When Cottage Cheese Made Me Feel Alive


When the nurses wheeled me from the emergency room and admitted me to the hospital I insisted they had the wrong girl. I have food poisoning, I said. I ATE BAD COTTAGE CHEESE, I practically yelled as the elevator doors closed. In spite of my protestations, it was the 4th of July and I’d be spending the night in the hospital.

JD arrived to room 403 with sparkling water, the first season of Parenthood, and his usual smile. I stared at the ceiling and cried. It had less to do with the fact that I was admitted and more to do with priorities. My priorities. They, much like the fireworks somewhere in the distance, felt splayed across the night sky. I turned to JD and promised to change…everything was changing. I’m going to take long walks, I said. Oh! And drink pina coladas! With no sugar…and virgin…because I’m BEING HEALTHY! And I’ll dance in the rain. And I won’t complain any more! And I won’t buy any more neon pants like I promised!

It was one of the longest nights together. Every time I wavered, he was my solid and though I hope to never repeat that night again, I’m blown away to have someone as incredible as him by my side.

When I was released, JD asked if I still wanted to continue with the engagement session I had planned to shoot. In light of everything we’d been through, I turned to him and said yes. Actually, it was hell yes but seeing how my mother thinks hell is a swear word, I promised her I wouldn’t blog about it. Oops.

I photographed the engagement session because every inch of my soul wanted to be nowhere but behind my camera. A place I feel excited, challenged, fulfilled, and–mostly–alive.

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  1. Rachel Del Grosso

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    As usual, you are such an inspiration Jasmine!

  2. Tasha Prescott-Wilson

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Get Better J*! And yes, I agree, you really must do better at taking care of YOU first. TPW

  3. Priscilla Longshore

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    so sorry you were so sick love.. hope u r better now

  4. Sandra Fazzino Photography

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Oh. Boy. I’m doing some really good reading right now on the yin and yang of life, and it’s apparent you have a whole lotta yang happening. Hope you can find some way to incorporate daily doses of yin!!!! We need you in this big beautiful photo community, but YOU NEED YOU MORE. xx

  5. Christy Tyler

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I hope you’re feeling 100% better love! And that shot is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the full session!

  6. Stephanie Rose

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Wow. Amazing post.

    Glad to hear you’re better!

  7. Haley Johnston

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Oh my word! I hope you are feeling better!! Gorgeous photo! Would have never guessed you were sick!

  8. Wendy Alana

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Jasmine, my husband and I have been in and out of the hospital this past month. Most recently I had to get stitches last night. I started to cry because I said to the nurse, I AM A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! I need my hand. Michael laughed and said she looked at me like I was crazy…like she did not see the importance that I did of my role….If this was any other job…I would have called in sick…but when you do something you love, nothing and I mean nothing will keep you away. You constantly amaze me with your posts because it’s as if I am living your story, post by post. Keep inspiring and feel better. xoxo

  9. Allie Dean

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    So glad you are feeling better!
    Very glad that illness makes us grateful for LIFE ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Chelsea Miller

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Sometimes your life comes into perspective in ways that you never imagined. Do what you love, and love what you do…. but never forget to stop and enjoy life and experience things without a camera in front of you. You never know what moments you might miss if you don’t. Balance the best of both worlds, and you will never be happier. Glad you are feeling better!!

  11. Frank Donnino

    July 6th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Glad you are ok Jasmine. Thank God.

  12. Elizabeth Langford

    July 6th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    So sorry to hear you got so sick ๐Ÿ™ Hope you’re feeling much better. The picture of this couple is awesome!

  13. Erin Oveis Brant

    July 6th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    hell yeah! (sorry mama *) SO glad you are okay!! xo

  14. Ashley Goodwin

    July 6th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Food poisoning?!?!?! Oh no!!!!!! That’s terrible! Almost as bad as no more neon pants!!!!!

    Feel better love!

  15. Tarah

    July 6th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    What I love about your posts is you make your life lessons something every single reader can learn from. Thank you for being real, honest and therefore beautiful. I’m so sorry this is how you spent your 4th. Maybe JD will buy you your own fireworks show ๐Ÿ˜‰ Take care of yourself <3

  16. Camille

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    What a trooper you are. Hope you are feeling better. Can’t wait to see more of this session.

  17. Tamara @ Fishy Face Studios

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    you & JD rock!

  18. Soraya Abreu

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    "Be still… I know that I am God… " Psalm 46:10

  19. Tanya A

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    You POOR thing. I’m sorry you were so unwell and that you felt better enough to shoot that engagement session. Please be sure to take care of you while you recover.

  20. Brittany G.

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Chuey is such an amazing Husband. He’s observant, patient, chivalrous (although I’m still mad he didn’t let me pay for pizza), and does all this without a hair out of place. He truly deserves the "Man of the Year" award!
    I hope you get answers and stay feeling better. I told Bri it’s cuz you don’t eat meat <3

  21. Lisa

    July 6th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Now that is dedication. I commend you on getting yourself to exactly where you wanted to be, behind the camera, no matter the circumstances.

  22. Heidi

    July 6th, 2012 at 8:01 pm


  23. Cindy Moore

    July 6th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I’m so beyond thrilled that God has blessed you. And beyond words happy that you and JD have an amazing bond that inspires so many including me. I am, as I’m sure all of us readers are, ecstatic that you are better! And as always this picture just proves what an amazing kick butt photographer and person you are! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. sarah danaher

    July 6th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    grateful you’re okay… grateful God has give you such a perfect-for-you man to care for you… grateful that photography is a place you feel alive. xoxo

  25. Manya Keseloff

    July 6th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I’m sorry you got sick. I’m glad you are feeling better. I hope to one day have a man as good as JD to be by my side. You are very lucky to have each other. I too feel the same as you when I’m behind the camera! I’m sure the shoot was perfect!

  26. Regina Chayer

    July 6th, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I can so relate. It has been six months of pain, tears, fears but I am back shooting again after my elbow replacement. I feel alive again too… I get it like only another photographer can. Thanks for your email of a few months ago and your support. I know I couldn’t have done it without my partner/second shooter/husband and all around wonderful guy either.

  27. LEOLAK

    July 7th, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Glad you are feeling better and hope you get to 100% soon!! GORGE pic!!! Can’t wait to see the rest.

  28. Denise Prichett

    July 7th, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I am sooo bummed out for you. No fireworks!! I spent 5 + hours with my boyfriend at the ER on Sunday. I really hate hospitals. Been there so many times for him and my mom. I know one day it will be my turn and I will be panicked like you described. Wishing you a speedy recovery!!! Love the picture you put with this post.

  29. JohnCain Sargent

    July 7th, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I could only hope that my wife would someday write such an honorable blog post about me. Yours is a marriage truly blessed, J*.

  30. Diana Liang

    July 7th, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Hazle caso a tu mamรก, hell is a swear word. You must use ‘heck’ instead! HAHAHA… I am glad you are feeling better and ALIVE. The world needs you and loves you.

  31. Bobbie Brown

    July 7th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Oh my! I am so so sorry for you! Wow… Glad you are feeling better now, and this picture? well, it is just perfect!

  32. Christine Chang

    July 7th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I had a similar episode on the 3rd. Quite dramatic, but gooooood stuff.

  33. Cathy Ann Plec

    July 8th, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Glad to know you are okay….
    Just wanted you to know…you so inspire me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Life with Kaishon

    July 10th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    That is a hell of a great picture : )
    And I don’t even curse.
    I just wanted to show solidarity.
    Stay well.

  35. Photographer Durango CO

    July 13th, 2012 at 2:32 am

    I can totally relate. If I had enough clients to be shooting several times a day every day, I would be there, sick or not. Beautiful images.

  36. Shelly Spithoff

    July 13th, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Wow Jasmine that sounds intense. All that because of cottage cheese? What was the eventual diagnosis?

  37. Monika Greenaway

    July 13th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    ๐Ÿ™ on food poisoning…worst ever. But ๐Ÿ™‚ Parenthood. I LOVE THAT SHOW.

  38. cassandra-m

    July 13th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Glad u r better girl…And btw/ GREAT PIC.