Are You Making It Happen?

t was how we met that makes me love her story more than most. I'm the first to admit I can be socially awkward, especially when I feel out of place. The product of an obese childhood, I immediately walk into large gatherings and stand in a dark corner. Most likely by the fried finger foods. It's called comfort food for a reason. It's what I did then, it's what I still do now. JD and I attended a gorgeous industry party in Laguna Beach for a magazine launch, although our tickets were hand-me-downs. Don't hate...I'll go to a party in Laguna Beach for fried appetizers and sparkly drinks any day.

Like most instances, I felt comforted by my camera, so I brought it out of my purse and started shooting party details. In the center of the room sat a large Buddah statue and as I shot it, a small voice behind me asked my name. I turned to find a girl with a pretty smile and warm eyes. The girl was Meg Perotti, a bourgeoning wedding photographer trying to walk away from her day job, but struggled with uncertainty. What's stopping you, I asked. Our conversation was littered with doubt, but at the end of it all, I told Meg to just do it. Just make her dreams happen.

Isn't it what life is about? Finding your goal or passion and then making it happen? So often we cut ourselves short because we think of a thousand reasons why we can't do something, when we should pour that energy into figuring how to make it a reality. I completely understand there are mortgages, health care, school loans, and lingering bill for laser hair removal you need to take care of before you drop everything and run toward your dream, but don't you at least want to take one step toward it? First, set your goal. Second, vocalize your dream to your trusted allies. Third, create an action plan to make things happen. Even if it takes ten months or ten years to make it a reality, work toward it. It's liberating if you're stuck in a windowless office and a sack lunch under your desk. Trust me, I was there too.

Here's the best part of the story: Meg left her job, created a thriving business as a Bay Area wedding photographer, and I'm shooting HER WEDDING this November! Just two years ago, Meg was scared to follow her dream to become a full-time photographer, but she took a risk and made it happen. And I'm incredibly proud of her.

I'm working on the rest of her engagement photos from her recent session, but I pulled this one picture because I think Meg looks gorgeous, fabulous, but--above all else--happy.
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Brittani - This is what I'm want my story to be like...I'm glad she's successful now, and I like her website!! She takes some pretty goood photos!! =)  03.02.10 - 11:16pm
Bernie - Wow I love your new site and I loved this post. Haven't visited for a while. If you fancy coming to London in England to do a workshop I think I could get it sold out for you.   02.22.10 - 4:36pm
amanda thiessen - man , oh man. you read my mind. thank you.  02.19.10 - 6:59pm
Nath - Thanks so much for the inspiration. Another kick in boost myself towards my 'fulltime' dream! and get out of my 40 long hours a week job! Better work 60 with passion and a smile:)  02.19.10 - 4:11pm
maio - i love reading your blogs.. it is inspiring!   02.16.10 - 12:46pm
Kelli - This is so inspiring!!  02.15.10 - 8:28am
Tira J - J*, thanks for writing a post just for me! :) I needed this post last week! Counting the days to when I don't have to put in those 40 hours a week. Trust me, you will be on the list to find out when that happens! I must get back to following my dream! p.s. good luck with your workshop this week! luv ya! xoxo tira j  02.15.10 - 7:56am
Holli True - I so needed to read this right now. I am at this place in my life right now. It's so scary to leave the security of a regular 9-5 to follow your dreams, but I know that I have to- for me. I have to follow my dreams. I've committed so much time, energy and love into my business, I owe to myself and my family, to follow my heart and pursue a full-time career in photography. Thank you, Jasmine, for the constant inspiration. :) Happy heart day!  02.14.10 - 9:30pm
Jennifer Wright - I've been reading your blog for well over a year now. I was married last March in Redondo Beach (unfortunately couldn't afford your fabulous services :) Anyways, since last March I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't read your posts. This is by far the most inspiring! I'm trying to start a photography business myself and you are a true inspiration. Thank you.  02.14.10 - 6:48pm
Gloria McCune - It is amazing how many lives you touch. I too have been in the moment of doubt of making my dreams a reality. There is nothing more fulfilling that living a life with intention.  02.14.10 - 6:44pm
B - WHY must you remind me of my laser hair removal?! Yes, it was a bad decision, but I'm almost done paying for it :D  02.14.10 - 7:03am
Eric Hatch - Thanks for the post. I've been struggling for a long, long time to "make it happen" ... haven't found the key steps to take. (What I'm after is recognition as a fine arts photographer). Needed a kick in the butt, which you've provided. Thank you.  02.14.10 - 5:39am
Apple - I thought you were endorsing nike for a moment there. :)) thanks jasmine. you make it sound so simpleeeee.. but ok. i'll do it. <3  02.14.10 - 2:53am
Angel Pope - Anxiously awaiting a v-day blog to see what kind of awesomeness JD pulls out! ;-)  02.13.10 - 7:49pm
Monica - Jasmine. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. My husband and I have been working at our photography business for a couple of years and it has been a challenge. Thanks for giving us hope. Monica  02.13.10 - 1:32pm
Curtis Copeland - What great and encouraging words for all who are in the midst of those life changing moments. Jumping into the realm of full time photography is not for the timid! Thanks for the uplifting words, Jasmine. Curtis   02.13.10 - 1:26pm
Lola - Megan Beth, AMAZING QUOTE!! :) Jasmine, thank you dearly!  02.13.10 - 11:13am
nicolenjoli - Wow, your story is does it feel to be admired and loved by so many people?   02.13.10 - 9:46am
Sangeeta - You say it best Jasmine! :) You just have to do it...I am where I am today because of your inspiration! I left my job and jumped into the void, trusting my passion and creative ability and voila! I have a thriving photog business! I owe you big time! -Sangeeta  02.13.10 - 8:24am
Elizabeth - You so rock Jasmine....I am going through a lot professionally and I am so ready for a change but I so scared to do it. Your words inspire me to get back on track and think about that change in life. Thank you.  02.13.10 - 3:18am
Lisa H. Chang - That's awesome ~ thanks for the encouragement. :)  02.12.10 - 7:53pm
Erica Velasco - this story is so poignant for me as I just lost my job and have been working on my photography business the past two years...and now I guess I have no choice but to just do it!  02.12.10 - 6:49pm
Jonni - Thanks for the reminder of following our dreams Jasmine. :)  02.12.10 - 6:11pm
Melissa - LOVE this post. I just quit my job too because I was just stuck and I knew if I didn't quit I wouldn't make it happen.  02.12.10 - 5:23pm
Tab McCausland - Great story! Love the photo as well!  02.12.10 - 4:40pm
Haley - Wise words. Here's to Making it Happen this year!  02.12.10 - 2:58pm
Julia - Thanks Jasmine! I really needed this post and all the comments. Now I just have to make it happen!  02.12.10 - 1:46pm
ajira - Thanks for this encouragement Jasmine. It's inspiring to be reminded that we are not alone. I just attended Spread the Love and it was amazing. So inspiring. Really recommend it!!  02.12.10 - 11:34am
Megan Beth - Reach for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud! Jasmine, that image of Meg is GORGEOUS. Can't wait to see the rest!  02.12.10 - 11:20am
nicole - this was inspiring. we are in the thick of this right now...MAKING it happen. i know you say that your blog was the best way you marketed...but how do you get people to look at the blog? and actually schedule you?? we've been here in a dry spell for some time but are doing everything we can think of b/c this is what we truly want to do!!  02.12.10 - 10:48am
Oakstream Photography - You ALWAYS have such words of wisdom! I can't even tell you how many times I just think..'I' & all this stuff just sucks...LOL!!!! Then want to throw my hands up in the air & give up. But what does giving up do? NOTHING! You rock with knowledge...THANK YOU for always being such an inspiration to others! You are blessed!!!!  02.12.10 - 9:31am
Kristin Hartness - So fun! I stumbled upon Meg's website last year and forgot the name, so I haven't been able to find it since. So glad to see it again! Thanks for the encouragement. It's definitely been one of THOSE months, so I needed to hear it!  02.12.10 - 9:31am
sepa - thank you always for your light and energy. i read your blog regularly, and sometimes even look at your pictures. always, always be a positive force. blessings upon you and yours.  02.12.10 - 9:04am
amanda - I love this! Thank you !  02.12.10 - 8:56am
Katie Whitcomb - I totally enjoyed this story on Meg's blog and I adored reading it here too. I think you are an amazing exception in this industry and if you tell someone they can do it, they feel they can do it. I don't think it's in an idolic way, just in the "well, Jasmine took that leap of faith and TOTALLY ROCKED IT." Thank you for sharing this with everyone and keep up the inspiring story that is called your life. You're an amazing gift from God to so many.   02.12.10 - 8:49am
Jessica Riggle - Jasmine!! I love this!! Doubt & Uncertainty are two of my best friends at the moment. It is comforting to know that others are there with me. And it feels so good to be following my dream, no matter what the outcome will be, because I am spending my life being my authentic self. I am not a waitress or a nurse or a stay at home mom. I am a Photographer. : )  02.12.10 - 8:42am
Leyla - Oh how much I needed to hear these words of encouragement right now, I can't even tell you! Thank you, thank you, thank! xo L  02.12.10 - 8:36am
Huckleberry Karen Designs - This is so inspiring...and you are inspiring Jasmine. I'm not even a photographer and you make me want to be one! LOL. My husband is risk adverse - I sent this blog post to him to give him a little nudge towards his dream. Thanks for saying it so well.  02.12.10 - 6:27am
Paul Craig - Ive been working on my photography and dayjob for 3 years and have wedding clients as well as commercial clients ive held off giving up the dayjob while my sites are finished and also probably FEAR, sitting in a sewage works now this post inspires me / reminds me i need to make the break and push on 100% !!!!! Cheers Paul :)  02.12.10 - 6:24am
Michelle - Great post; I check her website shes a great! But I have a question you talk about three thing we should do. so i was wondering if you could some day in the future tell us what your goal was, who did you tell or what you said, and how did you make your action plan or what were some of you steps in the action plan? Thanks   02.12.10 - 6:08am
Alaina Bos - It's posts like this that make me feel like I have the ability to leave my job as a speech therapist and follow my dream. I've been wildly pursuing photography for the last two months and I'm addicted ;) I just scheduled my first 2nd shooter job, by the grace of my own wedding photographer, Jackie Blair. It seems that so many of us have been inspired by our own wedding photographers. What an amazing group of people in the biz. Thanks Jasmine for being you! So honest about your experiences. I look forward to your posts each week :)  02.12.10 - 6:02am
Kristin Korpos - Jasmine - thank you immensely for this post. I share the same sentiment as other comments, this could not have come at a better time in my life. WOW! I found out a month ago I am being laid off from a professional position I have gone to school for years for - lawyer, there, I said it. My department is being phased out...I have been pursuing my photography dreams part-time for the past few months, shot my first wedding, booked 6 weddings for 2010, things are growing slowly. Being laid off was a HUGE scare because I need that paycheck to pay my bills....OR at least that is what I think! I think you hit the nail on the head about us not knowing our capabilities, not believing in ourselves because we feel we aren't even worthy of setting goals to get to. I turned 34 the other week, and I am excited about what the future holds because being laid off is probably the BEST thing that could happen to me in my life right now. I will be working for a few more months as things transition - and then a severance package - and well, my chance to follow my dreams and bee the awesome wedding photographer that I need to keep believing I can be! Again, thank you for your post and encouragement Jasmine!   02.12.10 - 4:53am
Aida Krgin - I recently discovered you, Jasmine Star, and you have already become an inspiration. Your blog is amazing and I have read pages and pages of it. I've been doing portraits for a few years but weddings have always been my passion. Always afraid to venture into wedding photography because of the huge responsibility that comes with. I've bit the bullet and I am now doing them. BUT, how do I market myself as a wedding photographer if I have only shot one wedding? Thank you for inspiring us to follow our dreams.   02.12.10 - 2:26am
Jani B - After reading this, I handed in my resignation from my mundane day job! Thanks for the push! I'm still scared - but I am going to make it happen...  02.12.10 - 1:54am
Alexander Gardner - "Make a life, not a living" I'll remember those words for quite some time.  02.12.10 - 12:30am
Jan - Thanks so much for sharing!  02.12.10 - 12:05am
Brian Fletcher - Good stuff, Jasmine! I love Meg's work - I have been a fan for a long time!  02.11.10 - 11:53pm
emily - Wow, I love the story. You not only have a way with photography, but a gift of words and encouragement - thank you.  02.11.10 - 11:39pm
Bree - I'm digging deep to find that courage myself... so my hat is off to Meg (and as always you Jasmine! ever inspiring!) and so are my congratulations!  02.11.10 - 11:02pm
Anonymous - I sent this link to my husband as soon as I read it. I feel as if he's stuck in the windowless job not knowing if it really feeds his hunger for living life. I think in his heart he knows that he could be happier but he struggles to know WHAT IT IS that will make him happy in the long run. thank you for this story. I have passed it on :)  02.11.10 - 9:29pm
Mel - I have recently started to pursue my dream and I am still at the "a bit scared and shit what the hell am I doing" stage. Thank you for the reminder that everyone starts that way. And you are right that it doesn't matter if it doesn't happen over night. It will happen if I work for it.   02.11.10 - 9:27pm
anda - i hope it makes you smile to know how many 1,000s+ people are pursuing their loves and "making it happen" because of you. i love you, jasmine! you have helped changed my life for the better! thanks forever for your generosity, humility and wise words/inspiration.   02.11.10 - 8:15pm
Feuza - Thanks for encouragement J*, yes we do make excuses, I dont have resources, my profits cant be reinvested but need to buy food, lack lack lack, trying to focus more on gratefulness and not lack but do get discouraged easily, thanks for the pick me upper  02.11.10 - 8:11pm
Grace Cook - My youth pastor told me: "Pray like it depends on God, work like it depends by you." I've lived according to this ever since.  02.11.10 - 8:09pm
David - Great story and great advice! It's a struggle to do what you love but it beats doing something you don't because you're afraid to take the risk.  02.11.10 - 8:00pm
Amelia Strauss - Beautiful Meg! I am so so happy for you and Tim and the choices y'all have made. Jasmine, thank you for a glowing story of a glowing friend who inspires me every day...  02.11.10 - 7:57pm
Iris - It's like you read my mind and wrote a blog entry about it. I sat and listened to a friend of mine over coffee today speaking about all the weddings she has booked for this summer and all the great shoots she has planned for the year. It filled my heart with happiness for her, but I thought..what am "I" waiting for. Thanks Jasmine!  02.11.10 - 7:50pm
Peyton Cooke - You know Jasmine, you are AMAZING. I read this and of course went and blog stalked Meg with the thought "I'm going to learn HER story now and how she did it!" :)   02.11.10 - 7:28pm
Judy - soo inspirational!! makes me want to jump out of my seat and 'shoot' all over the world :)  02.11.10 - 6:49pm
cara - Love this! I imagine you get billions of friend requests (like, real requests, not just facebook!), so I'll just pretend in my head we're friends :D -- erm, in the least creepiest way possible! But I swear I'm printing out this post -- I love that you quit law school (or did you finish? then quit the field of law?), because I'm about 3 years into practicing law, and over the past year, I've been dreaming of dropping this and getting into wedding planning. "But who doesn't want to be a wedding planner?" I think, so I tell myself to grow up, and work off the rest of school debt (whoo, gov't employment!) But... I also set a goal this year to perhaps try some part time work with a wedding/event coordinator or firm, somehow. If they'd consider me! But -- your post is sooo inspirational, I love it! Thanks for the boost :) (And whoo, fab photo!)  02.11.10 - 6:45pm
Sandra Regier - Inspiring as always! Thanks for the great advice Jasmine! And congrats to Meg who truly does look happy!  02.11.10 - 6:41pm
Laura - I'm pretty sure you went inside my head on this very day to decide to write this post... I so needed it. Going to read it again and again again.  02.11.10 - 6:32pm
gina Kramp - I love this story!   02.11.10 - 6:18pm
Melissa Murphy - Wow!!! Talk about reading my mind. I have been struggling w/ this very thing lately. And Lord knows I make every excuse not to pursue my dreams. Only thing is that I need to turn those dreams into BIG goals. This post has helped me to wake up a little and push myself more. Excellent, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!  02.11.10 - 6:16pm
Mindy - Thanks Jazzy*!!! Exactly what I needed to read today!!! Great way to start my 4-day weekend....bravo to you and Meg!!  02.11.10 - 6:15pm
Angel Pope - LOL. Just checking :) I had to come back before going to bed just to see what you said. Again, I'm impressed. Hee hee. It's bedtime here in Kentucky! G'nite! :-P  02.11.10 - 5:58pm
gladys jem - you da you da best. you da you da best. seriously. you. are. the. best. this is not only a motivation to me, but to chris for pursuing his directing/producing movies dream. (he hasn't read it yet, but i'll make him) we love you. p.s. meg looks amazing. can't wait to see the rest!  02.11.10 - 5:20pm
Erin Elizabeth - The way you write about your experiences, and your thoughts makes me feel like you are speaking solely to me. Like, you read my mind, and heard exactly what my worries are, and what to say. Thanks for giving us all the courage to go for it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who needed it!  02.11.10 - 5:15pm
Amber - Thank you for such an inspiring post! I am just beginning this dream of mine and it has been an amazing journey so far. Congrats to Meg for making it happen and on her upcoming wedding!   02.11.10 - 5:13pm
Julie - You are such an inspiration! Every time I read your blog you give me the feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're a beautiful person inside and out. Because of you I'm pushing towards designing my own website that represents me and I'm hosting a boudoir marathon shoot just because I think it'll be fun. I'm taking my life by the reins and making it what I want. Thank you Jasmine Star. I hope one day I can be so lucky as to meet you and your doting husband. Much love! Julie  02.11.10 - 5:07pm
Jenna Strubhar - I was having one of those, "oh crap, should I have quit my day job to be a full-time photographer?" days. Thanks for posting this exactly when I needed to read it! :)   02.11.10 - 5:05pm
Andrea Husted - Congratulations Meg, on following your dream and finding happiness. What a beautiful story... wishing you much success!   02.11.10 - 5:01pm
stephanie brazzle - I love this post, Im in the mix right now, trying to make my business work and i also completely understand you, you are soo me, when i get to a party, im dont know what happens i shrink up, its like the person and the attitude i know i have disappears and goes away. Loved this post and as always thank you for inspiring me!   02.11.10 - 4:28pm
Lindsi Luffman - Very inspiring post. Especially to a fellow photographer trying to make her way out of the "safe and comfortable" and into the Unknown. Thanks for the encouragement!  02.11.10 - 4:22pm
Erin Brannan - YES!!! Great post. I decided this year to pursue my lifelong dream. I am married with three kids, but nothing is going to stop me. Just making the decision to "make it happen" lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders!! You are a huge inspiration to all us "little guys."  02.11.10 - 4:22pm
Edward - Definitely needed this. I struggle with this one EVERY DAY I GO INTO WORK!!! I'm taking steps, albeit baby ones. I pray that I have what it takes to make it happen one day. Gracias chica for this story  02.11.10 - 4:19pm
Jill Howard - Thanks for the kick in the butt! We all need ask ouselves this question every once in awhile. When I am feeling doubtful or stuck I say to myself... "If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always be where you've always been."... reminds me to shake things up and take those (sometimes only perceived!) risks.  02.11.10 - 3:53pm
Brianna Phelan - Much love Meg - you're an amazing person!  02.11.10 - 3:48pm
Kim Spears - Loved your words of wisdom for Meg and I am glad she followed her heart. She is such an incredible photographer too!! I have just recently made this move for myself and it is soooo hard to not listen to those voices of doubt, but hearing posts like this and encouragement just reassure me that I am doing the right thing. Thanks :) And WAY TO GO MEG !! And congrats on the upcoming wedding :)  02.11.10 - 3:17pm
Lucy Woodrow - Yes. Make it happen. I have struggled for a long time with the X-Factor delusion. Now you're gonna laugh at this, I know. You know when you see someone in the first stages of the X Factor and their family think they are the "Bees Knees"? Well, I wonder constantly if I am under some sort of delusion. Then I get moments when all is good and I am positive about the future. I dunno, that's one of the hazards of being a creative person I guess. Thanks for sharing Jasmine, How lovely to have made such a direct influence one someone, especially someone so talented. :)  02.11.10 - 2:39pm
Sarah Rico - Thank you Jasmine. You don't know me but this post couldn't have come at a better time for. As I find myself in Meg's EXACT spot at this very EXACT moment and asking myself...How? How am I going to leave the safety of my legal career in a giant hollywood studio? How am I going to make sure my new marriage is taken care of? and most importantly...WHERE? Where do I start? Where is the beginning of the rope? This post is just another reminder that the "HOW" is just to "do it" and the "Where" is not at the beginning of the rope, but right where the rope is at the place I am standing when I pick it up...So again, THANK YOU!  02.11.10 - 2:25pm
Matt Ebenezer - Great post Jasmine! I went through this process 4.5 years ago - quit my day job and started my own business. One of the best decisions I ever made!  02.11.10 - 2:12pm
Nicole Chubb - I know this girl! So random. I read your blog everyday never thinking I had any connection to you, and I went to high school with this girl. I'm a dork, but I feel that much cooler :P She has some amazing photos, and will get some amazing ones from you at her wedding I'm sure :)  02.11.10 - 2:11pm
Abegail Domond - Wow! I feel like this was written for me. I just got laid off from my job on Monday, and although it sucks, it may be somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I was just sitting here thinking about what I want to do next, how am I going to go about it? And I got scared. Then I turned on the computer and logged onto your page and this is what I find. I feel like this was God's message to me. I'm not sure what lies ahead, but I'm going to take the steps to realize my dreams. Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!  02.11.10 - 1:47pm
Bethany - Jasmine, Ive been following your blog for a while now. I find you to be very inspiring yourself! Make it happen is one of my mottos actually. I kayaked from Maine to key west, exclusively because it was my husbands dream and i knew that we could make it happen, even though it seemed impossible, illogical and all things ridiculous. Making it happen is, in itself, inspiring. Coincidentally, I am pursuing my own goal now of becoming a wedding photographer. I scored an amazing internship under a phenomenal photographer and i am about to go for it! Your blog, and website and photography has served as an inspiration to me as well. Keep being you!  02.11.10 - 1:42pm
Nicole Glenn - I HATE that you are so right. I hate even more when you tell me to my face, and I have all these reasons why I'm not doing it. :) Thank you for allowing me to vocalize and chase my dream. Thank you.  02.11.10 - 1:35pm
allyson magda - so completely true!!! We can most certainly be our own worst enemy at times...and basing decisions on fear, is the absolute, hands-down, worst way to make a big decision! great inspriation Jasmine!  02.11.10 - 1:35pm
Liz Kausteklis - I love this picture, and I love the story! I totally follow Meg's blog, and she had mentioned the other day that she was getting her engagement pictures taken, and I was wondering who was taking them?! Since I stalk your blog daily (yes Jasmine, I'm a blog stalker ;) and as your post was loading, I scrolled down to the picture first, and low and behold, here she is!! I can't wait to see the rest!! Good luck Meg...welcome to the Bay Area :)  02.11.10 - 1:31pm
Janece Shellooe - Meg looks amazing! I can't wait to see the rest.   02.11.10 - 1:05pm
Tracy - Am I making it happen? Not yet. I feel like I'm stuck in a kind of wasteland of worry and wonder about what to do next, about whether or not I'm capable of actually making it happen, and about doing something so radically different from anything I've ever done before. But I'm taking a step next week and going to your workshop. I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little nervous but I know it's going to be fantastic. See you soon!  02.11.10 - 1:03pm
Trude - Thank you, thank you, thank you. By some happenstance, serendipity if you will, you're writing exactly what I needed to hear right now. "Even if it takes ten years" - at times I feel that way, but that's okay, right? I'm just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other, making this passion of mine a priority before I die at my desk. :)  02.11.10 - 12:51pm
diane ( - It's funny how we just assume we will fail instead of thinking, maybe, just may we'll succeed? We are programmed that way, some how. I'm quoting here...walls are not there to stop you but to see how badly you want something. Go for it and if it doesn't work, you can always go back to the life you hated, I mean had! :O)  02.11.10 - 12:48pm
Terrance - Today's post really resonates with me, as I'm in the same position today as Meg was 2 years ago. You listed exactly the obstacles I'm facing (i.e., mortgages, health care, school loans, uh not the laser hair removal stuff though). I've been raised to be very risk aversive, so it's hard to give up a full time job right now to pursue a new career. But I love it when I hear about the success stories of others...  02.11.10 - 12:37pm
Life with Kaishon - Above all else, happy! I love that.  02.11.10 - 12:36pm
Paige Butcher - This is so inspiring, and much needed on a grey, snowy day like today.  02.11.10 - 12:30pm
natasha - A picture can say a thousand words. And a simple post can help you through another day. Thank you for having the courage to always write. x   02.11.10 - 12:29pm
Charlie - * I am following my dream* thankyou for the extra camera light along the way! mwahh  02.11.10 - 12:22pm
Meg - One foot in front of the other guys- I will be following all of your journeys. Thank you for all your kindness- my heart might explode.   02.11.10 - 12:20pm
Ashley - Love what you shared about making it happen, love you, love Meg!, enough said (:  02.11.10 - 12:17pm
Marisol Izaguirre - Jasmine, I'm going to make it happen!!! :)  02.11.10 - 12:16pm
Erica Young - By the way loved your article in Rangefinder.  02.11.10 - 12:12pm
Erica Young - Jasmine, we met in Michigan a few mths ago and you said yoy read every single comment so I hope you respond. I too would live to quit my day job and do photography full time but my hardest obstacle is finding clients. Last year was my first year open as a business and I did all my sessions for free to start my portfolio. How do I get more clients or get the existing clients to come back?   02.11.10 - 12:10pm
Jasmine* - @AngelPope: Yes, I read ALL the comments....I'm always so touched and inspired by readers like YOU! :)  02.11.10 - 12:10pm
claire ryser - Cheers to living the dream! XoXo. Sparkly drinks and froo-froo appetizers in Laguna Beach sound fabulous right about NOW, girl. and what a calming photo of Meg too. Just wonderful! Thanks for blogging so much Jasmine!  02.11.10 - 12:08pm
Kelly Koziol - I think in one way or another I wake up every morning with this question on my mind. What is stopping me from taking that last tiny (like an elephant) leap of faith?! Thanks Jasmine :)  02.11.10 - 12:05pm
HannieSunshinePhotography - Stunning blog, so inspirational!  02.11.10 - 11:54am
Serendipity Photography - Very inspiring story. Thank you!!!!!  02.11.10 - 11:53am
Jacie - very inspiring. but i'm finding it difficult to "make it happen" while being responsible for two young children. I don't know how many of you have children, but that's a dream come true in itself. but managing both dreams at the same time is a daunting task. so must my personal dreams be deferred? unfortunately, yes. for now. btw, love reading your blog! thanks!  02.11.10 - 11:52am
Diana - I am Meg two years ago. I just decided to follow my dream 4 months ago. It is not happening for me yet, but I'm working on it. It is hard. Hence, it was nice and much needed to read this post. Thank you.  02.11.10 - 11:52am
Allie - Oh my gosh! I love your post. What you said is exactly true - people need to follow their dreams because isn't being happy with yourself all that matters?   02.11.10 - 11:47am
levell - Im trying but I think not hard enough. Thanks for the inspiration.  02.11.10 - 11:46am
Angel Pope - PS-Do you read all of these comments???  02.11.10 - 11:41am
Ivy R - Just when I'm about to throw in the towel, here you are with such wisdom which belies your years! I hope I can get that final kick to make it happen. Thank you!  02.11.10 - 11:40am
Angel Pope - You really make it sound simple. Just do it, like Nike says. That is when doubt and low self esteem creep in. It's not a choice for me now, though, since I cannot find a different job. I am forced, after months of searching, to plunge into photography because I desperately NEED an income. Now what I am finding hard is setting the list of priorities. So far, I've got the camera and ONE pro lens (the 50mm, 1.2...just came this week!!!!). And then there are workshops. How do I choose the ones to go to? How do I know who I should listen to? And there are SO many resources that I could literally spend HOURS every day reading, but I've got to narrow it down a bit because I don't have enough time. (I read YOUR blog religiously because you just seem to simplify it for me. Thank you.) Thanks for the added encouragement. I like to pretend that you are speaking directly to little ol' me. ;)  02.11.10 - 11:40am
Robin McQuay Anderson - Blood...sweat...tears...hope...dreams...rewards...mistakes...setbacks...euphoria...success. Follow your path - live your regrets.  02.11.10 - 11:40am
Melissa Rodriguez - How true!! So inspiring! I quit my job two weeks ago and have been a full-time photographer since Feb. 1. I feel like a new person. I feel as if I'm finally doing what I was meant to do. Risky, yes! Scary, you bet! But oh SO worth it! I feel like I'm finally LIVING my life! :)  02.11.10 - 11:39am
Connie - Thanks... I did just that a few months ago. I left a stressful job after 22 years, I had worked my way up to unhappiness, stressed everyday, no fun left in life. I jumped out in Nov. to pursue my dreams and after my vacation time was all used up in Jan. I am now officially a photographer, struggling one right now, but I know that will change because I am working towards my goals and my dream. Love my life right now and I do not regret my decision one bit. I had to change my spending habits drastically and my kids had to adjust, but my soulmate... he is all with me and we are on our way to the dream.  02.11.10 - 11:35am
George Rivera - You need to bring that positive California spirit to the East Coast in the form of a workshop!! Boston to be precise. :)  02.11.10 - 11:33am
Cristi - yes, i'm making it happen!. hahaha. you probably don't remember it but we had a similar conversation. way to go jasmine, changing lives! but i really just had to comment because i need to tell meg how beautiful she is! can't wait to see the rest. congrats meg!  02.11.10 - 11:32am
Carrie Owens - thank you for this post :) I needed it today :)  02.11.10 - 11:32am
michelle - this is awesome. thank you for sharing. it's nice to remember that others have been here before and have MADE IT! I'm still struggling to get into the position to leave my day-job, and it's taking longer than I thought it would. But I'm DOING it...   02.11.10 - 11:24am
Jill Swank - Gosh, I started crying. Ugh, loser moment. Haha. So true, sometimes you just have to leap. You can't be worried about failing if you never even try. PS-laser hair removal?? lol Love your humor.   02.11.10 - 11:21am
Lyn Ismael-Bennett - Thanks for this inspirational story, Jasmine. Sometimes, I too doubt myself if I'm good enough, but knowing about people like you and Meg make me believe in myself and go for what I truly want...and love. Photography!   02.11.10 - 11:12am
Lydia - I've realized I can't wait for everything to come to me, I've got to work to make it happen. Slowly my website and blog are changing to hopefully reflect more of me! Meg is amazing! I'm wowed by her work each time I visit her blog!  02.11.10 - 11:10am
Kara Layne - Wonderful to hear these words when so many of us need to be reminded! Wonderful as always!  02.11.10 - 11:08am
Katie - So true Jasmine. Only a month ago I made the biggest leap of faith in my life when I quit my secure, cushy job of 6.5 years to follow my dream. So far so good. The decision was FAR easier than I thought it would be. I have a mortgage and a child and all those other responsibilities, but things are going ok so far. Actually, things are lining up quite amazingly so I can really make a go of this, and it feels GREAT! The only way to find real fulfilment in life is to follow your heart. There can never be any failure or regret in that! Thank for sharing your pearls of wisdom, and I really hope it encourages others to make their leap too.   02.11.10 - 11:05am
Stephanie Stewart - You have this way about you, J*...this way of writing something that sounds like you are talking directly to me, and I love it. I've been pursuing my photography career, but I get caught up in doubts, the what-ifs, the struggle of never seeming to have enough time to do everything, the fear of failure and disappointment. I, too, was stuck in a windowless office, until being laid off, giving me the first giant step toward this photography goal of mine. I'm getting more aggressive with making calls to brides, businesses and other potential clients to get my name out there, all while trying to come up with a logo and branding that is "me." It's a lot of work, as you know, but I love it, and can't imagine doing anything else. Thanks again for this post, I need to step up my game pronto!!!   02.11.10 - 11:05am
Nori - You wrote this for me didn't you? I have absolutely no training, one or two good pictures, out of about 28,500, and don't have the confidence to take a first step. Yet, I'd like to take that first step. Someday. Thank you for this!  02.11.10 - 11:05am
Huong - This was really refreshing. I'm totally in the "cutting yourself short" boat and I couldn't have come by this post at a better time in my life. Grazie :)  02.11.10 - 11:04am
Marissa Rodriguez - I soooo needed to read these words today! Thank you Jasmine!   02.11.10 - 11:02am
adita - Unbelievable! I found you thru I Heart Faces. This is the thought I have everyday, the question as to when do I know when the time is right? Taking risks was something I always did when younger, why is it so hard now? Thank you for this story, I so identified.  02.11.10 - 11:01am
Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs - I have loved looking at Meg's work since she was sweet enough to comment on my blog. She is the real deal! Such an inspirational story.  02.11.10 - 11:00am
Laurie - I know what Meg was going through. I am there now. Jasmine, you are one of my very first steps down this road. Looking forward to your workshop in just a few short days!!  02.11.10 - 11:00am
Briana - Thank you for this post. Meg is beautiful and it inspired me. I'm in the same situation, trying to start my photography business so I can leave my boring office job to live my passion and start a family. I can see my dream clearly, I'm just getting frustrated because the steps to get there are illusive at the moment.  02.11.10 - 10:58am
Heather Kincaid - Refreshing. :) Meg looks amazing and I love the story you wrote with it. "It's all happening!" Cannot wait to see the rest! <3  02.11.10 - 10:57am
{lauryl} lane - LOVE it. Love you, love Meg, love the picture, love the post. xo  02.11.10 - 10:55am
Jennifer Brotchie - I love these seeds of inspiration that help my personal garden grow..all I need to do is water it, tend to it, nurse it and watch it bloom! I can't wait for the blooming season... thank you for the reminding seed J*!! xo  02.11.10 - 10:54am
Sabrina - Love it. I have six weeks left before I move to a different job which will allow me more time for photography. I've been scared for so long but God finally opened the door and even though I'm scared to death some days, I know that He wouldn't lead me where I didn't need to go. Here's to following dreams :-)  02.11.10 - 10:54am
Kathryn L - Thanks so much for this story Jasmine! I was feeling really discouraged and low after your post yesterday and this one makes up for it. I have a dream and I've setup goals to meet's just that everything I make from any portrait sessions/weddings goes right into paying bills and debt and my house that I pay for on my own. Some days I can't see the forest for the trees, but I know I want it bad enough that I'll reach my goals.   02.11.10 - 10:52am
Julie Mitchell - This post has personal relevance to me. Thank you for sharing. My day job as a Marketing Consultant is only there to help pay the bills and keep a roof over my family's heads. My night and weekend job is where the fun is - being a photographer and developing a business of my own. I often wonder when I can afford to quit my day job and go full throttle with my photography biz. It's a scary thought and there is often self-doubt. Someday, I know it will happen. Just gotta stay focused on my goal. Thanks for the wonderful story Jasmine!  02.11.10 - 10:51am
Sara Kelley - SO inspiring!! It's funny how I am sitting right now in my windowless office (a.k.a. cubicle)...dreaming of the day I can do photography full time. The only light in this office is a cheap little lamp sitting next to my computer. Only thing that's holding me back from pursuing my dream at full force is bills and debt........ My question is...when do you know it's the right moment to quit your day job? Do you have to have a certain amount of income as a photographer or do you just do it and hope that you don't fail?   02.11.10 - 10:50am
Amanda Overmyer - I can't tell you how perfect this posting is at this time for me. I too followed my dreams of finally being able to be a full time photographer, and though I absolutely love it, I often struggle in wondering if it was the right choice for my family. Reading this touched my heart, and I know that although it's hard, I can get through this and be successful at it. Thank you for continuing to inspire us all.  02.11.10 - 10:50am
Andrinique - Nicely done!Hoping it motivates all the talent folks who read this! Just do it !   02.11.10 - 10:49am
Leora Shiff - I love this story- it is so inspirational!!  02.11.10 - 10:46am
Jeff - Today's post absolutely screamed out at me. I'm in the same situation Meg was in and I've been tearing through your blogs and FAQ pages this entire week! Love your openness and your writing. The way you inject a part of yourself into the text really comes through. So much inspiration between Meg's and your story!  02.11.10 - 10:42am
Jen Madigan Photography - I swear, you must read my mind. Every time I am feeling especially doubtful of what I'm doing, or wondering if I'm crazy for trying this photography thing - you seem to post something that completely hits home. Thank you.  02.11.10 - 10:40am
AmyPunky Photography (Emilie) - Oh what a beautiful story!!!! She is gorgeous indeed!!!   02.11.10 - 10:36am
allie - Very inspiring post! I can definitely relate to the "stand in a dark corner" strategy! :)   02.11.10 - 10:35am
crystal - She is so talented, I follow her work too :) Thanks for posting this is inspirational to everyone.   02.11.10 - 10:34am
amanda thiessen - awesome motivation. i remember the speeches i would often tell myself - how it wouldn't one gets to do photography for a're not good enough..but finally you gotta stop listening to yourself and start listening to everyone around you and their encouragement. it made me want it more when people really enjoyed my work :) so, thanks for this. you.are.awesome!  02.11.10 - 10:33am
Christina M. - thank you for writing this! i am definitely meg two years ago. as a college student with a dream of being a full time photographer, it seems like an uncatchable dream. thank you for the encouraging words and inspiring story. i hope to be what meg is today and have a story like hers  02.11.10 - 10:33am
Anne - What an incredibly inspiring story! I think everybody can learn from it. Thanks so much for sharing!  02.11.10 - 10:31am
Melissa Hatcher - I've found that following your dreams can be one of the scariest things in your life to do, but when you take that first step your passion takes over and outweighs the scary! I'm living proof of that! Congratulations Meg and Jasmine for following your dreams!   02.11.10 - 10:31am
Leeann Marie - I'm struggling with this too, but find that the thing that gets me through my cubicle stay each day are people like YOU who support me. I've come to realize that there is a lot more available out there once we're told that we can be MORE (than just a cube monkey). oops. ;)  02.11.10 - 10:30am
Dawn Beirnes - I can't even explai how I needed to read this on your blog today...I too am I stuck in a dead end job (although I do sit by a window!). I go from being excited about starting a photography business, but then I get scared, overwhelmed....then the excitement creeps back in. Still struggling with "how to" start it, but I'm working on it!  02.11.10 - 10:30am
Becka @Studio222 Photography - Love stories like that! I especially love meeting back up randomly with people who have had similar conversations with me and seeing how different both of our lives are. It's fun. She's gorgeous. And I love her site. It's very unique!  02.11.10 - 10:30am
Heather Crosby Gionet - what an amazing and inspirational story. I am so blessed to be doing what I love and am so glad to hear someone else encouraging others to go for their dreams! It isn't always easy, but its the best risk I have ever taken!  02.11.10 - 10:25am
Nicole - Jasmine, you never cease to amaze me with your blog content. Its nice to know that those feelings of self doubt lie within many of us, most are too afraid to admit to it. Congrats to you Meg and best wishes for a lifetime full of happiness.  02.11.10 - 10:23am
Inland Empire Wedding Photographer - So inspring! She is beautiful.. I love this picture it draws me. I just want to keep staring at it. Her eyes seem full of life and wisdom.  02.11.10 - 10:22am
Atlanta - This is just what I needed to read today. There are so many reasons to put the breaks on your dreams and your goals (and even cleaning your house)... I mean isn't there a Tivo'd episode of Private Practice I can watch instead? Thanks for the push!  02.11.10 - 10:22am
DENISE W - You have become that little voice of reasoning I need when I feel like no one else around me understands. Thanks so much for this timely post!  02.11.10 - 10:20am
Thomas Boutwell - Thanks Jasmine! Great post and soo true. My wife and I attended Making Things Happen Intensive with Lara Casey and Jeff Holt yesterday in Nashville and it was truly game changing! If you want it bad enough, you've got to take that leap and MAKE it happen for yourself. It rarely just falls in your lap. ~T2  02.11.10 - 10:20am
Marisa Schibilla - I love this post. Thank you for it. Nothing more to say really. :)  02.11.10 - 10:19am
Kristina - Wow, how fate works. Its good to hear that there are others out there like me, those who have a dream and trying but still unsure of their own footing. Life in this past year made me realize I have to follow my dreams, not just for myself, but for my family. What sort of message would I be sending to my son if I didn't? I left my job, am a stay at home mom and plotting my new course. There are obstacles, but there will always be obstacles, its about having faith. Fear of Failure, I guess, if I come out learning something, about me, about photography, about life, I haven't failed. Thanks for the inspiration.   02.11.10 - 10:19am
Kristina Schroeder - This is my first post on here, but I just wanted to say Thank You :) No really... Thank you!  02.11.10 - 10:19am
LEOLAK - This couldn't have come at a better time. I've recently decided to work on more of making it happen in getting my photography business started and what I need to do to get there. As you say, other things can get in the way and you have to get rid of them (bills etc), but doesn't mean you can't work on the dream and steps in the meantime. Thanks J* Way to go Meg!  02.11.10 - 10:19am
Chris - Exactly what I needed to hear today!! Thanks!  02.11.10 - 10:19am
Tony Pettis - Thanks for writing this today. God knew that I needed it. I'm in the process of following my dreams with my own photography studio and had disappointment smack me in the face today. Nothing huge, but made me doubt myself and what I'm doing. Thanks for the encouragement. You're a doll!  02.11.10 - 10:17am
Riz Crescini - Thanks for the reminder and encouragement, Jasmine! See you in Vegas!  02.11.10 - 10:17am
Gareth Robins - The second inspirational post today (First one from Chase Jarvis here ) I'm reading them from my windowless office (ok there's a window but it sounds better if there isn't), but I'm looking at my escape plan (in code) on the wall. I can see the dream slowly emerging into reality. Just have to keep believing it. Jobs are coming in quickly, and the tipping point is on the horizon. **thanks **  02.11.10 - 10:15am
Anh - Thanks for this post. I often give myself thousands of excuses not to pursue my dreams .. Since the beginning of the year i've turned and made thousands of reasons why i should just do it and here i am! Well done Meg!!!  02.11.10 - 10:14am
Larry Reeves - Jasmine, you don't know how much this means to me at this point in my life and career. Thanks for the push. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you!  02.11.10 - 10:13am
s h e r r y - Love this post Jasmine! I <3 Meg too. :) You inspire me!!  02.11.10 - 10:13am
Alli - So encouraging. Meg's shoe's two years ago... that's me now.  02.11.10 - 10:13am
The Broke-Ass Bride - GREAT POST, Jas! I love the narrative, I love the message, and I adore that shot of Meg! She looks so relaxed and vulnerable and honest - its gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. I am so inspired by this story, and continually also by you, Ms. Star!  02.11.10 - 10:13am
the red gecko - It is definitely a stressful decision to follow your dreams in a daunting field like ours, but totally worth it! Great thoughts, thanks for sharing!  02.11.10 - 10:11am