Costa Mesa, California
Venue : Mesa Verde Country Club
Last night I attended the Orange County Smugmug meeting with guest speaker Jessica Claire. Her good friend, Jasmine Star had asked Jessica to speak and although Jessica says in her blog public speaking is difficult for her, you wouldn't have known it from last night. She appeared at ease with a confident, but gentle disposition. You'd think she had done this hundreds of times before.
Jessica talked about her wedding photography. She shared some of her worst wedding pictures when she was first starting out. They were nowhere near as spectacular as her current work, but they weren't that bad actually.
One thing I admire about Jessica Claire and Jasmine Star is their willingness to share their insecurities and mistakes. It's reassuring to know heavyweights in the industry are human just like the rest of us. It's inspriring. Jessica fielded questions from the audience. She showed us the lenses she loves the most, all of them primes; the Canon 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.2 in all their L, USM and buttery bokehness glory. She said she could shoot a whole wedding with the 35mm f/1.4. Jessica shoots around 4,000 images per wedding along with her second shooter and delivers around 1,000 to 1,500 images to the bride. Jessica gave away a Shootsac and Hip Slip to two lucky audience members, one of whom suspiciously was her fiancee. One of her favorite engagement session shooting places is her backyard. The one thing that resonated the most with me is her plea for us as wedding photographers to network because it was instrumental in growing her business to what it is today. She encouraged us to talk to at least three people after the meeting. I did and was glad for it. Thank you, Jessica!
The best part of the evening was getting to meet Jasmine Star in person. I introduced myself and told her how much I admire her work. She graciously thanked me and flashed that winning smile. I showed her the shadow image above in my camera's LCD screen and she said to tag it on Facebook. I received an email from Jasmine saying she had confirmed me as a friend on Facebook. And if that was not all enough, I am on Jasmine Star's Blog! I'm in the first row with the black shirt and camera. The same photo is even on Jessica Claire's Blog as well. What a thrill! Oh, and yes, Jasmine Star is just as fabulous in peron as she appears on the web. ;)