The Art of Being Un-Awkward

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esterday the lovely Tiffany Buckmiller posted on my Facebook page and asked the following: For those of us who are deathly afraid of photographer "mixers" can you do a blog post on not embarrassing ourselves and etiquette for making business contacts and friends?! Thanks! See you in Denver! Oh, Tiffany, I can't wait to give you a hug at The Denver Fix and let you know I, too, am still trying to find the right way mixing.

I definitely don't have the answers, but here are two personal stories that happened less than a week ago at a conference to help illustrate my point...

Real Life Story Number One: It was called The White Party and the invitation encouraged everyone to wear white, which might not had been a problem if I actually owned more than two items of white clothing. I paired a dress shirt and white pants, but decided I looked like Ellen Degeneres and left everything at home. Instead I wore a champagne-colored shirt and skirt. That should have been a sign of things to come. Really. I walked into the all-white party with my roommates, but somehow got separated and I was left standing by the buffet station. Alone. From afar I saw a speaker who presented on a panel I attended earlier that day, so I approached her circle of friends and waited patiently to introduce myself and let her know how fabulously she presented. And then the worst thing happened: they Mean Girls-ed me. Uh, yeah. CLOSED THEIR CIRCLE and pretended I wasn't there.

I was mortified, but pretended I didn't see what they did and tapped the panelist on the shoulder. Hi, I just wanted to say you did a great job today and I loved your presentation...thanks. We shook hands and then I walked away. The end.


Real Life Story Number Two: I walked into the mixer alone and set down my coat on a nearby table. There were roughly 15 tiny circles of people chatting and I didn't have the nerve to approach them mid-conversation, but I also didn't have the nerve to stand alone by the buffet station (what's up with my gravitation to food?!) so I marched up to the one person who was standing alone. Caroline, she introduced herself and said she was holding up the wall. And then I offered to help. She was a single mom, had never been to Utah before, liked her drink straight up on the rocks, and was a reupholstery blogger. Yes, she made a living blogging DIY reupholstering. We simply talked about life while we held up the wall...and enjoyed ourselves.

Because we didn't approach the conversation with expectation, we simply conversed. That's it. There wasn't a need to swap business cards, immediately guess what the other could do for their social standing on the invisible social totem pole, or ask the same questions repetitively (although we did end up swapping contact info because she's the bomb). Caroline and I did what we were supposed to do: mix. After 10 minutes, we exchanged pleasantries and went our ways. The end.

I don't know what those two stories are suppose to convey, besides showcasing how presently mixers look for me. They're difficult, but I always try to keep a few things in mind:
1. I'll get more from a mixer being genuinely interested in two other people than trying to get 200 people interested in me.
2. Find people who are standing by themselves...they're probably just as desperate to talk to someone as you are.
3. Don't ask predictable questions...strike up the type of conversation you'd like to have as a way to avoid seeming insincere (instead of asking about the weather, maybe ask if they saw the Lakers game last night or if they're watching good reality television shows or compliment a great pair of shoes).
4. Stay away from the Mean Girls...the minute you give them attention, they have the power to make you feel like you're less than you are.
5. When all else fails, hang out by the buffet station...it easy to bond over mutual love of mashed potatoes.

If we get the chance to meet soon while I'm out on the road for The Fix, let's practice mixing and I might even be able to give you a few reupholstering tips along the way!
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Marian Majik - Two pretty simple stories... are they really from your life? Really? My feeling when I saw you pictures or videos from weddings or workshops (with your always positive thinking and smiling) were different. I thought you are a person which can't live in a shade of room and world is turning about you - literally :) You add a new dimension of you in this post - thank you.   02.17.12 - 12:11am
cassandra-m - Grrrrreeeeaaaattttt post!  02.03.12 - 1:38pm
Nicole Lennox - True story-- Me: Jasmine Star is so cool Jenna: I know. So cool Me: I wish I was cool Jenna: You ARE cool! Me: Yeah, but not Jasmine Star cool ha! Loved this post because I'm just about as socially awkward as it gets! Looking forward to seeing you in LA at the Fix!  02.02.12 - 4:06pm
melissa - i attended alt, and let me just say that i wish i had been given the chance to meet you. those 'mean girls' i felt the looks, the closed circles and the clique energy...at first it disgusted me and then i stood a little taller and realized life is too short to be so petty. what's the problem with smiling and being kind to everyone? since when did blogging become the be all and end all of life? geez, let's just have fun and smile. you rock...enough said. the end.  02.01.12 - 11:27pm
Julene - How funny, I was considering going to The FIX in Dallas and wondering if I'd be awkward, then a few weeks ago found out it was sold out. Any plans to do a second day so I can practice and get a moment of "awkwardity"?  01.31.12 - 11:37am
kathleen frank - I just caught my irish self shaking my head with all kinds of attitude that I can't pull off with how those girls treated you. So glad you told them what was up and know that introverts everywhere are cheering you on!  01.30.12 - 9:09am
Nancy Ramos - Jasmine, you are one of those people that brightens up the room as soon as you step foot in it. Hard to picture that somebody did that to you. I used to be very shy, I still am for many reasons, such having English as 2nd language, my clothing among other many little things. But I LOVE mixers. It has helped me challenge not to be shy. And, yes I have had many awkward moments and several mean girls-ed closed cirles at me. But I still go to them because I still meet fabulous and sincere people. Hope you can join me next time. Let me know, you know how to reach me.  01.29.12 - 1:43am
Julie Villarreal - Love it! Sorry the Mean Girls did that you... I really am. Makes me want to pull their hair! Thank you for sharing Jasmine!  01.27.12 - 4:28pm
Erin Loechner - Oh, I'm so grossed out that you got Mean Girls-ed! And so, so sorry to hear that. I always tout Alt as being a conference that generates the nicest people on the Internet, but it seems I've been proven wrong! Wish I was there to introduce you to the nice crowd. I'm quite sure I was tracking down some serious food at the time! ;) Again, great to meet you, dear.   01.27.12 - 2:28pm
Nicole Diehnelt - I'm really not shy, but mixers are so nerve racking, I turn into an introvert. I can't wait to see you in Phoenix and hopefully have the courage to get my first celebrity pic...with you!  01.27.12 - 8:30am
Wedding Photographer Essex - Coming from the UK I have never heard of 'mixers' before though having read the post they sound pretty much like our network meetings. Jasmine I thought your five final points were sound.  01.27.12 - 5:57am
Photographe Mariage - Always a pleasure to read from you. I will follow your advices as usual. I'd like to know more of your socializing techniques. It always amazes me since i must admit i was a social freak years ago.  01.27.12 - 5:01am
Jodi Harris - I'm a networking diva! I totally agree with you! I ALWAYS look for that 1 person whom no one is talking to and do my best to engage and make them feel like a rock star. I hate the whole mean girls thing and do my best not to get caught up in it. I've made so many great contacts by making the odd man out welcome. I'm so so so stoked to meet you in Phoenix at the Fix!   01.27.12 - 12:26am
Lydia - I'm taking this as a boost of courage for WPPI! I keep telling myself that I've done this before and can do it again, but the butterflies still come each time! Here's to staying classy, ignoring the means girls, and putting ourselves out there to hold up those heavy walls if needed!  01.26.12 - 11:49pm
Brandi Webb - Thank you for this post - it was so honest and my stomach was in knots because this will be me in March.... And oh those mean girls, I've never understood why they need to be that way - I guess to make themselves feel better because in real life they are intimated by your talent. LOVE that you keep it real - it's truly inspiring!: )  01.26.12 - 9:14pm
Sharma Shari - Thanks again for sharing and make me feel not so alien! I felt so overwhelm my first conference (WPPI U ATLANTA). I felt like everybody had everything figure out! But the moment I said to myself " you came here to learn!" I felt less awkward and ended talking with some people and at least one I still keep in touch!   01.26.12 - 9:10pm
Tess - Ive always gone with the belief that your clients don't value your photography by what photography clique you are in. Maybe that's why I don't go to those things. I run a business and I don't need the mean girls approval!   01.26.12 - 8:27pm
Andrea Paris - I agree with everyone else who is flabbergasted that anyone would Mean Girls you! Your advice of going up to talk to someone else who is standing alone is great because it takes you out of your own head. It really makes it easier to mix when you can think of how you can make someone else comfortable rather than focusing on how uncomfortable you are. That's what I do when I go to lawyer mixers, and there are a lot of awkward lawyers out there :)  01.26.12 - 7:12pm
annessa baker - Thank you for posting this! I am completely stepping out of my comfort zone & flying to Dallas for the FIX. I can't wait, but I'm anxious & excited too! This will remind me to just breath.... we're all there with the same purpose & goals, right? Looking forward to meeting you in person next month!  01.26.12 - 6:12pm
Hugo Tepe - Mrs. Star, your inspiration never disappoints. I´ve been in Retalhuleu, Guatemala for the past month and a half, and simply cannot resist spending some time in an internet cafe reading your blog and enjoying your photography... then watching a little Shaytards on Youtube. lol. But thats another story. Thank you for the information you share, I know it has been a journey for you, but it means so much to so many. Keep up the awesomeness!  01.26.12 - 6:11pm
Schaffer Photography - I agree with Heather- boo on mean girls!!  01.26.12 - 6:05pm
Sarah - Let's face it, mixers are always going to be awkard for us introverts.  01.26.12 - 4:17pm
Life with Kaishon - : )  01.26.12 - 3:52pm
Bryan - i'd always go with number 5, head for the food, it's always a good leveller, we all need to eat, there is a genuine reason to be there so it's easy to strike up a conversation. and oh steer clear of the mean girls & boys  01.26.12 - 3:34pm
Monika Greenaway - It's comforting to know that you still go through this. I just assumed you had a line of people wanting to talk to you at every mixer you go to!!  01.26.12 - 2:59pm
Maggie - http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/01/the_introverts_guide_to_networ.html talks about some ways to handle mixers for those who prefer holding up walls (like me, too).  01.26.12 - 2:43pm
Heather Gardner - Thrilled that even THE Jasmine Star has bumps at these "mixers". Well, er, not thrilled for you personally (mouth; insert foot now) but I'm just saying that your story proves that EVERYBODY has an awkward moment or two when it comes to meeting new people. I've followed your blog since 2009 and I think this is the first time I've commented on it. Guess I had my own "mixer fears"... Best wishes to you and your continued success. Oh, and next time you get MEAN GIRLS-ed, why don't you just give a mean left hook. Or to avoid going to jail, perhaps you just stick a sign on their back that says something so passive-aggressive they won't know what hit him. Boo for Mean Girls.   01.26.12 - 1:56pm
Christina Elston - honestly... i feel like there is this elite circle of "hip" photographers and if you don't meet them at one of their workshops, know any of their "rad" friends, have as many blogger fans as they do, etc... then you're a nobody. This is what I see. When I first got myself into this, I did not at all expect to come to this realization- that someone is a great photographer, based upon who they know or how great a social networker they are... i just thought photographers were great- if they were great. and my shy-awkward self is going to keep moving forward and doing what i love, despite all the ugly bullshit noise that's out there. I know I just went way off on a tangent, ha! anyway... thanks for sharing your awkward experiences- always appreciated!  01.26.12 - 1:48pm
Summer - How could anyone Mean Girls you?! Maybe they'll get hit by a bus? ;) jk.... of course.  01.26.12 - 1:20pm
sarah danaher - mentally preparing to apply ALL of these at WPPI. because... for as much as I love the wedding photography industry, THIS introvert over here thinks about a week in Vegas and gets knots in her stomach.   01.26.12 - 1:16pm
kathryn @ atlas & elia - Yet another reason why I wish you could bring The Fix to Seattle or Portland! We need to mix it up in the Northwest!  01.26.12 - 12:08pm
Jennifer - It's so hard to imagine someone not wanting to talk to you. Their loss. You have some really wonderful tips on this. Thanks for reminding us that not everyone is a mean-girl type.   01.26.12 - 12:03pm
May - I feel better after reading this! I'm not alone.. Can't wait to meet you in Dallas!  01.26.12 - 11:57am
Elizabeth Jury - What an honest post. My stomach actually felt nervous reading it, and I was right there with ya! Oh those mean girls. You would think they would leave it behind at the school gates, but it shows you that mean girls grow into mean women. Just mean people. To others I probably seem quite an outgoing person, but the real me inside is shy and wants to run screaming for the hills in situations like this, and it often makes me wonder if I'm a "fake"! I do force myself to not just clam up and back into the corner. Often when photographing someone or a group of people, I have gone into the situation "cold" having maybe met them once if I'm lucky but have corresponded by email or over the phone, and then suddenly I have to turn it "on" and I do wonder how I do it? It's comforting to know that you struggle with this sort of thing too, and you are a superstar!! But I think most of all, you are real, and I thank you for sharing that with us, and making us all feel like we are not alone! (PS would love to see you if you are ever down New Zealand way!)  01.26.12 - 11:27am
Kimberly - OMG! I love you so much right now for doing this post. I'm super shy, although I am getting more and more out of my shell each year. I actually find myself avoiding big conferences altogether, just because I don't want to chill at the reception alone. Oh, and "BOO" to the Mean Girls. Get over yourselves already!  01.26.12 - 11:11am
Elizabeth - jasmine, thanks for being so real in your blog posts!!!  01.26.12 - 11:06am
Stef - LEOLAK...I'll look for you at the Chicago Fix...or you can find me by myself probably near the closest wall :)  01.26.12 - 10:56am
Suzanne - I'm the same way! I was just talking with a photographer friend of mine last night (I'm in the beauty side of things) and said that from now on I was taking him to all my networking functions b/c I'm so awkward with new people. I'll talk your ear off once I know you, but I'm terrified of being "mean-girled" as you put it. I always gravitate to the desserts, BTW. Maybe if we are busy putting food in our mouths we won't have to worry we're not talking? lol. Thanks for showing that even the most fabulous of us have our awkward moments!  01.26.12 - 10:46am
Jessica - Thank you so much for this post! I'll be attending my first mixer at The Fix in Dallas and know that I will be completely nervous going into it alone! It's nice to know you are not the only one going through the same anxiety!  01.26.12 - 10:43am
Kristi Hill - I'll be at the Denver Fix and we met back in November in Irvine so you'll sort of know someone there! :)  01.26.12 - 10:41am
TK - Great post!   01.26.12 - 10:34am
LEOLAK - Say what now?!? It so irritates me that this still goes on the older people get. How much energy is wasted being so rude, must really be a fun time being around people like that. The other type that irritates me is the speak to you but I'm really not interested in speaking to you but I'll fake it - but it actually comes off as fake. You handled that with class (more class than the mean girls think they have). Sooo hugely their loss! I remember wanting to meet you at the 2010 Chicago WPPI road trip and being sooo nervous and almost talked myself out of it but I did it and waited in the long line(s) and it was worth it. Looking forward to getting the chance again at The Fix Chicago - we can chat about purses and potatoes fo' shizzle! Thanks for K.I.R. I'm always so nervous going to things where I know no one!   01.26.12 - 10:29am
Sunday - It is so hard for me to imagine you not doing well at a mixer. I am the worst when it comes to those. I already super nervous about the Atlanta fix. I am thankful my husband is coming! I saw joe McNally and strobist on the flash bus tour. Joe called me up to take pics of me to show examples of how to use off camera flash and I immediately broke into a cold sweat and could barely say my name. I wish I could have just texted him all the witty things I wanted to say!!  01.26.12 - 9:53am
Melissa Jean - I'd also like to add a 6th item to keep in mind -- No matter how much you want to DON'T busy yourself with your phone. On the off chance some other awkward person wants to come up to you they might be deterred. Be all present!  01.26.12 - 9:53am
gayle - When you came to Virginia for Katelyn's wedding, all the CNU girls were so excited to meet you and it was so much fun to watch them interact with you. What touched me was that when you came into the James' house you made sure you spoke to all of us "old girls" and you made everyone feel they were the most important person you had ever met. I pray that God will continue to bless your endeavors, you are one of a kind!  01.26.12 - 9:46am
Brent Pilgrim - I literally have sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach after reading this. TMI, maybe. But it's oh so true. See you in Chicago!... oh boy.  01.26.12 - 9:37am
Kari Jeanne - Mixers are up there on my #1 fears list... along with sharks and open water. Thanks for sharing - it's so nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this!  01.26.12 - 9:36am
Ashley Goodwin - EWWWWWWW. I want to just go PUSH THEM IN FRONT OF A BUS!! Maybe not that harsh, but, who does that. Some "popular blogger girls" do, that's who, ehy? Well, don't frett, they sure were missing out.   01.26.12 - 9:31am
Bianca - Or you can take a buffer person with you. Particularly one that looks exactly like you with less buff arms. Lest we never forget, I'M THE LIFE OF THE PARTY!  01.26.12 - 9:24am
Jillian - Nice to know we awkwardlings (yep, just made that up) aren't alone & can always find each other to hang with! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to meet you at the Fix in NYC!! xx.  01.26.12 - 9:21am
April Williams - This happened to me at Wppi last year. I got mean girl-ed too. It was awful. I only met one person total. The whole week. I am nervous about going back:(  01.26.12 - 9:12am
Sonal - Jasmine, thank you for posting this. You never cease to amaze me with your big heart, your innate kindness, and your courage in showing your vulnerability. You truly inspire me, and I can't wait to meet you and give you a big hug in Miami. :-)  01.26.12 - 9:08am
Tiffany Buckmiller - Thanks so much for the post jasmine! There are some in the photography world who I've felt snubbed by. I found out there was another photographer at a Christmas party I was at last month and she essentially refused to talk to me, and I think she wanted me to know. Eww mean people! Anyway. I think being 26 doesn't help. They just want to blow me off because I'm young. I'll try not to be too awkward! Thanks again!   01.26.12 - 9:03am
komal powell - I never figured out how to deal with "the mean girls" in high school and then I figured after graduation it would be over. Oh hell no. To think they are at our mixers in full force-I stopped going because those things are so clique-y but now I'll give it another try. Thanks for sharing!   01.26.12 - 9:00am
Abby Grace - I like to imagine that I've mastered the art of pretending to know what I'm doing. In reality, I'm one of the most awkward small-talkers ever. I hate the superficial attitude that you see so much at these sorts of things so I love the fact that you instruct us to genuinely CARE. Lovely! Can't wait for The Fix DC!!!  01.26.12 - 8:48am
Przemek Czaicki - It's quite funny reading this Jasmine, because it reminds me a little bit about myself. I absolutely despise 'mixing' or 'mingling' as we call it in the UK, so I know how it feels. Needs must I suppose.  01.26.12 - 8:35am
Autumn Lee - How can anyone snub you?! Boo to those Mean Girls!! This is actually on my NY resolution list...to network more and I was just thinking last night, if Jasmine can go out and have an ackward moment and mingle, then I can too! So here's to a year of being un-ackward! :)  01.26.12 - 8:33am
Shannon K. - I get sweaty palms. It sucks. I don't know if it's the "knowing" that I'll be shaking hands that causes it or what. But it happens every time. So I've perfected the art of always having something in my hands so as to avoid the inevitable meeting of the palms. Yuck, right?  01.26.12 - 8:32am
angel - We're all insecure to some degree. How we deal with it is a reflection of just how 'inwardly focused' we are. I used to be a wall flower. I would leave a social gathering wilted, wondering what was so wrong with me. Eventually I pumped myself up into believing girls were just jealous. *INWARD FOCUSED!* With maturity, I learned that I simply appeared aloof! With maturity, I learned that in order to be approached I must be approachable. So with my heart racing like a rabbit, I forced myself to intentionally get to know at least one person. To LISTEN. We are interesting creatures! We are all insecure and deal with it differently. "Mean girls" - bah! Mark my word, they are the most insecure of all and they cry at home alone...even if they are married. Make an intentional goal to focus on getting to know X amount of people, focusing on THEM. It's amazing...suddenly...they trust and want to get to know you :) (preachin' to the choir ~ still working out the kinks myself!)  01.26.12 - 8:31am
Kasey Loftin - I don't care who you are, if you go to a mixer along it is intimidating! I've been to a few @AIGA Design Conferences and walked around aimlessly like I was looking for someone in particular. After seeing no opportunity, quietly retreated back to my room hoping no one saw how pathetic I was. Another time, I walked up to a high boy where a friendly looking person was eating apps and struck up a conversation about how awkward mixers are when you don't know anyone. We're still friends! Sometimes laughing at the elephant in the room makes the elephant retreat. :)  01.26.12 - 8:27am
Beverly Clark - I can't wait to attempt to be un-awkward with you in D.C.! Thanks for the pointers!  01.26.12 - 8:25am
Liz - I squirmed when I read the part about the mean girls. That happened to me at my husband's office party last month - only I was closed out by the owner of the company, whom I thought I had a pretty good rapport with (husband has been at this small company for the last 10 years). She was talking with two other women (wives of other high profile colleagues) and I felt like the biggest doofus standing there waiting to thank her for the party. Yuck. It's made me a lot more aware about including people in a conversation, even people I see all the time.  01.26.12 - 8:21am
Carla Hill Williams - Jasmine Star they TRULY don't know what they missed by not mixing with you. I enjoyed meeting and mixing with you in Atlanta late last year (2011). You're awesome and inspirational. Thank you.  01.26.12 - 8:21am
Michelle March Photography - So funny that you share this! I don't know about the Fix events to come in other cities, but Miami has created a group for it and so many of us have setup coffee dates so we can get to know each other prior to the event. It's going to be so much more fun and comfortable walking in knowing a handful of people. :) I'm so excited to finally meet you in Miami. You're such an inspiration! Say hi to Polo for me.   01.26.12 - 8:19am
Sandy Adams - First... I LOVE that you brought up the mean girls because frankly one would think that once you get past 25 yrs old that mean girls would cease to exist, but NO! Even at 40-50 yrs old there are still mean girls out there. Second... I would love to attend your The Fix in Dallas (I live in Houston) but that very day is my birthday. Some would think at my age that would not be exciting, but I was lucky enough to be born on Leap Day (Feb 29) so I only get a birthday every four years. And for someone who has only had 11 actual birthdays, I get pretty darn excited when I do have my own day. Stay fabulous and keep sharing!  01.26.12 - 8:17am
Jane Button - You are right on the money, Jasmine! Went to a mixer last night and was totally intimidated, but simply tried to find some "nice people" (and I did) and just smile at anyone who looked my way whether they stopped to talk or not. Can't wait to mix with you in Boston!  01.26.12 - 8:15am
Sarah - You have so much more courage than I do. I probably would have stayed in the hotel room! I've been to a couple of mixers, both times with other people but sometimes even that doesn't make things better. Recently I went to one where several times I ended up being the only one not in a circle because I was the only one who didn't know other people. To make things even better, I rode with someone else who stayed a really long time and knew a bunch of people so I couldn't even escape! I learned one thing...I'll never depend on someone else for my transportation again.  01.26.12 - 8:12am
Michelle - THANK YOU for sharing your mean girl experience. Because, I think the same exact thing with the same exact people happened to me at the White Party too. It was a reminder to myself that when I become super famous to still be friendly and chatty with people I don't know. We rule, they drool.   01.26.12 - 8:10am
Lupe Ruiz - Ahh!! Jasmine, that Mean Girls thing is exactly why I'm mortified of doing any type of mixing!! I, too, always find myself hanging out by the food station at any kind of get-together. I constantly hover over the buffet and pick at food -- ANYTHING to keep me from having an awkward conversation with people I don't know. I do hope this is something I can conquer!!   01.26.12 - 8:04am
Stephanie - Jasmine, I really appreciate your candidness about being introverted and tips on how you get through social situations alone. I'm an introvert myself and have often questioned whether or not it's a good idea to pursue something like photography with my personality. Very refreshing to see an uber successful introverted photog. :)  01.26.12 - 8:01am
Don O'Conner - Jasmine, they don't know what they are missing by not mixing with you. I hope to meeting with you at The Fix in Chicago. Can't wait to talk to you. :)  01.26.12 - 7:40am
jae - my advice (and i'm like..a desperate wallflower when i know nobody) would be to pretend not to be a wallflower. if you walk in pretending to be somebody who is always the belle-of-the-ball, it really helps. i haven't ever been to mixers, but i have used this in my university classes where i knew nobody (and everyone else seemed to know everyone else). acting can be better than just -being-.  01.26.12 - 7:33am
Sage - To Tiffany: I'll be at The Denver Fix too and it's my first photography anything. Just wanted to let you know that there will be at least one other person who is as (if not more) nervous than you. Maybe we can hold up the wall together.  01.26.12 - 7:32am
Carrie K - I always hoped that high school ended with graduation. Why do adults still act this way!? You've made up the rules to your own game Jasmine, make up your own rules to THIS game and WIN! Keep those Mean Girls out of your boundaries a la 'Changes That Heal' (by Dr. Henry Cloud) and learn how to reupholster your favorite chair. :)  01.26.12 - 7:28am
colleen - love this! As a mid 50's woman I often feel outside the circle of all the young, pretty, amazing photographers....perfect figures, clothes, hair, and cute kids. I always remind myself to just be me...play to MY strengths...and even though I'll never be 'cool', I do find my own space. And that's ok...working harder is a good life lesson all the way around. Thank you...ALWAYS...for your kindness and wisdom!  01.26.12 - 7:18am
Lynn - oooh my... I don't know if you remember the lst year at the Mad Men Party in WPPI... I was that totally awkward asian girl who saw you come up to our circle and said "OH. You're Jasmine Star!" and then didn't say anything else because I was so starstruck and stopped all conversation and it was so incredibly awkward! I'm going to try again when you come for the Dallas Fix to try to be un-awkward!  01.26.12 - 7:11am
Malinda Warder - Thanks for keeping it real Jasmine! Love your thoughts on life.  01.26.12 - 7:05am
sherri lynn - These are such good tips for anyone who walks into a room without knowing anyone. We've recently moved so I'm finding myself in that situation pretty often. Thanks for sharing!  01.26.12 - 6:48am
Laura Collins - Oh Jasmine, I just want to reach through the computer and give you a big hug.....a big hug for writing this post and a bigger one for what you might have felt when those Mean Girls did their Mean Girl thing. I know you are strong, and have the perseverance of salmon swimming up stream (sorry just compared you to a fish but a strong fish so that's okay....right?). I find that the Mean Girls syndrome/disease stems from jealously and fear that you are going to become the center of attention in their little ME world. Apparently these girls don't know who you are (you are J* dag-nabbit) or don't care to take the time to get to know this truly dynamic, outrageously beautiful, super intelligent, caring spirt.....oh well their loss.....a BIG loss at that. Keep staying fabulous, because that is what you are! See you in DC:) xoxo  01.26.12 - 6:48am
Tara - It is always comforting to know we aren't alone with our struggles! :) You da bomb! :)   01.26.12 - 6:44am
Amy - Real Life Story Number One makes me so mad, I can't believe they did that to you! I feel really cross about it. Well done you for taking the high road and for being brave enough to speak up in-spite of their rudeness.  01.26.12 - 6:39am
Lindsay - Oh my goodness...I can't believe anyone would mean girl you! If we ever happen to be in the same room I will take the deepest breath and overcome the biggest nerves to give you a big hug and conpliment