While I thought I had just been fighting off allergies for the past few weeks, it has officially turned into a cold. Sore throat, sniffly nose, ear ache… I got it. Just in time for my busy season, too. Can you tell how excited I am to be feeling under the weather? Needless to say, I needed a few laughs today. Which brings me to Friday Funnies….
Story of my life… I can only watch Casino and Good Fellas in 30 minute increments. Poor Danny.
I really need to invest in one of these given the amount of time I spend editing at my computer. Multi-tasking at it’s finest.
Seriously. All the time.
Danny and I play the alphabet game on the way up to Lake Gevena like it’s a tradition. Unfortunately there aren’t any signs like this…
Stick a mustache on your TV. Every time it lines up with someone’s face, drink! Playing this game immediately.
Over a year ago, I started a blog section of my website that I am embarrassed to say, did not keep very up to date. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some great content in there. Which I’m sure no one had the pleasure of reading since it was tucked away in a pseudo-blog page that I thought would suffice until I was able to upgrade to my current blog.
That being said, I’m going to start pulling some of my favorite posts from JT Photography Blog v1.0. Here’s the first… and an important one at that. The blog post below describes only a sliver of my experience at Jasmine Star’s theFIX at Loft on Lake in Chicago. It was such a pivotal moment in my career. The night was filled with new friends, inspiring stories, and starstruck moments. It was a whirlwind of photography do’s and don’ts… and in the end, helped me decide what I want to DO with my business.
The night pushed me to be more efficient with my time. Inspired me to be confident in my work and value myself with my pricing. Assured me that investing in my business was not only a good idea, but imperative to my success. Since this night, I can honestly say I’ve taken numerous steps towards bettering my business and I’m looking forward to continuing improving each and every day. My current up-to-date blog, new website, more efficient client relations, more focused wedding photography, and investment packages are all a bi-product of this night. But before I get all businessy on you, I’d like to share a funny story….
throwback blog [hi, i’m mortified. nice to meet you.]
After weeks of anticipation and excitement, the day had finally arrived. It seemed like when I bought my tickets to theFIX with Jasmine Star that it was so far away. But here I was, pushing myself to network with other photographers and force my shyness back down my own throat. The day had finally come. For those of you who don’t know, Jasmine Star is like a celebrity to wedding photographers. Literally. I mean the girl is driving around the country on a tour bus selling out city after city, singing autographs and taking pictures with us photo nerds. She is big time. Anyway.
Getting off the expressway and finding Loft on Lake seemed like it was going to be impossible, but it was pretty hard to miss the venue when there’s a GIGANTIC rock star tour bus parked outside the building. I felt my nerves jump and my whole body tense when I saw it. I was about to meet people who I’d been chatting with via Facebook for weeks now, but I was still so nervous.
Luckily, I found a close parking spot just around the corner from the loft and had a minute to gather my thoughts. As I organized my bags (camera, laptop, and purse!) and locked my car, I turned to walk towards the loft and see if there were any fellow photographers waiting to go to the group dinner we had all planned together. Still looking at my feet, I took a deep breath and mentally prepared myself for introductions. Like I don’t know my own name? I have to practice saying where I’m from and how long I’ve been a “photographer?”
After figuring out how to say “Jilllll Teeee-ong-ko” and visualizing myself in friendly conversations with complete strangers, I see a little white dog trotting on the sidewalk out of the corner of my eye. And my heart stops. Anyone that follows Jasmine Star knows what her dog, Polo, looks like. I do a double take, and then slowly, in what felt like an eternity, bring my eyes up to see if is truly, Jasmine Star herself—and then I realize it is. AND JD. Walking Polo. And I freeze.
I contemplate running back into my car and hiding until they pass. Maybe they didn’t see me. Maybe I should go up to them. Maybe I should introduce myself. Maybe I should stop staring. Maybe I’m the only other person on the street and now this is just awkward because I’m staring at them smiling like a freakshow. “No, don’t bother them,” I think to myself. “They’re probably trying to relax and spend some time together before things get crazy tonight,” my mind reasoned. I swear, it was probably only about 5 seconds, but the number of thoughts that ran threw my mind was ridiculous.
So at this point, I’m in the middle of the street walking towards them on the sidewalk. I still don’t know what to do. Clearly they know what a camera bag looks like and that I’m probably there for theFIX. I notice that JD is staring right back at me, and we make eye contact. He has a big smile on his face and looks so friendly. So I smile back, and then I say, “Hiiiiiiiii,” in such a high pitched voice that I only think dogs could hear it. And then here comes the worst part. I keep walking. I awkwardly screech HI! And then don’t even stop and introduce myself. Or say anything for that matter. “Hi, how are you? I’m here for theFIX. I’m so excited for your presentation. I love your work. You’re such an inspiration. Polo is so cute. How are you liking Chicago?” I can think of a billion things to say to them right now, but in that moment, I said NOTHING! Let’s just say I was not expecting to be that star struck and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I turned the corner, saw the first person with a camera bag and said, “I am mortified!” I didn’t even tell this person my name first. Luckily, fellow theFIX attendee and new friend, Erin Knowles was nice enough to help me calm down and pick up the pieces of my shattered nerves.
Despite my shaky start, the whole night ended up being a success. I had a great meal at De Cero and got to chat with some amazing photographers over chips and guac, tamales, and tacos.
I’d say the biggest thing I took away from the event was the importance of meeting new photographers and networking. I made some great connections with some awesome people and have already started to make plans for stylized photo shoots, dinners, and coffee dates.
As for what I took from Jasmine’s presentation… I think the number one thing is to be confident. If I can’t see myself doing something, how am I going to convince clients I can do it? Be ME in everything that I do. Break the mold. Do it my way. Play to my strengths. It’s ok to say no to people who don’t value my services. Oh, and of course, templates, templates, templates!
Overall, it was a great experience and I’m so happy I did it. While I regret my little run-in with Jasmine, JD, and Polo, the silver lining is that at least it gave me a funny story to tell her when I chatted her up after the show. She’s even cracking up at how mortified I was.
She’s so sweet though, she said “Don’t worry, all I’m going to remember about Jill from Chicago is how cute her outfit is and how her hair is all jchhoozed up and fabulous.” ☺
Because Jasmine Star’s “Friday Randomness” blog cracks me up, and my cousin Tiffany’s “This Makes Me Laugh” board on Pinterest kept me sitting in my cubicle trying to contain my laughter for a good 10 minutes… I’m spreading the laughter. Happy Friday 🙂
It literally took me 20 seconds to find the cat…
Danny looks at me like this every morning…
This happened to me yesterday while I was at the bottom of the stairs…. Causing me to run up the stairs with a goofy smile of gratitude, trying to hold back my gasps for breathe…
And just because I’m Asian…