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Jasmine Star – Ask Her Anything You Want!

jasmine hybrid Jasmine Star   Ask Her Anything You Want!

I am so excited to have Jasmine Star GUEST BLOGGING on MCP Actions Blog. She is an incredible photographer and writer – and reading her blog often brings a smile to my face. She knows how to connect with her audience and is super giving.  To see her work and learn more about her, click here, and to read her blog, click here.

I wanted to come up with something unique to do with Jasmine. Interview? Nope – that has been done before. Have her teach you a specific topic – well maybe but then she or I would be deciding what you want to know. So…

“Ask Jasmine Star Anything?”

What do you want to know? Ask your questions in the comment section below. Some time late this week or beginning of next, she will come here and pick 10 of these questions to answer on my blog. So think hard, what is it you want to know from this super sweet, popular wedding photographer with an ultra successful photography business and blog?

Have fun thinking of your questions…

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Here is a small sampling of her amazing work:

blogkaseynick0019 Jasmine Star   Ask Her Anything You Want!

blogmirandajustin0015 Jasmine Star   Ask Her Anything You Want! blogstephaniestephen010 Jasmine Star   Ask Her Anything You Want!

 Jasmine Star   Ask Her Anything You Want!

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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56 Comments

  1. 1
    Jessica says:

    Whoot, first commenter!?! My question is: What would you suggest is a first step and/or a good resource for branding. I am overwhelmed, and a little petrified by the subject. I need to set up a blog, and a business card, and don’t know how to make it consistent. A -I don’t have the moolah for a company. b- Am I going to have to spend time learning how to do it myself? Sounds easy for some, but for me, I’m not THAT computer savvy. This step has been keeping me back from the next step in my business, and that is pretty bad. Any advice appreciated! Thanks to you both.

  2. 2
    Connie R says:

    I’d like to know what brand of bag are you carrying in your group shoot at WPPI!

  3. 3
    Shuva Rahim says:

    Gosh so many questions… but I think that you shoot with a 50mm. Is the only lens you shoot with? Or do you have other lens that, for you, are ABSOLUTE MUSTS, for weddings?

    Also, you have an obvious natural charisma that draws so many people to you and has helped you be successful as you are (aside from your awesome talent)… I’m wondering if you had any advice for those of us who are NOT naturally as charismatic, charming… (ie. don’t seem to photograph as well in front of a camera as you do)…

  4. 4
    Desiree says:

    For the lens questions, Jasmine shows all the gear she uses on her site/blog (one of those, I forget).
    Jasmine, will you be on tour again any time soon?

  5. 5
    Rhonda DeMone says:

    Hi Jasmine!

    Huge fan, love your work! I’m interested in knowing more about your post-processing. I’d love to see a SOOC shot and a fully edited photo. I believe you out-source your raw images but how much editing do you do afterwards?
    Also want to know when you are coming to Canada for any type of workshop? ;)

    Thanks for giving so much of yourself,
    Rhonda

  6. 6
    Terra Dawn says:

    Hey Jasmine!!! I really love the look of your work!! We all have inspirations…you being one of my many, but who has inspired you over the years? Wedding or not….what photographers and artists have had a huge impact on the way you have developed your style?

    Thanks again for all that you do for the wedding photography community!!

    Terra

  7. 7

    Hi Jasmine! I have followed your blog forever and am constantly inspired by your fresh, original eye. I know you have mentioned that you are inspired by magazines, what else inspires you and helps you to keep your work looking so unique? I have been feeling like my work is caught in a ‘sea of sameness’ and am looking for ways to give it a shot in the arm!

    Thanks for sharing and dedicating so much time to making us all better photographers!

  8. 8
    Irene says:

    Hi! I absolutely LOVE Jasmine Starr’s style! I am a new photographer. Right now I photograph mostly families/kids but have started to get the itch to move into wedding photography. In fact, I have been asked to take wedding photos towards the end of the year.

    My question is what my minimum equipment should be to be able to properly shoot a wedding. My current lenses are a 35 f/2.0 and a 50 f/1.8. I shoot with a Nikon D80 at this time and own one SB600 speedlight that can work off camera.

    I know I need another camera body and I probably will rent one for the wedding. But I feel like I need another lens. I have been eyeing the 85 f/1.8. But then I think maybe a zoom – maybe a longer zoom – would be more appropriate. I am not sure I will be able to afford to buy a fast zoom, but renting is always an inexpensive option – at least for a first wedding.

    Thanks so much!!!!!

  9. 9
    Beth B says:

    Jasmine,
    I am a huge fan of your work and I love your blog! Anyway, my question is about your awesome slide shows, where do you get your music? You always seem to find the perfect song for each session.

    Thanks for keeping me inspired! You rock Girl!

  10. 10
    tracy says:

    hi jasmine, i’m a huge fan of your blog! your subjects always look like they are having FUN in the shoots… any advice on achieving that? you get “ordinary” people to look like they have been in front of the camera for years. do you just crank up the music and let them be themselves? its so hard getting people to feel and act natural in front of the camera… what is your secret?

  11. 11

    For someone starting out in a similar situation as you (i.e. little to no money but lots of passion and drive), what are your top 5 “must dos” to make a successful start, based on what you have learned? Basic equipment and a web site are table stakes, in my opinion, and you cover that well on your blog already.

  12. 12
    Jaleen says:

    I have so many questions for you Jasmine, but first off want to say how much I love your style. I am mostly curious about your post-processing (do you have actions or do you edit each picture manually) …. and what do you outsource – I know you outsource album design (smart!). But I’m wondering what your work flow is and HOW you manage to edit/process so many weddings & engagements. Do you have staff working for you? Does your husband 2nd shoot w/ you at every wedding or do you ever go solo? (I’m solo). Do you offer a ton of packages w/ print sizes & albums … what are your packages/prices – how did you COME UP with them?! Do you just offer that one style of album (that you wrote about on your blog?) Will you ever come to Canada to speak? I’d love to attend one of your workshops!!! You are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  13. 13
    Steve Simmons says:

    Hi Jasmine,

    I heard you talk on the Free to Succeed Tour and was amazed to hear that you had “never picked up a digital camera before.” But then you proceeded to say that you shot film for years and even had your own darkroom. Why do you claim that you were a novice and all of a sudden, overnight success when you had SLRs and shot film for years? Don’t you feel you’re misrepresenting your experience and abilities? The digital learning curve isn’t THAT big that a film shooter would be unable to master a digital camera in a reasonable period of time.

  14. 14

    A while back Jasmine talked about using SmugMug, I’d like to know how that’s going and if it’s improved business with ordering, etc. It seems like a fantastic value.

  15. 15
    Jaleen says:

    More questions…(sorry)…. I see you use Pictage for clients to order prints & Show-It if they want to order DVDs. (I’m about to place my order for a Show-it website!!!)Does Pictage send prints directly to clients or do you get to see final product first, or do you trust them enough you don’t need to have control over prints? I’m struggling to find how I’m going to handle print requests….right now I use a local lab and do all the orders & packaging myself…

    And….what about monitor calibration – if you use different companies do you have to update the monitor specs everytime to make sure your prints will look okay?
    Do you provide the same pic color and b&w or do you just decide and that’s what they get….

  16. 16
    Tina Harden says:

    First off I love your work and how you basically gave it all up to follow your passion. I too would do the same they if I had it to do all over again and would have discovered my passion early on in life as you were so fortunate to have. Can you tell me from a behind the camera perspective, what are the 5 most important things you did to develop your technical skills as a photographer?

  17. 17
    Kris says:

    Hi! My question for Jasmine: Do you ever use a flash or another light source other than natural light-especially at wedding receptions?

  18. 18
    Deyla Huss says:

    J* You are such a Diva for sharing your knowledge and inspire us all! I just had one question, during this tough economy, How has that changed your pricing or has it? Would you suggest lowering it or not during this down time for us photographers? Ok that was 2 questions, oops! LOL Thanks darlin!

  19. 19
    Tira J says:

    J* – it’s funny, your blog answers so many questions, that maybe I just want to know what size shoe you wear and what your favorite color is! ha ha! See you next week!

  20. 20
    Kayleen T. says:

    I had my first time shooting a bride in her wedding dress a couple weeks ago. And I found it tricky to nail my exposures without losing some detail in her dress. Any tips for metering and getting exposures right in this situation? Is it better to be a little over-exposed ( for less noise, brighter skintones) or is better to underexpose a little and brighten in post? Thanks Jasmine!!

  21. 21
    Nicki says:

    I would like to echo Tracy’s comment and find out more of how you direct people you are shooting. I find myself telling people to ‘act natural’ or ‘pretend I’m not here, just be yourselves’, yet oftentimes they still look stiff and uncomfortable. What do you say or do to set them at ease and allow you to capture those beautiful moments?

  22. 22
    Michelle H says:

    Jasmine,

    I am an avid fan of your work and have already learned so much from your blog’s Q&As. My question is how do you achieve such a large depth of field when shooting wide open? When I look at your images I always try to picture you shooting with a 50 1.4 (since that’s your go to lens) and can’t ever figure out how subjects on different planes are in focus. Its my regularly occurring conundrum. :)

    Looking forward to reading all your picks!

  23. 23
    Delphine says:

    Hello Jasmine,

    I’d like to know how much direction you give your clients. DO you prepare the posing in advance or does everyone shows up and you improvise?
    Is there much preparation involved for you?

    Thanks :)

  24. 24

    Hi Jasmine:) It’s so generous of you to answer any question. Here is mine…How or what did you do to get your business to grow sooo fast in so short of time?? I believe I read that you only started professionally a fes years ago? Thanks

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    Jasmine Star has been a favorite of mine since her old blog days, the inspiration she provides is unmeasurable for those just starting their wedding photography business. She started doing a FAQ series of posts that answers a ton of your posted questions. Here’s the link to her FAQ posts.

    http://www.jasminestarblog.com/index.cfm?q=FAQ&x=24&y=12

    -Enjoy and be duly inspired!!

  26. 26

    I too would like to know the conversation that occurs when directing your clients. I have worked with several couples and its very difficult to get them to move around and be silly…they tend to stand there and wait on direction. I would love to know what your general dialogue is with your peeps.

  27. 27
    Ursula says:

    Hi Jasmine! Thanks so much for doing this. I am awed by your pics and how you always get perfect skin tones. Do you custom WB, shoot RAW and adjust later or follow percentages in PP? Thanks!!!

  28. 28
    tracie says:

    hello! my question is about vignette’s … when to use, and how much to use … ?

  29. 29
    Evie Curley says:

    What would you suggest to someone who has never shot a wedding but is considering going into that aspect of the business? What mistakes can you suggest they avoid making? What things might you recommend they do first?

  30. 30

    Hi Jasmine – Your work is amazing. I would love to know how you get all your images to look so sharp and crisp. Using your 50 1.4 how do you get all your subjects in focus? I have the 50 1.8, should I invest in the 1.4? Is there a big difference? I would also love to know how you get the people you are shooting to loosen up. Your pictures always end up looking so natural. Thank you so much.

  31. 31
    Jen Stocks says:

    Helloooooooo! I’ve had a crush on your photography for quite a while now so I am really happy to be able to ask you a question! I have read through your entire blog at one stage or another, and love your FAQ’s – thanks for sharing your mind with us.

    Anyway, on with business – I just want to clarify what you do to make your images so crispy: – fixed lenses – distance from subject – wide apps – Sharpening – good glass

    But is there anything else? Am I missing something? I have an issue with focus when shooting really wide. I swear I will be standing STILL as anything, but my images will still not have perfect focus. Do you have any extra tips, even if they are just teeny weeny little ones for nailing the focus when shooting wide? I swear, the smallest tip could help me tremendously!

    Also, when you talk about distance from subject – just how far away are you talking? I have tried to understand the DOF calculator, but can’t quite grasp the concept. Do you have any easy way of explaining it?

  32. 32
    Julia Brown says:

    I have ALWAYS wanted to ask Jasmine if she shoots an entire wedding alone, or if JD helps, or an assistant. Shooting a big wedding (large wedding party) at a big venue is so much work and I’d love for her what she does and how she manages.

  33. 33
    Patrice says:

    How do you get them to “smile with their eyes”?

  34. 34
    Valerie says:

    My question: I find my biggest stumbling block to be the quick and unpredictable pace of a wedding day. Do you have a basic posing “routine” that you run through during the wedding day, basically doing the same poses with each wedding? Or do you make plans for each one depending on the cicumstances of the particular wedding? Do you wing it?

    I find I get idea block and if I have a wedding couple that just isn’t quite as easy in front of the camera and takes quite a bit of gentle promting then I run out of ideas quite quickly and fall back on the old and standards. Thanks!

  35. 35
    Sandy says:

    I would like to second Rhonda’s question/suggestion – could we see some comparisons of SOOC and edited photos, and could you tell us more about outsourcing. I have been considering outsourcing my raw images and then making final touches. How much do you find someone you can trust with your photos, and how much editing do they do? Also I have another question about shooting weddings with primes: do you feel the need to carry two cameras on you to make sure you don’t miss any of the action, or do you just carry your lenses in a Shootsac? Thank you so much for sharing your information to help others! You are the best!

  36. 36
    rebekah says:

    let me start by saying i LOVE j*’s work and can’t wait to meet her someday! my question for jasmine: when planning a shoot or arriving at a location what catches your eye and gets your creative juices flowing to kick off the shoot?!

  37. 37
    amy little says:

    How do you feel about giving us insight into your post processing? Wishful thinking I know, but can you give us some secrets? I’m sure I speak for everyone that we LOVE your work and strive to be like you. So any tips on how to do it? Do you shoot wide open or does it just depend on the situation? Also, do you ever outsource? I would love to get a little of my life back, but I’m scared of letting go.
    Thanks for your willingness to give back. You are a star! (man, I’m so punny)

  38. 38

    Hi Jasmine, I’ve learned so much from your blog Q&A’s. I’m wondering what you do when good friends or family come to you and expect a big discount? My prices are by no means exhorbitant, but people seem to think cos they know you, you’ll do the job for free even…. very frustrating, and I feel it’s disprespectful of my skills and what I choose to do to earn a living!

  39. 39
    John says:

    Jasmine, I don’t care about your gear or your “favorite f/stop,” so I hope you got your fill of those questions above. My questions are more serious: Do you find that the sunlight is better during the high part of the 11-year sunspot cycle, or the low part? Do you like to shoot with the closest 50kW broadcast tower behind, to the side, or in front of you? Have you also noticed that when the tower is 75kW or more and you’re closer than 1 mile, that your shots are slightly warmer, only but only if you’re facing west and using a lens with a fluorite element? The amount of warmness seems based on whether or not the aperture blades are an odd number, I’ve noticed….

  40. 40

    My question is pretty simple. Your photography is amazing, what do you always have in your camera bag? What lenes are your favorite to shoot with? I am just starting my business and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer questions to help us grow our own business.

  41. 41
    Alison says:

    When shooting a wedding indoors – ceremony or reception, do you still just shoot wide open at a high ISO or do you also add flash or video light?

  42. 42
    Stefanie says:

    What helped you the most in getting such crisp, clear images? Thanks Jasmine! You rock girl! You are an inspiration!

  43. 43
    Catie R says:

    Hi J*! :) I’m interested in learning more about your workflow. So once you get your RAW edit back do you process through Lightroom and pick photos to add actions to in PS? What’s your workflow routine? Where do you meet potential clients? At your home or elsewhere? Thanks J* you are a rockstar!!

  44. 44
    Farmer Gal says:

    I used to be an event coordinator at a resort and coordinated a little over a hundred weddings. Since then, and because of my growing love of photography, I’ve contemplated working toward being a wedding photographer someday. Out of all of the steps you go through in your work, which part do you find to be the most challenging? (Answer can be photography or non-photography — like business aspects — related.) Thanks!

  45. 45
    kirstenq says:

    I’d love to know what your all-time favorite lens is….the one that is “always” on your camera? Thanks!

  46. 46
    Heather says:

    Jasmine – I’m such a fan of your work and I often look to your blog for inspiration. I have several of the same questions that others have already asked, so instead I’ll try to be a little more creative.

    I’m most interested in your interaction with your clients – how you make them feel (or at least appear) so comfortable in front of the lens. More specifically, do you ever feel like a session is not going in the direction you were hoping in terms of the clients’ comfort level? If so, how do you turn the momentum around and get things on track?

    Thanks so much for answering questions!

  47. 47
    Nathalie says:

    Hi Jasmine,

    I’m a huge fan of your work and greatly admire your success. But I think my fave thing about your photos is how you get your subjects to rock it out like models. I know this has a lot to do with your own personality and confidence, but any tips you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    Nathalie

  48. 48

    Hi Jasmine – I asked you a question a couple of days ago and I must have been totally sidetracked by my kids because what I wrote made no sense. I was asking about your 50mm 1.2 (not 1.4 which is what I wrote earlier). I have the 50mm 1.4 and I was wondering if I should invest in the 1.2
    There is such a big difference in cost and I just want to make sure it is worth it. Thank you.

  49. 49
    Jonni says:

    I love Jasmine’s blog and just drool over her awesome photos. She’s so great to share all of her super tips with us.

    My question is this, could you tell me a little more about your workflow? Pretty much everything you do after you capture the images? Thakn you so much. :)

  50. 50
    Johanna says:

    lots of great questions already! as it is clear we’re all inspired by you, my question is, from whom do you get your inspiration?

  51. 51
    Nicole says:

    I, too, along with many of the others here would love to have a better understanding of how you shoot wide open but retain SO much crispy focus. And, while I’m at it, I’d love to know how you make sure your couples have FUN while you shoot. Thank you in advance for your responses to whichever questions you choose!

  52. 52
    Elizabeth says:

    Do you use your in camera light meter? How do you set up a shot so wide open? I feel like I am always changeing things dude to the light meter in the camera and it uses so much time. Thanks, I love your blog!

  53. 53
    Darina says:

    Hello, Jasmine!I wanted to know if you edit all of the pictures that you get from the shoot? What is your workflow? Are there pictures that you post that have been unedited at all? And what is your favorite international location to shoot? Thanks, you rock.

  54. 54
    Rebecca says:

    Think back to when photography was still just a dream. What steps did you take to fulfill that dream?
    If you were talking to a newbie, what would be the top 10 things you would suggest that they do or know before they dive into the wonderful world of photography?

  55. 55

    Since it appears all of the questions I thought of have been asked I will go in a different direction.

    - What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
    - When you go out in public on a non-work day, like maybe a quick run to the grocery store, do you ever go out in your grubby jeans/clothes with your hair/makeup not in the best shape? : ) I do that and I get flack about it all the time from my mother. She is a much more proper lady then I.

  56. 56
    Shayla says:

    Not sure if this has been asked before or not, but I’m curious about your husband. Was he into photography before ya’ll met or did you get him interested and teach him stuff to become the photography couple that you are now? I’ve always wondered if it would be beneficial for me to teach my husband the ropes or if it would just be more of a pain.

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