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photographik articles   »  May 2008   »  The Birth of a Blog The Journey of Jasmine Star's
 
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The Birth of a Blog
by: Jasmine Star

Jasmine Star Blog

February 10, 2005
I wonder if I’ll ever be able to make my goals and ambitions come to fruition. I just want someone to take me by the hand and show me the ropes. I suppose I’m just too scared to go out and do it on my own. How do I begin? Should I just ask people if I could take pictures of them? Is that how others began their craft? Why do I feel I have so many questions and so little answers?

February 13, 2005
Why am I such a chicken? I swear… I should just lay an egg to complete this metamorphosis. I mean, the chicken and I both share entities like feet, breasts, and a pointed breathing apparatus, so if I sprouted feathers tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I need—need—to be willing to go out on a limb and ask people if I could take their pictures. I mean, I know two (dos, deux, er, ni, shalosh) couples who are engaged, so why can’t I bring myself to ask them if I could snap their engagement photos?


February 17, 2007
My husband, however, believes that now is the time that we take a step of faith. Money should never be an issue when dreams are concerned and, he says, I've given him another reason to wake up and go to work. To him, my aspirations don't have a price tag.

At the time, I didn’t know my online journal would be read by thousands of people. In fact, I doubted my own kin took the time to check my blog daily. When I first began my journey—with my dreams, hopes and fears tucked away in a new Tenba backpack—I thought it best to document my experiences. You know, so I could look back one day and see how far I’ve come. Oh, that illusive One Day ideology. I truly doubted my One Day would arrive.

Two short years later I’m light-years closer to my One Day than I could have ever imagined. I have yet to arrive, but my train is gaining speed and the destination feels like a town not too far over a distant mountaintop.

In October 2006, I photographed my first wedding as an independent photographer. I was officially in business and, while I had only two more weddings booked for that year, I felt like a bonafide entrepreneur. Kinda, sorta. I owned a Canon 20D, two lenses, and a 12-inch Mac laptop to edit thousands of photos. But I had business cards! And, as any newbie photographer can attest, business cards add an extra bounce to each step and feel like Wonka’s Golden Ticket.

Then, in 2007, something magical happened. And, no, I didn’t get to meet an Oompa Loopa! The three weddings I shot in 2006 seeded into 37 weddings in 2007, which surprised no one more than myself. My frayed, consignment-store hopes morphed into something I didn’t believe possible: a legit photography business. But this begs a common question of how everything happened so fast. The simple answer remains the same: My blog changed the face of my presence in the wedding photography industry.

I booked my first ten weddings without a website, instead opting to use a blog as a source of street credibility. I posted at least every other day about my life and business, often blogging about their intersection. Because I was completely unafraid and honest about my business—complete with its newness and frailty—clients were inclined to like me more than they liked my photography. Which was totally fine by me because I knew I had a looooong way to go in the technical aspects of photography and post-processing. I was like the kid who got picked second-to-last for kickball because—while Fat David and I both sucked—I had the better personality. And, dang, I could really cheer from the bench!

In the summer of 2007, I realized my blog was the best tool to garnish the type of clients I wanted to work with. The more I blogged, the more I had prospective brides viewing my work and reading about the minutia of my life. Even before an initial meeting, each bride felt like we were already friends. This occurred because everyday—often from the bride’s desk at work—she was having a mono-directional conversation with me via my blog. I started meetings with brides who, like me, owned more pairs of jeans than they knew what to do with, splurged on couture chocolates late at night, and valued photography. I had a long-overdue Ah-ha! moment. I decided to let my blog perform organic marketing and sift through prospective clients. After all, I lived so much of my life out on my blog that they could instantly tell if we’d click on their wedding day; whether they trusted me to embalm their nuptial memories.

I adore my blog. We (my blog and I) have this not-so-secret love affair and, while my husband fears I’ve created a webbed triangle of affection, I know it’s the single most defining aspect of my business. It’s how I’m set apart from the other insanely talented wedding photographers here in Orange County, California and the cornerstone of my burgeoning career. When I first began my journey—with my dreams, hopes and fears tucked away in a new Tenba backpack—I thought it best to document my experiences. You know, so I could look back one day and see how far I’ve come. I’m incredibly thankful for the crooked path that led me to where I stand today. My blog serves as a permanent reminder of my past, but also as a shining beacon of where I’m headed.

About Jasmine’s blog
Since launching her blog in February of 2005, Jasmine's blog traffic has increased from a few visitors a day to thousands of visitors per day. Jasmine's blog is stalked by readers across the globe, with her readers proffering support via an abundance of daily comments. For Jasmine, the value of blogging cannot possibly be overstated. Jasmine is both honored and humbled by the following her blog has developed and has only the following advice to offer: Just be yourself, share your heart and let the rest of it take care of itself. www.jasminestarblog.com

DISCLAIMER : The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent the views of photographik or any member of the photographik organization.
contributor details
Jasmine Star
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Name: Jasmine Star
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About: Jasmine Star is an international wedding photographer based in Orange County, California. She has late night cravings for sushi, can stare at the ocean endlessly, and spends too much time writing on her blog. Her favorite movie is Stranger Than Fiction and secretly thinks she and Will Farrell were destined to be together in another life. Jasmine also believes her love affair with Godiva chocolate may be the end of her marriage to her insanely fabulous husband, JD. In addition to growing her photography business, Jasmine hopes to one day write children’s books and build a wing in Norris Cancer Hospital dedicated to her mother, a brain cancer survivor.
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Contact: www.jasminestarphotography.com
Responses

I can say that I have learnt a lot and get the strength to start my wedding photography business because of Jasmine blog. I can't think about somebody more inspiring. Vote for Jasmine Star as speaker for WPPI 2009. Thank you Jas!!!

Posted by: Fabian Boente
www.fabianboente.com
TIME POSTED: 06/19/08 06:39 PM [Central Time]

Hi from sunny Puerto Rico, Jasmine!!!! Congratulations for all your good success!

Posted by: Noel Del Pilar
www.noeldelpilar.com
TIME POSTED: 06/18/08 10:53 PM [Central Time]

Woohoo! Hi friends and THANKS for taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate the time you've taken to read the article and it means a lot knowing there are others--besides my mother--who likes my blog! ;) xoxo...

Posted by: Jasmine*
www.jasminestarblog.com
TIME POSTED: 06/08/08 11:20 PM [Central Time]

good blog

Posted by: Fandunfopaunc
http://www.bestautobusiness.com
TIME POSTED: 06/01/08 07:41 PM [Central Time]

It's so great to read some of Jasmine's first posts as I am an aspiring photographer as well. :) I have similar fears.

Posted by: Julie H
http://julieharmsen.blogspot.com/
TIME POSTED: 05/21/08 10:01 PM [Central Time]

I definately check Jasmine Star's blog almost every day. She has a way with words and people.

Posted by: Mike Allebach
http://www.philadelphia-weddingphotography.com
TIME POSTED: 05/21/08 09:27 PM [Central Time]

Jasmine's blog is the first blog I go to every day, I love her style and her openness and her willingness to be to help others. She is an inspiration.

Posted by: Cathy Crawley
www.beautifulmoments.com.au/blog
TIME POSTED: 05/21/08 08:28 PM [Central Time]

Great story! Very inspiring to see how your blog and audience evolved.

Posted by: Janna
http://www.jannaleedesigns.com
TIME POSTED: 05/21/08 12:18 PM [Central Time]

I love to read her Blog! Is's like every-day-ritual for me. Thank you Jasmine!!!!!!!

Posted by: Yuliya
www.yukaphotoart.com
TIME POSTED: 05/21/08 10:54 AM [Central Time]

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