04.14.11 Personal

Choosing Risk.

ost afternoons were spent alone in a stairwell, and it's hard to admit I sat there. Alone. Every morning I packed a lunch and stuffed it in my purse, usually opting for PB&J on wheat. After a couple weeks of floating around law school, I found a quiet corner adjacent to the dean's office where I sat in solitude. And thought.

I thought about my mom's illness, I thought about my hibernating study habits, I thought about how much I spend at Whole Foods. I was all over the place and by the time I finished eating my apple, I was ready to head back to the library. Or just sit and wait. Sitting or leaving. Studying or running. Laughing or crying. I hardly knew what I wanted but the ache in my chest wouldn't go away.

I'd wake every morning at 4 a.m. and drive to the gym, wait in line for a treadmill, then run. If you saw me on that treadmill illuminated by the overhead television displaying CNN, you'd think I was running from something.

Perhaps I was.

Two hours later, I'd leave my apartment--after a hot shower, a cup of oatmeal, and a good cry--and catch the campus shuttle to school. Then I'd find myself alone on the stairwell again. Rinse and repeat.

People often assume the risk I took to start my business was not returning to law school. But that's far from the truth. I would have taken a larger risk staying in law school knowing just how unhappy I was. Sometimes we risk our dreams for safety and comfort, but I was ready to risk safety and comfort for my dreams.

Today whenever I eat a PB&J on wheat, I am reminded of my solitude in the stairwell, knowing life will always be filled with's simply a matter of choosing which one you'll take.

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Ana Patiño - Thank you so much for sharing this post. Its really encouraging. I am a college broke student trying to pursue my passion while juggling a job. This morning I read Luke 12 and it really spoke to me then reading your post was the cherry on top. Blessings!  04.12.12 - 3:16pm
Sanele - "Today whenever I eat a PB&J on wheat, I am reminded of my solitude in the stairwell, knowing life will always be filled with's simply a matter of choosing which one you'll take." that is just beautiful!speaks to me.I often find myself coming back to this post whenever I'm unhappy.your boldness blows me away!  08.05.11 - 4:46am
Allison - I've reread this post maybe 10 or 15 times since you posted it. I stayed in law school (for me, it was a lot of fun) but I had a sneaking suspicion that what was at the end of the tunnel wasn't going to work. Once I graduated, I took a year off to travel. So many people said "what a risk that is to take a year off", but I told them the bigger risk would be in not be doing it, in not seeing the world before I turned into one of the grey suit people (sound familiar?). I've been back for two years now, half-assing my dreams. I'm a sad little tax attorney, but I've got a few hours of joy each day in my small photography business and small personal blog. I can't seem to unchain myself from my desk. I'm still working on choosing the right risk, but I so appreciate the honesty and candor. XO.   05.28.11 - 7:57am
Maxine - My favorite post, and I've read a lot of them :) Thank you for sharing your experiences and inspiring us to live life abundantly.  05.08.11 - 9:42pm
John Tupper - Ok just found your blog and you Jasmine today for the first time. This post caught my eye because after many years of belly aching about how my dreams to be a great photographer were dashed by lack of money or time, I am coming to see that I chose this path to here and I can choose a new beginning if I have the courage to go for it. Have you seen David Duchemin post titled choosing risk? He wrote it a few days after this post.   05.05.11 - 8:29pm
claire - Amen. (from a lawyer who wishes she dropped out of law school and minimized her risk with respect to student loan debt). Good luck!  04.25.11 - 4:06pm
S L Media Productions - I really admire your work it is extremely beautiful. As a wedding photographer in Charlotte NC I like to research and learn from others in the photography field. Jasmine Star you are definitely one to learn from.   04.21.11 - 9:49am
Mark Martinez Photography - Beautiful.  04.20.11 - 6:24pm
Undfind Photographer - Great composition! Keep up the great work.   04.20.11 - 2:35pm
Penny - As a budding photo newbie and nearly twice your age, you are my inspiration. Thank you for such as a illuminating perspective.  04.20.11 - 10:07am
Erin Davenport - I'm a few days behind, but wow! So glad I read this post. I was there too sometimes while at school--it can be really lonely. I'll join the rest of the commenters in saying that I'm SO glad you decided to leap! xoxo  04.20.11 - 5:05am
MZ - Very inspirational! Thank you for being so open and honest. I really needed this today. So empowering.  04.19.11 - 9:14am
michelle white - wow! jasmine! i know i'm a little behind in reading your posting but i must've let this slip through the cracks. You sound like me with the decision to take/choosing risk. i get up everyday at 4am to go to the gym then i'm off to work. i think how i would love to go full time but scare to make that choice, you're so encouraging and inspiring and for that i'm truly grateful to have met you and got a little glimpse into your world I often reflect on the nov 2009 class and how you invigorated me. i haven't lost it and i too will dance head to head toe to toe with making that risky choice. Thanks for always sharing, revealing and empowering us to "do us" :)  04.18.11 - 6:48pm
Catherine Guidry - Jasmine, I know you have no idea who I am but I follow your blog religiously. And everytime I read your posts I feel like I relate to you SO much! I studied architecture for 6 years...finishing with my masters. And I hated every moment of it. Risking everything for my photography business was def worth it and I love the way you inspire others to risk everything for their dreams.  04.18.11 - 11:43am
Dee - This post made me tear. And opened my eyes. Thanks for sharing this Jasmine . <3  04.18.11 - 7:20am
Jenny - Jasmine, if you read this.... right now you've got 489 likes and 173 people commenting on this post. Regardless of what people think, no matter how nervous a talk makes you... you did the right thing by following your heart. Life would be pretty boring if we only did what was expected of us. I don't think anyone wants to lay in a grave one day and have missed out on the things they could have done. You rock girl. Keep shooting and inspire all of us.   04.17.11 - 7:38pm
Joanna Pia - This is so inspiring. It seems like I'm going through the same thing, I'm in nursing school because I am too scared of taking a risk but someday I will leap and embrace what I truly love. Thanks Jasmine  04.17.11 - 8:15am
Annie - Thank you thank you thank you. This is EXACTLY what I'm going through. Thank you for speaking directly to me through this entry. God bless.  04.16.11 - 9:47pm
Jessica Sweeney - These are the posts that set you apart. Well and bravely said, yet again.   04.16.11 - 9:03pm
Tanya Petraglia - I needed this today Jasmine. Thank you.   04.16.11 - 4:28pm
Nessa K - This hit close to up, but "spaghetti and buttered bread" is my humble food. =)  04.16.11 - 4:19pm
stacy - lovely. thank you so much for this today.  04.16.11 - 8:19am
Brooke - I really needed this today Jasmine. Thank you!  04.16.11 - 7:36am
Emma Godfrey - Something clicked inside me last year but it was your CreativeLive Wedding course that made me realise I could take the risk because the alternative was unhappiness, stress and far more tears than I should have been crying. Thank you for inspiring me and so many others. I hope one day to be able to inspire others too.  04.16.11 - 3:34am
Kara Emily Krantz - I got the goosebumps, too. This meant he world to me right now. I have been there. I received my Masters in Counseling psychology, but I knew something was missing. I am finally pursuing EVERYTHING I've dreamed, and even though there is still so far to go, I couldn't be happier. I am 26 and I feel like my life has just begun. You are such an inspiration, Jasmine. I am happy to have found you.   04.15.11 - 9:24pm
Cloggins - Goosebumps. Tears. Thanks.  04.15.11 - 3:18pm
Kris Green - I too am happy you took the risk! You have inspired me to again follow my dream. I prayed for guidance, direction... you were part of the answer to my prayer once I typed into my browser. I had followed your journey for years never knowing that that it would inspire me like it did last Friday. Thank you Jasmine for being you!  04.15.11 - 1:01pm
Erika Blake - Today I feel the same way. I'm having to make the decision to opt out of college for something I love more. Photography. Thank you.  04.15.11 - 11:41am
Anthony Quesada - This is so beautiful Jasmine. You are a true poet and so honest  04.15.11 - 11:40am
Ariana Watts - Great post. So encouraging.  04.15.11 - 11:06am
Chantel Klassen - Wow, thanks for sharing.  04.15.11 - 10:36am
Shannon Wimberly - ....tears here too.....   04.15.11 - 10:01am
Wendy - I always thought I was alone in my solitude at my desk job. I would take my lunch, go eat it at a local park alone and dread the minutes until I had to go back. It was like lead blocks were attached to my feet and it took everything I had in me to walk through those doors. I'll never forget the day I left on my lunch break and never came back. It was as if a gentle hand pushed me towards the door and the weight off my shoulders affirmed that everything would be okay. Even though financially, it was a very scary and selfish move. Thank you Jasmine for showing me I was never alone, even when I thought I was. xo   04.15.11 - 8:43am
karola photography - beautiful post, thank you for it.  04.15.11 - 8:43am
felicia gwen - Tears.  04.15.11 - 7:41am
Michelle Lunn - There is an entire world out there-thankful every day that you took this risk.   04.15.11 - 7:20am
Lily - Can't tell you how much I appreciate the honest nature of your blogging and your consistancy. You never disappear for a week at a time like many folks and we recognise the dedication that takes.   04.15.11 - 7:18am
Andreas - So true. I just took the risk and feel freer than ever. (is that correct english...?)  04.15.11 - 5:02am
Stephanie Durocher - Thank you for sharing. I needed this today.   04.15.11 - 4:49am
Elizabeth - It is so scary to take the risk of following your dreams, I have to admit, I hold myself back the most and I have to learn to let go a bit and see where I go with my day.  04.15.11 - 2:32am
Lloyed Valenzuela - Very nice post. Im in these situation right now... "Sometimes we risk our dreams for safety and comfort..." i like the most and its very true.   04.15.11 - 1:02am
ErikaM - You're such a great story teller. I feel like I can imagine this moment and also relate to it in so many ways. Keep following your dreams and inspiring others along the way. :)  04.15.11 - 12:37am
Isaac Stott - EPIC!  04.14.11 - 11:22pm
Leya - Hi Jasmine, This is an incredible post. When you talk about your inspiring journey and the risks you took, so many of us feel so much inspired from it. I remember my own college days when I can actually resonate the same sinking unhappiness that you describe. Thanks Jasmine! You deserve the happiness and success that you have now :) So happy that you share your journey so profoundly with all of us.  04.14.11 - 9:52pm
JenP - Choosing risk is hard but with God leading the way there's no need to fret. My family and I are taking the plunge and moving from the city and into the countryside. It's scary yet simultaneously thrilling... and, like you, I'm glad we're choosing to risk. God bless!  04.14.11 - 9:52pm
Whitney (Utah Photographer) - I so appreciate that you are willing to share your story and your emotions. I ended up a full time photographers because of an illness that left me lying in bed 5 days a week. I dropped out of school and slowly tried to get my energy and my life back. I never got the athletic, academic, music life back that I had before. But I was led into photography instead. And I'm so grateful for it. I now have a life I couldn't have dreamed of. Sometimes I'm almost ashamed to share this story with potential clients, but I think I'll try it. Thank you for the inspiration.  04.14.11 - 9:42pm
Steve Febbraro - Your are living proof that, Honesty is the best policy.  04.14.11 - 9:17pm
Erin Z - I often stare into space thinking about my Whole Foods bill as well. It's all about the "Seeduction" bread for PB&J's. I love taking risks. No matter the outcome. Thanks for posting. (oh and BTW I laughed out loud reading your prior post about checking out JD. And the bow tie sweater!? Priceless.)  04.14.11 - 8:59pm
Elise - I'm starting to dream again. : )  04.14.11 - 8:51pm
katie b - thanks for sharing this, i love it.  04.14.11 - 7:59pm
Robyn - I am so in this place right now. More than I even let on... Thank you, Jasmine.  04.14.11 - 7:54pm
Life with Kaishon - I am so glad you took a risk and it worked out beautifully for you.  04.14.11 - 7:53pm
Darcie Sutherland - Thanks for your encouragement and vulnerability:)   04.14.11 - 7:48pm
ALANNA - wow Jasmine. thank you for this post. for your words of encouragement. for your honesty. i feel so inspired by you! thank you for giving me the confidence to pursue my dream and take risks  04.14.11 - 6:28pm
Jodie - Merge Photography - The risks you take in life can define you as a person. I live by the motto of no regret. Its better to take risks and make mistakes that regretting not doing it all. I personally am so glad you took that risk Jasmine, you inspire me every day (as a fellow photographer & business owner) You rock my world girl! x  04.14.11 - 6:24pm
Charlotte - First time commenter, but I've become a HUGE fan of yours. Incidentally, our stories are very similar. I'm currently a paralegal in a family law firm and my course was clear - work for a few years, get practical experience, then take the LSAT and head off to law school. Then, my husband bought a Rebel T1I and it's become glued to my hand. I've always been analytical and not so creative. But every time I shoot now, I feel much more positive about myself and get a little bit better. I just keep reminding myself of your story - it might be scary, but it also might be rewarding and, more importantly, the better choice for me. So, thanks for sharing your story - very inspirational.   04.14.11 - 6:12pm
Jackie Faria - It's strang that I know exactly how you feel! But look at you know so happy   04.14.11 - 5:03pm
Shane O' Sullivan - This is so true!  04.14.11 - 4:53pm
Becca - Love this. Wonderful post.  04.14.11 - 4:52pm
Alexis - Been there. Still there. Would you provide details as to how you were able to make the transition or rather the leap of faith from Law School to launching your God-given dreams into reality?  04.14.11 - 4:32pm
Stephanie Stewart - Love this post. I can totally relate. My story has similarities, mostly the unhappiness with what I was doing, stuck in a dead end job, week after week. Thank you for sharing. So happy I found your blog a few years ago. *hugs!*  04.14.11 - 3:47pm
Jill Samter Photography - bravo for your transparency and showing others the beauty that is truly J*. nice to get to know you better! as you can see by your comments posts like this change lives and help others feel "normal" and question what God is really calling them to do too!  04.14.11 - 3:45pm
Shauna - Oh. my. gosh. Are you also a Whole Foods Addict? I knew I liked you before but now I officially want to be your bff. Thanks for this entry. :)  04.14.11 - 3:19pm
Carla Thomas - Follow photographers, and all the brides who have booked you, plan to book you and talk to their friends about your wonderful work, are extremely happy you took a risk. I watched you on CreativeLive last week, and was blown away not only by your honesty, but your stories of how you began. It makes me believe it is possible for me too. x  04.14.11 - 3:11pm
Cristine - Hi Jasmine, I've been silently following your blog for quite some time now, however I think today's post struck more chords than you even imagined. Your story resonates with so many people that need the inspiration to take the plunge. You have done it and this one of the reasons we all admire you so much. I am constantely thinking about a change, but every time I am seriously considering it, I can't help but wondering if the many years I have spent in Med School and during my PhD were just a waste? Or, were they a necessary step to make me acknowledge what I don't want to do and who I don't want to be. Hopefully one day I'll have the courage to follow in your footsteps... Thanks for the inspiration!  04.14.11 - 2:59pm
kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer} - Thanks for sharing!  04.14.11 - 2:56pm
terri z - so glad you took the risk ... you are a huge inspiration to me and so many more... KIR and keep on rockin' !!!!! ;)  04.14.11 - 2:45pm
Erin Oveis Brant - I wish I could just reach through the computer and hug you! It's funny that you use the words safety and comfort...I think that is what so many of us find through your posts. Thank you for inspiring me to choose my biggest risk yet. I can't wait to tell you all about it soon... XO  04.14.11 - 2:26pm
Sara S. - WOW... Jasmine. You have no idea how much I needed this today! I want so badly to run from risk. Most of my life, that's what I've done. And today I have to make a major decision, regarding risk. And I don't like it. I don't like it, but I know what I need to do. Thank you for being the inspiration that you are. Thank you for showing us what it means to take huge risks. In my own way, I've lived my whole life in solitude by the stairwell. Thank you Jasmine. Athousand thank you's! You couldn't have shared this on a better day!  04.14.11 - 2:24pm
Kristin Nicole - Thanks for being so revealing...this is beautiful.  04.14.11 - 2:23pm
Lisa - Your posts always seem to come at the perfect time for me and what I have going on in my life... how do you do that? So happy that the risks you took to follow your dreams worked out for you. Hopefully my leaps of faith will see me land safely too! Thankyou x  04.14.11 - 2:18pm
Rachelle - Jasmine, as you often do when I read your blog, you inspire me. This post brought me ton tears because I feel this way now. right this second. I will not give up my dreams though, not ever!   04.14.11 - 2:08pm
Ashlee - Hi Jasmine, I'm a friend of Meg Perotti's and since hearing about you from her wedding, I have read your blog daily. I love love love today's post. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for risking it and for being open and honest while reassuring others who might be going through similar struggles ;)  04.14.11 - 2:03pm
shannon-may - thank you jasmine for this post. your wisdom is divine, and the exact little bit of gold i needed today in order to follow through on a difficult decision which entails "risking security and comfort in order to follow my dreams." i watched your creativeLIVE workshop last week and your pursuit of happiness is something that i cannot shake ("had to do this because i needed to be happy" paraphrase obviously :). your transparency has given me permission to do the same... moreover, i believe i have given myself permission to trust God in ways i have not before. you're a treasure.  04.14.11 - 1:37pm
Jackie Lamas - this resonates with me so much! i have just taken the risk to take a part time job of 15 hours (at best) and begin trudging through the obstacles of getting my business off the ground at full speed ahead. thank you so much for sharing this with me. i can't tell you how unhappy i have been working a full time job siting behind a computer, folding papers and stuffing envelopes. thank you for sharing!  04.14.11 - 1:28pm
michelle carrillo - i love this. thank you. i have a huge lump in my throat right now. because i love that you were brave enough to do what you have done. and i love that you have put this out there for us to see. thank you.  04.14.11 - 1:03pm
Jennifer Hudspeth - I am ready to leap. Ready to plunge. Ready to give whatever it takes to reach my dream . I owe you a thank you for that. Your inspirational words have impacted my life over the past couple years. So, THANK YOU.   04.14.11 - 1:00pm
Courtney Mason - Such a beautiful post! This post really spoke to me. Finding what you were made to do and having the courage to actually purse it is a huge leap of faith! I know because this is the life I am living today! Thank you for your words of encouragement :)   04.14.11 - 12:35pm
Kate Douthwright - This sounds just like me at different points in my life.I am now trying to break that mold I've built around myself. Thanks for sharing your story Jasmine!  04.14.11 - 12:32pm
Alex - Absolutely beautiful blog post. You are such an excellent writer.  04.14.11 - 12:14pm
Kelly Middleton - Thanks. I needed to hear this today.   04.14.11 - 12:10pm
Jennifer - I know this feeling and I want to risk everything... Unfortunately I also have a chronic condition and I am fighting like tooth and nail to get my life back...but knowing that I have the talent but just not the health to make it is very discouraging. I know as soon as I can control my condition... a rare from of ananphylaxis, I will be able to devote everything I have to making my self a great photographer. Right now, I just bide my time and learn everything I can. Everything. I have been growing in my I will be ready to take over when I get my chance. This has given me the hope that I will have my chance so thank you.   04.14.11 - 12:06pm
Robert Peterson - I'm as touched by people's comments as I am by your blog. It's amazing how many lives you've touch simply by being honest in a way many are scared too. Love reading your entries.  04.14.11 - 12:05pm
Stephanie - This really speaks to me at this moment in my life. Thank you for sharing!  04.14.11 - 11:58am
desiree - i can't tell you how many times your posts have come up in perfect timing for something i feel i was meant to read. thank you for your gifts; of photography, writing, and honesty.  04.14.11 - 11:57am
Steve Febbraro - I'll say it simply, You are a blessing!  04.14.11 - 11:57am
Nicole - This made me cry. Mostly in a good way. I needed this. Thank you for being you, and for posting this!  04.14.11 - 11:47am
Sara - a midday tear.  04.14.11 - 11:41am
lydia gross - I have your same dream, just a little different. However, my life is in a much different place than where you were when you took your leap. I am a wife and a mother and I carry insurance for my entire family. Is my work good enough? Is my cliental consistent enough? Can I make it without doing weddings? Can I make it period? We want a bigger home.. we want to be out of debt... but I am unhappy at my day job. I have been for 3 years. When will I know when the risk is right for me? ugh  04.14.11 - 11:39am
Lauren - oh my gosh jasmine this is so so so true. if we would all just open up our eyes we would all know that we choose what risks we take in life all the time. i love your story. so proud that you chased your dreams and chose a risk that you are so very talented at. :)  04.14.11 - 11:39am
Teresa Stevens - I love your honesty and humility. You inspire us all the be genuine!  04.14.11 - 11:33am
Melanie Rebane - m photography - Ottawa - A great post. After doing everything I thought I had to do to have the career I thought I was supposed to want....making the money most people strive to make...and leaving my fine art career behind I am full circle doing what I feel I was always meant to be doing. No regrets and deeply content...because it feels so real.  04.14.11 - 11:31am
natalie - Gosh I am almost in tears...your story is so inspirational and I am glad you took this risk because you have helped so many people going through the same thing! Love the photo too!  04.14.11 - 11:29am
Yuliya Molitvenik - Thank you for sharing and for your honesty, it helps me to reevaluate my decisions. Have an awesome day.  04.14.11 - 11:28am
shauna maness - this was the stirring this morning as i prayed for wisdom- i am so thankful once again for your voice & how it connects to so many. when in doubt, press in. much love to you!  04.14.11 - 11:23am
Rhea Ashlynn - Beautifully Said! I just quit my 9-5 job last week to start my own photography business. I am so nervous to take this leap of faith but I need to focus on what is next for me. I am already booking up quickly for the next couple months so wish me luck. Thank you for taking your time to inspire your followers.  04.14.11 - 11:22am
Robert - The greatest risk is not taking a risk. Congratulations on doing what you love instead of risking your life for conventionality!  04.14.11 - 11:17am
Frances Otero - Leaving the corporate world filled me with scare, anxiety and worry but by the time I did, I knew I was more than ready. My spirits were dying quickly and my life became a constant source of despair. Today, a year after I took the plunge, I am the happiest I have ever been and I thank God every day for such fortune. God Bless, Jasmine. I can relate 100%.   04.14.11 - 11:14am
Meridith - I'm taking the leap. 12 work days left at my full time job- counting down the hours and minutes until I can finally wake up and do something I LOVE. It's been a long road up to this point and I know it will be just as long ahead of me but I'm taking the chance! Thank you:)  04.14.11 - 11:14am
a.G - I just wanted to tell you I am sitting in my office in tears readin this post. I am 22years old and just recently graduated from LaTech in journalism. I have been working at State Farm trying to fight the beaten path of being the normal girl who works a 9 to 5 job. When I read this you just confirmed what God has been speaking to me, that His giftings and callings are greater for my life. I have been contemplating putting in my two weeks notice for a while and tomorrow I am doing it. Its scary stepping out to run a photography business as a girl, single and on her own. But I love it, and can't imagine myself doing anything else but writing and taking photographs. It is the essence of who I want to be, its who God's undeniably called me to become. Thank YOU Thank YOU Thank YOU!!! THis post is getting printed and framed in my room just as a reminder .... it will kind of be my PB& J in the stairwell. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.   04.14.11 - 11:08am
ReginaMarie - Jasmine, your bold honesty is amazing. I've spent so much of my life sitting in my own stairwell, hiding, trying to figure out where I wanted to go, and if I'd ever be brave enough to get there. Following your story over the past year has helped me decide that I need to stop waiting for the "right moment" and need to MAKE the right moment... In 2 weeks I move to FL, aboard a sailboat I've never seen to take that chance.  04.14.11 - 11:04am
Renee @ Get Inner-gized! - J* you INSPIRE me SO much!! For me, I've been a long journey - Journalism degree, Elementary teaching degree...wasn't happy in those places, so I took a risk and traveled to NYC for nutrition school. I thought it was my direction. I graduated, got pregnant and during my pregnancy connected with (or really listened within for the first time!) my love for photography. I've been stuck in place for awhile heart and gut get butterflies when I think about photography and doing it as a career (but I've never done a shoot...I only shoot my daughter and i love it so...and mainly, I connect with the meaning behind photography more than anything! - it gives me chills) - my current nutrition business doesn't do this for me...but when I think about running away from nutrition and running toward photography I get SO scared. I've never felt this scared before about anything...but you always have this way of showing me that I need to get "uncomfortable" and you make me think - am I staying in my comfort zone or do i take a risk. i'm still thinking it over...but deep down i think i know the direction i need to take. i owe it all to you!! you rock my world!!! thank you for everything you do!!   04.14.11 - 10:58am
Yen - i know how you feel. well... i do, but i don't? anyways, it's nice to know that someone else understands, yet made it through ok. thanks for the subtle encouragement.   04.14.11 - 10:48am
Emily Kicklighter - Wow, Jasmine!! You really struck some hearts!! I love your story and have always felt so connected to you. My difference is that I finished law school (lived on grits with an egg mixed in), hoping to find my dream man quickly while I passed the time in a law library, a courtroom, some non-profit ministries .... God gave him to me, along with our 4 treasures, and now a professional photography career shooting dream weddings. You just never know....  04.14.11 - 10:46am
Jenelle Sewell - It so happens I am currently eating a PB&J on wheat. Let's cheers our sandwiches to following dreams.   04.14.11 - 10:41am
Carrie K - It's the comfort foods that stay with us that really remind us of how far we've come. For me, my Dad made PB & J every school day for 13 years for my lunch. It's still my comfort food too and I use that reminder to say a prayer for Dad. Love the post!  04.14.11 - 10:39am
John Payne - Jasmine - STOP MAKING ME CRY!! LOL. I absolutely loved the post. It hits the nail on the head for me.   04.14.11 - 10:33am
Lydia - So true! It's taking a chance at happiness, that there's more out there for us to do!  04.14.11 - 10:32am
Jessica Becklenberg - Jasmine you simply amaze me with your thoughtful blog post and the photograph to go with it. Thank you so much with your aspiring words. I can sympathize with how you felt. Thank you for sharing your story with us the readers. Many blessings to you and yours.   04.14.11 - 10:31am
Carlise - I think risk is what makes us a complete person. And if not complete than a stronger self. Without going to the unfamiliar how are we as humans suppose to excel? I totally relate to what you went thru: My biggest risk was to come home after living far away for many years from family. Staying far away would have been easy because I had established myself where I was; the hard part was coming home to face unresolved problems, unanswered questions and unsettled issues. If I didn't take the hard path I wouldn't have met my husband, had my child and found my passion...but most of all I wouldn't have strengthened a family bond I had, for so many years, hidden myself from. HUGS to your risk!! And, I thank you for all that you are, give and are a true inspiration!  04.14.11 - 10:30am
Kaylee Sizemore - xoxo  04.14.11 - 10:30am
Stephanie Pervis - Beautifully written. Thank you. :)  04.14.11 - 10:27am
Cassie - As someone who stayed in law school more because I thought it was my dream only to later learn maybe it wasn't, I wish I had looked for the risk to leave that behind and chase a dream that made me more complete than a legal practice ever could. As someone who understands what you felt like during that time, and how hard it must have been to walk away, I commend you. And I hope that soon my risk to leave this behind and set out for something else presents itself sooner rather than later.   04.14.11 - 10:27am
Alison Howard - Most people miss out on the biggest blessings of their lives because of the paralyzing fear of risk. You felt the fear and did it anyway. Doing that gives others permission to do the same. Thank you for that!  04.14.11 - 10:27am
Aaron V. - WOW Jasmine this post just felt from sky and you as well for posting it..I'm close the situation you were in..just lost my job last week and here at home trying to be a photographer which has been for a's been scary to get out there honestly, so I'm telling myself to do it yet the fear is still there but trying to get out there otherwise what am I going to do about my life...Thanks a lot Jasmine...  04.14.11 - 10:26am
Lindsey Turner - It was be because of YOUR risk that so many others took their own risk to chase their dream. I am one of those people so Thank you.  04.14.11 - 10:26am
Stacey - Total City Girl - wow! You sounded so miserable! So glad you're so happy now. But honestly, I can't get past the fact that you were at the GYM at 4AM!! That is dedication to the nth degree!!   04.14.11 - 10:24am
Noa - Jas, one of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I took a huge risk 11 years ago when I moved to the USA straight out of my Israeli Army service. I threw all caution to the wind and moved to another continent to be with an American sailor I met three years prior at the USO in Haifa. Looking back now, 14 years into our relationship and one 3 year old daughter, and I say THANK HEAVENS I took that risk. Life is too short to just play safely and according to the rules of how we think our lives should be. I'm all about breaking the mold....   04.14.11 - 10:24am
Courtney - I'm going to take just a little credit for this post based on our conversation yesterday. :) And, for the record, embrace the risk you had the strength of character to take -- few are able to listen to their heart enough to leave the grind of law school, whatever the reason. I'm happy with my decision to stay, but I think I'm one of the few. So excited for our engagement shoot (aka my birthday present). I might even bring some law books!!   04.14.11 - 10:24am
Aimee - This was just what I needed to hear today :) Thank you for continuing to inspire me!  04.14.11 - 10:21am
Julie - This is such an awesome post. I was there. Stuck in a job I hated but still doing it because it was safe. Finally for self-preservation I took another job with no experience and half the money. I've never been happier. AND I've been blessed with the freedom to continue to work towards my dreams because of that move. So Blessed... Thank you for this post!  04.14.11 - 10:21am
Karrie - When the Lord plants a desire in our hearts it will steadily burn until we respond to it. So glad I read this post today. You are a blessing. Thank you for your undeniable contribution to the photography community.  04.14.11 - 10:21am
Andrea - Beautiful, glad you followed your dreams.  04.14.11 - 10:18am
Jason - Touching. Encouraging. Inspiring.  04.14.11 - 10:17am
sarah - i LOVE this. bec i lived it also. reminds me of a quote i read just the other day..."Then the time came when the risk it took To remain tight in a bud was more painful Than the risk it took to blossom. —ANAIS NIN"  04.14.11 - 10:10am
alicia schneider - I can relate true! It is very encouraging to read your words and know that the risks I am taking now will only bring my dream into reality! Thanks again!  04.14.11 - 10:09am
MJ - You are so Inspiring and such a beautiful Spirit! Cheers to taking Big Risks! I Heart Jasmine*  04.14.11 - 10:08am
dana - "life will always be filled with risk... it's simply a matter of choosing which one you'll take" {so very true}  04.14.11 - 10:06am
Erin - You hit the nail on the head. As I sit here in my dead end job, surfing blogs (yours is always the top of the list!) and wishing to be doing something else with my time - you nailed it. I dream of standing up, looking up overtop of my cubicle and screaming "THIS PLACE IS KILLING ME!" to my work peeps. However, the thought of leaving a full time paying job to pursue my love of photography seems as reasonable as if I would leave to join the circus. Maybe one day ... until then I will have to search the internet and dream .... but you get me one step closer with posts like this. Thank you.  04.14.11 - 10:03am
Mara - thank you.   04.14.11 - 10:02am
Misty Minna Photography - Jasmine, I can't thank you enough for writing this. It totally made me tear up. I was in a similar situation, not law school but a dead end job and my mom had cancer too, I went for it and opened my own photo business and haven't looked back in 3 years! Thank you for being an inspiration.   04.14.11 - 10:02am
Sandra - You write beautifully. Very inspiring words. Sometimes you just have to go through the sad and lonely times to realise what your dreams actually are :)  04.14.11 - 10:01am
melodie - You never cease to amaze me Jasmine. Thank you.  04.14.11 - 9:57am
Mary Marantz - Awesome, awesome post!!  04.14.11 - 9:53am
jacin {lovely little details} - i feel like i'm on rinse and repeat some days as well, but then i keep working on my business and it is truly what makes me happy. what a great post.  04.14.11 - 9:51am
Nicky Martin - OH my goodness. If this isn't a sign I don't know what is. It's 1.30 am and I just couldn't get to sleep. So I got up to warm up my heatbag and check facebook. I have been a police prosecutor for about 10 years and after about 2 I was ready for a change. But stayed. I've had two kids and discovered my passion for photography in the past 4 years. That ache in my heart is getting stronger day by day. I took 6 weeks long service leave and decided it was time to quit. But guilt about financial strain on the family has prevented me from handing in my notice. I've been back 2 days and I dread going back again. I have to follow my heart and be happy. Life's way too short to be doing something you hate. And I hate being so negative. So thank you Jasmine for your encouragement. And thank God for hearts like yours.   04.14.11 - 9:50am
Stephanie Murray Photography - Straight from the heart. Love it.  04.14.11 - 9:49am
Maria Gomez-Delgado - I just want to tell you that eveytime I see your post something you inspire me. I just want to thanks you for been you!  04.14.11 - 9:48am
Glessner Photography - Thank you so much for this post, Jasmine! I was crying as I watched your most recent creativeLIVE course, and now I find myself crying again... Not out of sadness, but tears of pure relief (and I'm not a crier). In January, after a year in a marketing/PR position that most 20-somethings would have been thrilled to have, I decided to take the plunge, quit my job, and pursue my passion for photography. I gave up my stable salary, fairly normal work hours, and parking my car in a CVS Pharmacy back parking lot to have myself a good cry over my lunch hour, and I am finally happy! Despite the fact that I'm still figuring things out, I'm booking weddings, using my camera every day, and still making good use of my marketing degree, and that's success to me. I'm lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband, but I have had to learn to separate myself from the negativity and opposition of some of my friends. It's just so refreshing to have someone like you there to encourage me in my journey! Much love and many blessings! --Elizabeth  04.14.11 - 9:45am
Patricia Lorenzo - And I'm crying again... Thank you Jasmine! Thank you SO much for sharing your story. You are a true inspiration in my life.   04.14.11 - 9:43am
Allison Rawlings - wow - what a post! i almost teared up reading this... thank you for reminding us all to take risks to spend our lives doing something we love.  04.14.11 - 9:41am
Donna - You are, indeed, becoming a stronger writer. Thank you for sharing your experience. For me, today was a good day for you to share this.  04.14.11 - 9:40am
Tina - Jasmine, your words are so powerful and so true to meaning, and straight from the heart. You are such a solid inspiration and it's always touching when I read your blogs. I admire your courage to take that leap of faith. I only hope that I can have the courage one day that you have taken a leap of faith in life and maybe that one day too will come soon enough for me. Thanks for everything and keep up the awesome job. Cheers, your south ga friend ~ Tina  04.14.11 - 9:39am
Nat - Ha! This sounds very familiar! I've completed Masters in Law, worked for an international law firm and here I am, giving it all up for wedding and fashion photography. I thought - follow your heart, instead of your purse, don't be slave to money and prestige, it'll never make you happy in the end… I saw too much misery and negativity around me and it was literally killing me… So I gave it all up and I'm ready to take the risk. Thank you for voicing your thoughts and experience, Jasmine; it sure was all worth it for you. X  04.14.11 - 9:39am
Tira J - Chasing dreams is one of the biggest risks we can take. I am moving forward with chasing that dream, all because you left law school. More details to come. Love ya girl!!! xoxo  04.14.11 - 9:38am
//Dani - You did the right thing. You chose the risky dream - you chose the right risk strategy. Not all of us can do that. But with you on our side, we feel encouraged to do so. I do.   04.14.11 - 9:38am
Aiste Lei - oh my God, I spend a fortune at Whole Foods and always find myself contemplating this matter. Your are beyond inspiring Jasmine. Aiste x  04.14.11 - 9:35am
Tami Inoue - Thanks for this Jasmine...I took a risk this past December to quit my job and do photography full time...I'm at a place that is quite terrifying as I'm not sure it's a risk that's going to pay I was encouraged by this somehow. Thanks.  04.14.11 - 9:33am
Janelle - Jasmine you are inspiring! Not only because of your passion and creativity but for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. God has blessed you with a beautiful gift and a beautiful heart!! You can capture a moment that touches our heart and offer a word that touches our soul. Thank you for sharing both of those with us!   04.14.11 - 9:33am
cat edge - I think I speak for many folks when I say, I'm real glad you didn't play it safe.  04.14.11 - 9:30am
Jenny - Ok have loved your pictures forever, now I love your writing too :) how I needed to read this today.   04.14.11 - 9:28am
Greg Romeri - Jasmine you take awesome pictures, but I definitely admire you more as a person! I just blogged about this two days ago, so I really feel connected because this is the point I'm at right now. Thank you for being such a open put this idea of taking the risk right into perspective!   04.14.11 - 9:27am
Laura - Thank-you. I love reading your story of how you became a photographer. As a college student studying photography, it inspires me even more to go for what I love, and what I know will make me happiest. Also gives me the extra incentive to quit the job I have now, a soul-sucking job as a cashier at a grocery store and take the leap! Thank-you.   04.14.11 - 9:27am
Jen - Jumping on the ditto train and just wanted to let you know this post is SO timely for me too. I needed this reminder today! Thanks so much.  04.14.11 - 9:26am
nadya - so kinda stuck in that place right now i cannot afford to leave my FT job but i also just started my business so hopefully in a year or so. but maybe i one day will look back on my eevryday turkey sandwhiches and it will remind me of the risk i took to be happy! great post :)   04.14.11 - 9:25am
Meg Burke - Jasmine, I couldn't have read this post at a better time. Thank you.  04.14.11 - 9:24am
Rachel Ruffer - Jasmine, I feel like I'm right there right now. Not law school. But knowing that I'm not happy where I'm at, and knowing where I want to be. But I'm so terrified it won't work out. That I'll fail. But I keep going. Thank you for inspiring me daily to keep pushing ahead. XOXO  04.14.11 - 9:24am
John - Sure it wasn't easy at the time, but taking this risk was the right move... no question about it. ;)  04.14.11 - 9:21am
Lisa - SO inspiring! And what is it about the law? I notice that a lawyer commented here, too. (Personally, I think working in the law crushes the soul, the spirit, and any creativity we possess.) Does it show that I'm a long-suffering legal secretary who longs to be able to take the leap into photography? This post and its comments make me look at my co-workers with new eyes. I wonder if the person sitting right next to me or the one who's worked upstairs for 20 years is a closet creative, too! ;) I'm still being a bit cowardly - uh, cautious - though, since I have an almost-2-year-old daughter. But you're definitely providing me with eloquent food for thought! Thank you for sharing!  04.14.11 - 9:21am
Natalie Tuggle - I cannot tell you how timely this is. Say a quick prayer for me if you read this comment. Thank you soooo much for the encouraging words! And for making the world a better place with your star-ness :).  04.14.11 - 9:19am
Sarah - I follow your blog all the time Jasmine and I'm not sure if this is a sign or if it's plain coincidence, but as if you blogged exactly how I have been feeling for the past couple of weeks! I envy you for having that courage to pursue your dream. I'm at the point of my life where I don't know how to take that risk without feeling the guilt, and pressure from my husband who will solely work to make ends meet. I feel that no one will understand if I ever take that leap besides someone who has already done it like you. You are an inspiration and one day when I take that dream over anything else, I cannot wait to share it with you. xo  04.14.11 - 9:19am
Sabrina Nicole - Thank you SO much Jasmine, for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I relate so closely to this story, you have no idea. This is exactly what my heart needed to read today!  04.14.11 - 9:18am
Ashley Goodwin - Jasmine, I'm crying again. I knew in my heart what I wanted to do. I knew I was unhappy where I was, but I was afraid. Not afraid of leaving my stable income because the thought of serving again (if need be) actually excited me, but because of everyone else's opinions. Of the risk. Of the "what ifs". The minute your words resonated with me in class on Friday, they hit me like a ton of bricks. "That is it. I'm doing it. I'm done. I'm choosing to be happy". If it wasn't for your push and knowing I had the support of every one of my peers in that class (and first and foremost, MARSHALL!) I would be sitting at my desk right now tearful for other reasons. A vendor who works for us even said to me yesterday "You look really happy. Like you're glowing." I have never felt better and am so confident in my decision and my future. Thank you times a hundred thousand million. You gave me permission to run fast and don't stop. I love you! I think I just wrote my blog post. ;)   04.14.11 - 9:16am
Stephen Cox - Touching, very touching. I admire your courage to take that leap of faith (or more likely to follow your heart). YOU are the reason I know I can, and WILL make it doing what I love too. Thank you!  04.14.11 - 9:15am
Megan Wold - Thank you so much for being so naked in your posts lately. It really really does help those of us who are about to take risks in our lives and see that you can make it so big after taking a risk.   04.14.11 - 9:15am
ashley barnett - Thank you.   04.14.11 - 9:14am
Janet Kwan - I love that you speak from the heart. It resonates with so many of us. Thanks for sharing, Jasmine.  04.14.11 - 9:12am
Alkini Baldwin - Very Powerful words, and they touch my soul. I recently watched you on Creativlive. I have never heard you speak before and I have to tell you that I resinate with your backstory. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your journey.  04.14.11 - 9:11am
Lida Mathews - I can't even begin to explain the truth in this post. I'm so lost in what I'm doing right now and need so much more. I need to remember that my risk will be coming back to work - not leaving it. thanks for keeping my priorities in check.   04.14.11 - 9:08am
April Danielle - I'm in tears. Thanks you for always speaking from the heart! This post really hit home for me!  04.14.11 - 9:08am
Mirko Herzner - An inspiring post which I am sure will make many people think about their current situation and how much risk it is worth changing things...  04.14.11 - 9:07am
Tonya - Beautiful shot, lovely post...  04.14.11 - 9:06am
Tanya De Leeuw - It's good to occasionally look back on and remember where you came from, especially if it was a dark place. And that's why truly appreciating the warm sunshine of today is so important! You are doing that by paying it forward, J*, so I'm convinced that the universe will return the riches of a happy life to you tenfold!  04.14.11 - 9:04am
Nakeia - What a perfect post! So many people struggle with the idea of being secure (in a traditional career) or taking risks (being the boss). Life is full of risks, but knowing which one to take is the key! Thanks or the inspiration ;-)  04.14.11 - 9:03am
Kimberly - O.k. So I always jump to your blog first thing in the morning, even before you've posted your update on FB. Thanks for this post. I needed it!  04.14.11 - 9:00am
Tara - Your blog posts keep us company on our stairwells. Thanks for your openness Jasmine.  04.14.11 - 9:00am
Jeremy - J* you're the best. Same thing happened to me but opposite. I wanted to enter the work force but God called me to get more education...making his dreams my dreams has been the best thing ever  04.14.11 - 8:58am
Lupe Ruiz - just described how I started my freshman year of high school many, many, MANY moons ago. Thank you for posting this. All signs are pointing me to the direction of taking a risk, but damn, I scurrrred! lol  04.14.11 - 8:58am
Mikaela - wow. so true. love your honesty. it's definitely easier to dream than take risks but when we do...happy dreaming and risk-taking, my friend! xo!  04.14.11 - 8:56am
Alaina Bos - You always get me! Tears! Right at work! Thanks for sharing. Taking a risk is something I'm trying to teach myself to do because the status quo is soooo comfortable, but totally not rewarding!  04.14.11 - 8:54am
lucy munoz - True that Jasmine. Often there is complacency in our lives, because we fear the unknown- afraid of what is on the other end. I wonder if you would've stayed in law school if your mother hadn't been ill? That fear, of losing your mother-AND yourself might have been the wake up call you needed. Much love! Thanks for reminding me to embrace fear, walk hand in hand with it, and then when I get to "the other side" to leave it on the curb and continue walking.  04.14.11 - 8:52am
kim james - Your writng is getting stronger by leaps and bounds. It keeps Miss ADHD on the page. Not an easy thing these days with so many wonderful ditractions. Very good. Thank you.  04.14.11 - 8:51am
Emma - Oh Jasmine, from my little seat in my little flat I read this and I see me. Thank you for reaching out and strengthening my courage. You are definitely way more than a photographer.   04.14.11 - 8:51am
Autumn Teesdale - This is so true, its very hard to leave the comfort of safety to follow your dreams or even to just make a big change...I had wanted a change for a long time and it took a fiance to move me out of my comfort zone and now I am more open to change and what I want!  04.14.11 - 8:46am
LEOLAK - I love how deep you are....I am so feeling this I can't even put my feelings into the right words. =) Thank you for your honesty....and for this thought I continuously ponder. Stay Fab!  04.14.11 - 8:46am
gladys jem - tears at 7:44 am. only you can do that to me. thank you for leaving law school. love you!  04.14.11 - 8:44am
Jenny B - Thanks for this Jasmine! Every day as I sit at my desk in a law firm office, and I DREAM about the day I can officially say "Hi, I'm Jenny, and I'm a professional wedding photographer." It's a struggle to stay happy and content in my current job right now, but my hubby helps remind me to trust in the Lord knowing he has good things for me.   04.14.11 - 8:36am
Emily Ebeling - Beautifully said, Jasmine! I, personally, want to thank you for that risk that you took- your stories have spurred me on in my business, and to embrace what I do and love every minute of it! keep on keepin' on. :) ~em  04.14.11 - 8:31am
Gaby Fuentes Photographer - 30K FB followers are happy you took the risk.  04.14.11 - 8:27am