03.31.11 Photography

Akron Photo Series

e rode the glass elevator to the third floor and walked into the oncology ward. Children sitting in a glass room with bald heads, sipping on juice and watching cartoons. Their parents thumbed through newspapers or read stories to tired babies as they waited to see the doctor. Some kids wore masks and colored with crayons rubbed to tiny nubs. I stared through the fish tank at them. I didn't mean to, but I did.

Of course this would be the floor that broke me. The tears stung my eyes and I blinked furiously to avoid a display of pity. Because, really, I didn't pity them...their strength embarrassed me. Their ability to smile and play and jump made me realize that though I have the entirety of my health, I don't smile, play, and jump as much as I should. Okay, maybe not the jumping part, know.

I had the pleasure of touring Akron Children's Hospital with Skip Cohen, as part of my trip to Ohio. I spoke at the Akron Photo Series and 25% of the event proceeds were donated to the hospital, so I wanted to see where it was going. And lemme tell you how blown away I was...this place is amazing. I'm incredibly thankful to live in such an amazing country with hospitals dedicated to helping children, regardless of their ability to pay.

Akron Children's Hospital is creating an Expressive Therapy Center, an entire unit dedicated for patients to pursue art while they're being cared for. A theater, a music production room, art supplies were being added during our tour. Skip offered his assistance in providing digital cameras and printers to the center I really hope for the best. Sara, our delightful tour guide, was such an amazing person. By the size of my smile in the following picture should let you know just how awesome I felt standing next to her. Clearly.

This is Molly. Skip's dog...and JD's newest best friend.

After touring the hospital, we went back to Skip and Sheila's house so I could practice my presentation and JD decided to relax with Molly...

The presentation in Akron was amazing because from the minute the first people arrived (almost two hours early to boot!) they filled the ballroom with an incredible amount of energy and pizzazz. Do you like that word? I do. It has a lot of z's.

I'm honored to have spent the evening with such an amazing group of photographers who traveled from as far as Lexington, Kentucky (they won a free Showit website for making that five-hour commute!) and who possess the power and drive to personalize their businesses on the web. I can honestly say this group is ready to flip Ohio upside down and inside out...and I love it.

Happy Thursday!
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KellieAnn - I live in North Canton, Ohio and even though I was not able to make it to the Akron Photo Series, I've read about it from others on their blogs, twitter, and now you. :) Ohio *is* pretty awesome. It's wonderful to hear you donated to Akron Children's, too. :)   04.21.11 - 12:30pm
Misty Dawn - I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio, and it was so exciting to read this post!  04.04.11 - 1:58pm
Martha Davidson - LOVE your outfit Jasmine!! You are so stunning!  04.04.11 - 9:04am
ReginaMarie - OMG!!!!! In the last picture, the guy all the way on the right, (camera right)... I went to Elementary school with him!!! Hi Brian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  04.02.11 - 10:22pm
Krysta - The photo of JD laying on Molly is hott. (If I am permitted to call your husband hott. lol. Because Let's face it. He is.)  04.02.11 - 7:09pm
Samuel Burns Photographer - Molly is adorable!!  04.02.11 - 1:14am
Shannon Sorensen - I see you wore sleeves this time, good decision! haha I'm glad you had such a nice trip. I want a doggy pillow! Is that the same as a "Pillow Pet"? :)  04.01.11 - 10:18am
Columbus GA Wedding Photographer - What an amazing write up Jasmine. So glad you guys were able to help such an awesome organization!  04.01.11 - 7:14am
Renee Tucker - You are such an inspiration!!! I joined your blog just this past weekend and don't mean to sound creepy but I am obsessed....Thanks for doing what you do!! How awesome that you open your life and talent for others to find inspiration!!   04.01.11 - 12:14am
Sasha Behrens - Reading your post made me tear up I am a nurse and can't wait to have the experience in order to transfer to a children's oncology hospital. I so wish (and because of privacy) you could post the pictures of the children. I can't wait to see their energy, their fight, their tears, and at the end of a good day a smile. I love photography and hope more people will capture these children's energy... maybe I will when I get there! Thanks for sharing and being a part of this project  03.31.11 - 10:25pm
Mom - I'm soooooooo happy things went very well for you in Ohio. Great time, great friends!  03.31.11 - 9:52pm
Denise Prichett - This is just another example of how photography can help to change lives. I have had so many wonderful and different experiences because of my camera. Thanks for sharing this!  03.31.11 - 9:11pm
brianne howard - oh you were talking about me ;) i was the crazy one there 2 hours early lol...i love you jasmine, thank you so much for coming!  03.31.11 - 7:44pm
Sonia Schwantes - Seeing something like that really leaves a lasting impression. My daughter has leukemia for over a year and even now she amazes me with her strength. Now I just have to get her the pink camera she wants because the children's one "isn't a real camera" or so she tells me.  03.31.11 - 6:45pm
Briana - Thank you SO much for taking the time to come visit us in Ohio--you are such an inspiration!  03.31.11 - 4:27pm
Emily Zuercher - Thank you so much Jasmine and JD for coming to Ohio! I had an awesome night...learned a ton, laughed a ton, and met some great people! (I randomly sat by 2 other Emilys) You mentioned that you want to leave an impression...well, you are leaving an impression alright- A positive, kind, loving impression! Thanks for donating to Akron Children's, too! That's awesome!   03.31.11 - 3:58pm
tim king - Now *that* is awesome. So cool to see you doing stuff like this. We have a lot of options & a lot of ways we can spend our time - really cool to see you giving back. You're an awesome photographer, but a *truly great* person. Keep on truckin'. Excited to see you next week!  03.31.11 - 3:47pm
Kristin Nicole - Fabulous post!  03.31.11 - 3:47pm
Shuva Rahim - Kudos for the charity to the children's hospital. That's awesome... and kudos to ohio. If I wasn't from Iowa, I'd be from Ohio. lived there for 2.5 years and LOVED it... so maybe that makes me (I'm 34) .07 percent Ohioan?   03.31.11 - 3:21pm
Em - We were so beyond happy to have come to hear you speak and speak so honestly. What matters most in life is being thankful for all that we do have and you are able to bring it all back to that Jasmine. Beautiful person inside and out!   03.31.11 - 2:37pm
Jennifer Hudspeth - "...their strength embarrassed me." You could have not worded that better, if you had tried. You always amaze me j*.  03.31.11 - 2:29pm
Sarah Danaher - I have friends that went to it. SO proud of you, and so grateful that you made that effort to go!   03.31.11 - 12:57pm
Edric Morales - I had a really great time listening to your wisdom. You truly are a marketing genius! Right before the presentation a lady told you about meatloaf. You said meatloaf was weird because of ketchup and what not. HINT: have you tried turkey meatloaf with gravy? Just saying:) WORD!!  03.31.11 - 12:56pm
Mary Adams - may have single handedly saved my photography career. I spoke to you briefly during one of the breaks and was nearly in tears listening to your've inspired me to keep fighting the good fight toward realizing my own dreams of being successful in this industry...thank you so much for coming to Akron!  03.31.11 - 12:43pm
Erin Oveis Brant - Love this. Even though you don't have any photos of the children I can see them...and feel their strength. What a great reminder to appreciate our health and give back as much as possible!   03.31.11 - 12:30pm
kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer} - Such a great thing for donating to the hospital!  03.31.11 - 11:24am
Deney - I love Dog Pillows!! I have two!  03.31.11 - 11:16am
Shawna Schneider - Jas (can I call you that now, ya know, since we met and all.. :)). I will remember Tuesday night for as long as I live. After years of reading your blog regularly, it was such a pleasure to finally meet you and hear you speak. You have an endless amount of knowledge, love and positive energy! The 3 hours flew by, but the message and motivation will stay with me for a long time to come. Thank you again for coming... and for the donation to such an incredible hospital in our community! xoxo :)  03.31.11 - 11:09am
jill emerick - Jasmine, it was so amazing to meet you and JD in person! You both are so warm and friendly. And I had no idea how funny you are girl!!! :) I'm so excited about putting everything you taught us about your journey to use in our journey. Thank you for coming to chilly Ohio to share!  03.31.11 - 11:00am
Bill Spoonster - Thanks so much for making a stop in Akron--especially in this weather! Your talk was amazing and you've given be so many fantastic ideas to implement. A big thank you for shining the spotlight on our wonderful Children's Hospital--truly a bright spot in this city. Good luck with next week's CreativeLive--I'll be watching!  03.31.11 - 10:50am
kelly marie - such a great cause!!   03.31.11 - 10:30am
Emily Burlingame - Thanks again Jasmine - it was really great meeting you and your energy is contagious.  03.31.11 - 10:27am
Leah Aubrey - Children's Hospital is certainly a place that will step back and realize everything amazing we have in this world! Thanks for coming to Ohio J, it was nice hearing you talk! And talk fast you do!   03.31.11 - 10:01am
Amy Jo - That sounds like a beautiful opportunity. I was just thinking the other day about great organizations I could get involved and support through my photography. It sounds like those children have a strength that I can't comprehend. Thank you for sharing your experience.  03.31.11 - 9:45am
Jana Baker - I cannot tell you how amazed I am by the way you continually give back. Weather it's just being open and honest and giving advice to up and coming photographers, to sharing your *real* life experiences to helping others in need. I am a mother of a cancer survivor. My daughter was 19 months old when she was diagnosed and I know exactly how you felt; walking on that hospital floor and seeing all those brave, amazing children. My daughter was able to gift me with her own personal display of not only courage, but joy. Many times she would want to run her little fisher-price shopping cart up and down the hospital isle and I had to keep up cause she was still attached to her i.v. poll! Those moments will never leave me as long as I walk this earth, and I hope that what you took away from your time there never leaves you~   03.31.11 - 9:44am
Life with Kaishon - I have always thought Ohio people were some of the coolest ones around! LOVE this : )  03.31.11 - 9:22am
Michelle Chernock - Thank you, again, for coming all this way. I know the trip was a whirlwind for both you and JD. My husband, Bob, and I both enjoyed meeting you and JD and the presentation. You were right - it gave us a lot to discuss on the way home. ;-) You were great! I hope we meet again - someday!  03.31.11 - 9:18am
Natalie Tuggle - Oh! And by the way, you look gorgous!  03.31.11 - 9:07am
Natalie Tuggle - What an amazing story. I want to cry too!  03.31.11 - 9:07am
Deb Peluso - We were SO grateful to have you in Ohio Jasmine, you totally inspired me and so many others! I love that you took the time to talk to everyone, one on one. You are as funny, honest and classy in person as you are on your blog! Next time you should bring Polo!!!  03.31.11 - 9:06am
Joice Kelly - It's beautiful what they do in Hospitals like this! Simply Beautiful!  03.31.11 - 9:04am
Margaret - JD told me he was laying on Molly but to actually see the pic really makes me smile. Molly is like a giant version of Polo!!!   03.31.11 - 9:02am
LEOLAK - Oh this is awesome! I have family in Akron myself. So great that you guys visited the hospital and proceeds are going to such a wonderful organization! Kids w/ such courage and strength touch my heart in a very special place...I know of a very sweet little angel in heaven now who possessed those amazing traits. Thanks for sharing J...and that dog looks adorable!   03.31.11 - 8:48am
Jenelle Sewell - This is great, Jasmine! You have such a big heart...He's smiling down on you right now. =)   03.31.11 - 8:43am
Heather Hutmacher - Sara is such an amazing person! It is nice to see her on your blog :) THANK YOU for coming to Akron and helping the hospital.   03.31.11 - 8:30am
Kate Douthwright - That was so nice of you guys to visit the childrens hospital. I volunteer with make a wish and those kids are so strong. So inspirational to every adult!  03.31.11 - 8:07am
elizabeth - A shout out to KY! yay! I'm not a photographer, just a mom who likes to take pictures of her daughter. I admire your work and witty sense of humor!  03.31.11 - 8:00am
Stephanie Lyell - I am one of the three Lexingtonians and let me just tell everyone reading this was totally worth it! Jasmine, I said it yesterday on your Polo post and I'll say it again was so wonderful to meet you and JD and hear your speak about what you are so obviously passionate about. It was truly inspirational. On a side note...that dog is rad :)  03.31.11 - 7:56am