Inspiration in Notebook Form

Hi Friends! I’m running out the door, but I wanted to quickly blog about something I’ve been working on for the past year.

There are days when I feel completely and utterly uninspired. I hate admitting this because, really, I’d love to say I’m constantly brimming with fresh ideas. But that’s so far from the truth. However, there are a few things I do to help me stay invigorated…on the top of my list is My Notebook.

A while back, my mother bought me a spiral notebook and I decided to make it a catalogue of sorts. I’d tape inspiring pictures on the pages, use it to write my workshop notes in, and refer to it when I was feeling desperate for creativity. I can’t express how AWESOME it’s been. I can’t wait to add to it next year, but here are a few snapshots of some pages…I sincerely hope some of my blog readers start their own notebooks because it’ll help raise the bar for the entire industry. As long as we’re all moving forward together, our clients are happier, our work is better, and we’re improving wedding photography as a whole.

Whenever I find a picture I like, I cut it out and tape it to the page. The pictures aren't all bridal, but I try to find images I'd like to recreate if given the chance...on the opposite side of the page are notes from the Anti-Workshop

Here's a sketch of a photograph I want to capture some day soon. Yes, I know I could rival Picasso for my sketching skillz. I just got it like that. :)
Okay, but beyond the pre-school sketch, I had an idea and I had to get it down on paper. I don't know if you can read what I wrote in the margins, but this idea--this someday photograph--is inspired by a recent David Yurman ad campaign, mixed with a splash of Christian Dior. Obviously, you can't tell from the sketch what I have in mind, but as long as I get it, that's all that matters. On the top of the page is another sketch that will one day come to frutition as well! :)

In my notebook, I also include things I want to remember. When I was chosen as Blu Domain's Photographer of the Year, Kailee asked me to hold a sign reading: "I LOVE BLU". Before I made the sign, I wanted to get a few ideas down on paper, so I sketched here for posterity's sake! :)

...and here's the final product...

Here's my most recent entry...these are a few pages of my notes from the Shootshop

Happy Tuesday!
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Adriana H.G. - Jasmine, really!? You are talented AND organized AND you can also draw?! Gosh, if I didn't love you so much, I'd totally hate you! =P Thanks as always for sharing these great tips!!  12.01.10 - 6:12am
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manoj - If you’re looking for help to overcome your chemical dependency, you’re at the right place. At Addiction Link, we can direct you to programs and centres that are available in Idaho. Phone us at to speak to a trained counsellor who can help. Our services are free. Within Idaho, there are a number of rehab centres that offer treatment at no or little cost to you. There are also a number of all-natural treatment programs that boast a 70 per cent success rate. No drugs are ever used. After treatment, most people lead stable lives. ----------------- tom ------------- Laptop Computers South-Africa-Laptop Computers South-Africa   03.10.09 - 12:13pm
Wendy - Thanx Jasmine! I'm so glad to know other photogs do this too! Instead of a notebook however, i started laminating my inspiration photogs (although like the notebook for notes & ideas and sketches) and then put my little laminated cards on a ring clip. i can flip through on a way to a session or when i'm feeling blah. you're awesome though!!   03.06.08 - 12:13pm
Jessica - Just bought my notebook two days ago. Already have 4 pages filled up!  03.02.08 - 9:13am
Sarah Quiara - Soooooooo .. have you had a chance to shoot Charlie Brown laying on his back, under the sun yet? That drawing is adorable! HA!! :)  12.21.07 - 2:36pm
Melissa E Earle - I DO THIS!!!! Well I don't add the magazine pictures, but I really should! When I was younger and kept journals, they ALWAYS ended up full of doodles or future thoughts! I just couldn't help it! I think I was born to journal like this! I am so glad you do...maybe one day we can exchange notes lol ;) Cheerio -Melissa E Earle  12.17.07 - 9:52pm
Punam Bean - I have a notebook just like this!!! SWEET!  12.16.07 - 12:25pm
David Burke - Jasmine, I love how you continue to push the envelope for all of us. Thanks for sharing. Your handwriting is AWESOME. I can't read my own, but I try. My notebook is not as organized but it does work. Thanks.  12.15.07 - 10:05am
Dan Speicher - I started a folder when i was in college, and started cutting out and writing directly on the pictures notes about shooting, lighting, etc. It has definitely helped me when I just had no energy to think after a long weekend. I'm so glad more people are doing that because you suggested it. IT really keeps you moving forward and searching for trends/ revisiting past ones.  12.14.07 - 7:58am
Robin Dini - I have one of those! It's the wall in my basement :) I pull images from magazines, mostly W, and fill the fall. I love it! The idea of putting everything in a notebook or sketchbook is a great idea though.  12.13.07 - 1:23pm
chelsea | bluelineweddings - love it! i have a notebook too!! but its full of notes from meetings, to dos, ect. so youve inspired me to just go out and get a "creative" notebook and use for all my wed ideas. thanks jasmine.  12.13.07 - 8:46am
jeanette - So great of you to share such valuable tips, thanks!  12.13.07 - 6:26am
kristin - This is a great idea, I will start one!  12.12.07 - 10:02pm
Angelique - I love this post!!! I have a notebook too!! Such a great way to keep track of random thoughts, ideas and inspiration!!  12.12.07 - 9:02pm
Kelley Frese - I need to meet you! I am not good with words anyways but, seriously you leave me with out words 99% of the time. The best I can do is to say, thank you for sharing bits who you are. Blessings   12.12.07 - 7:42pm
kymberli q. - I saw a cuuuttteee skull journal (I love girly skulls!) at Borders a couple of weeks ago and figured I shouldn't spend the money on it because - what would I use it for? Guess where I'm going this weekend?! :) Thanks for the inspiration, Jasmine. This is SUCH A GREAT IDEA!!!!  12.12.07 - 7:15pm
brooke - LOVE this...guess what i am heading out to purchase. thank you for the always!  12.12.07 - 11:38am
Nathan Sawatzky - LOL, as I read your post I couldn't believe that there was someone else out there who did the same thing...I have sketches of insperation and shoots I saw in my head from three years ago, somehow finding it's was into my pictures...You note book looks like you include more good stuff though..I gotta start doing that. Great post Jasmine!  12.12.07 - 7:59am
liana - OOOOOhhh... you're so organized gurl!! Mine is in like 3 different notebooks, on the computer, and bookmarked. Ug! Need to work on that! Can't wait to see you next month!! Muaaah!  12.12.07 - 7:12am
Heather Espana Photography - Awesome idea, Jasmine. I keep all my "photography related brain babble" as I call it in a spiral notebook as well, but I love the idea of adding inspirational clippings. Thanks for sharing!  12.12.07 - 7:00am
Melissa Koehler - I am so glad I am not the only one that does this. It has really helped me explore new things in my craft. Thank you for sharing! I love how you are always trying to push the envelope with photography, and also how you encourage other photographers to do the same. Thank You!  12.12.07 - 6:46am
Dennis - this is a great idea Jasmine. I do this all the time for "life" things but really never thought of it for my photography. thanks for the tip!  12.12.07 - 6:28am
Jenny Sun - I love your sketches.. :D especially the birds!! So cute! Thanks for sharing a great idea Jasmine :)  12.12.07 - 3:40am
C.J. Scott - The notebook is, indeed, a wonderful thing. I fill mine up with all kinds of notes, ideas, images, sketches, quotes, song lyrics (haha), etc.   12.11.07 - 10:15pm
Simply Modern Weddings - You are just too cute! Thank you for letting us peak into your notebook/thoughts. BTW, I LOVE that photo of you!  12.11.07 - 9:30pm
Sissel Byington - All right...that's it....i truly admire you. You are inspiring. Even on your uninspiring days.  12.11.07 - 8:06pm
Jasmine C. - you always seem to find new ways to inspire others. I love this idea! I have a prayer journal too that I love.   12.11.07 - 8:06pm
leah g - So great to see this. I have a very similar notebook (except mine is a jumble of stuff for photography, scrapbooking, and life in general. (of course I probably don't refer to it as often as I should.)  12.11.07 - 5:43pm
cassandra m - Jaz...You continue to amaze me with your generosity to share. I love, love, love to write things down. Even with the computers, the Treos, the Palm Drives & the laptops to keep things organized I still simply love to hand write as much as possible. My notes are always on stickies or pads..maybe I'll try a notebook. Thanks for sharing...Your creativity is pouring down on so many people. You are like a MUSE...hee.hee. ;)  12.11.07 - 4:21pm
Raya - Awesome Jasmine! All through photo school and continuing now I've used one of those black & white composition books for notes. I cover the fronts with images out of magazines that inspire me. It's so fun to have a big collection of them to look back on.  12.11.07 - 3:52pm
Angela - Hi Jasmine - long time reader, first time poster. I love it! Such a great idea. I often have ideas that I forget about but this would be a lifesaver. Thanks for sharing ;)  12.11.07 - 3:28pm
Danielle - I too have a notebook, and I love it! Thanks for making me feel that I am not alone with the uninspired days!!  12.11.07 - 2:47pm
John Yrungaray - Great post, thanks so much for sharing. I was thinking about something like this for me to keep the creative juices flowing so it really it the spot for me. Keep up the great work!  12.11.07 - 2:39pm
~Jonilyn - Very cool idea.. a place to put all your thoughts and inspirations in one place!   12.11.07 - 12:45pm
gabriel ryan - i can't believe you totally just unleashed your diary on the world-wide-web! hahah... anyways, i am one who brings my moleskin with me everywhere  12.11.07 - 11:51am
Tonya - GREAT IDEA! I am going to start! I love your handwriting BTW! So cute!  12.11.07 - 11:26am
MakeupbyNora - Such a great idea Jasmine. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts to others. That is why you are so successful. I love your blog, I think I am on your site more than facebook. Nora ;)   12.11.07 - 11:12am
Ana Contreras - I've been thinking of doing something like that...THANKS for the IDEA!!  12.11.07 - 11:04am
Micah - My first time commenting too! I'm really digging the notebook and throwing pictures in there! Good stuff!  12.11.07 - 11:02am
Fred Egan - YAY for the notebook! I have one of my own and actually contemplated blogging fact, I think I will :) They are the lifeblood of maintaining creativity-and that's why your work rocks my friend :D  12.11.07 - 10:18am
Yasmine - Hey! This is my first comment, but I've been reading your blog for awhile now. Just wanted to tell you that your pictures are amazing and I think I'm going to start a notebook like yours--great idea!  12.11.07 - 10:09am
kimi b - i LOVE your handwriting!!we do the same thing, we have a binder with clear slots to put pics and ideas in. it started when we got married. it's awesome!  12.11.07 - 9:58am
Kenny Kim - You have a neat handwriting! Share the knowledge with us! :-)  12.11.07 - 9:32am
Jess - Yay! Another paper-obsessed girl! You should invest in a small Moleskine to carry around in your daybag or Shootsac - it's really great to just pull it out when you're around town and get some inspiration!  12.11.07 - 9:23am
Elizabeth - I sooo love this post! I, too, have notebook(s): one for food photos, one for weddings and another for portraits - however, after seeing you post, I think I will unorganize and compile - it's a little rough having so many. P.S. Your handwriting is adorable :-)   12.11.07 - 9:05am
Shannon - Hey Jasmine, I love my notebook....I have questions in there for everyone, ideas, & inspirations. I keep it with my planner, so that it is always near for those random thoughts that pop into my head. LOVE IT!!!!  12.11.07 - 8:45am