dinner with friends we met at last month’s Smug then were coerced into Yogurt Land (see it works). So we rolled to Mesa Verde already stuffed but then [B] had to end w/ the offer of free Cold Stone, so of course we partook (even though full), we simply couldn’t pass up a chance to make new friends. And we got to meet Jasmine finally (yes Jasmine, we are the Counter Burger kids that finally got to meet you)!!

    Thanks again Jasmine [B] and Smug for putting together another awesome event where you genuinely feel welcomed and embraced no matter what stage you are at. Can’t wait β€˜till the next one…

  47. Roxanne Benton

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    My sweet Jasmine! Holding a meeting for over 250 peeps is not an easy task – and you did it like BUTTAH!! Thanks for blogging your Hello Kitty cupcake! It was my first SMUG meeting, and I can tell you I will certainly be back for more. Let me know how I can help!

  48. Diandra

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Awesome Jasmine. My mom went home afterwards and decided that she wants to be a photographer πŸ™‚ that’s how much [b]’s passion came through πŸ™‚

  49. Jennifer

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Jasmine, thank you so much for all you did to put this together and make this happen. I did not get to meet you last night, but see the influence of you and so many great photogs on the community. As Becker has done for you, you are doing for others, and many are also doing for me. I have had fb friends bless me because they share the attitude that their gifts are meant to be shared with each other. This way of thinking is revolutionizing the photography world, and it is amazing to see. I am learning from so many, growing as a photographer, and able to share what little I know to others. I am so glad to be a part of it!

  50. Kisha of Sahara Blue

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I WISH we had meetups like this in Toronto that I could take part of! This looks like it was a ton of fun (& super informative).

    AND the treats look DELISH!

  51. STAK

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Looks like a great meet

  52. Bong

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    What a great meeting!!! You really did a number on Becker and that picture of you laughing/embarassed with Becker in the background all choked-up… priceless!!! Kudos to two real wonderful people and to all those who helped and brought the goodies!!!

  53. Ashley

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Last night was awesome- as per the usual (: We might just have to take J up on his offer about Radio City Music Hall!

  54. Brad Peters

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Last night’s event was very nice, [b] came across in person just as his blog persona presents itself. Jasmine you were a great host, your blog reading was a nice touch.

    on a side note, how nice to see that an unfocused image can actually come from your camera! πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting and for the meeting.

  55. Nicole Meyers

    August 28th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks again for your wonderful hostess-ness. I am still glowing that you remembered me from when we met two months ago and can definitely relate to how stupid and akward you felt with Becker because that’s how I feel on those Smugmug nights with so many fabulous and respected photographers around! Thanks for keeping it real… you are lovely!

  56. ajira

    August 28th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Looks like it was awesome! You guys are making me consider moving down to SoCal! LOL.

  57. Nancy Ramos

    August 28th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Had a great time at the OC Smug. Met a lot of new friends. After the Ice Cream at Coldstone we headed to a Tofu Restaurant in Irvine and then to a 2nd restaurant with Candice, Jessica and Lorrie. Did not get home until 3:00 a.m.

  58. Mark

    August 28th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    It is great to see this happening in OC, and I wished for it to happen in Glendale, AZ. (in case you do not know where Glendale, AZ is. It is northwest of Phoenix.) Are there any photographers out here that is involved in a photo group or something on the west side. Let me know. Thank you.

  59. Becka Knight (Studio222 Photography)

    August 28th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I’m so jealous that these are so very far away from me. I think you should hold next month’s OC Smugmug meeting in Orange County, Florida πŸ˜‰

    (namely, here!)

  60. amanda thiessen

    August 28th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I love the picture of you laughing at your speech! Great!!

  61. Brian Khang

    August 28th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Good times last night! I almost look forward to going each month! Ha ha.. oh and way to get Becker choked up!

  62. Hanssie Trainor

    August 28th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Awww…heck yes! I have finally made my debut on your blog!! Last picture far left – white dress and cowgirl boots!! Pull out your magnifying glasses, kids!

  63. Larry

    August 28th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Looks like it was an amazing time. I wish I could have been there to experience it.

  64. Danielle Simone

    August 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

    OMG Jasmine! I had a super fun time last night. I felt totally cool being surrounded by so many people as passionate about photography as I am. CANT WAIT to see what next month will bring!

  65. chris

    August 29th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    great seeing you jasmine, you and becker did a fantastic job and it was fun catching up with you at coldstone. glad to hear camera was retrieved from car:)

  66. Allen Taylor

    August 29th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    My first OC Smug meeting, really enjoyed both Becker and you. Thanks for arranging it!

  67. Erica Velasco

    August 29th, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I sooo wish I lived there!

  68. John Leocadio

    August 29th, 2009 at 2:53 am

    It was an awesome and fun first OC SMUG meeting for me!! Thanks for putting this together.

  69. Mia Marisa

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Like you, feeling a little nervous the first time you met Becker, I’ve felt that way at the last two meetings wanting to come up and shake your hand and haven’t. I’m new to the photography community, and have truly enjoyed reading your posts, and being inspired by what you’ve done in such a short amount of time. Thank you for being genuine and authentic in everything you do. You’ve given so much back to our photography community and I’m grateful.

  70. Shane Thompson

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I had a great time at my first SMUG Mug get together. Even if Becker did take me a bit by surprise. It was great. Thank you to whoever made the red velvet cupcakes. Yummy Yummy!!

  71. Jessica Pressley

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Oy vey Jasmine Star, last night was so fun! Thank you for hosting and being so wonderful =) I can not wait until next time.

  72. Holli True

    August 29th, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Diandra Ann said it so perfectly on her blog- she said that you are her [B]ecker. I feel exactly the same way!! πŸ™‚ I’ve read through your old blog and felt the same way about you that you felt about him. Meeting you was one of the best experiences ever! You are just so awesome! πŸ™‚

  73. karen Ard

    August 29th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    What a great time! Thanks for being a great hostess with the mostess (and I loved your heels! How do you wear heels that high??? LOL) See ya next time!

  74. Melissa Brandman

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you so much for organizing the meeting Jasmine – I met so many warm and wonderful people. It’s so inspiring to be around professional photographers that are encouraging and positive about the newbies (like me).


  75. arielle joy

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Like some of the others said, YOU are my Becker!! And that Hello Kitty cupcake is the cutest thing I have ever seen. hehe.

  76. Bobbie Brown

    August 30th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Awwww, I’ve said it before but will say it again, I wish I could’ve been there! Just a little to far from NC!! Looks like a great time was had by all!

  77. carla

    August 30th, 2009 at 2:58 am

    i only wish i could attend one of these events. gahhh, so cool. i am super pumped about seeing becker when he is in my neck of the woods in november. he is coming up to calgary, alberta, canada and i can’t wait to hear him speak!! thank you jasmine for another great post.

  78. Feuza

    August 30th, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Wow, 250- huh! East Coast needs to step up at the smugmug meetings, like 10 times as much, that is awesome! Becker is greattt

  79. Peyton Cooke

    August 30th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    It was my first time attending the Smug meeting and I really enjoyed it. My friend who talked me into going thought I’d be yawning, but it was great!

    I can’t wait for the next one.

  80. joan.solitario

    August 30th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    i like the blurry photo of you and [b] too :o)

  81. Peter Garr

    August 30th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Everybody had a great time! Thanks Jasmine, Becker, and Baldy!

  82. Adrienne

    August 31st, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Where’s the link to the post you read about him!? πŸ™‚

  83. Victor Saidov

    August 31st, 2009 at 1:37 am

    You always look beautiful! πŸ™‚

  84. Barbara T

    August 31st, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Hi Jasmine…thank you for being such a wonderful hostess. This was my first Smug Mtg and new to SMUGMUG. It was great to hear about new features for SM. Can’t wait for the next meeting! Also thank you to the ladies who brought the cupcakes…yum!!!!

  85. Dajuan

    August 31st, 2009 at 3:41 am

    This is way too cool. I’m now thinking, "I’m on the wrong coast!"

  86. Stephen

    August 31st, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    It’s inspiring to see photographers getting together in this manner.

  87. David Quesada

    August 31st, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you to J* and {b} for hosting and speaking. I met the 3 new people and love these meetings see you at the next one :).

  88. Life with Kaishon

    August 31st, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    This makes me wish I lived in California : )

  89. J.Vallecorsa

    September 1st, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Sounds like this was a great meet-up and very informative. Living in Texas makes me very jealous that I can’t make it to these!! I give you credit for putting these types of things together, I wish they had something like this in my area. It’s a great opportunity to network, and there is always room to learn new techniques!

  90. Lukas VanDyke

    September 5th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Thank you so much for putting this together! It was great meeting you! =)
    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I showed up, but I had an awesome time meeting a ton of people! I was super encouraged and inspired! It made me feel like I was in a room with a ton of people who’s lives I understood. =)

  91. michelle

    September 8th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I love OC Smug Mug! :o) I heart Jessica Claire. I heart Becker. Now please please please get Tara Whitney!! :o)