Hopelessly In Love with Hope

W
e walked into a large room with a mahogany desk and two overstuffed chairs, and I straightened my neon green shorts before plunking into a chair while simutaneously sizing up my competition. My hair was in a side-pony tail and I wore a t-shirt with a koala emblazoned on the front, and the kid next to me wore khaki pants, a red polo shirt, and his hair parted down the middle. I'm not going to lie...I was feeling good. Invincible, maybe.

I was eight years old and my mom got wind of a Christian radio station auditioning kids for a voiceover on a Saturday morning show. Why she thought I'd be a good fit was beyond me, but I was just happy to be wearing a new pair of neon green shorts.

Khaki Pants and I were introduced to the radio producers, quickly handed scripts, and told we had a few minutes to review our lines before our audition. Then I froze. Read? READ?!? Who said anything about reading?! My palms became sweaty when I realized I didn't have the nerve to tell the adults in the room I didn't know how to read (and reading wouldn't come for another two and a half years...cut me some slack, I was special!), but sighed relief when Khaki Pants was told to go first. I decided I'd simply memorize the lines from his recitation.

He stood from his chair and, honestly, delivered a Broadway performance...I pictured little Orphan Annie appearing out of thin air and them kick-ball-changing their way to stage left. Jazz hands and all. He delivery was so good his eyebrows moved in unison with his punctuation, like a young Groucho Marx. In a polo shirt. The producers loved him so much they brought out a device that simulated sound effects and asked him to read again as they added the ring of a doorbell and a dog barking in the distance.

Then the producers clapped and asked me to read. I could be wrong, but the koala on my t-shirt started crying.

I didn't even make it through two sentences before I was stopped and thanked for my time. The producers walked Khaki Pants to his mom in the waiting room and I slithered into the hallway where I saw my mom waiting. She continued smiling as I recounted the horrid details and at the end--when I was on the verge of tears--she stopped me and said if I quit after every tough moment in my life I'd never be good at anything.

That's my mom. She was--and still is--hopelessly in love with hope.


Years later when I started my business, I called my mom in tears after assisting another photographer shoot a wedding. She said I better not quit. The time had come for me to be good at something, even if I didn't really know how things worked. I explained to her that I felt like I was doing things wrong, and she replied, Get better. I said photographers make fun of me for shooting in Aperture Priority (but have since gone fully Manual) and she replied, Who cares what they think?

This weekend I thought of my mom, the Patron Saint of Hopers, and thought I'd pass along her advice because, really, guys who wear khaki pants shouldn't always walk away with the leading role.
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Vonnie Perez - That's a great story! Thanks for sharing.   05.02.12 - 4:40pm
Faith Cherisse - Your mom is a saint. I love how supportive and loving your family is. They made me wanna get up and cheer for you at The Fix. Blessed. I enjoyed every moment at The Fix. Thank goodness for your mom's advice.   04.01.12 - 2:51am
LILIAl - It was a pleasure to meet your parents at The Fix. Your mom is so sweet, it was great to see how your family and your husband's support you so dearly. Felicidades!  03.30.12 - 10:39pm
Ivy Towler - Mom.... a word that hits me everyday... sometimes as a punch to the gut because I miss my mom with every cell in my body or sometimes as a tickle to my soul because my kiddos are that blessing I always looked forward too enjoying. Moms are amazing and hearing your tribute to your mom brought a smile and a tear. Cheers to you~ Ivy  03.30.12 - 8:16pm
Lacey - I am so thankful for your mom's wisdom right now! Thank you for sharing (and for making me laugh!).  03.29.12 - 10:51pm
danielle - OMGosh, never laughed so hard at one of your posts!! Not at you, but the description of everything...whoo, my sides are still sore. "koaloa on my t-shirt started crying"...Your mom is amazing & hello, looks amazing! Great post, don't feel bad I still can't read or spell well and I went to school! lol   03.29.12 - 5:30am
Erin Oveis Brant - I want to hug your mom!   03.28.12 - 2:42pm
Margo - Ok, your mom's comment put me over the edge. Love! I lost my mom when I was 19, which is a time when a lot of kids are griping about their mom's. Hearing people who totally and completely appreciate momma's makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside.   03.28.12 - 8:39am
Leslie - possibly on of my favorite posts!!! Gotta love moms that offer sound advice when we need it the most [and sometimes when we don't .. .haha]!  03.28.12 - 8:24am
Michelle - Jasmine, I read your blog yesterday, but it meant sooo much more this afternoon. A recent shoot that I thought went really well was criticized by another today. Thanks for keeping the dream alive! Michelle P.S. Can't wait to see you on CL :D  03.27.12 - 10:02pm
jami - That's it, dangit!!! I'm submitting my video tomorrow. Thank you!!!  03.27.12 - 10:00pm
cheryl - Everyone needs a Patron Saint of Hope. I also have a great mom who helps me propel myself forward. Consider myself so much more than fortunate for her posititve encouragement but still love hearing it m another place. Thank You!  03.27.12 - 2:00pm
Belinda - You have an awesome mom and she's absolutely right. =)  03.27.12 - 10:01am
Angie Mack - I just love how you honor your mom, J*. She truly is a woman after God's own heart! I am inspired by her statement to you, "...if I quit after every tough moment in my life I'd never be good at anything." Hallelujah and Amen!  03.27.12 - 9:56am
Jakki - I am so loving the comment from your mom above!!!! GET BETTER...perfect!  03.27.12 - 7:38am
Matt and Katie - Thanks Jasmine! For just being you, and for reminding us to stay hopelessly in love with hope!  03.27.12 - 5:02am
KTC - This story is so awesome. Thanks for sharing. I hope you went back to aperture priority!!   03.27.12 - 2:57am
Laura Pedrino - Great post Jasmine! I love good, kind stories that leave you warm and, dare I say it, hopeful :)  03.26.12 - 9:39pm
Kirsty - Thank you for sharing your story with us, we've definitely all had those moments! I'm so new to photography (owned my SLR 2mths) and I'm shooting Aperture Priority for now with good results, but I think I need to master it before I can tackle full Manual!   03.26.12 - 8:39pm
Alaina Bos - Your mom is amazing!! That is all.  03.26.12 - 7:41pm
Janet Cruz - Wow! Thanks Jasmine, just when I need a little pep talk! Today I had a Bride tell me that I needed to "tighten up" the pictures of her wedding. I thought they were pretty good. gulp....started to feel pretty low, then read your post.... Thanks Mom! The pep talk I needed! janet  03.26.12 - 6:36pm
Lorrie Prothero - I really liked your story - but your mom's response in the comments made me cry. I love how she supports you.  03.26.12 - 4:37pm
Mom - "Then the producers clapped and asked me to read. I could be wrong, but the koala on my t-shirt started crying." Jasmine, I remember that t-shirt so clearly!! One of your favorite shirts. Reading this blog made me cry. I remember that day. Oh.....how I remember it. Let me take you back to the studio. I know you'll make it this time!!!!!!!!!! Love, Mom  03.26.12 - 2:36pm
Jenny McQueen - I saw Bianca's comment.....oh em gee Adventures in Odyssey was my JAM! And now my sister is marrying someone named Jason Whitaker, and we'll never stop giving her grief!  03.26.12 - 2:02pm
Mikaela - I'm so happy I got to meet your mom last week at theFix :) Many thanks to both of you...  03.26.12 - 1:10pm
Tracie - That's the kind of mom I am trying to be. I didn't get that kind of mothering, in fact many times I was the mother for my own parents, and whenever I needed mothering, I had nowhere to turn, until highschool when my best friend's mom became a surrogate mom. My kids will never know what it feels like to not have their mom be their champion, their heart ache soother, and their just being silly for the sake of being silly partner..... thanks for posting that entry, because moms are important. <3  03.26.12 - 1:05pm
Jen Roberson - So encouraging. I started with AP mode and found it really helped me get a grasp and feel of the relationships so the transition to manual was much easier.  03.26.12 - 12:55pm
audrey - This was great. Thank you.   03.26.12 - 12:45pm
Maureen - My first photography prof limited us -- manual mode only until we had full understanding of exposure equivelants,compensation, Etc. After manual mode was mastered, we then moved on to use AP and Shutter priority and grasp their importance. Shame on that wedding photographer for denigrating the importance of each shooting mode! Manual mode is as basic as it gets, so I hate hearing that people find it intimidating. AV mode can be a great tool for a wedding photographer that doesn't want to miss an important moment.   03.26.12 - 12:28pm
Tina Nandi - Oh Jasmine, your blog always always always fills me up with hope! I am so inspired by your work and by your humility and willingness to share and teach from your experiences! Thank you for being you. Your stories encourage me to keep going!  03.26.12 - 12:03pm
Marlo Laney - Wow....I really needed that. Just had a client flat out not call me back after proofing Head Shots. Then saw that they got them redone by someone else. I felt defeated even though they prepared better for the second photog. Better outfit, better makeup etc. I could have consulted them better. I need to pull up my big girl pants and just DO BETTER :o)  03.26.12 - 11:52am
Gaby Manrique-Villari - awww!!! if i had the power to jump through the screen i would HUG both of you! (instead i'm hugging the computer :) this is a great way to start the week!!! my mom's name is Esperanza (hope in spanish) so i love love love this post!!! your mom reminds me of her! :') How lucky we are for our amazing moms! God Bless both of you Jasmine! Thanksssssssssssssss!!! :)  03.26.12 - 11:36am
Lydia - Thank God for moms who push us to be our best!  03.26.12 - 11:15am
Jennifer Renee - I first shot in auto but taught myself Manual.. But when I went to a workshop with a very popular photographer and you know him personally, found out he shoots AP. I tried it but I think its harder for me personally.   03.26.12 - 11:11am
Bianca - Do I get a referral fee for giving you blog content? Because really, I feel like you just stole my Jackson Pollack original painting!!! :) Goooo Adventures in Odyssey! ;)  03.26.12 - 11:10am
Feather - Thank you for sharing...and thank your mom for everyone that needs to hear that advice! It's so easy to second guess yourself and give up...so needed that today. Your awesome!  03.26.12 - 11:09am
Julie Villarreal - Love it: " if I quit after every tough moment in my life I'd never be good at anything" -- your mom is a smart lady. So glad you didn't quit!  03.26.12 - 11:09am
Heather Cherie - I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing! :) I have a wonderful mom too!  03.26.12 - 10:54am
Kristi Hill - I started out shooting seniors in AV mode and I LOVED it. Then I realized it wasn't the end all, be all mode and that I was going to have to tackle manual. Now that's all I shoot in. I think we've all been there at some point. :)   03.26.12 - 10:51am
Jennifer - Thanks for your post today! I was planning on starting my business for another 6 months or so, but a friend reccomended me because of the pictures I have been posting on FB. I am excited but feeling nervous because I am not yet a professional and far from photographing in manual. You gave me a bit of confidence. Thanks!  03.26.12 - 10:42am
Connie Roper - what's with the aperture priority snobbery anyway? I never get that? and plus, neon is back in style -   03.26.12 - 10:30am
Tammy - What a great message of hope for me and for those who feel that they want to give up. Your words of encouragement inspire me. You're great Jasmine!   03.26.12 - 10:24am
Sadiemae - the koala started crying! LOL Thank you for the laugh and the encouragement   03.26.12 - 10:22am
Vangie R. Abrera - You have a very awesome mom Jasmine! It's nice to have someone who encourages you every step of the way. My best regards to her too.   03.26.12 - 10:21am
Alexis - Aww!!!! So sweet and encouraging! Your mom sounds like a strong woman and a lot like my mom in the advice she gives you! :) All the best, J*! :)  03.26.12 - 10:07am
Diana - Exactly what I needed this Monday Morning. Thank you!  03.26.12 - 9:58am
Amber Joy - Thank you for posting that, after last week, and the hashing that I've witnessed my friends lay on others that I respect, you summed where my heart is very well. : )  03.26.12 - 9:53am
Tish Hill - Thanks for sharing your life with us - I remember figuring out Aperture mode and thinking I was ALL THAT! :) lol   03.26.12 - 9:52am
Peter - I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with aperture priority mode... no, can't think of anything! I still use it a lot, as it keeps my mind free from worrying about tech details I don't care about anyway. Depth of field and capturing the moment what I value.  03.26.12 - 9:48am
Carrie K - Never let the Khakis win! :) lol. Great post Jasmine.  03.26.12 - 9:43am
Sandra Fazzino Photography - What a way to build character! For an eight year old, that is a rock hard moment in time. What strikes me is during my first time & first workshop at wppi the instructor encouraged us to shoot in aperature mode to save time and focus on the client and not the camera. I still can't convince my ego to switch the dial to, "A"! Thanks for sharing these life lessons. Some of us don't have outside support & these vignettes of overcoming your struggles come in very handy. Xx  03.26.12 - 9:37am
Kathy - Love the message! Your mom and father are like a set of Yodas! "his eyebrows moved in unison with the punctuation, like a little Groucho Marx". Bahahaha! Your humor!  03.26.12 - 9:31am
Lisa Jay - You have a great mother & a great memory & you write so well. Two years ago I was made to feel like I should just give up if I was shooting in AV mode.. isn't it funny when you think about it. Everybody has to start somewhere, that's why it's called a journey. x  03.26.12 - 9:28am
Laura Fiore - Thank God for your Mama every day...the gift of hope is amazing! And the fact that she wouldn't let you be a quitter speaks volumes about who you are today! I get my ornery and toughness from my mama and am so glad she told me I could do anything I set my mind to!  03.26.12 - 9:25am
Heather Armstrong - You're a gift & you know just how to make me cry! Thank you for this! I thank your mom for this! Amazing!   03.26.12 - 9:25am
Rici - This is such a lovely post!!! I should make a to-think-and-remember-list of your wonderful advise you give!! and I have to say, I adore you free, honest, squeaky, cheeky way of writing!! Thank you for sharing so freely!!! Many greetings from Tuscany.   03.26.12 - 9:24am
Haley Johnston - Amazing!   03.26.12 - 9:23am
Edy Carreno - Moms are the rocks we stand on that help us reach our dreams :) Hope is one of the most important gifts in life..... To have them both is a blessing <3 Ur mom Rocks!! PS- u just made me call my mom to tell her Thanks for being mine and I love her . Have a Rockin' Day, Jasmine!   03.26.12 - 9:22am
Brooke - Your mom sounds so much like my mom! A couple months ago, I had that same teary eyed phone conversation with her about how I thought my life was in a stand still... working my regular full time job (which I do love, but sometimes you want more), not dating anyone, photography kind of in a stand still position & how I just wanted it all to hurry up & happen. About a month later I had four weddings booked & now I'm moving this weekend! Things happen when they're supposed to & sometimes we just have to cry it out. I'm ecstatic to be photographing the four weddings that I have booked & to be right where I am. Sounds like we both have pretty great moms/ support systems. But I'm definitely glad to know that I'm not the only one to have those feelings of sadness & insecurity. I hope to someday be half as successful as you are in my own photography business/ as happy as you seem to be & as happy as I am today. :)   03.26.12 - 9:21am
Kristin - I used to be afraid to hope. Now, I am what seems to be a glutton for punishment as I too am hopelessly in love with hope. Hope deferred truly does leave the heart sick. My body is crushed as once again, I face a lost hope. But I am trying to hold on to the one TRUE Hope and that is Jesus Christ. And through Him, I find my tree of life. Your post brings encouragement to not quite. I want to forget hope and wall myself off so that I "won't" hurt anymore but in quitting, I would hurt forever. You have a wonderful mother and her wisdom has just spread across the globe through you : )   03.26.12 - 9:20am
Beth - I LOVE your honesty! You are willing to share details about your life that are hard for you but so inspiring to us! I home school and my daughter is 9 and is still struggling with reading. Thank you so much for sharing your mom's encouragement! I can't wait to share your story with my daughter!  03.26.12 - 9:19am
David Sno - Yyyeeaaah!!! That's that good tough Momma love! That's exactly why moms were invented, for when we don't know how to believe in ourselves, they push us through anything. Get em Momma Star! I have to go thank my mom now ;)  03.26.12 - 9:19am
Dave Keys - Jasmine, thanks for sharing your mom with us in ways that count as well as this beautiful photo. I just learned something very important about you-- what motivates you to excel. Wise advice from a beautiful woman. (both of you) She has done very well!  03.26.12 - 9:18am
Suzanne D - Thank you, thank you, thank you... there are so many times my insecurity raises its ugly head because I feel I am just not good enough. It always helps to hear that others have gone through all the same stuff.  03.26.12 - 9:18am
Andrea - Your mama sounds almost as wonderful as mine :). I'm glad that she had the wisdom to know when to push, I don't know what life would be like without your blog and amazing pictures... shot in Aperture Priority!   03.26.12 - 9:18am
Natasha Horton - I lost a spelling bee in 3rd grade on what I still consider the worst word ever created in any language. I may be a bit biased against said word though. I did not have those words of encouragement spoken to me. Now that I have children I am always looking at ways to do it "better." I am, if permitted, going to take your mother's words of wisdom and plaster them all over my daughter's brains! Thanks for the message of hope, especially on a Monday. By the way....the word was buckish....ick!  03.26.12 - 9:17am
Madeline J - You always say the most inspiring things...I'm going through so many of the same things you talk about! Thanks for showing me the light at the end of the tunnel.  03.26.12 - 9:17am
Mitch Kloorfain - I have a deep routed attraction to hope. Great story! BTW - I am a pro shooter for 30+ years and OWN aperture priority for 90% of my events and shoots!  03.26.12 - 9:16am
Jasmine* - Solange: No, I no longer shoot in Av, but in fully Manual...but it took me a year to get there! :)  03.26.12 - 9:15am
Jim Denham - Great story! Sounds like you've got a keeper in that mom of yours!  03.26.12 - 9:14am
Heather B - And this is why I love you. Some how you always know exactly what I need to hear (read). Thank you for always being so encouraging to those of us just starting out :)  03.26.12 - 9:14am
Abi - Brilliant. x  03.26.12 - 9:14am
Jennifer Medeiros - Brilliance!   03.26.12 - 9:14am
Solange Morgan - Awesome post! Do you still shoot in AP mode?  03.26.12 - 9:14am
Dede Edwards - Great Monday advice! Who cares what people think! I don't!  03.26.12 - 9:12am
Samantha - I shoot in aperture priority. LOL. And proud of it! It gives me the results I want, so really, who cares? Your mom is a smart lady. <3  03.26.12 - 9:12am
Nikki McKenzie - Praise the Lord for people like your Mama :) www.esspressojoy.blogspot.com  03.26.12 - 9:11am
JacPfef - Here, here! AA said it best: "There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." xx  03.26.12 - 9:11am
Libby (girl moving to Kalamazoo) - Aren't moms the best?! I built my business on shooting auto and slowly learned manual. Heck, I'm still learning. Doesn't matter. Did I get business?! Yes I did and I keep on plugging away. :)  03.26.12 - 9:11am
Stephanie Stewart - Love this post, Jasmine! And you and your Mom look beautiful! Moms always have best advice, don't they? Good thing you listened to her! Otherwise, I may not have gotten to meet you in Chicago or give my dream of photography a shot. Please give your Mom and hug for me and tell her Thank You.   03.26.12 - 9:10am
Lauren Wakefield - Amen sister! Here's to landing the roll in neon jeans...because..well...I'm obsessed with them. :)  03.26.12 - 9:09am
Naida Alvarado - Wow, this is an amazing story! Thank you for being so transparent and sharing of your life with your admirers. God bless you!  03.26.12 - 9:09am
jeramy - nice. :-)  03.26.12 - 9:08am
Whitney Bower - I was in tears, and then laughing while crying when you said that the koala on your shirt cried. You are awesome, xoox  03.26.12 - 9:07am
kayla :) - I just love you. that is all.   03.26.12 - 9:07am
Samia - Your Mum is amazing :D !!!   03.26.12 - 9:06am
Life with Kaishon - That was so good Jasmine. So good. : ) I wonder wear little Mr. Khaki pants is now?   03.26.12 - 8:49am
Vanessa Balenovich - My day usually starts with a latte and your blog. Its like opening up a present on Christmas morning -the antisipation and excitement of never knowing what to expect. I usually walk away with a laugh and always a smile to start my day-but today it was tears. Strong, full flowing tears. But they were good tears. Cleansing tears-thank you Jasmine, not just for helping in the photography world but for your inspiration in every aspect of life. If only everyone could see things the way you do. xoxo  03.26.12 - 8:45am
Carlise - Thank you so much for this!!!  03.26.12 - 8:41am
Misty Minna Photography - Beautifully written as usual, Jasmine. My mom and I have a similar relationship, she's my biggest cheerleader!   03.26.12 - 8:41am
Tami Inoue - I love her advice of "get better"...just the advice my mom would have given me.   03.26.12 - 8:40am
Hannah Elise - I so needed this reminder. Thanks Jasmine!  03.26.12 - 8:29am
Rachel Abi - That story from your childhood sounds terrifying. I once auditioned for a local theatre's rendition of Fiddler on the roof... half way through I was informed I had to sing... I think I must have been made into a statue for that two minute song... feet glued to the floor only thing that moved was my lips that barely let out a sound! I'm so glad your mother, father, and husband pushed you to go on for now we all get to reap the benefits of seeing your marvelous work! Go your mom ;P  03.26.12 - 8:27am
Ashley - Love you! You give me hope!  03.26.12 - 8:24am
LEOLAK - TEARS!!! LOVE this ...what a great story to read to start a Monday (heck anytime)! So very very true....thank you for sharing. You two look gorgeous!   03.26.12 - 8:20am
Chrissy Henry - amen.  03.26.12 - 8:15am
Miriam - I am going to make your mother my patron symbol of hope. So if you see her in tiny statue form on my dashboard, don't freak. Thanks for the Fix. In some ways, I think I'm being fixed. At least I'm starting to wake up from a numbness that kept me from getting out there and doing something. Perhaps you passed along some hope.  03.26.12 - 8:08am
Jessica Vidmar Photography - "the time had come for me to be good at something." This profoundly touched me this morning...thank you!  03.26.12 - 8:06am
Claudia - Beautiful post. :)  03.26.12 - 7:56am
Jeanette Verster - You have a very wise mom.... love the post  03.26.12 - 7:55am
Marija Kerekes - Sta bismo mi bez nasih mama :)  03.26.12 - 7:45am
Dana Laymon - You ladies are beautiful- cool to see a picture of you two together! Thanks for sharing. Very encouraging to hear!  03.26.12 - 7:22am
Sheila Sim - Nice one. And hey, aperture priority has an important place in the world!  03.26.12 - 7:20am
Bethany Ann - What a great story and a wonderful message. :) Happy Monday. P.S. LOVE that burgundy dress. :)   03.26.12 - 7:14am
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