08.28.09 Photography

OC SmugMug Meeting : Becker

he first time I met Becker three years ago, I was totally shy and nervous. I followed his blog for months, so when the time came to get to know him better over lunch with a small group of photographers, I was tongue-tied and wee bit stupid. I think I mentioned my love for tadpoles, kazoos, and my pocket protector collection. Yeah, I was pretty cool. Back then, I promised myself that if I was ever given a platform to share knowledge, I'd do it as freely and candidly as Becker. Lo and behold, God gave me a soapbox on the web and I was honored to ask my good friend to speak at last night's SmugMug meeting.

Over 250 photographers showed up to hear Becker speak and the Orange County meeting was ultra fab. The community everyone is dedicated to building is flourishing and I can't wait to see what's in store for the future! Many thanks to Mesa Verde County Club in Costa Mesa for hosting our large group and I couldn't be more thankful for their beautiful venue and amazing staff!

Here are a few photos from the a good son, Becker saved a few seats for his family...

I was SO blown away by a few photographers who brought goodies for the meeting...out of their accord, they brightened everyone's night and made my belly smile...

Helllllllo, Kitty...

SmugMug Co-Founder, Chris "Baldy" MacAskill, joined the group and discussed SEO for a bit...

...Then I got to the mic and read an old blog post about the first time I met Becker...

...And then we both got a little teary-eyed...

...No, really...Becker was choked up! Yes, this photo is unfocused, but--ehh--I love it. Becker is in the background dabbing his eyes and I'm laughing...that's what happens when I'm embarrassed...

Packed house...

Becker doing his thang...

Like usual, a large group of photographers party like rockstars in the parking lot. What can I say? We're fun. Don't hate. ;)

Thanks to everyone who showed up and made last night a success! Becker treated everyone to free ice cream at Coldstone Creamery, so the night ended on a sweet note for sure! I'm honored to have met so many new photographers and I can't thank everyone for their support!
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michelle - I love OC Smug Mug! :o) I heart Jessica Claire. I heart Becker. Now please please please get Tara Whitney!! :o)  09.08.09 - 12:47pm
Lukas VanDyke - Thank you so much for putting this together! It was great meeting you! =) I wasn't sure what to expect when I showed up, but I had an awesome time meeting a ton of people! I was super encouraged and inspired! It made me feel like I was in a room with a ton of people who's lives I understood. =)  09.04.09 - 6:10pm
J.Vallecorsa - Sounds like this was a great meet-up and very informative. Living in Texas makes me very jealous that I can't make it to these!! I give you credit for putting these types of things together, I wish they had something like this in my area. It's a great opportunity to network, and there is always room to learn new techniques!  09.01.09 - 9:49am
Life with Kaishon - This makes me wish I lived in California : )  08.31.09 - 3:47pm
David Quesada - Thank you to J* and {b} for hosting and speaking. I met the 3 new people and love these meetings see you at the next one :).  08.31.09 - 11:53am
Stephen - It's inspiring to see photographers getting together in this manner.  08.31.09 - 6:24am
Dajuan - This is way too cool. I'm now thinking, "I'm on the wrong coast!"  08.30.09 - 8:41pm
Barbara T - Hi Jasmine...thank you for being such a wonderful hostess. This was my first Smug Mtg and new to SMUGMUG. It was great to hear about new features for SM. Can't wait for the next meeting! Also thank you to the ladies who brought the cupcakes...yum!!!!   08.30.09 - 8:36pm
Victor Saidov - You always look beautiful! :)  08.30.09 - 6:37pm
Adrienne - Where's the link to the post you read about him!? :)  08.30.09 - 5:43pm
Peter Garr - Everybody had a great time! Thanks Jasmine, Becker, and Baldy!  08.30.09 - 11:07am
joan.solitario - i like the blurry photo of you and [b] too :o)  08.30.09 - 7:38am
Peyton Cooke - It was my first time attending the Smug meeting and I really enjoyed it. My friend who talked me into going thought I'd be yawning, but it was great! I can't wait for the next one.  08.29.09 - 11:19pm
Feuza - Wow, 250- huh! East Coast needs to step up at the smugmug meetings, like 10 times as much, that is awesome! Becker is greattt  08.29.09 - 9:48pm
carla - i only wish i could attend one of these events. gahhh, so cool. i am super pumped about seeing becker when he is in my neck of the woods in november. he is coming up to calgary, alberta, canada and i can't wait to hear him speak!! thank you jasmine for another great post.   08.29.09 - 7:58pm
Bobbie Brown - Awwww, I've said it before but will say it again, I wish I could've been there! Just a little to far from NC!! Looks like a great time was had by all!  08.29.09 - 7:02pm
arielle joy - Like some of the others said, YOU are my Becker!! And that Hello Kitty cupcake is the cutest thing I have ever seen. hehe.  08.29.09 - 8:32am
Melissa Brandman - Thank you so much for organizing the meeting Jasmine - I met so many warm and wonderful people. It's so inspiring to be around professional photographers that are encouraging and positive about the newbies (like me). Thanks!  08.29.09 - 8:11am
karen Ard - What a great time! Thanks for being a great hostess with the mostess (and I loved your heels! How do you wear heels that high??? LOL) See ya next time!  08.29.09 - 7:28am
Holli True - Diandra Ann said it so perfectly on her blog- she said that you are her [B]ecker. I feel exactly the same way!! :) I've read through your old blog and felt the same way about you that you felt about him. Meeting you was one of the best experiences ever! You are just so awesome! :)  08.28.09 - 9:33pm
Jessica Pressley - Oy vey Jasmine Star, last night was so fun! Thank you for hosting and being so wonderful =) I can not wait until next time.  08.28.09 - 8:51pm
Shane Thompson - I had a great time at my first SMUG Mug get together. Even if Becker did take me a bit by surprise. It was great. Thank you to whoever made the red velvet cupcakes. Yummy Yummy!!  08.28.09 - 8:36pm
Mia Marisa - Like you, feeling a little nervous the first time you met Becker, I've felt that way at the last two meetings wanting to come up and shake your hand and haven't. I'm new to the photography community, and have truly enjoyed reading your posts, and being inspired by what you've done in such a short amount of time. Thank you for being genuine and authentic in everything you do. You've given so much back to our photography community and I'm grateful.  08.28.09 - 8:01pm
John Leocadio - It was an awesome and fun first OC SMUG meeting for me!! Thanks for putting this together.  08.28.09 - 7:53pm
Erica Velasco - I sooo wish I lived there!  08.28.09 - 6:41pm
Allen Taylor - My first OC Smug meeting, really enjoyed both Becker and you. Thanks for arranging it!  08.28.09 - 6:38pm
chris - great seeing you jasmine, you and becker did a fantastic job and it was fun catching up with you at coldstone. glad to hear camera was retrieved from car:)  08.28.09 - 6:13pm
Danielle Simone - OMG Jasmine! I had a super fun time last night. I felt totally cool being surrounded by so many people as passionate about photography as I am. CANT WAIT to see what next month will bring!  08.28.09 - 5:00pm
Larry - Looks like it was an amazing time. I wish I could have been there to experience it.  08.28.09 - 4:38pm
Hanssie Trainor - Awww...heck yes! I have finally made my debut on your blog!! Last picture far left - white dress and cowgirl boots!! Pull out your magnifying glasses, kids!  08.28.09 - 4:16pm
Brian Khang - Good times last night! I almost look forward to going each month! Ha ha.. oh and way to get Becker choked up!  08.28.09 - 3:09pm
amanda thiessen - I love the picture of you laughing at your speech! Great!!  08.28.09 - 1:24pm
Becka Knight (Studio222 Photography) - I'm so jealous that these are so very far away from me. I think you should hold next month's OC Smugmug meeting in Orange County, Florida ;) (namely, here!)  08.28.09 - 12:57pm
Mark - It is great to see this happening in OC, and I wished for it to happen in Glendale, AZ. (in case you do not know where Glendale, AZ is. It is northwest of Phoenix.) Are there any photographers out here that is involved in a photo group or something on the west side. Let me know. Thank you.  08.28.09 - 12:51pm
Nancy Ramos - Had a great time at the OC Smug. Met a lot of new friends. After the Ice Cream at Coldstone we headed to a Tofu Restaurant in Irvine and then to a 2nd restaurant with Candice, Jessica and Lorrie. Did not get home until 3:00 a.m.  08.28.09 - 11:11am
ajira - Looks like it was awesome! You guys are making me consider moving down to SoCal! LOL.   08.28.09 - 11:10am
Nicole Meyers - Thanks again for your wonderful hostess-ness. I am still glowing that you remembered me from when we met two months ago and can definitely relate to how stupid and akward you felt with Becker because that's how I feel on those Smugmug nights with so many fabulous and respected photographers around! Thanks for keeping it real... you are lovely!  08.28.09 - 10:52am
Brad Peters - Last night's event was very nice, [b] came across in person just as his blog persona presents itself. Jasmine you were a great host, your blog reading was a nice touch. on a side note, how nice to see that an unfocused image can actually come from your camera! :) Thanks for posting and for the meeting.  08.28.09 - 10:47am
Ashley - Last night was awesome- as per the usual (: We might just have to take J up on his offer about Radio City Music Hall!  08.28.09 - 10:47am
Bong - What a great meeting!!! You really did a number on Becker and that picture of you laughing/embarassed with Becker in the background all choked-up... priceless!!! Kudos to two real wonderful people and to all those who helped and brought the goodies!!!  08.28.09 - 10:42am
STAK - Looks like a great meet  08.28.09 - 10:37am
Kisha of Sahara Blue - I WISH we had meetups like this in Toronto that I could take part of! This looks like it was a ton of fun (& super informative). AND the treats look DELISH!  08.28.09 - 10:36am
Jennifer - Jasmine, thank you so much for all you did to put this together and make this happen. I did not get to meet you last night, but see the influence of you and so many great photogs on the community. As Becker has done for you, you are doing for others, and many are also doing for me. I have had fb friends bless me because they share the attitude that their gifts are meant to be shared with each other. This way of thinking is revolutionizing the photography world, and it is amazing to see. I am learning from so many, growing as a photographer, and able to share what little I know to others. I am so glad to be a part of it!  08.28.09 - 10:34am
Diandra - Awesome Jasmine. My mom went home afterwards and decided that she wants to be a photographer :) that's how much [b]'s passion came through :)  08.28.09 - 10:30am
Roxanne Benton - My sweet Jasmine! Holding a meeting for over 250 peeps is not an easy task - and you did it like BUTTAH!! Thanks for blogging your Hello Kitty cupcake! It was my first SMUG meeting, and I can tell you I will certainly be back for more. Let me know how I can help!  08.28.09 - 10:15am
Joe Merrill - From the first meet in Irvine where people were sitting outside or standing in the back of the room this group keeps growing. We met up for dinner with friends we met at last month's Smug then were coerced into Yogurt Land (see it works). So we rolled to Mesa Verde already stuffed but then [B] had to end w/ the offer of free Cold Stone, so of course we partook (even though full), we simply couldn’t pass up a chance to make new friends. And we got to meet Jasmine finally (yes Jasmine, we are the Counter Burger kids that finally got to meet you)!! Thanks again Jasmine [B] and Smug for putting together another awesome event where you genuinely feel welcomed and embraced no matter what stage you are at. Can’t wait ‘till the next one...  08.28.09 - 10:13am
Brian Fletcher - Thanks again for setting it up, Jasmine! [b]ecker was so fun to listen to. Wish I could have gone for ice cream afterward but had to get back to the family!  08.28.09 - 10:12am
Courtney - Man I wish I lived closer to SoCal. Next time I visit my friends down there I'll have to plan it around one of your SmugMug meetings. :)  08.28.09 - 10:07am
Suzanne - Jasmine thanks so much! So glad I drove down for the meeting... Your doing some great stuff, please keep up the good work :)   08.28.09 - 10:07am
Sarah Myers - "Ahh I saw Jasmine in person!" (yes, I'm a nerd like that). Your blog about the first time you met Becker was rad. I imagine it's not far from how I would feel to sit at a table with any of you. My first SM was the best way to start off my birthday weekend! Looking forward to next month :) I bake some mean cookies...  08.28.09 - 10:05am
Andrea Scott - Thank you for hosting this amazing meeting! Can't wait for the next one!!!  08.28.09 - 9:52am
Colby Poppleton - Jasmine, I have heard a lot about the SmugMug get togethers and am very interested. Are they free? Can anyone attend? Is it just a good opportunity to learn more about photography?  08.28.09 - 9:51am
Ian Andrew - I had another great time last night at the Smugmug meeting. Enjoyed listening to everyone speak especially [b]ecker. It was nice to meet you and I look forward to to the next GTG!   08.28.09 - 9:51am
Michael Rivera - Thank you for hosting the Smug last night Jasmine. It was really fun and informative. I like the way you encourage everyone to mix and mingle. Great talks by You, Chris, and Becker! Cheers!  08.28.09 - 9:51am
ashley morgan - Last night was so inspiring! You and Becker are two of my favorite photographers. Thank you for caring enough to create a supportive community.  08.28.09 - 9:45am
Stephanie Stewart - What a cool event! So happy for you! Becker seems so cool!   08.28.09 - 9:35am
Kaysha Weiner - Last night was GREAT! I'm very thrilled to be part of such a warm and welcoming community of photographers in Orange County! Yay for you Jasmine, thanks for making this happen!  08.28.09 - 9:33am
Lori Anderson - Best meeting yet! It's been awesome to see a packed house each month.  08.28.09 - 9:30am
Cecilia - You made him cry?! Erm, tear?... But you do have that affect on people. :)  08.28.09 - 9:26am
Jayme - Thank you again for hosting a fabulous meeting... I cannot wait to go again. :)  08.28.09 - 9:22am
Tira J - Last night was AMAZING! Thank you Jasmine for hosting such a great event for all of us to connect and change the industry for the future, one pixel at a time! You and [b] are two of the most giving photographers and I am blessed to call you both my friends! Cupcakes, Diet Coke, Cherry Slurpee's and everything else in between pretty much rocks my world! Love ya!   08.28.09 - 9:21am
Angel Canary - I am soooo jealous...I wish Smugmug would have meetings in Indianapolis... ;)  08.28.09 - 9:11am
Rachelle - Jasmine, Thanks for a great meeting. It is so nice to see a community of photographers supporting eachother and sharing their skills. Can't wait for the next meeting!  08.28.09 - 9:04am
Amber Fox - Thanks Jasmine for hosting another fabulous evening. I always walk away with so much inspiration from these evenings and I feel so blessed to be a part of this awesome community. And I can't believe what a small world it is that you and JD are friends with so many of my old friends...weird!   08.28.09 - 8:45am
Brian Carter - Becker totally made me want to quit my job and go full-time after his talk last night. Oh man, if only it was just that simple :) I was inspired to spend more of my 'off' hours focusing on marketing/selling MYSELF. Thanks for everyone who worked hard to put this together, escpecially our beautiful host Jasmine!  08.28.09 - 8:40am
Dawn McCarthy - I am pushing for a SMUG in Jacksonville Florida! I love SMUG and I think these groups are fantastic!!! Of course having you visit us in J'ville would be even more fabulous!!!   08.28.09 - 8:32am
Blair Van Bussel - Last night was so great! Jasmine , thank you so much for being an awesome hostess and for our little chat last night. You are the sweetest! :)  08.28.09 - 8:14am
Steven Chellappa - Wow! First that food looks SOOOO good! And there are a lot more people there than I thought, but looks like such an AWESOME time! :D  08.28.09 - 8:07am
Katie - Jasmine thank you again SO MUCH for an amazing night last night. All night I had a smile and felt so blessed to be around all these other amazing photographers and people and to be my teeny part in this community!!  08.28.09 - 8:02am
Rachel Clare - Last night was so fun- what a great group we have here! And a big thanks to [b]ecker for the yummies afterward. :)   08.28.09 - 8:01am
corey - Wish I was there in sunny Cali.  08.28.09 - 7:44am
marlin munoz - Thanks for bringing all of us together Jasmine! It was a wonderful event!   08.28.09 - 7:38am
Kimberly Loya - Jasmine and [b]ecker thank-you again for all your inspiration and help. I feel truly blessed to have met you both last night and even more blessed to be able to sit under your wings of inspiration and teaching. Jasmine to say your work is amazing is an understatement. Your work is blessed and I'm thankful to be able to just soak it all in.  08.28.09 - 7:34am
Krysta - I love the "choked up ... unfocused ... Becker is in the background"photo!... Oooh, I LOVE Coldstone! Best ice cream ever! (I used to work there. Great fun!)  08.28.09 - 7:19am
FELIX WU - So many events and activities! So jealous!  08.28.09 - 6:57am
Chris c. - Looks like another fun night! What do you guys really talk about : ) ?? All smugmug?  08.28.09 - 6:55am
Mapuana - Never missing another SmugMug meeting again :(. I'm marking my calendar for the next one....and writing it in a big black sharpie too!!!  08.28.09 - 6:45am
Andy Williams - WTG Guys, another great SMUG in OC. Thanks Jasmine and all!  08.28.09 - 6:20am
Katherine Bowman - How fun! I need to move back to California! :)  08.28.09 - 6:12am
Jena - Looks like it was a fabulous time, I can't imagine being surrounded by that much talent and love for photography all at once! Can you guys bring some of your skills to New England Sometime?? :)  08.28.09 - 6:10am
Dawn Beirnes - wow. I can't wait till the day that I feel "photographer" enough to attend events like this. One day though, one day!!!!  08.28.09 - 6:05am
Melissa - Awesome! You OC photographers sure know how to pick the food. ;p  08.28.09 - 5:52am
Tasha Prescott - I want to move to California, just because you guys have such a close knit photography community. Even with so many of you "GREATS" you come together to share your knowledge, that's awesome... NC needs to get it together lol  08.28.09 - 5:48am
Valerie Acosta - How nice to see that you're helping out so much. I wish you were my friend, I'd really need you right now. I gave up my dogs this week.   08.28.09 - 5:38am
Michelle - Jaz, looks like you guys had a great time of it, what a wonderful conference hall, nice one for getting Becker to tear up,aww bless. I'd love to live over there, you guys seem to have the best times!  08.28.09 - 5:24am
Mandy Sroka - have this kind of photographer "fellowship" out here on the East coast...I'm still looking. So glad you all's community is flourishing. Keep on spreading the love! And I'm sure Becker did great!  08.28.09 - 4:53am
Tanja - How lucky to have suck great photo community.. I miss that in Norway. Love your blog and writings, and your photos rock  08.28.09 - 4:23am
Matthew Saville - Totally an awesome, memorable night. Becker is such a giving person, we are so blessed to have him in our industry, and in our hometown! Jasmine, YOU are awesome too! Your generous and kind spirit shows very plainly. =Matt=  08.28.09 - 2:48am
Dave Shilling - Man, I need to move!!! Looks like another awesome meeting went down!  08.28.09 - 2:06am
Alicia Swedenborg - My first meeting with [B] also changed my life - he is so outgoing, not afraid to share his "secrets" and he made a impression that follows me every time I pick up my camera. Like a little [B]-angel sitting on my shoulder telling me to look for flattering light, encourage me to shoot manually and tells me jokes to say during group shoot to make evverybody laugh.   08.28.09 - 2:01am
Cathy Crawley - I love that man. He's so generous and fun to be around. He truly is the most giving photographer I have met :)  08.28.09 - 1:16am