Monthly Archives: May 2010


jasmine star workshop review

05 24 10

i have been meaning to write a post about jasmine star’s workshop i attended in april for some time now. at first i thought i would simply write a few words about how much i loved it and post some pretty pictures i took while attending.

but i read a post recently from a photographer who had spent a lot of money on a certain workshop, only to be very disappointed. there is a lot of discussion and accusation in the photo industry right now about who *should* be giving workshops and who *shouldn’t*.

and honestly i don’t know anything about that stuff. what i do know is that jasmine star is the real deal and her workshop was worth it for me.  here is my 2 cents on why.

1. personal attention

before our workshop jasmine took the time to read through every attendees blog, leave a comment, and get a little glimpse of where everyone was coming from. the night before our workshop we had an informal dessert hang out, and jasmine was there. she knew our names, she had seen our work, and she took that time to continue to talk photography with us, answer questions, and really just devote herself to making sure our questions were answered.

here is the card she wrote to me before our workshop started. she wrote one for every one attending. (this is an indirect lesson in customer service, which i learned a lot from!)

2. valuable insight and content

our curriculum for the day covered all aspects of building a unique brand with your photography and how to convey your brand (your thumbprint) through everything you do: your logo, which photos you select for your blog & website, how to treat your clients,  how you manage expectations through the booking process, how to maximize your efficiency in your workflow…

all of these detailed points were really valuable information to me as I am growing my photography business. I need the detailed info on what it means to get wedding proofs out in 2 weeks! I need to know what is important to invest in now as I grow. I needed to figure out how jasmine takes on as many clients as she does and still manages to maintain a personal life.

if you are someone who has their business together and you are that kind of a genius, that is awesome. it is possible that this content would not be entirely worth it for you. for me, it was lifesaving.

3. instructive teaching

we went out to a gorgeous location in Irvine where we had about an hour for a shoot with our models, Michelle and Colton (also newlyweds, and also photographers). i thought that the style of the shoot and the attention to details like the gorgeous bouquet and headpiece from kristin at the treasured petal was a nice touch.

jasmine walked us through the process of making your models feel comfortable, showing us how she helps them understand how to pose, and how she thinks through her ideas for her shoots as she does them.

(jasmine instructing on posing, how to communicate that to your client, how to show them what you mean)

jasmine also stopped at various points to answer questions that anyone had. she walked us through how she chooses her exposure,  how she compensates for spotty light (it was alternating between cloudy and sunny the whole time) and how she uses natural reflectors in our surroundings.

i thought the shoot showed me what i can do to make my clients feel more comfortable in front of the camera and learn how to find a new angle when there are other photographers everywhere!

after our shoot we came back for lunch (we did an open Q&A while we ate) and then finished the rest of the content. jasmine walked us through selecting her own “branded images” from the shoot we just did, how she edits them, etc. and we continued to cover other aspects of building your business. during our dinner jasmine and jd continually switched seats to make sure that everyone had a chance to chat with them and make sure that all questions everyone had were addressed. jasmine said this was a change from a previous workshop attendee, and i thought it was a brilliant idea. i think this shows her commitment to continually making the workshop the best it can be. for me, this is the kind of person i want to go to a workshop with.

one thing to consider if you don’t have a lot of money and are considering this workshop: if you need more instruction with the technical side of photography, this one might not be for you. in my case, i needed more info on the how and why of the business stuff, and things of that nature. this workshop covered all my questions on that front. overall i highly recommend it for anyone in my position: starting their photography business, learning to brand their business, and running an effective business.

this is not a totally comprehensive review, so if other workshop attendees read this and have other comments to offer, feel free to do so in the comment section.

and jasmine star, if you are reading this: thank you! i think you are the real deal and a class act.

and lastly, here are a few other photos from the shoot: