02.24.09 Photography

Professional Photographers of Oregon

hen I was 10 years old, my twin sister and I were taken out for our birthdays. John, a family friend, took his daughter and he treated us three girls to a late-lunch at one of the fanciest restaurants I had ever eaten. Olive Garden. We sat at a window table--over looking scenic views of the 60 Freeway--and I gazed around the restaurant in complete wonder. I rearranged my ironed jeans (because, really, you MUST iron your jeans for fine dining) as I sat in the pleather chair. When the waitress took our drink order, John raised his hand and hushed our pleas for soda. The girls will have strawberry daiquiris...without the alcohol, of course. He then winked our way as if we were sharing a secret.

It was the first time I'd ever been allowed to order anything but water at a restaurant, and as I slurped the bright pink confection, I happily slipped into a sugar coma. At that moment, I felt like the luckiest girl alive. With my brown eyes just above the lip of the oblong glass, I smiled. And the sounds of freight trucks on the 60 Freeway filled the air.

Last night, I sipped on camomile tea and watched cars fly down 28th Street in Portland, Oregon. Sitting in Papa Haydn's, mixed desserts filled the table and JD and I toasted to a wonderful day. I had the pleasure of speaking at the PPO Conference and I was delighted to teach such an AMAZING group of photographers. From the moment I walked into the ballroom, I was treated like an old friend and welcomed into their club immediately. I can't say enough great things about the leadership, the organization, and the energy of this group!

JD and I walked down 28th Street with our hands pushed deep into our coat pockets. As we window shopped--and I dreamed of donning a apricot colored dress in a boutique window--my breath danced in the air like filigree. We ducked into Papa Haydn's to escape the cold and share dessert. I couldn't decide what dessert I wanted and went back and forth what felt like a million times. JD then told the waitress he'd like to order four desserts...I want to make sure she can taste the best Portland has to offer.

It was the first time someone had ever ordered four desserts just to ensure I could taste each of them, and as I nibbled on each confection, I happily slipped into a sugar coma. With my brown eyes just above the lip of the tea cup, I smiled. And the sounds of flying cars of 28th Street filled the air.

A special thanks must go to Andy of Front Street Photo for being a wonderful host and taking the above photo. He also gave me a gift bag on behalf of PPO and in it a few attendees wrote thank you notes. I was SO touched reading such kind words and my heart melted on my way home. I LOVE PORTLAND! :)
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Heather Corporan - You're SUCH fab story-teller. I'm drawn deeper and deeper into your bog (as I've just recently started following, I feel the need to 'get to know you' better by going further back and back) This story brought a tear or two to my eye. We're the same age, and we were pretty poor as kids in the 80's (YIKES, that's two decades ago, almost three lol) My husband and I just recently brought his youngest cousin (14) to OLIVE GARDEN! While we ordered soup, salad, and breadsticks (our favs!) we let him order whatever he wanted. The MOST expensive thing on the menu! lol. But what a treat, to let him have an experiance I never had. I hope he one day looks back with the same appreciation you still have, as he had NEVER been to such a 'fancy' resturaunt. I made him try Calamari just for kicks. . . bingo, he loved it ; ) Thanks for your talent!  04.10.09 - 7:43am
Dinea de Photo - We would LOVE to have you in Seattle!   03.05.09 - 10:13am
master clipping - very nice  03.01.09 - 7:58pm
Cindy Meadors - Your blogs and stories put a smile on both my face and they become embedded right into the deepest part of my heart. Sometimes those stories are the best part of my day, thank you for sharing so much of yourself always. Love you!  02.27.09 - 10:16am
A. Weight - I can never get enough of your writings....your writing is as beautiful and magnificent as your photography.  02.27.09 - 9:06am
allie - what a great story! those notes are all awesome!!  02.26.09 - 9:31pm
Cailyn - Those thank you notes are too cute! Oregon seems like a great place to visit!  02.26.09 - 4:55pm
Cassidy - Wanna come speak at PPC? Professional Photographers of Colorado? Denver is greeeat :)  02.26.09 - 3:26pm
Melissa - Great story Jasmine!   02.26.09 - 11:57am
Heather Espana - I LIVE by Portland. And I still haven't gotten to meet you :-(.  02.26.09 - 10:54am
jamie - you are such an amazing person jasmine. i could totally see your story... you feeling on top of the world that day. you are so inspiring and i am so proud of you.  02.26.09 - 9:57am
Meredith Perdue - Congratulations on the well-received presentation- I wish I could have seen it. Come check out the other Portland- in Maine. It's equally as awesome!  02.26.09 - 8:34am
lucy - Im so jealous..Portland oregon is my boyfriend and I's favorite place to visit for a weekend getaway. I just love it there.  02.25.09 - 10:33pm
Lisa H. Chang - When I was growing up in rural Wisconsin, McDonalds was a treat, and Ponderosa was the ultimate in fine dining :)  02.25.09 - 8:10pm
Ellen - Jazmine, Frequent Blog stalker :) and rarely leaves a comment. Okay, so, I just read on someone's comments here that you're going to post a video of the conference you spoke at??. PLEASE post that video of your conference., pretty please. I've never been to a conference, but I'd like to attend one and I'm interested in seeing what is involved, especially seeing what your speaking style is like. thanks  02.25.09 - 8:02pm
SJ Styles - Jasmine Star you are an amazing person. I look at your blog daily just so I can smile and I swear reading your blog is like reading the J-Star Bio and I LOVE IT!!! You are so LUCKY to be YOU!  02.25.09 - 6:40pm
Christina Dickson - I just missed you! I would have loved to meet you! I hope you are in Portland again soon!  02.25.09 - 6:33pm
Simone - If you ever tire of wedding photography (like that will ever happen ;) you can always take up writing. You write so beautifully, feels like I was right there with you.  02.25.09 - 6:13pm
mika - i loved the way you linked the two stories together in this post.... simple thrills and acts of thoughtfulness can be so meaningful to our lives :)  02.25.09 - 3:59pm
cassandra m - Looks like Portland and some amazing photographers LOVE you too....great story as usual!  02.25.09 - 3:50pm
Anne Nunn Photography - I'm so glad you love our state! :) Oregon is beautiful. I hope I can see you next time you come!   02.25.09 - 12:30pm
Beka - I'm kind of new to your blog, but I love it, and... I really like your writing style! It's sweet and colorful. :) Do you write anything really besides on these posts? Sorry; odd question; I'm a writer myself and thought it read really well --especially the lip of the teacup! :) Have a lovely day! :)  02.25.09 - 11:01am
melissa pearce - love your descriptions. i was so bummed you couldn't come to NC with the FTS tour... though DJ did say we'd get to see a video of your "speech" but we never got a link-- do you know anything about this?  02.25.09 - 10:02am
Deyla Huss Photography - So bummed I couldnt make it to hear you speak, Im sure it was fabulous! There are so many cool spots in P-town! Come back soon!  02.25.09 - 9:57am
kelly Brown - so sweet! you are so inspirational. do you ever get tired of hearing that? ;-)  02.25.09 - 9:45am
Maria - Wow, the photographers there are sweet! And I love your stories!! Your are ALSO a sweet person! :)  02.25.09 - 9:25am
Jackie L. - You are such an inspiration both in your personal triumphs and those in the photography industry...keep it up!  02.25.09 - 9:09am
jeramy - jd is a keeper for sure. that story inspires me to be a better desert orderer for sharon (make sure and tell him that). great story! i'm glad things went so well for you guys in portland. i've often thought that it looked like a fun town as we've driven by on our way to seattle. :-( maybe some day we'll stop. take care.  02.25.09 - 9:06am
Erica Velasco - I totally used to iron my jeans for special occasions! haha...of course now I'm too lazy. Awesome notes from the participants...that must warm your heart.  02.25.09 - 8:38am
Muriel - I love Portland too! I visited a couple years ago and was only there for an evening, but just fell in love. It is a city that I would love to live in for a while.  02.25.09 - 8:37am
The Last Forty Percent Photography - I love the part about you ironing your jeans - it made me laugh out loud!  02.25.09 - 8:09am
Angelica - I love your blog.......this has been one of my favorite posts! You always inspire continue shooting and working towards my dream..... and to continue believing that there is so much more to this life than what is on the surface. Thanks Jasmine!   02.25.09 - 8:09am
Apple - That's so sweet!:D  02.25.09 - 7:54am
Rachel - I LOVE Papa Haydn's!! Wish I could have been there!  02.25.09 - 7:33am
Jenny Duffy - Thanks for making me laugh! Your comment about ironing your jeans made me laugh as I'm feeling a little stressed and blue today (my mom is undergoing hip replacement as I type)  02.25.09 - 7:31am
~abi~ - seriously, SO sweet!!!  02.25.09 - 7:18am
Ash - What a great story! Thanks  02.25.09 - 7:08am
Leandra - That is so incredibly sweet. JD sounds like a wonderful husband. :)  02.25.09 - 6:53am
tish - JD is seriously the sweetest person alive. He should teach seminars on being kind to others.   02.25.09 - 6:34am
Oleksandr Photography - Great post! Nice story! You are the writer!  02.25.09 - 5:44am
Amy - your writing is raw and filled with incredible emotion. i LOVE reading your posts. i've been a silent admirer of your pictures for some time but now find myself completely moved by your words. thanks for paying it forward all the time and reminding us how beautiful life is through your pictures and your words.  02.25.09 - 5:34am
Paula Herko - so... Jasmine... I have an offer for you... if you PLEEEAAASE come to Orlando, Florida and do a workshop, a luncheon, a park meeting... ANYTHING! I will treat you and JD to Disney!!! :) Wouldn't that be FUN?!?!?! Really... PLEASE come to Florida! :)  02.25.09 - 5:18am
Lindsey - I live in Arkansas, so I second the person from MO and the person from TN - please come to the midwest and/or southeast! We'd love to have you down here and would totally show you some true southern hospitality! :) You do great work. I must admit, I stalk your blog! :) Not in a creepy way. Just in a "wow. i want to be her when i grow up" way...even though I think i'm older than you.....or at least the same age. lol!  02.25.09 - 5:16am
Tammy Jolley - You should write a book. I don't usually read blogs just look at the pictures but I read every word of yours!  02.25.09 - 5:09am
Stephanie Stewart - Great post. I love the parallels in your writing. Portland is so lucky! Indianapolis would love to welcome you anytime!   02.25.09 - 5:09am
Lora Carr - Jasmine, Aside from being a talented photographer, you are an amazing and captivating writer. Love to read your posts.  02.25.09 - 4:44am
Eric - I'm so glad you loved Portland. I'm living in the midwest now but grew up there, so I loved your post about my home town! Thanks again for sharing Jasmine, Eric Lovelin  02.25.09 - 3:53am
Christopher - You have a great writing style. Keep it up.   02.25.09 - 3:39am
Paula Emery - Now PLEASE come to Nashville or somewhere nearby. Not fair for the West Coast to get all the love. I promise lots of handwritten notes AND sweet tea.  02.25.09 - 3:29am
Jess - ahhh jasmine, you are just pure awesomeness!! i LOVE reading your blog and sadly enough, um... might check it a few times a day ;) anyway, your stories are amazing (dare i say as amazing as your photography!) when (um, *if*) i ever find mr. right and get married, you will so be my choice to capture everything! keep on being you :)   02.25.09 - 2:35am
Matthew Saville - Wow. I wish I could get HAND-WRITTEN fan mail! That is nuts!  02.25.09 - 12:08am
Nancy Ramos - It is so wonderful that get to reach to so many people. You are a true inspiration.   02.25.09 - 12:02am
Larry Chen - Hoooooola! It was so nice to meet you and JD in person!! Thanks again!  02.24.09 - 11:54pm
serena - love papa hadyn!!  02.24.09 - 11:09pm
Elaini Garfield - Gosh, you can paint such beautiful pictures with your words! I am so glad you love Portland and I am not surprised that Portland loves you too...  02.24.09 - 10:57pm
Whitney - Its actually NW 23rd street....Heaven isnt it. Glad you got to see a little bit of what makes our city so wonderful. It was awesome having you here. We really enjoyed your presentation as well as the "Sushi"! Hope to see you again soon! Hugs!  02.24.09 - 10:52pm
Jason Lackey - you like the word confection! It's a great word.  02.24.09 - 10:31pm
Gina Meola - Beautifully said...  02.24.09 - 10:30pm
Curtis Farmer - I echo Elaine! I wish I didn't have to be in Salem that day and could've been at your session. And yes, Papa Haydn's is the bomb. Chocolate Torte Bombe to be exact... Glad you love our city and we'd love to have you back soon!!  02.24.09 - 10:11pm
Seini - Love it!  02.24.09 - 10:06pm
Elaine - So glad you enjoyed Portland and Papa Haydn's! My favorite! :) I was sorry to be out of town yesterday while you were here. I hope you come back someday soon!   02.24.09 - 10:00pm
Priscilla Gragg - I love your writing Jasmine! You should write a book! Thanks for sharing your stories!  02.24.09 - 9:43pm
Bethany - What a treat to hear you speak yesterday! I'm so glad you came to P-town!  02.24.09 - 9:36pm
Joan Solitario - I know what you mean about sugar comas! :o)   02.24.09 - 9:10pm
wrecklessgirl - portland is my most favourite place on earth. so far, that is!!! what a magical place! did you feel it? i'm glad you can appreciate it's uniqueness; glad you had a fun time, too!   02.24.09 - 8:49pm
B - John and the virgin daiquiris! Hilarious. I'm glad broke down and ordered all four desserts. You only live once...  02.24.09 - 8:48pm
B - John and the virgin daiquiris! Hilarious. I'm glad broke down and ordered all four desserts. You only live once...  02.24.09 - 8:48pm
kate - how cool to see all the thank you notes :] i'm sure it was amazing!  02.24.09 - 8:33pm
Lydia - After reading about all that sugar happiness, I think I'll go and get a bowl of that yummy Samoas ice cream in my freezer!  02.24.09 - 8:32pm
ruby rideout - i love your stories and your writing. i know i hardly comment on your blog...but i almost feel like my comments would get lost in their somehow. we met at wppi last year and had a brief conversation. i still think you are amazing and down to earth and that goes a long way in this industry. I can't say that for every single photographer who's as successful as you are. Thank you for being real....for being YOU.   02.24.09 - 8:31pm
Shy - Portland is my home and Papa Hayden's is literally my favorite place! NW 23rd is the most magical little street... so glad you experienced it :)  02.24.09 - 8:24pm
Holli True - It was so amazing to meet both you and JD in Portland- please come again!! Jeff and I so enjoyed talking with you- you truly are one of a kind, girl! :) Can't wait to see you again! You rocked it out!!!  02.24.09 - 8:20pm
Melissa Tomeoni - Portland LOVES you too! Come again soon :)  02.24.09 - 8:14pm
Stephanie Greenwell - I meant to write "small representation of the folks far and wide [who love] your blog..." my mind moved faster than my fingers!! :)  02.24.09 - 8:02pm
Stephanie Greenwell - I'm so envious! I wish you could come to the midwest, we've got a lot of good, southern food here and you can try as many desserts as your heart desires! you're so awesome--those letters are just a small representation of the folks far and wide your blog and your talent, but most all of you. I love coming here to read and learn. Please come to Missouri!! :)  02.24.09 - 8:00pm