The Audacity of Dreaming


I’m embarrassed to admit something. Publicly. So out there and uncovered. But I’ll say it because there isn’t a reason to hide and I figure there may be people who feel like me. Maybe. So here is it goes…

There were (okay…okay…there are) days when the only thing I want to be is Artistic. Yes, a captital letter because it’s a noun in my mind; a person, a place, a thing. Artistic in a way that I can look at my images and think I made some impression, left some dent, in the art world. There are times when I find someone else’s images and they leave me breathless in a swimming-at-the-bottom-of-a-pool kind of way. Deep, aching breaths. And I know I’m no where near that level of oxygen deprivation.

There are moments I battle with myself because I don’t know if I’ll ever have that thing in me. That thing that feels like black-rimmed glasses, clove cigarettes, and oil splatters on a canvas. The thing that tastes like duck pΓ’tΓ© and whiskey.

But then. And this is a pretty big BUT. But then I’m reminded (usually by JD) that talent is nothing without ambition…and the smallest bit of talent can be carried on the wings of sheer desire and hard work. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as leaving someone breathless, but it’s enough to make people happy. And the satisfaction of happiness is the salve I pour on my insecurity, making me stronger in the process.

I’ll continue to work so one day I might feel like the noun I aspire to, but until then I am content sipping on a cocktail of ambition, drive, and the audacity of dreams.

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  1. Alicia

    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    You are Artistic in so very many ways. I don’t know that we, as artists, can ever really feel that way about our own work. And I’m not sure that I want to. If I’m ever satisfied with my work then I’m scared I’ll stop growing and my creativity will cease. But know that no matter how you see your work, you do in fact leave others breathless with that exact feeling you write of. You’ve left me breathless on many accounts not only with your beautiful photographs but also with your words.

  2. Susan Evans

    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Oh but you already are Artistic! Light and shadow, leading and converging lines, use of shapes to frame your subject, negative space – that is the stuff of art and I see all of it in the first few pages of blog posts. I know exactly what you mean by that take your breath away feeling, but you should know that many of us aspire to be as Artistic as you are!

  3. Brandi

    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Your work is inspiring to me in that way. And so is your honesty! It’s good to know everyone has their own doubts and demons, but, seriously…you are an Artist. Truly.

  4. Monica Smith

    August 22nd, 2012 at 2:59 pm


    God gives us the ability to dream. Pursuing the dream to be an Artist brings Him delight as it honors Him. Being made in the image and likeness of the Creator means we are made to create moments, art, actions and words that leave others breathless. If you want to be an Artist, then be one. Do the work that makes your soul sing and trust that the end results will leave someone breathless.

  5. Lindsey McClennahan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    πŸ™‚ this made me tear up a bit. I feel the same way, I get so caught up in equiptment and business that I feel like I’m loosing the girl who first picked up the camera. Thank you for posting this.

  6. ashley barnett

    August 22nd, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I FEEL you Jasmine! I struggle with this more often than I’d like to admit. Sure, my images are good, and they are pretty, and they make our couples happy. That’s all fine and good but sometimes I just want to create for the sake of creating, something so pretty and interesting that it makes people stop and sigh. But you have to remind yourself (as I’ve been reminded), that you ARE an artist, even if it’s not in the capacity you think….

  7. Karen

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    thanks! you’ve put into words how I feel :>) fyi, breathtaking is how I see your photos. :>)

  8. Mikayla

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Completely relate to this feeling – Honestly – your images DO leave ME breathless and I feel myself wishing I had your talent and ability, but like you said – it is all about dreaming and moving forward. We will all get to where we want to be… One day! ?

  9. Tanja Olson

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Great post, Jasmine! Thanks for sharing those private feelings so that we can all aspire to our dreams. Without dreams there would be no goals, no inspiration, no ambition. Thanks for saying the hard stuff. The awareness that others struggle with the same thing allows me to acknowledge my own dreams.

  10. Caroline Ross

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    PLEASE tell me you’re going to write a book one day! I love your writing, its so vusual and grasp-able.

  11. Staci Noel

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    JD is right as rain! As Sue Bryce recently reminded everyone in her creative live workshop – "Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition. Everybody wants to be good, but not many are prepared to make the sacrifices it takes to be great." – Paul Arden

  12. Racheal Ortiz

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    So nice to read that someone who has achieved your level of success still has doubts. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ll never reach that light inside myself that can create amazing images. Or that one day I might lose it. But I think we should keep reminding ourselves that no one can see the world the way that we can and that is our unique gift. Keep shooting with your soul and everything else will fall in line!

  13. susieq3c

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Holy cow. Have you been reading my mind??? Thank you for your transparency. I have had these thoughts many, many, many times. Knowing that it’s not just a battle I fight that no one else understands is a HUGE comfort!

  14. Valerie Logan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you….I needed to read this…this morning. I was just sitting here…feeling…well far less than perfect. Contemplating whether my dreams are worth it. Worth worrying about am I good enough…every second of the day. Will I ever get to where I want to be? And as I heard a brilliant woman once say…"God can’t drive a parked car" So I suppose I’ll just keep on trucking…….

  15. Claudia

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Oh.. Jasmine, that husband of yours πŸ™‚ is such gem. His words are so quotable. I love and It’s so true when he says that talent is nothing without ambition.
    It’s so good to be reminded of this sometimes…

  16. Melissa Yocum

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    This is definitely where I am. I know who I am and what I can do, and sometimes I panic that I won’t be able to be what I dream of, what I aspire to be. I have to remember not to frame myself in to tightly and to allow myself to . Thanks for posting so vulnerably for those of us who might relate.

  17. Sharon

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    aw j*! i just want to say that your photos DO leave me breathless and i look at our wedding & engagement photos allllllll the time. as a photographer i totally understand how you feel about your own work…but i just have to tell you that i LOVE your work! πŸ™‚ xoxo

  18. B

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I love you. Forever.

  19. Lindsey Laughlin

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I’m pretty sure you and I were seperated at birth. I feel that way most every day as I sit here in my corporate job in my corporate cube day dreaming about creating something wonderful. (Instead of all the static that I produce every 9-5)
    I have a post it up at my desk with a quote by Helen Keller that says, "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
    Thanks for making me feel like you and I are friends even though we have never met. πŸ™‚

  20. corey

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    J* if anyone has a way with words your indeed at the top of the list love your inspiration.. one day.. at a time just one day I hope to live out my dreams full time shooting and recording moments in life for myself and clients.

  21. Leia Smethurst

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Jasmine- all I can say is DITTO. We all feel that way. I strive with every session to have that one photograph that screams "holy smokes!!! I got THAT??" I know with time and practice I will get there, but once again its nice to hear that someone so far up the ladder still has insecurities. My husband is my cheerleader too- what would we do without them?!

  22. Alex Sablan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Life of the artist is a tortured existence. Some days you create and look at your work and scream to the world, "YES!!" Then the next day you look at the same piece and go "Why am I such a hack?" There comes a time in every artists journey where they finally accept the rollercoaster of emotion and just put it out there, and this is what makes art fulfilling. It is the days that you get punched in the gut to feel the agony of failure that makes the soothing hand of success feel so much better.

  23. Darren

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Just as others images leave you breathless, yours leave thousands in that state… Daily πŸ˜‰

  24. Laura

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    You are so encouraging. Thank you for being you, not trying to be someone else. That’s my struggle.

  25. Susan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you.

  26. Sara Jensen

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I am constantly inspired by your work and by your drive and determination. You are not only Artistic.. But a true Artist.

  27. Melissa Littlejohn

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This verbalized my feelings perfectly! Thanks!

  28. Michel

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I like the word salve. Your images HAVE left be breathless… just saying.

  29. Steph S

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Jasmine, not only do I find your photography inspirational, I find your writing honest and eloquent. You write what many of us feel.

  30. Taylor Whitham

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    This is so perfectly said, Jasmine. It is even more comforting hearing this coming from YOU. You make beautiful art with each shutter click. Right on, girl.

  31. Cassandra Wenze-Martin

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I wish I could acquire a quarter of your talent. I would say your the "Artisitic" I strive to be.

  32. Glitter bird Tammy

    August 22nd, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I love this post. Get outta my head sister!!! I feel this way so often. But still I press on. Onward at 3am, onward year after year. And you are right….. There is solace I knowing my images are making people happy and slowly discovering my art in the process. πŸ™‚ nice to hear I am not alone with these feelings and fears.

  33. Dave Keys

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I think you may have more of "duck pate’ and whiskey" artist in you than you realize. In business, we are often blind to many of our own strengths because we tend to think that "everyone knows or has that." You compare yourself to those you consider better than yourself but this is the first time I realized that you regarded your artistic nature as lacking or diminished. I don’t think that’s the case but rather, it’s more like people with body image issues- they see what they see despite evidence to the contrary. Your Artist, I believe, is alive and well.

  34. Megan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    You’re a beautiful writer! And leave me inspired every time I visit your site. Which, in my eyes, makes you a true Artist.

  35. Amber Katrina

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Yes! Just yes. Like always, you captured my feelings and emotions in this post. I struggle with feeling Artistic (with a capital A). Sometimes I doubt myself, and that’s when I know I need to stop looking at others’ work and focus on what inspires me.

  36. christine

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I felt this all the time when I was a waitress – the stinging discontent with the person I was versus the person I wanted to be. I thought as I worked towards my dreams and actually became a Professional Photographer this feeling of discontent would go away. Now it’s a constant striving to be better, more artistic, creative… the person I wish I were. I’m so relieved to hear I am not alone. I’m positive (or hope at least) that this feeling will always push us to grow, learn and improve and that it’s a good thing.

  37. Nathalie Boucry

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    This is so open, honest – and sooo relevant! Thank you so much for sharing this. You have spelled out what so many of us think, feel and battle with but nobody dares to admit – ever!

  38. katy

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I feel the same way most days… thanks for the reminder that we all have those days.

  39. Jamie

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Jasmine, your ability to write is such an art! Obviously your photography is beautiful and lovely but I think your paint brush really flows so freely when you pen your words. I love reading what you write and I think that you have already achieved that artistic expression that you crave- in a different way than what may be expected in the photography world, but your gift is moving and beautiful! how’s that for a run on sentence!? πŸ˜‰ thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

  40. Michelle

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    you’re my favorite artist…if that counts for anything!

  41. Johannes S

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Dream on. The fuel of the creative and artistic is, and always has been, dreams… J

  42. Kellye Uhles

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I feel that way when I see your work! But you have inspired me to try even harder to achieve my dreams!

  43. Shari Hanson

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Jasmine, you have such a beautiful way with words. That in and of itself is ART in my opinion… tied with your photography DOES leave an impact. I too feel this way OFTEN and absolutely love the way you described these emotions that all of us Artists feel. xoxo much love you!

  44. Jolene

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Your images are beautiful and they capture exactly what is needed to be captured. That is what makes you an incredibly successful photographer. What makes you an artist is your joy , passion and humility. You may not capture images the way you would like sometimes, but you inspire others to challenge themselves and not to give up on their dreams. You, all by yourself, are a splatter of paint on canvas that inspires the rest of us to dare to do something fantastic with our lives. I read an article on a blog recently that listed the ways to be unhappy and one of the points was to compare yourself to others. If you want to make those images, make time to use photography to express yourself the same way you do with words, because you don’t seem to have any problems with that. One way or the other, don’t worry about comparing your work to someone else’s, you are incredibly talented just the way you are. (Check out the children’s book "Spoon" it will make you smile and love being you.) Thanks for sharing your insecurities with us.

  45. Manya Keseloff

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I totally get it! Keep on dreaming and working!! πŸ™‚

  46. Jolene

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Oh! And I feel exactly the same way you do BTW. I wish I was more artistic and creative and wish I could capture images like you do… LOL!

  47. Kim Lowery

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Dude. For real. You know me. That’s so good to hear. More than you know. Thank you.

  48. Antonia Chick

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Beautifully put Jasmine. You have a brilliant way of saying things … of illustrating your thoughts … there is true art in that!

  49. John Parisi

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Your writing always impresses me but this little "story" is how I have lived my life. I posted it on my page so that my non photography friends can also share your wisdom. JD is a very lucky man.

  50. Jen R

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    only the other day I was day dreaming about taking stunning pictures. I guess it help us to aspire to get better.

  51. Jessica Vidmar Photography

    August 22nd, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Jasmine, you are Artistic. There are like a thousand + people trying to capture moments in peoples’ lives with a similar Artistic eye as yours so they can take breath away too just like you. But I know what you mean – perhaps it is the curse of the Artist – always trying to make his/her work bigger, better, in a word: perfect. Thanks as always for sharing : )

  52. Kelly Sauer

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    You audacious thing, you. I love you. And I know you’re gonna keep working toward it, keep growing. You’re pretty much gonna own the world, because you’re already Artistic. It starts in the heart, and the rest of it – it comes through the work you’re already doing. I can’t wait to see what you do, girl. Can’t. Wait.

  53. Tanya A

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    And yet, part of why I follow your work is because of the Artistry of your images. Just a reminder that we are all our own harshest critics sometimes. I love your work and how you see. πŸ™‚

  54. Brittany

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Jasmine–your work ALWAYS leaves me breathless. Because you capture true emotion… that’s your art πŸ™‚

  55. Shan

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Jasmine, your work has made a huge impression on me, I am new to the photography world and I had no clue of the type of photography I wanted to persue until I ran across your blog. I’ve been hooked every since and every time I look at your images they leave me breathless in a swimming-at-the-bottom-of-a-pool kind of way. Deep, aching breaths and I only aspire to be as fabulous as you one day! πŸ™‚

  56. Jenny K

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Love you Jasmine <3 you are so inspiring. When every I feel lost, I come here and find a little bit of courage to keep on going. Thanks πŸ™‚

  57. Lisa

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Love. It.

  58. Christy

    August 22nd, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Exactly how I feel, said so much more eloquently than I ever could.
    Thank you!

  59. Ashley Goodwin

    August 22nd, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I hear you girlfriend. Jose Villa & Jerry Yoon always make me want to quit LIFE and keep serving up brewskies, but then I remember talent is nothing without practice and exactly what you said, the AMBITION to take it somewhere.
    YOU are artistic and inspire ME! So, that counts for something, right? Right.

  60. Stephanie Stewart

    August 22nd, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I totally and completely understand! Please know that you are an Artist, one who has paved your own way and encourages me and so many others to do the same. And for that I am so grateful! But today as I read this, I especially feel what you are saying…my days feel numbered as I await my first little baby, who is expected in just under a month, and I am feeling so un-creative right now, yet it is what I want so badly, just one more burst of creative freedom before I’m consumed with a precious little guy! Sorry to ramble…back to my initial point, you ARE an Artist…this may just be the calm before the next creative storm! xo

  61. Hannah

    August 22nd, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    You are truly an inspiration Jasmine!

  62. Jennifer Rice

    August 22nd, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    So many times, I see that artist that started close to the time that I did (doesn’t have 25yrs experience like I try to tell myself) and I see how, just somehow, they’ve mastered something I haven’t. I can’t seem to place it, believe me, I’ve tried. I want that something. I want it so badly that my chest aches and my heart threatens to claw it’s way out. I want SO badly to be at a place that I know I’m not at yet. A place that makes people swoon, LITERALLY, I want them to pass out and drop because they held their breath for so long, when they see my work. At times like this, I have to remind myself that some day, some day…. with hard work and determination, I can learn more, try more and continue to grow. Thank you for sharing that I am not alone in this. Your work is one of those that gives me chest pains my dear. It’s shocking yet beautifully precious to know you feel the same way I do. *hugs*

  63. Ashley Goodwin

    August 22nd, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    PS: I THINK YOU ARE ARTISTIC! Forgot to say that one. But I mean it. You come up with great outfit combos!

  64. Stephanie

    August 22nd, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I’ve always wondered if being Artsy is a legitimate life goal. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one.

  65. Sydni Jackson

    August 23rd, 2012 at 2:00 am

    don’t forget that all your worth is found in Jesus Christ’s love for you and sacrifice on the cross. place your hopes and dreams in Him, and He will give you desires of your heart.

  66. Christa

    August 23rd, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I felt that EXACT feeling this week when I looked at another photog who also illustrates…how my work is somehow simply ordinary. Maybe…someday I’ll be the artist that I envision in my head too πŸ™‚

  67. aurea

    August 23rd, 2012 at 3:44 am

    You are an artist Jasmine. My week is not complete without reading your writings. What you often right are the expression of what’s in my mind that I find somewhat difficult to put into words. You are an inspiration!

  68. Astrid Baloun

    August 23rd, 2012 at 6:19 am

    What may be funny is that I look at you, your blog, The Fix, your magazine, The Store ….and dream that some day I will get what it takes to be a successful woman…its what I went to school for, its what I think of every night, how I spend time I dont have…to be successful at something I enjoy and have the freedom to pursue it. But it’s that aspiration that makes us long for something better in us and not to settle for less. Thanks for posting this!

  69. Camilla jΓΈrvad

    August 23rd, 2012 at 9:08 am

    this is SO ‘funny’. just last week I was skyping with one of the photographers in my wonderful network of danish wedding professionals – whose work actually that day made me cry because it was just SO beautiful (: ) and artistic and emotional and and and. It made me feel SO inadequate, so talentless, empty and superficial, and that I’m just shooting ‘pretty’ pictures. I felt like giving up. I don’t think we can ever look at our own images the way we see others’. Because to us our own work will always be normal, the ‘standard’ because that is what we look at every day, all day…

  70. Natalie

    August 23rd, 2012 at 10:07 am

    If just a pretty face do not make you a rock star, then being just an artist doesn’t make you a business women. And you are BOTH and Artist and a Business Women (with capital letters)….and you ROCK!

  71. Amy

    August 23rd, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Jasmine I know EXACTLY what you mean. Well, your work certainly leaves me breathless and inspires me to pick up my camera and dream…

  72. NaKesha

    August 23rd, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    It is so weird to here you say that because the first thing I thought when I saw your work was "wow, what an artist."

  73. *gazer

    August 23rd, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Your images leave me breathless. Your blog can bring me to tears. And if you smoked a clove while wearing your green pants you would totally taste like duck pate.

  74. rich

    August 23rd, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    your work – is an art and what you produce for your clients is an art. there are so many people who look at your images and think the same thing!

  75. Miriam Medina

    August 24th, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Your work has left me breathless and feeling what you just expressed! Then, I remind myself that by practicing and aspiring for more will get me there! Thank you for being REAL and INSPIRING!!!

  76. Karl Stelter

    August 24th, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I too am a firm believer in molding yourself into the person you want to be – and that the journey there is worth so much more than the result. I think your work is phenomenal, and the personal touch that you give each shot is quite apparent (when I can see a shot and recognize it as yours without the credits there is something different about it!).

    I think the real beauty of Art is that no matter who you are, or how far along your path you’ve come, you’ll always have a vision that is better and stronger than the last – and the journey to realizing that vision I believe is not ever meant to be complete.

    It’s simply there for those brave enough to challenge themselves every day.

  77. Mikaela

    August 24th, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I’ll have what you’re having πŸ˜‰ But coming from a bride of yours, I know you’re Artistic and I know that your photos have the ability to make people breathless.

  78. Paula

    August 24th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Jasmine, the first thing that comes to mind is that you are making a dent.. an impression..

    As somebody who inspires to be as good as you, you have altered the life of me and I know that you have positively altered the life of countless others through your ability to capture the love of a couple.. it will be those images that will stay with them long after the highs of a wedding day pass… it will remind them why their relationships are worth working hard for and that dear Jasmine is a gift…

    So be Artistic, shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars.. but never, ever underestimate the power of what you do, right now.

    Sending a big aussie cuddle to you from here to there.

    Much love x

  79. Judith Rivers-Moore

    August 24th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    It is the learning we do along the way, understanding there will always be something new that changes our actions and growth. As an author and wedding coach, life would not be the same without progressive and generous photographers as I write e-books and add to our website. Thank you all.

  80. mixedmolly

    August 24th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I feel like this too sometimes. I love JD’s common sense words. And I think artist’s evolve creatively, and evolution can’t happen unless you are out there creating. So keep creating because you inspired me to photograph my first wedding ever, and I had the courage to post it today. Yikes! That seems crazy to me!!

  81. Julia

    August 27th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Right there with ya. I could use my own JD if you’ve got a spare one around…

  82. Bobbie Brown

    August 30th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I absolutely love your words – thank you for the inspiration. And that image? Gorgeous! Beautiful! Breathtaking πŸ™‚

  83. Tye Harris

    August 31st, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Holy mackerel, that "talent is nothing without ambition…and the smallest bit of talent can be carried on the wings of sheer desire and hard work" is probably the most poignant thing I’ve read in a long time and really hits home with something I’ve been struggling with lately. Thank you Jasmine, and JD for reminding me πŸ™‚ (Also, I’m lucky to have my own JD at home who tells me these kind of things too!)

  84. moi

    September 9th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    JD, so wise boyo! Good advice, thanks I needed to hear that too!