Shooting Star : Tips for Engagement Photos


Last week I spoke at a conference (more on that coming soon) and I had the pleasure of talking about the 10 Biggest Mistakes I made when I started my business. Okay, maybe pleasure is a bit of a stretch, but I was honored to speak to a group of talented peers and I love where the photo industry is headed. Truly. One of the mistakes I made early on was showing up to a photo shoot and hoping things would work out for themselves.

I mean, wasn’t that the way it worked for professional photographers?!?

When my shoots weren’t faring the way I wanted, I realized it was no one’s fault but my own. As a wedding photographer, I need to prepare my clients for success. This usually begins at the beginning of our working relationship, the engagement session. I realized I needed to prepare my clients for the type of shoot I wanted in order to get the type of photos they wanted.

This is best achieved by letting them know what I need in advance, but instead of merely talking about, today I’m stoked to show you how I do it. I filmed a recent engagement session to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how I work with my clients to plan for a delightful engagement session…

If you’d like to get more information on the detailed email I send clients to prepare them for the shoot, feel free to check it out HERE.

Happy Tuesday!

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  1. MaΓ―eva Voyage

    March 19th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Jasmine,
    Thank you very much for this new post.
    I love the way you present things to your clients: you have wonderful skills in communication!
    Thanks again for your advice and generosity.
    MaΓ―eva Voyage

  2. Vanessa

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Ah, you are so cute! I just love these SS videos- they are super helpful! You are such a great person, and I would love to meet you one day. πŸ™‚

  3. monica

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    you are truly inspiring!

  4. Crystal Madsen

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    What a great video Jasmine. This s great advice for my brides a nd grooms to see. I love that its on a video too.

  5. jaine {brklyn view photography}

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Love this! Thank you jasmine. Your tips are always so helpful!

  6. Fran Colonna

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Part of your God-given talent is your own beautiful smile!! Your facical expressions and gorgeous smile demands people to smile back at you…their natural smile!!! People can not help but react to your warmth and beauty. I smile the whole time I am watching you…..

  7. Nathan Leduc

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for the vid!

  8. Nathan Leduc

    March 19th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for the vid!

  9. Susan Beth

    March 19th, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you! I cannot imagine a more helpful tool than that little video. It helped for a huge number of things – watching you hang your camera over them and then check the image was like "Oh! I can do that with confidence now instead of feeling like a goober – if Jasmine does it, it is professional and okay! Just thank you!

  10. Kimberly Gould

    March 19th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful tips. We don’t normally do engagement portraits, but we did have a couple of friends that became engaged recently and this will come in handy to get them prepared for a beautiful session.

  11. claudia

    March 19th, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    your shooting star videos… just fabulous! can you do it everyday. πŸ˜›

  12. Majiksgirl

    March 19th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Is it possible to put a "pin" button on your video/tutorial information? It’d make an easy pin to Pinterest. I’m learning so much from you. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  13. Ashley Goodwin

    March 19th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I heart your videos! πŸ™‚

  14. Sarah Adams

    March 19th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Jasmine! Thank you so so much for sharing your wisdom…especially in video form! This is so incredibly helpful! I also went ahead and bought your email templates….so helpful to work from in responding to some difficult questions from my clients! Again, Thank you!!!

  15. Sabrina

    March 19th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Jasmine!! That was such an amazing video! Thank you so much for being open about when/where/how you do things as well as what’s worked and what hasn’t. And thank you for taking Shooting Star on location this time!! Loved it πŸ™‚

  16. Whitney Lane

    March 19th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Awesome shooting star today J* love the pro feel he did a great job of filming. Love that tip on getting her to get her makeup professionally done as it gives her a chance to see what she likes before her wedding day! I have had brides who hated their wedding day makeup.

  17. Mark Potter

    March 19th, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    LOVE the way you plan and communicate Jasmine. Seeing you on video makes me want to hang out with you in the OC again so bad. Maybe a j* alumni workshop in the future? Yes please!

  18. jamie

    March 19th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    so helpful jasmine thank you!!

  19. Ashley Rogers

    March 19th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    J, I love this! Thank you for the practical, hands-on, fun tips! I don’t like being in front of the camera, but someday, I hope I’ll be able to be in front of ours. Yes, your my dream photographer. πŸ™‚ And I’m not saying that flippantly; it’s for real. <3

  20. Kirk Willcox

    March 19th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    damn Jasmine you are practicing what you preach girl! lol I love how you taught us the importance of video and now you backing up your statement by showing us. I love this video, it is so well produced and reflects your fun personality. Cant wait to see more!

  21. denise karis

    March 19th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I started saying "Important" like you just from hearing you talk so much and now I think of you every time I say important…… like….impordent….was the old way….and now it’s imPORTant. The J Star way. ANYWAY, thank you for posting this! I love it!!

  22. falcon

    March 20th, 2013 at 12:17 am

    You are amazing for sharing this video, Jasmine, thank you! xx

  23. Evonne & Darren

    March 20th, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Thank you for sharing as always… I always look forward to your videos! πŸ™‚

  24. Kristin

    March 20th, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Thanks for putting so much out there!

  25. ays

    March 20th, 2013 at 5:29 am

    hi jasmine, thank you for this wonderful video.
    my fiance and i are actually going to have our engagement shoot soon and this will help me in asking the right questions to our photographer. thank you!

  26. Darla Whisenand

    March 20th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Love this! Love you!

  27. Kitrin Jeffrey

    March 20th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Just when I want to give up, I watch this, and am inspired. All over again. Thank you, J*

  28. Mary Saou

    March 20th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    My favorite shooting star of yours to-date! What a beautiful glimpse into your approach of engagement sessions. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Monika Greenaway

    March 20th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    AMAZING tips! Beautiful video πŸ™‚

  30. Jen Shannon

    March 20th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Totally love your shirt! I’d love to know where you got it! I always love your videos. They’re so inspiring and helpful!

  31. Eryn Kesler

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Jasmine, I love all of your shooting star videos…but this one I particularly loved seeing YOU shine through just a little more in a personal way πŸ™‚ Your heart and smile are so lovely!

  32. Jessica Vidmar Photography

    March 21st, 2013 at 1:01 am

    you’re such a genius : )

  33. Trevor Allen Photography

    March 21st, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    You are so inspiring Jasmine! Great video! And great idea offering your e-mail templates.

  34. Nadine van Biljon

    March 21st, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Some great little pointers in there – thanks Jasmine…keep ’em coming!

  35. Alejandra

    March 22nd, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Can I just say how much I love your work and how much I love that you share your knowledge!! <3!! I will be doing my first engagement shoot in a week, so this came just in time to help me!! Thank you so much!

  36. Monica Justesen Photography

    March 26th, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I cannot express how wonderful it is for you to constantly inspire the way you do. To willingly and gladly share so many things about yourself and your business with fellow photographers is something that is rare, which makes it all the more amazing that you do what you do. Thank you, as always J.

  37. Jackie S

    March 26th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This was an amazing video. I’ve felt as if I was there or I can handle this type of work. You are truly amazing. Thank you for this.

    I am truly sorry that I felt that your work was easy, could be repeated, or I seen it before.

    Your personality and "down-to earth" attitude really shut me up. I missed judge you and your work.

    Thank you for proving me wrong and sharing your love with us all.

  38. Keila Nieves

    March 27th, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I want to be like you :’)

  39. Bobbie Brown

    March 27th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    love this video and the images are gooooorgeous! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  40. Kendra

    April 10th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Jasmine…thank you for the great tips! This is a little off topic but can you tell me what lenses you used for this shoot?
    Thank you!

  41. Mark Martinez

    April 19th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Love that the info in this post is so beautifully presented. +1 to brides have their hair and makeup professionally done. Thank you for sharing this Jasmine.

  42. Christina

    April 30th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    This is awesome!!!… Thank you πŸ˜€

  43. Rici

    May 3rd, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    This is way cool Jasmine! Thank you so very much for all the effort you put into sharing whatΒ΄s it all look like behind your scenes! This is soo great! ~ Saulti.

  44. bycostello

    May 8th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    wow.. great advice..

  45. Sean Lara

    May 13th, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Pretty good advice, thanks for sharing. I love this location, I shot a lot of engagement sessions there when I was based in California still.

  46. Ernie

    June 17th, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Thank you Jasmine for being so open and sharing your tips!! Beautiful and inspiring photography!!

  47. Kim Rix Photography

    June 18th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Dear Jasmine, your video is really helpful and has given me some great ideas. I particularly like the fact that you explain to your clients why the timing is critical, rather than just telling them to be on time. Good communication.

  48. Jane

    August 16th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Ahhh! I’ve been inspired! Thanks Jasmine for sharing your experience with us. I’m going to bring your ideas into my next e-shoot πŸ™‚ Peace x

  49. Spencer

    August 22nd, 2013 at 12:47 am

    It really is all about leading and preparing your clients to work with your flow. I’ve learned so much from your website!

  50. Jhon Castillo

    May 8th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    They are helpful your videos and am very interested in receiving more advice. I am from Venezuela and again great job

  51. Nicholas Brown

    October 3rd, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Brilliant. I like the technique of having couples move into the position you want them to finish up in. This makes for such a natural shot. Thanks so much.

  52. Cassandra

    November 24th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    This was very helpful! I just started shooting photography and my coworker’s sister is getting married in April 2015; she saw some of my work and asked if I can shoot her wedding and engagement photos. Super excited and a bit nervous, but ready to take on this amazing opportunity. I will definitely be referring to your website for advice and inspiration. ^_^

  53. Tialyn

    February 5th, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Jasmine, Thank you for your willingness to share the talent God has blessed you with. I have learned a lot from your blog and even more from your Exposed magazine. I feel blessed to have read your articles, and I truly appreciate your generosity and humility that you show. Thank you for being a fresh breath of air. I wish you the best of luck as you continue on your journey, thanks again for sharing.

  54. George Pennock

    August 17th, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Great advice and video Jasmine. I’ve a love shoot penned in for the weekend. Your engagements are very inspirational.

  55. Tommy Blake

    September 19th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    We are great believer in that providing an excellent level of service is just as important as providing great images. Communication is key to that. You have a unique talent for putting your clients at ease as is evident in the video.