Shooting Star : Photo Discounts + Booking Policy


I’m a creature of habit. In fact, I secretly think I’m part bear because I eat like I’m storing food for winter and hibernation always seems like a good option. In light of keeping things constant, JD and I recorded another installment of Shooting Star because it’s been a few weeks and YouTube was sending me forlorn letters asking if we were in a girl fight. Then we hugged it out and I answered a few questions.

These questions are some I wasn’t able to answer when they were asked via Twitter, so here’s some video love from Chicago! In this installment of Shooting Star, I’ll be discussing…
*How I handle offering photography discounts to friends and family (or what I call “The Homie Hook-up”)
*My booking policy for holding a date for prospective clients
*Whether I watermark images I give to the creative team after the wedding and if they’re high res

I hope this helps at least one person out and as we’ve been on the road for theFIX, I wanna say THANK YOU for the patience, support, and encouragement. We’ve been able to keep life, blogging, and letter writing to YouTube somewhat normal. Internet, you complete me.

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  1. ala cortez

    March 15th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    ummm…you’re cute. 😉

  2. Emily Heizer Photography

    March 15th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    "We’re in CHI-TOWN!!!!" you just CRACKED. ME. UP! LMBO!

    I am right there with you as far as reserving dates go. Exactly how I do it. Overly open communication, and the first one to book has it. But everybody should know what is going on and have the opportunity to make a concious choice about whether this is something they do or do not want or whether they want to risk letting it go or take more time. It’s fine, it’s their choice, no pressure, but here’s the information.

    As far as watermarks go, I’m not with you. I had a venue steal images off my website, uncredited as recently as last fall and use it in advertisements. Then go so far to say that if you put a picture on FB that you "forfeit all copyright" and that they went to a conference and learned that and could "prove it." I had to have FB remove my images they were then advertising with because I had submitted them for in-print publication. They had also put the images all over their website, wedding wire, and blog after I specifically asked them not to. After an experience like that, I don’t feel very trusting. 🙁

  3. Antonis

    March 15th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Jasmine – Thank you so much for answering my question. Seeing you in New York was the highlight of my photography career, hands down. I had so much more I wanted to ask! (you may remember I also came up and asked about whether you trust your outsourcing editors completely or not). You’re an amazing person and are doing something for Photographers that i don’t even think can be described accurately for all the impact it as on us. Thank you so much for being you.

  4. ginny

    March 15th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Enjoy Chicago!!thank you for sharing. xox

  5. Edouard Montfort

    March 15th, 2012 at 1:02 pm


    Thanks for your Branding/Logo tip !
    Take care,

  6. Edouard Montfort

    March 15th, 2012 at 1:06 pm


    Thank you for your branding/logo tip !!

    Take care,

  7. Life with Kaishon

    March 15th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Great questions and answers today! I am thinking of you as you are traveling. : )

  8. Rachel Abi

    March 15th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for taking the time while you were on the road! I love Chicago! I hope you get enough time to see just a bit of it, if you haven’t already!

    It was great to meet you (DC… not that you didn’t meet 275 other photographers that night ;P)

  9. Dana Laymon

    March 15th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Love it! Very good questions and answers this week. (and cute tank 😉

  10. Malinda Warder

    March 15th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    These are questions I’ve definitely wondered about! This will totally help my business. Thank you!

  11. Misty Minna Photography

    March 15th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Loved seeing you in Chicago last night! Thanks for bringing the warm weather from CA. I have never seen a more determined photographer speak. Thank you for the inspiration and for having such drive and dedication.

  12. Tara

    March 15th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I love that you acknowledge that it was an awkward conversation with your friends! I hae heard other photographers talk about when they stopped the free train (hehe) but they always just act like its no big deal… I broke into sweats my first couple times having that convo!!


  13. Gabby / En Route Photography

    March 15th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Oh yeah, the topic of charging friends is always a very sensitive one…. I shoot two friends’ weddings for free this summer but from now on I think I’ll start charging the not that close circle for sure!

  14. Camilla Knudsen

    March 15th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    hard to keep a straight face when that train came by third time within 1 minute 😀
    thanks for posting a video, missed it for a while 😉
    However I encourage the lovely blog-readers who posted these questions or similar ones to buy J’s Creative LIVE courses. It’s not that expensive and she answers all these questions and tons more. I’ve learned so much and can’t wait for the next one in a months time 🙂

  15. Katelyn James

    March 15th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    wonderful!! I think you need to do a shooting star post and show your workout… really. My arms would thank you! and YAY Rebekah Hoyt!! See, Jas still loves you… even if you called her your "grandmother" photographer:) 🙂 Loved this post!!!

  16. Elizabeth

    March 15th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    thank you so much for this blog post! i’m struggling with the whole "charging friends" thing, i really hate it when they ask me how much i charge because i feel like they’re gonna be upset. thanks for the advice! 🙂

  17. ashley barnett

    March 15th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Love this Jasmine! I have been seeing SO many posts around me lately of people upset or worrying because vendors are asking for non-watermarked images. I just truly believe that if you get them images, non watermarked, before they even have to ask, then you are not only doing the vendor a service, but yourself as well. Love your refreshing take on it!

  18. Tony Belmont

    March 15th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Yesterday I was researching the exact thing Jasmine answered in her Shooting Star today (Hmmm – how did she know I was gonna ask her that?) – how to handle friend and acquaintance requests for free or discounted photos. Thanks for your answer to that and the other info – great as always.

  19. Joanna O.

    March 15th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Thank You Jasmine! this helps me a lot. That is my current struggle, a lot of my friends and family wants a discount or even for free but in the long run I am the one who is loosing profit and time. I just had a bride and a relative cancel on me 2 weeks before the wedding saying they can’t actually afford my price, which was already discounted and agreed upon since last year. Now, I know that i need to put a retainer fee in my contract. thanks again

  20. JC Ruiz

    March 15th, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I can relate to that "Friend’s Discount" requests. My explanation to them was that my time is not free

  21. Tami Inoue

    March 15th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    You were awesome last night…meant soooo much to me. I just wanted to sit and tell you why it struck such a chord with me, but just know, it meant so much. 🙂 It also meant so much that you met each of us, all the way to the end…you didn’t need to do it, but you did and I loved you for it. Thanks my dear! 🙂

  22. jeramy

    March 15th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    good stuff lady! sharon & i are excited for monday in SF. see ya!

  23. m*

    March 15th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Your hair looks fabulosa.

  24. Rebekah Hoyt

    March 15th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Jasmine!! Thank you so much for answering my question!! 🙂

  25. Kimberly Murray

    March 15th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Yay! I was curious about watermarking vendor photos, too. Thanks for sharing how you do things.

  26. robyn

    March 15th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    September 29th is my birthday. 🙂

  27. Stephanie Stewart

    March 15th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    So wonderful to meet you and JD last night at the FIX in Chicago! Thank you for taking the time to meet everyone and for traveling so far to help so many people! You rock! Love this installment of Shooting Star…all great topics! Thank you!

  28. Tony

    March 15th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    great insight–liked what you had to say about discounting friends and family…but being firm about who that is.

    and how do you like our El train? always joining the conversation uninvited…

  29. Bianca

    March 15th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I’m SO lucky I get the "Hook-A-Homie-Up" deal. And I’m SO grateful. Speaking of which, I need new headshots. Hook a homie up! Love, B

  30. LEOLAK

    March 16th, 2012 at 5:16 am

    THANK YOU for all you are doing…and we enjoyed you here in Chicago! (thanks for the warm Cali weather). It was great to meet you, JD and Ashley! Worth the hour wait in line! Safe travels to all of you…a high-paw to Polo! Here’s to change!!!

  31. Laura

    March 16th, 2012 at 5:17 am

    I think you would like this blog:

  32. Nikki McKenzie

    March 16th, 2012 at 5:49 am

    1. Thank you for addressing these topics.
    2. It was very helpful.
    3. You’re fabulous

  33. Susan

    March 16th, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and a comment has been long overdue. I wanted to say THANK YOU. For the encouragement, the advice and your willingness to share your experiences. This was a great video! I’m just starting out and I can’t tell you how much you inspire me and keep me going! I’ve been able to discover other awesome photographers through your site as well. So that’s my little note. Cheers! Susan

  34. Wedding Photography Melbourne

    March 16th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Sound advice Jasmine. As if we were expecting anything else!

  35. mike

    March 16th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    This is timely, as we’re going up to Chicago for a client meeting this weekend. Thanks for the tips Jasmine.

  36. Yuliya M.

    March 16th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I kind of like the new background and the train ;). Thanks as always, will see you Monday?

  37. sharon elizabeth

    March 21st, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Loved this episode of Shooting Star!!! I agree with Katelyn – puh-lease share your workout plan! I just kept staring at your arms the entire time! LOVE! =)

  38. cassandra-m

    March 22nd, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Awesome & I love the L-train going by, think it added a little Chicago feel to this episode….very nice!

  39. Vaneesa

    March 22nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    First of all …. you could NEVER talk too much!! LOVE starting my day listening to your inspirational words -its better than a grande non fat Latte to get me going. Thank you so much for everything. You have no idea how THE FIX has changed my buisness- you brought excitement back into the things I have been struggling with. xoxo

  40. Kelsey

    September 13th, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I love this post! So helpful! I would love to hear a segment on niche-ing (spelling?) ourselves as photographers. Everything I am reading says the the best way to make moola in the industry is by nicheing myself. I did that & now I am not feeling sold on my niche. I want to branch out and go for weddings again but I don’t know if I should re-brand a whole new website or just expand the one I have (thus leaving my niche). I have talked to my business coach about this and he is not being super duper helpful in his advice (basically saying its a sticky situation either way). Maybe once I have more bookings I’ll want to land on one side or the other, but for now, I feel as if I want to be a generalist.