11.14.08 Photography

FAQ : Common Questions

his past week my inbox was greeted with plenty of email...some of which I can personally respond to, some I just can't due to time restraints. I'm so sorry! I, however, post FAQ Entries to bridge the gap between my personal and mass responses to frequently asked questions. This week, I pulled a few emails and answered the questions here. I hope there are a couple of my blog readers who can take something from this entry as well... :)

Jessie asked:
What is your favourite time of day to shoot?
The exact time of day changes during different parts of the year, but my favorite light is the warm and golden light just before sunset. I refer to this light as God’s Light because everyone, everything, looks so beautiful and amazing. Love it!
Your DOF is so precise and perfect. How do you ensure this with every shot? I am so impressed with the crisp perfection of your shots and your DOF perfection is my new goal.
Thanks, Jessie, but precise and perfect are VERY generous words to use! :) To be honest, I shoot a lot. And fast. I keep the focal point on the subject’s eye and shoot quickly. For example, if I have a subject in a certain position, I may fire off 5-7 shots, then another 5-7 shots in a slightly different position to ensure I’ve garnished the most flattering light, complimentary angle, and sharp focal point.
Why are you hiding in the Santa Ana College photograph?:)
Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t hiding! I set up the group shot and the only spot open was in the back…and I’m short! ;)
How do you find your locations?
To be honest, my clients choose their locations! Aren’t they the best?! I couldn’t be happier with the ownership my clients take in their photography locations. Most my brides follow my blog and know how important a fabulous environment is, so they take their jobs quite seriously! ;) Once I arrive at a location, I scope out the site and get ideas. When the couple arrives for the shoot, we work together in choosing spots and finding the best light!
How much control do you take over wardrobe and posing?
I don’t take any control over wardrobe. My clients are in charge of their clothing choices, but—again—most my brides follow my blog and see how important a dress, shoes, hats, flowers, scarves, or accessories can be.
I do, however, take a larger role when posing. I try to let the session naturally unfold, and not put too much of myself in their shoot. I’d say I pose about 30% of the shoot, and the remainder 70% is how the client acts/interacts from my direction.

Jennifer asked:
What s your favorite lens?
I adore the 50mm, 1.2!
How do you get your images to be so sharp? They look crispy or 3D. Do I sound weird for saying that?
No, not at all! I get asked this question quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I blogged about Kubota Photoshop actions I use and I mentioned that the single action I use on every picture is: Magic Sharp. I adore it! That’s the little extra umph my photos need to have more pop. You can find the action here:

Jeramy asked:
What does it mean when you write "... : anytime" next to some of the names on your blog posts? I’m sure I'm totally missing something very obvious.....but it's bugged me for awhile and I haven't figured it out on my you go.
This email made me laugh! I photograph “Anytime” sessions…well…anytime. A client doesn’t necessarily need a reason to be photographed, it just a time in a person’s life when pictures would be a fabulous addition to their home walls, Christmas cards, or Facebook page.

JD asked:
How am I so incredibly LUCKY to be married to someone SO MUCH MORE amazing, nice, kind, pleasant, brilliant, and giving than me?
I don't know, JD. I just don't know! ;)
Comment (74)
Share on

Thank you! Your comment has been saved.
Joseph - Jasmine, do you find that magic sharp tends to "over-sharpen" I tend to use Clarify Med... as it doesn't create the halos I find with the MS?  11.25.08 - 11:30am
Stephanie - Thank you for sharing so much! Very helpful! I'm new to photography, and I love your blog and photos and style. You're truly an inspiration - keep it comin'! Will you be in the Indianapolis, IN area any time soon? Also, do you use a full-frame camera? Mine is a cropped sensor, must be why I'm lacking that awesome 3D effect you get each and every time! ;)  11.21.08 - 6:37pm
Mag - You are such a rock star!!!! thank you for sharing your secrets! you are an inspiration.   11.21.08 - 3:42am
Michael - Jasmine this helps out a ton! Thank you so much. Maybe you could do a post on your typical equipment list for an engagement and a wedding. You truly are an inspiration!  11.20.08 - 4:10am
Sandy - When you use Magic Sharp, is it only on every web-sized photo, or full-sized full-resolution photos as well? Thank you soooo much for posting FAQ's. You don't know how much it helps!!  11.19.08 - 11:27am
Jasmine* - @Esteban: No, I don't use any type of filters when I shoot. @Audrey: This is a tough question to answer...partly because I don't do any ONE thing. Every couple forces me to think differently because they love differently. There isn't just a perfect way to engage clients, but after speaking to them for a bit, I understand who they are and what they are willing to do while posing. The 70% comes after I pose clients...they somehow melt in each other's arms, become totally confident and modelish when placed at a distance from each other, or laugh from the silliness of it all. All of these reactions work for me! :) @Erika: Wow! That will be one long post for sure! Perhaps I can get to it sooner than later! :) @Ariana: There is nothing else I recommend than PRACTICE! :) I'd sit for days with my camera and place a chair by the window and practice shooting the chair on Manual mode from different angles and lighting situations. It was tough, but that's the only way I knew how to practice! @Lauren: Yes, JD has a 'day-job' but he works from home, so we're around each other quite a bit! ;) And the "@" sign just suggests who I am responding to :) @Whitney: I use natural light until the very last second I can...I definitely prefer the flashless look! :)  11.19.08 - 6:02am
Esteban - Hi Jasmine. I was just wondering, do you use a polarizer or ND filter when using F/ 1.2 - 1.4 apertures on very bright sunny days?   11.19.08 - 4:52am
audrey - i hope you'll see this post. but burried in the masses of comments, not sure that you will. but is there any chance we photographers could get you to expound upon your answer to the question "how much control do you take over posing?" this is something i've thought about for a while. what kind of direction do you give your clients? scenarios? how do you lead them into good poses 70% of the time? how do you get them comfortable initially?  11.18.08 - 11:45am
Cathy and David - Photographers - LOVE these entries! :)  11.18.08 - 9:22am
Larry Reeves - This is cool! Thanks for telling us your "secrets"! I still remember when you hinted at wanting the 1.2L on Natalie Norton's "what's in your bag" segment.   11.17.08 - 8:46pm
Stephanie - Jasmine, you are my favorite wedding photographer! Thank you so much for not only posting your beautiful images, but posting your techniques and tools that you use. It has truly helped my photography come a long way. Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration!  11.17.08 - 12:33pm
Erika Lais Photo Blog - Thanks again J*, I just love yours FAQ posts and how do you share yours thoughts with us ... but I have one more question: I 'm always thinking about how do you manage your time between JD, shot sessions, weddings, shoot editions, family, personal life, gym, Polo .... so I think you let we know how is your workflow, step by step, after a shoot session ... How do your clients chosse their pics (website, DVD, Pictage????). Do you use Lightroon in your workflow? How do you back your ending images???? Wow, a lot of questions .... I'll be waiting for the next FAQ post .... XOXO  11.17.08 - 8:47am
Ariana W. - This info helps alot! But I also have a question! On a Shoot I have a problem Keeping my lighting right! with my shutter speed, It is either super light or super Dark! I am just Learning and I have the Canon Rebel XT, Do you have any advise to help me? I still don't understand alot about Shutter Speed and Aperture, So any advice would be a blessing! Thanks, Ariana  11.16.08 - 8:29pm
cassandra m - I love your FAQ posts. I knew most of this stuff from previous posts, but it was a nice refresher course. I can't imagine the insane amount of emails you get asking for your advice or opinions. I think this is a fabulous way to answer repetitive questions.  11.16.08 - 5:55pm
Lauren - 2 quick questions, does JD have a 'day-job' as well as being your right hand man, and why do guys always put @ before someones name (ive seen it on facebook alot!) Cheers, love your work!  11.16.08 - 3:54pm
Whitney Gray - I too LOVE the FAQ posts! What you do is pure magic and I love to learn what I can from you. How often would you say you use flash? I really hate flash- at least when I do it! Do you try to use natural light most of the time? Or are you so good at flash that it looks like natural light??   11.16.08 - 11:52am
Cristen Clark - Thanks Jasmine for the great question/answer section! I love to learn what others do! Keep up your amazing work!  11.16.08 - 7:04am
Natarasha N. Wright - Thanks for the insight! Very helpful. It even got me thinking about some questions that I have always wanted to ask, but too afraid to. Hopefully this question reaches you, but I am curious to know what does it mean when you say you shoot wide open??  11.16.08 - 6:53am
Jason Drumm - J* - this was VERY Helpful!! Thank you.   11.16.08 - 4:27am
photoTristan - I've been meaning to ask you-why does your text on your pictures look so jaggy?  11.15.08 - 9:53pm
Cindy - Jasmine, your FAQ posts are ALWAYS so appreciated. You've got so much talent and I appreciate so much you sharing with all of us.  11.15.08 - 6:29pm
julie - Could you comment more on keeping your focal point on the eyes?. Does that mean you are just focusing on the eyes or are you a set distance away from them? I think your DOF is awesome too. Sometimes I find that when shooting under 2.0 things just get too fuzzy too quick even when I'm trying to focus on the eyes. Any help you can give here would be AWESOME!!!! Also, are you auto or manually focusing...since I'm a beginning photographer with a handsome new used 40 D any help is appreciated!!! I'm trying to learn but sometimes good photos happen so accidentally I wonder "What was different here?" thanks's the comment I'm referring to.j Your DOF is so precise and perfect. How do you ensure this with every shot? I am so impressed with the crisp perfection of your shots and your DOF perfection is my new goal. Thanks, Jessie, but precise and perfect are VERY generous words to use! :) To be honest, I shoot a lot. And fast. I keep the focal point on the subject’s eye and shoot quickly. For example, if I have a subject in a certain position, I may fire off 5-7 shots, then another 5-7 shots in a slightly different position to ensure I’ve garnished the most flattering light, complimentary angle, and sharp focal point.   11.15.08 - 6:14pm
Jasmine* - @Felix: I shot the first image of Dijana's Day After session at a f/1.2...that's how I got such a shallow DOF. @Christy: You're clients definitely now know what to expect from a session after seeing so many on my blog. They now show up ready to be fun and fabulous...which is so awesome! However, in the beginning, I just talked, laughed, and listened to each couple and interacted when I felt they were becoming too stiff. I talk from behind my lens and to keep things light and fresh. I hope this helps! @Ken: Absolutely! In many, many past FAQ posts, I've mentioned my preference of shooting below f/2.0 almost exclusively. I took for granted having to repeat it, but I shouldn't have. I did, however, mention in this post that Kubota's Magic Sharp just give each image an extra "umph"...and doesn't make the picture in its entirety. @Daniel: Obviously! :) @Amy Wenzel: If you try to get me to watch Battleship Galatica show I will pinch you to death! :) ** Special thanks to everyone who's left a comment...sometimes I wonder if these FAQ are even helpful and it's nice to know they are. Thanks! :)  11.15.08 - 1:12pm
Denise Skelton - Oh, I LOVE FAQ posts! Thank YOU!  11.15.08 - 10:57am
stephanie - Jasmine, i follow your blog all the time but i love when you answer questions. its very helpful! thank you   11.15.08 - 7:47am
Bobbie Brown - As always Jasmine THANK YOU for sharing with us. You are the best! Much love....  11.15.08 - 7:37am
Karen (Mikols) Bonar - did JD really e-mail you .... silly fella shouldn't have to ask. :-)  11.15.08 - 6:21am
Felix - I want to ask what focal range and aperture do you use most for portrait/wedding? for example the first photo in entry "Dijana and Jason"? I really love your DOF, your colour and pop effect. Really pop my eyes. : )  11.15.08 - 4:05am
Andi Grant - Hearing that you shoot a lot of each pose is so comforting - I shoot like crazy too, end up with 300 pictures from a single portrait shoot, and I then try my best to cut it back to under 100, and now I'm working on getting it closer to 50. You really are an inspiration, and you are my 14 year old daughters favorite photographer on the web. (she is my second primary second shooter) She hopes to meet you at WPPI, it's you then finding Bette Midler   11.15.08 - 2:39am
Araxi - JD forgot funnier ;)   11.14.08 - 10:24pm
Feuza - Great Question JD! LOL and Jas thanks so much for this FAQ, u save your self some email space now in your inbox, I have learnt so much in the last three weeks that I have been following your blog,., God Bless you  11.14.08 - 8:59pm
Feuza - Great Question JD! LOL and Jas thanks so much for this FAQ, u save your self some email space now in your inbox, I have learnt so much in the last three weeks that I have been following your blog,., God Bless you  11.14.08 - 8:59pm
Jeanette - Very interesting. I've only recently started following your blog and I'm in awe of your work.   11.14.08 - 7:46pm
Christy - In the question on posing, you said 70% of the time you clients are simply interacting under your direction. I'd love to hear more on do you coach to help set the mood? Obviously, by now people know what to expect from a session but when you were first starting, how did you get people to be free instead of expecing to sit and pose in tight groupings? How do I get my clients beyond that menality and help them feel free to just be?  11.14.08 - 6:34pm
Ken - While the Kubota actions certainly help "sharpness" the 3D look that Jennifer asked about is a result of using a wide open aperture on a full frame sensor camera (the Canon 5D in this case). Full frame is the difference between the "3D pop" and a "flat" image. Sure the Kubota actions help for sharpening but nothing beats the full frame 3D affect. Additionally, tests have been done that show that f/4.0 on a full frame is equivilant to f/2.8 on a 1.6x crop camera (same subject distance, framing etc. etc.). Makes a difference.  11.14.08 - 3:54pm
Dani D - Oh how I wish I could have a blog about Real Estate that was as fun to read and popularly followed as yours! I so look forward to reading your blog during my evenings.  11.14.08 - 3:46pm
Lydia - Aww, JD is so sweet! ;-)  11.14.08 - 3:12pm
Ashley - I was wondering about that last question as well! Ha ha. I love your sense of humor.   11.14.08 - 2:58pm
Mary Marantz - love the last one!! :)  11.14.08 - 2:48pm
Manon - oh jasmine you are simply the best. have a great weekend  11.14.08 - 2:30pm
Cathy Crawley - LOL @ JD ;)  11.14.08 - 1:41pm
Daniel Lanning - candice has told me i ask that question all the time....i think it comes out of my subconscious or when i pass out... :)  11.14.08 - 1:26pm
Jenn Best - Wow! JD is such an amazing guy to see and appreciate how amazing his wife is ;) You are amazing, nice, kind, pleasant, brilliant and giving - I'm sure of it!  11.14.08 - 1:24pm
Cristy Cross - I love JDs question the best. My husband leaves me little presents on my blog and it just makes my day everytime I see one from him.   11.14.08 - 1:12pm
Jenn - I read the star trek/star wars question and I'm guessing you hate sci fi?? I DESPISE it! Thanks for posting all of the info, and adding humor to my day!  11.14.08 - 1:06pm
kelly beane - Can I just say thanks for being so flippin awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!  11.14.08 - 12:31pm
Valerie Yamile - I think I've said this at least 5 times here...but here it goes again: You're the bomb J*!!!  11.14.08 - 12:21pm
Jeramy's Wife (Sharon) - He's going to be so hard to live with now... ;-)  11.14.08 - 11:15am
Linda - Thanks so much for giving back and helping other photographers be the best they can be. You have helped me alot.  11.14.08 - 11:15am
elizabeth - a million thanks, so many of these questions were what I was wanting to ask.  11.14.08 - 11:06am
Joan Solitario - I think JD's question was my most favorite! hahah Thanks for sharing Jasmine! To me you're the BEST! Seriously! Y OU ARE THE BEST ;-D  11.14.08 - 11:04am
Katie - I have to say that I just LOVE your humor and interaction with JD through you're blog. I laugh EVERY time!  11.14.08 - 11:01am
Andi Walpurgis - Thank you Jasmine for always taking the time to go above and beyond to make your "friends" happy...I think we all ( bloggers) consider you a friend....  11.14.08 - 10:55am
Amy Wenzel - Amy Wenzel's Question: What do you like better Star Trek or Star Wars? I heard you are really into Sci Fi.  11.14.08 - 10:47am
jeramy - thanks for the answer! i'm a dodo....but seriously, you made my year. i'm just sayin....  11.14.08 - 10:46am
Carrie - Thank you so much for sharing! I abso-friggin-lutely LOVE your photography and writing. You inspire me daily!   11.14.08 - 10:38am
Emily - I love your work, especially the color & sharpness of your images! Thanks for your willingness to share advice! You're awesome! :)  11.14.08 - 10:23am
Tracy - Thanks so much for sharing all of your great tips. It means a lot to those of us just starting out and not knowing where to go for answers. You are awesome and so is your work. Thanks again.  11.14.08 - 10:22am
Regina White - OMG I never noticed you were in that photos. LOL! I too have learned a ton from your blog and look forward to it each and everyday! I hope you plan on doing this when your 70! JD is lucky to have you and you have him. You two are super cute. Thanks for answering many "inquiring mind" questions.   11.14.08 - 10:21am
Christy - Thank you so much for posting your tips and techniques!!! I have learned so much from your blog, I could never repay you. Thanks again!  11.14.08 - 10:17am
Meghan - I absolutely love that you are able and willing to give so much advice to all of those who adore you. These FAQ posts really help me a lot, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!   11.14.08 - 10:10am
Stacy Cross - Hahaha! God bless JD! :) Thanks for always being such a giver on your blog, sister!  11.14.08 - 9:36am
Sam P - DOF- Depth of Field  11.14.08 - 9:32am
Alan Nielsen - Love the FAQ's. They always help me with my work. Also love the plugs for Kubota actions....gonna have to start getting some of those!!  11.14.08 - 9:25am
Jackie Beale - wow I didn't even notice Jasmine in the classroom pic! That's so funny :) What does DOF stand for? I haven't yet perfected the photography vocabs. Thank You :)  11.14.08 - 9:23am
lin - Thanks Jasmine for sharing your wisdom! You're so giving. :)  11.14.08 - 9:22am
Jane - You've reminded me to schedule a session for my facebook page. ;)   11.14.08 - 9:18am
Rene Skrodzki - Wonderful FAQ, I love learning a little about what is going on inside the mind of a photographer who I admire. Makes you think, hmm I think like that too. Very helpful.  11.14.08 - 9:15am
Fishgirl - Your Hubby is amazing, God Bless your marriage,, and JD the answer is The spirit of God has come upon your Wife that's why she is so amazing!!   11.14.08 - 9:15am
Sam P - Thank you sooo much for sharing your tips and tricks of the trade...It's still mind boggling that you actually reply to most of your emails...WOW!  11.14.08 - 9:12am
Yunna - wahaha love the last question! :D  11.14.08 - 9:12am
Adrienne - That last question totally caught me off guard and had me cracking up! Thank you so much for always doing these FAQs!! Always such a wealth of information! :)  11.14.08 - 9:08am
Jamie Delaine - JD's question is so cute. ;)  11.14.08 - 9:06am
Lindsay Kipp Photography - Thank you, I love when you post FAQ's. and the last question made me laugh! I not only ABSOLUTELY LOVE your photography but I ADORE your writing style and sence of humor! I love that I feel like I know you. Keep up the amazing work and thank you for being such an inspiration!!!  11.14.08 - 9:03am